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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR

 

Michael Tomasello versus Alexei Leontiev: A Dialogue in Time

Fedorovich E.Y., Ph.D. in Psychology, senior researcher, Department of General Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, labzoo_fedorovich@mail.ru
Sokolova E.E., Ph.D. in Psychology, Associate professor at the General Psychology Department at the Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ees-msu@mail.ru
Abstract
The article provides an overview and critical analysis — from the point of view of activity theory of A.N. Leontiev’s scientific school and, more broadly, from the standpoint of cultural and activity psychology — of the latest comparative psychological studies of "joint activity" mechanisms in humans and in apes performed by Michael Tomasello and his colleagues and co-authors. These studies have convincingly proven the fundamental differences between cooperation in animals and collaboration in humans, which confirms many provisions of the psychological activity theory developed in the 1930s. Yet, the comparative analysis of the researches by Tomasello’s group and Leontiev’s scientific school provided in the article reveals that in spite of the seemingly similar results obtained in these studies, their interpretation varies considerably. Unlike M. Tomasello, A.N. Leontiev and his disciples (D.B. Elkonin, A.V. Zaporozhets and others) always claimed that "predisposition" of individuals towards collaboration emerged as a result of their labor activity which required coordinating various actions of individual participants who therefore fulfilled rather social than biological purposes.

Keywords: M. Tomasello, A.N. Leontiev, D.B. Elkonin, cooperation, collaboration, comparative psychology, apes, labor activity, cultural and activity psychology

Column: The Problem Of Development

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp.2018140105

For Reference

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