The Problem of Development in CulturalHistorical Psychology: From Activity to Consciousness



The paper compares two views on the development of higher mental functions that coexist in Russian psychology. One of them places activity at the core of the whole theoretical construction, the other places consciousness. Although both views can be found in the works of Lev Vygotsky, it was the activity approach that turned out to be the most elaborated, leaving consciousness somewhere out in the shadows and stripping it of its own ontological status. In this paper we make an attempt to restore this status and bring the experience of consciousness to the front while making activity serve as its background. This creates the opportunity not only to explore the mechanisms of child development in the process of the acquisition of culture, but also to understand the mechanisms of self-development in adults. This context enables us to find much in common between such different (as they might initially appear) concepts like those of Vygotsky and Jung. In our opinion, contemporary psychology of personality is currently evolving in this direction as well. Finally, we conclude that the academic potential of Vygotsky's concept remains very high indeed, as it creates the zone of proximal development for the whole modern psychology.

General Information

Keywords: consciousness, activity, ideal form, real form, experience, reflection

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kubarev V.S. The Problem of Development in CulturalHistorical Psychology: From Activity to Consciousness . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 2–9. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Anikina V.G. Psihotehnicheskaya model' refleksii: teoreticheskie osnovaniya i opisanie // Psihologicheskii zhurnal. 2010. № 6.
  2. Bondarenko I.A. Zhizn' soznaniya: Konstituirovanie novoi ontologii soznaniya v kul'ture XX veka. Omsk, 2002.
  3. Vygotskii L.S. Voprosy detskoi psihologii / Psihologiya. M., 2000.
  4. Vygotskii L.S. Igra i ee rol' v psihicheskom razvitii rebenka / Psihologiya razvitiya rebenka. M., 2006.
  5. Vygotskii L.S. Istoriya razvitiya vysshih psihicheskih funkcii / Psihologiya. M., 2000.
  6. Zinchenko V.P. Posoh Osipa Mandel'shtama i Trubka Mamardashvili. M., 1991.
  7. Leont'ev A.N. Deyatel'nost'. Soznanie. Lichnost' / Izbrannye psihologicheskie proizvedeniya: V 2 t. T. 2. M., 1983.
  8. Leont'ev A.N. Razvitie pamyati: eksperimental'noe issledovanie razvitiya vysshih psihologicheskih funkcii / A.N. Leont'ev. Stanovlenie psihologii deyatel'nosti: Rannie raboty / Pod red. A.A. Leont'eva, D.A. Leont'eva, E.E. Sokolovoi. M., 2003.
  9. Lotman Yu.M. Struktura hudozhestvennogo teksta // Lotman Yu.M. Ob iskusstve. SPb., 1998. Elektronnaya versiya: (data obrasheniya: 27.03.2013).
  10. Mamardashvili M.K. Klassicheskii i neklassicheskii idealy racional'nosti. Elektronnaya versiya: (data obrasheniya: 27.03.2013).
  11. Puzyrei A.A. Psihologiya. Psihotehnika. Psihagogika. M., 2005.
  12. Rossohin A.V. Refleksiya i dialog v izmenennyh sostoyaniyah soznaniya: Intersoznanie v psihoanalize. M., 2010.
  13. Sartr Zh.P. Bytie i nichto: Opyt fenomenologicheskoi ontologii / Per. s fr., predisl., primech. V.I. Kolyadko. M., 2000.
  14. Frank S.L. Dusha cheloveka. Elektronnaya versiya:  (data obrasheniya: 27.03.2013).
  15. Fuko M. Germenevtika sub'ekta: kurs lekcii, prochitannyh v Kolledzhe de Frans v 1981–1982 uchebnom godu / M. Fuko: Per. s fr. A.G. Pogonyailo. SPb., 2007.
  16. El'konin B.D. Psihologiya razvitiya. M., 2001.
  17. El'konin D.B. Psihicheskoe razvitie v detskih vozrastah / Pod red. D.I. Fel'dshteina. M., 1997.
  18. Yung K.G. Psihologiya bessoznatel'nogo / Per s nem. V. Bakuseva, A. Krichevskogo, T. Rebeko. M., 1998.

Information About the Authors

Vyacheslav S. Kubarev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Psychology of Work and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Omsk State Technical University, Omsk, Russia, e-mail:



Total: 2017
Previous month: 13
Current month: 4


Total: 1493
Previous month: 2
Current month: 7