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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


L.S. Vygotsky’s “Cultural Psychology” through the Lens of Spinoza and Marx 860

Maidansky A.D.
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia

The book under review critically reconstructs the methodology of L.S. Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory that traces back to Spinoza and Marx. The second and third parts of the book focus on the experiences of applying the conceptual framework of this theory in the field of psychology of art and pedagogics. The book by S.N. Mareyev appears to be not so much a commentary to Vygotsky’s texts as a critical analysis of the concepts of cultural psychology and an attempt to reveal their heuristic potential. Mareyev tries to re-establish Vygotsky’s ideas the way it was done in the framework of Leontiev’s and Ilyenkov’s activity psychology. At the same time, Mareyev declares the importance of turning cultural-historical psychology around to face Spinoza; however, the book practically ignores the concept of affects that was developed in the Ethics and that Vygotsky considered to be the ‘guiding beginning’ of the new psychology. It is here that, in Vygotsky’s words, the genuine subject of psychological science, ‘the real uniqueness of mind’, emerges for the first time ever and ‘the central problem of all psychology, freedom’ is defined. Unfortunately, neither Mareyev, nor his teacher Ilyenkov, nor Vygotsky’s direct disciples could comprehend and further develop this Spinozian idea of his

Keywords: Vygotsky, Spinoza, Marx, cultural-historical psychology, activity principle, affect, freedom

Column: Scientific Life


For Reference

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  2. Vygotskii L.S. Sobranie sochinenii: v 6 t. T. 1. Istoricheskii smysl psikhologicheskogo krizisa [Collected Works: in 6 vol. Vol. 1. The historical meaning of the crisis in psychology]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1983, pp. 291—436.
  3. Vygotskii L.S. Sobranie sochinenii: v 6 t. T. 2. Myshlenie i rech’ [Collected Works: in 6 vol. Vol. 2. Thinking and speech]. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1982, pp. 5—261.
  4. Vygotskii L.S. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: v 16 t. T. 1. Dramaturgiya i teatr [Complete Works: in 16 vol. Vol. 1. Dramaturgy and theater]. Moscow: Lev”, 2015. 752 p.
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  6. Zapisnye knizhki L.S. Vygotskogo. Izbrannoe [Vygotsky’s Notebooks. A selection]. Moscow: Izdatel‘stvo «Kanon+» ROOI «Rea-bilitatsiya», 2017. 608 p.
  7. Ustnaya avtobiografiya A.N. Leont‘eva [A.N. Leontiev’s oral autobiography]. In Leont‘ev A.A. (eds.), Aleksei Nikolaevich Leont‘ev. Deyatel’nost’, soznanie, lichnost’ [Alexey Nikolaevich Leontiev. Activity, consciousness, personality]. Mocow: Smysl, 2005, pp. 367—385.

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