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Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology

Former Title: Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Seria 16. Psychology. Education

Publisher: Saint Petersburg University

ISSN (printed version): 2658-3607

ISSN (online): 2658-6010


Published since 2011

4 issues per year

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Open Access Journal


On the Scientific Heritage of Mikhail Ivanovich Vladislavlev 7


Mironenko I.A.
Doctor of Psychology, St.Petersburg, Russia

The article discusses the place and significance of the scientific heritage of M. I. Vladislavlev (1840–1890) and analyzes the scientific heritage of Vladislavlev, discusses its significance and relevance in the context of modern trends in post-nonclassical science. This scholar, who wrote fundamental works on psychology, was well-known, and even held the post of rector of St Petersburg University, was forgotten due to a discrepancy between his methodological preferences and the methodology and ideology on which Russian science of the 20th century as based. After an internship in Germany, Vladislavlev defended his master’s thesis “Modern trends in the science of the soul”, published later, and worked at St Petersburg University. In 1885–1887 he was dean of the Faculty of History and Philosophy, and rector from 1987 until his death in 1990. His students included the likes of A. I. Vvedensky, N. Ya. Groth, N. N. Lange and others. Vladislavlev’s psychological views are detailed in three volumes of more than one and a half thousand pages. These present the history of psychology from ancient times through contemporary trends, as well as his holistic vision of the discipline: the methodology of psychology is presented in detail and the general structure of the psyche and the entire spectrum of mental phenomena, mental processes, and properties are described. Vladislavlev used and developed the method of introspection. When methodology based on the primacy of the experimental method became firmly established in Russian science, introspection received the stigma of being “unscientific”. The work of scientists who used this method was not considered significant and was largely ignored. In the last decades of the twentieth century, significant changes occurred in psychological methodology, as well as in the general methodology of science. Cultural conditioning and relativity of scientific ideals and norms have become obvious, the influence of the “humanitarian” paradigm has grown, and the use of narrative approaches is expanding.

Keywords: M. I. Vladislavlev, history of psychology, psychology at St Petersburg University, introspection, Russian voluntarism

Column: History of Psychology


Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 20-013-00260 “National and local schools of psychology in the context of global socio-cultural trends: challenges and prospects”.

Received: 22.11.2021

Accepted: 20.12.2021

For Reference


Bolshakova, V. V. (1997). Essays on the history of Russian psychology (19th — early 20th century). Part 2. Russian voluntarism: M. I. Vladislavlev. Nizhny Novgorod, Volgo-Vyat. akad. gos. sluzhby Publ. (In Russian)

Budilova, E. A. (1960). The struggle between materialism and idealism in Russian psychological science. Second half of the 19th — early 20th century. Moscow, The Academy of Sciences of the USSR Press. (In Russian)

Gippenreiter, Yu. B. (2002). Introduction to general psychology. Lecture course. Moscow, CheRo Publ., Yurayt Publ. (In Russian)

Mazilov, V. A. (2007). Formation of the method of psychology: pages of history (method of introspection). Metodologiya i istoriya psikhologii, 2 (1), 61–85. (In Russian)

Mironenko, I. A. (2007). The biosocial problem and the formation of global psychology. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN Press. (In Russian)

Mironenko, I. A. (2021). A forgotten name in the history of Russian psychology: Mikhail Ivanovich Vladislavlev. European Yearbook for the History of Psychology (EYHP) , vol. 7, 225–239.

Stepin, V. S. (1989). Scientific knowledge and values of technogenic civilization. Voprosy filosofii, 10, 3–18. (In Russian)

Vladislavlev, M. I. (1879). Lectures on psychology. Petersburg, Tipografiya Pazovskogo Publ. (In Russian)

Vladislavlev, M. I. (1881). Psychology: studies of the basic phenomena of mental life. In 2 vols. St Petersburg, Tipografiya V. Bezobrazova Publ. (In Russian)

Vladislavlev, M. I. (1866). Modern trends in the science of the soul. St Petersburg, Tipografiya N. Tiblen i K (N. Nekhlyudova) Publ. (In Russian)


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