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VIDEO:Vygotsky’s Critique of Psychological Science.

Melbourne based Marxist philosopher , Andy Blunden, has written and published on line an essay introducing the work of Marxist psychologist Lev Vygotsky.

Blunden's essay is rather dense but it ticks all the Vygotskian boxes and while it may not be the easiest introduction to Vygotsky, it nonetheless captures the rigor and scope of the perspective he advocated.

Here are a few quotes that Blunden lifts from Vygotsky's works which give you a taste of his contribution to psychology:
“When our Marxists explain the Hegelian principle in Marxist methodology they rightly claim that each thing can be examined as a microcosm, as a universal measure in which the whole big world is reflected. On this basis they say that to study one single thing, one subject, one phenomenon until the end, exhaustively, means to know the world in all its connections. In this sense it can be said that each person is to some degree a measure of the society, or rather class, to which he belongs, for the whole totality of social relationships is reflected in him.” (Vygotsky 1997b)

[Blunden:This could be taken as an argument for the idiographic approach, but he goes on in what is the final paragraph of his most famous work:]


“The consciousness of sensation and thinking are characterised by different modes of reflecting reality. They are different types of consciousness. Therefore, thinking and speech are the key to understanding the nature of human consciousness. If language is as ancient as consciousness itself, if language is consciousness that exists in practice for other people and therefore for myself, then it is not only the development of thought but the development of consciousness as a whole that is connected with the development of the word. Studies consistently demonstrate that the word plays a central role in the isolated functions but the whole of consciousness. In consciousness, the word is what – in Feuerbach’s words (Feuerbach 1972) – is absolutely impossible for one person but possible for two. The word is the most direct manifestation of the historical nature of human consciousness.

“Consciousness is reflected in the word like the sun is reflected in a droplet of water. The word is a microcosm of consciousness, related to consciousness like a living cell is related to an organism, like an atom is related to the cosmos. The meaningful word is a microcosm of human consciousness.” (Vygotsky 1987: 285)


VYGOTSKY IN PRACTICE: Lois Holzman interview for Lev Vygotsky: One Man's Legacy Through his Life and Theory


Piaget & Vygotsky in 90 seconds
A key point is made. You cannot miss it.Tis is the great divide -- a divide to which Noam Chomsky's linguistic work has contributed ... on Piaget's side.

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