One of the chapters from the book “Way of thinking: the problem of the historical unity of scientific knowledge” by V.P. Zinchenko (edited by T.G. Shchedrina), published in 2011 is presented. V.P. Zinchenko describes his outstanding teachers, especially about P.Y. Galperin and his colleagues: A.R. Luria, A.N. Leontyev, P.I. Zinchenko and D.B. Elkonin, A.V. Zaporozhets, A.A. Smirnov. The contributions of these outstanding scientists in psychological science are shown on a par with biographical account and their personal traits.
Keywords: history of Russian psychology;
history of psychology;
A.N. Leontiev’s psychological theory of activity;
A.N. Leontiev school;
Russian psychological school;
The article written by the son and grandson of Russian psychologist A.N. Leontiev reflects not only his great and varied scientific and organizational services to the domestic psychological science, but also paints a vivid picture of Alexei Leontiev as a person.
In contrast to the previous quite formal biographical articles about this great scientist, this paper lively and vividly describes what actually was the life and work of A. Leontiev. His biography details allow to imagine the situation in this country, in the time when he had to study, work and create.
Talking about personal traits of Alexey Leontiev, the authors point out that the scholar never engaged himself in delegating powers or acting according to the boss’s instructions. He constantly sought from the authorities healthy decisions for psychology. His authority in power was so great that he was able to do almost everything that he sought to do. A.N. Leontiev did not take any important decision without having a council with the people around him. In his collaboration with Lev Vygotsky, almost all decisions were taken together.
The authors openly, with gentle humor are writing of the early years of the future professor, about an uneasy scientific career, a creative, educational and administrative activity in later years. Their story gives an idea of Alexei Leontiev, and as a brilliant scientist, and as a highly respectable, vulnerable, very emotional person, and a very nice man.
Keywords: A.N. Leontiev’s psychological theory of activity;
history of psychology;
Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU);
history of Russian psychology;
the Faculty of Psychology of Moscow Lomonosov State University;
Psychology in the Soviet Union;
The article comprehensively analyzes the specifics of scientific relations between the two leading Russian psychologists A.N. Leontiev and L.S. Vygotsky. It is shown how initial relationship between the teacher (L.Vygotsky) and an attentive disciple (A. Leontiev) was replaced disengagement, search and defense of their own views. The author demonstrates the dynamics of psychological ideas of these two scientists. He highlights different approaches to the problem of activity and identity, which made them part in a certain period of time.Considerable attention is paid to the scientific work of A. Leontiev, who lived and created in the socialist times of ideological pressure. It is shown how in spite of this adverse factor Alexei Leontiev, the founder of the activity theory, where moral principles are out of place where a person becomes its “product”, managed to come to the need for a special study of personality, his/her moral value sphere. Referring to specific works of A. Leontiev, the author shows the evolution of A. Leontiev ideas as “leader of the Marxist psychology” in the internal context of his scientific research, which has led to the fact that he erased the fundamental differences with L. Vygotsky on the problem of experiences and activities.
The author suggests that in his last years A.N. Leontiev’s views were close to the “late” L. Vygotsky’s viewpoint, taking the side of his Master, an older friend, and at the same time, as it is a usual thing in the academic life, the main opponent. This proves the fact that two years before his death in 1977, A.N. Leontiev actually agreed with Vygotsky on the problem of experiences and activities.
In his report, the author examines the science of psychology with an unusual perspective – as the science of variability, which generates variable concepts. He puts emphasis on the first underestimated works carried out on a par with the problems highlighted by Bernstein Severtsev, Leontiev, Rubinstein, Blonsky, Vernadsky, Bergson, Berg and others. The article highlights the main challenges of the historical and evolutionary approach of social constructivism: a selection considering the class of purposeful activity as a universal form of life existence, the allocation of the communicative discourse categories of activity, which is interpreted as the basis for the existence of biological, social and psychological systems. The concept of activity as a process of generating diversity at various levels of the system is disclosed. The works of such scholars as Gurevich, Batkin, Gergen, etc. that help to see how the evolutionary significance of diversity are mentioned. The higher one rises through evolution, the more divergent model programs of his/her behaviour are, and there appears a set of variable programs. The author shows that through the activity approach many phenomenological issues of culture are perceived, the development of cultural activity paradigm leads to the fact that psychology goes beyond the scope of a separate science, and serves as a unique paradigm of the future. Since the A.N. Leontiev veiwed psychology as a kind of workshop to support diversity, where the psychologist is as an expert in designing new worlds. The author concludes that the research of activities by which the development of diversity in this world of uncertainty is meant is incredibly important.