Psychology in Utopia: Toward a Social History of Soviet Psychology

Paperback | July 1, 2008

byAlex Kozulin

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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.Alex Kozulin studied medical psychology and psychophysiology at the Moscow Institute of Medicine where he received a medical degree; he received his doctorate at the Moscow Institute of Psychology. Kozulin emigrated in 1979 and has since worked as research associate at Boston University's Center for the Philosophy and History of Science and taught history of psychology at Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

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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 th...

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 Educationa...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:191 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:July 1, 2008Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262512173

ISBN - 13:9780262512176

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As a young scholar at a Moscow research institute, Kozulin experienced firsthand how philosophical globalizations and shifts in the official Party line can influence research and how publications are worded to conform to the rules imposed by the state censor. Western readers will profit from the experience gained here. The interested scholar will gain insights not only to the ideological horizons of psychology, but also about present-day idols and ideals in Soviet education.