Psychology in Utopia
What function can a science of psychology serve in a utopian society whose ideological foundations already contain a theory of human nature? This is the question that has dominated the history of Soviet psychology—a history that Alex Kozulin decodes in this book.
Following an introduction that discusses the problems of deciphering the real content of scientific work produced in an ideological context, the author reviews the work and the fate of the first four generations of Soviet psychologists: those who came of age before the Revolution, during the heady days of the 1920s, in the midst of the Stalin era, and the most recent, contemporary generation.
Six case studies provide a better understanding of the ideas and methods of Soviet psychology: the careers of Ivan Pavlov and Vladimir Bekhterev; the roots of non-Pavlovian psychophysiology in the work of Nikolai Bernstein; the ups and downs of the concept of the unconscious; the origins of Lev Vygotsky's epistemological theories; Pavel Blonsky and the development of Soviet educational psychology; and the effects of de-Stalinization in educational psychology and other areas.
About the Author
Alex Kozulin began his investigation of Vygotsky’s theory at the Moscow Institute of Psychology and continued it in Boston and then Jerusalem. He is the author of Psychology in Utopia: Toward a Social History of Soviet Psychology (MIT Press, 1984), Vygotsky’s Psychology: A Biography of Ideas, and a coeditor of Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context.