Lev Vygotsky

The Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology: A Methodological Investigation

Written: 1927;
Source: The Collected Works of Vygotsky;
Publisher: Plenum Press, 1987;
Translated: translated Rene Van Der Veer;
Transcribed: Andy Blunden;
HTML Markup: Andy Blunden.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – The Nature of the Crisis
Chapter 2 – Our Approach
Chapter 3– The Development of Sciences
Chapter 4 – Current Trends in Psychology
Chapter 5 – From Generalisation to Explanation
Chapter 6 – The Objective Tendencies in development of a Science
Chapter 7 – The Unconscious. The Fusing of disparate theories
Chapter 8 – The Biogenetic hypothesis. Borrowings from the natural sciences
Chapter 9 – On Scientific Language
Chapter 10 – Interpretations of the Crisis in Psychology and its Meaning
Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy of the idea of creating an empirical psychology
Chapter 12 – The Driving Forces of the Crisis
Chapter 13– Two Psychologies
Chapter 14 – Conclusion

When one mixes up the epistemological problem with the ontological one by introducing into psychology not the whole argumentation but its final results, this leads to the distortion of both. In Russia the subjective is identified with the mental and later it is proved that the mental cannot be objective. Epistemological consciousness as part of the antinomy “subject-object” is confused with empirical, psychological consciousness and then it is asserted that consciousness cannot be material, that to assume this would be Machism. And as a result one ends up with neoplatonism, in the sense of infallible essences for which being and phenomenon coincide. They flee from idealism only to plunge into it headlong.” Two Psychologies

Glossary References:

Brentano | Wundt | Dilthey | Pavlov | Freud | Adler | Koffka | Jung

Further reading:

The Work of the Cerebral Hemispheres, Pavlov 1924
The Origins of Cognitive Thought, B F Skinner 1989
Genetic Epistemology, Jean Piaget 1968
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, 1962

“History is a science about the past, reconstructed by its traces, and not a science about the traces of the past.” [Chapter 8]