Philosophical Fundamentals of the Theory of Giftedness



The article describes the historical stages of exploring the concept of “giftedness” which reflect principally different understandings of this term, but nowadays are considered as the alternatives. The 1st stage: during the Medieval Period, the term “giftedness” is introduced for the first time ever and it explains the ability of a man to create (the God has given the gift). The 2nd stage: during the Renaissance period, the emergence of the wage labour puts an issue of assessing the presence and the height of abilities. The dependence of the product on the giftedness as high/low abilities is postulated. The 3rd stage: in the philosophy of the Modern Period, in the framework of dialectics, the concept of the process is developed and the levels of cognition as the main, generic ability of a human are defined, therefore the giftedness as an issue is missing. The 4th stage: beginning from the middle of the 19th century, due to the split in the philosophical directions and the demands of the psychometric paradigm, giftedness is reduced to the height of intellect and, subsequently, to the height of any abilities. The 5th stage: the emergence of the theory of giftedness based on the advanced methodology introduced to psychology by Vygotsky.

General Information

Keywords: giftedness, creativity, activity development, initiative, unit of analysis, motive

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Bogoyavlenskaya D.B. Philosophical Fundamentals of the Theory of Giftedness. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2019. Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 14–21. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2019150202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Diana B. Bogoyavlenskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Creativity and Giftedness, Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Professor, Department of Psychological Anthropology, Institute of Childhood, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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