Discovering the Great Royal Seal: New Reality of Vygotsky’s Legacy



The paper explores contemporary state of arts in the perception of cultural-historical theory (CHT) by the international scholarly community. On one hand, we do have a great number of publications exploring and advancing Vygotsky’s legacy in many ways and directions. On the other hand, paradoxically, there is still no agreement about what CHT is as a theory, and what are its subject-matter, laws, principles and research method. The current state of arts could be expressed by the metaphorical words “Christianity without Christ”. The problem is that the existing exposition of CHT appeared over 30 years back, when only a limited number of Vygotsky’s original texts were available. But the new reality, with Vygotsky’s legacy connected by the publication of a significant number of his unknown previously writings and recent archival findings, allows us to improve the existing exposition of CHT. This article provides an example of how this new reality brings solutions to several problems, such as 1) the title of the theory; 2) its subject-matter and 3) the system of laws of psychological development. The last part of the paper indicates several problems and issues to resolve in discovering CHT as a wholistic theoretical system.

General Information

Keywords: Vygotsky, cultural-historical theory, the development of higher psychological functions

Journal rubric: Discussions and Discourses

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The author is grateful to Anthony Barra for his help in editing article. Special thanks to the participants of International Monash Cultural-historical reading group.

For citation: Veresov N.N. Discovering the Great Royal Seal: New Reality of Vygotsky’s Legacy. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 107–117. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2020160212.

A Part of Article

Does cultural-historical theory (CHT) still exist? — the question might look naïve and even provocative. It provokes an immediate positive answer: yes, cultural-historical theory (CHT) does exist! Created in the1920s—1930s, CHT does not belong to the history of psychology only, but rather it is living and powerful theory which informs contemporary research in early childhood development, school learning and instruction, professional development, social studies, human-computer interactions, second language acquisition of adults and many other fields.


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Information About the Authors

Nikolay N. Veresov, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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