Re: Dialectical Psychology

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Mon Jun 06 2005 - 08:07:34 PDT

I had written directly to Sasha about the issue of the Russian
language--I too am interested in dialectical approaches to human
consciousness, including dialectical Psychology. . . Michael

On 6-Jun-05, at 7:55 AM, Mike Cole wrote:

> Hello Andy and Sasha-
> I believe that the success of any such enterprise hinges upon Sasha
> Surmava's comment that:
> Anyway we'll try to do some steps to translation the most interesting
> voices from our seminar into English, and the most interesting voices
> from XMCA into Russian.
> By the way, at last "The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology" is
> connected to WWW. Its E-mail is vygotsky1 who-is-at
> If there is interest is such a special interest group within ISCAR (my
> one question is whether there is a part of ISCAR
> that would not be interested in dialectical processes) it seems
> crucial to me that we begin to deal systematically with the issue
> of translation. This came up yesterday in Wolf-Michael's note. For
> those of us who do not read German, having a specification
> of German references is of little help.  Ditto for Spanish,
> Japanese...........  Russian is a special case in so far as the
> Russians have been
> especially influential in the propagation of cultural-historical
> activity theory, but the problem is general.
> If there is sufficient interest, it seems to me that the best way to
> approach such as project is make it a distributed, collaborative
> effort and to seek financial support for it.  For example, we might
> seek a grant that would be used to pay graduate students -- in Russia
> and in English speaking countries, working with an executive committee
> of Russian-English bilingual scholars -- to do translations of key
> works as indicated by Sasha. This effort could, perhaps, be
> coordinated with the activities of the Journal of Russian and East
> European
> Psychology which would be a source of funds for Russian-English
> translation, although publications there could not be limited just to
> the
> interests of this group of course.
> The question is whether or not there is sufficient interest. I have no
> idea. This is not a bad forum to get some preliminary idea,
> perhaps to be followed up in Sevilla.
> mike
> On 6/5/05, Andy Blunden <> wrote:
>> Andy
>> At 06:44 PM 5/06/2005 -0700, you wrote:
>>> Sasha Surmava sent this message to xmca, but somehow it seems to
>>> have ended up only coming to me (unless I am mis-reading the
>>> cybersigngs). In any event, it is of interest to xmca and so I am
>>> passing it along
>>> mike
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: Alexander Surmava <>
>>> Date: Jun 5, 2005 5:30 PM
>>> Subject: RE: Talk of courses and discussions
>>> To:
>>> Dear Mike et al,
>>> As you know ISCAR has announced a possibility of creating sections.
>>> So we've sent there a proposal. Here is its text.
>>> We a group of Russian psychologists and philosophers who are
>>> already ISCAR members or in process of registration are going to
>>> establish an international section of "Dialectical psychology" (the
>>> term belongs to L.S.Vygotsky).
>>> Among us are Felix Mikhailov, Lev Naumenko, Alexey Novokhatko,
>>> Vladimir Kudriavtsev, Elena and Gennady Kravtsov, Elena E. Sokolova,
>>> Elena and Sergey Mareyev, Galina Mishina, Alexander Simakin, Gennady
>>> Lobastov and me – Alexander Surmava. Most of us are disciples of
>>> Evald Ilyenkov, Alexey N. Leont'iev or/and Vasilij V.Davidov.
>>> Each of us is involved in theoretical and experimental
>>> investigations in the fields of theoretical, educational and special
>>> psychology, methodology and epistemology.
>>> We are interested in wide international cooperation in the process
>>> of development of cultural historical and activity theory and
>>> practice. We are sure, that this development can and must be based
>>> on the same theoretical background on which Lev Vygotsky stood, on
>>> the basis of high European philosophical rationalism which is marked
>>> by names of Plato, Spinoza, Hegel, Marx and Ilyenkov.
>>> We are sure that wide international cooperation can give a powerful
>>> impulse to the development of our common work. Last year a
>>> theoretical seminar concerning problems of cultural-historical
>>> psychology was organized in Moscow. We are going to continue it both
>>> in off-line and on-line forms as well as to publish the results of
>>> our common search, to organize seminars, conferences etc., etc.
>>> We invite everybody who is interested in "Dialectical psychology"
>>> section of ISCAR connect with us through website
>>> , or by
>>> E-mail: .
>>> Alexander Surmava
>>> We hope that some of XMCA members will join us.
>>> Now we are thinking about how to make our Moscow wide theoretical
>>> seminar on cultural-historical psychology really international.
>>> I hope that the theoretical level of it is already high enough to
>>> put before us such goal. Those who can read and understand Russian
>>> can take a closer look at it on my site
>>> and 
>>> Anyway we'll try to do some steps to translation the most
>>> interesting voices from our seminar into English, and the most
>>> interesting voices from XMCA into Russian.
>>> By the way, at last "The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology" is
>>> connected to WWW. Its E-mail is
>>> Sasha Surmava
>>> Alexander V. Surmava
>>> Ph.D. Assistant Professor
>>> The Russian State University for the Humanities
>>> The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology
>>> Liapidevskogo str. 8-2-274
>>> 125581 Moscow, Russia
>>> tel./fax: (095) 455-88-24
>>> e-mail:
>>> From: Mike Cole []
>>> Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 2:57 AM
>>> To:
>>> Subject: Re: Talk of courses and discussions
>>> Time will tell, Kevin.
>>> Lets see if there is sufficient interest to develop the requisite
>>> discusssion.
>>> mike
>>> On 6/5/05, Kevin Rocap <> wrote:
>>> Dear Mike, Phil, et al,
>>> Greetings!  Thanks for working to organize a discussion on language
>>> and CHAT.  I'm one of those with a perennial interest in the topic.
>>> ;-)
>>> Of course I've worked with a lot of school-based and school-linked
>>> programs on issues of second language acquisition and development,
>>> particularly in dual language programs (with a healthy dose of
>>> interest in home-school-community interactions issues) and so have
>>> some particular interests from that angle.  It seems to me we'll
>>> have a number of intriguing and divergent as well as synergistic
>>> "objects" for a discussion framed under this general topic. ;-)  How
>>> could it be otherwise?
>>> Related to my interest is an ongoing sense that folks who look at
>>> the issues strictly from a language acquisition and development
>>> perspective, don't always take into account the perspectives,
>>> theories and approaches of multiculturalists (including issues of
>>> examining power relations, as well as multicultural content and
>>> purposes in learning activities) and neither of those groups,
>>> generally, seems to have much commerce with the learning and
>>> cognitive sciences theorists (though there has been some progress
>>> recently).  And, then, of course, we have CHAT ;-)  One thought for
>>> me is that CHAT could help serve an integrative function with regard
>>> to these others, no?
>>> I guess we'll see.
>>> In Peace,
>>> K.
>>>  Andy Blunden, on behalf of the Victorian Peace Network, Phone (+61)
>>> 03-9380 9435
>> Nancy Fraser Australian Tour 26 July-7 August 2005,
>> http://

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