This book consists of previously unpublished manuscripts by Vygotsky found in the first systematic study of Vygotsky's family archive. The notebooks and scientific diaries gathered in this volume represent all periods of Vygotsky's scientific life, beginning with the earliest manuscript, entitled The tragicomedy of strivings (1912), and ending with his last note, entitled Pro domo sua (1934), written shortly before his death. The notes reveal unknown aspects of the eminent psychologist's personality, show his aspirations and interests, and allow us to gain insights into the development of his thinking and its internal dynamics. Several texts reflect the plans that Vygotsky was unable to realize during his lifetime, such as the creation of a theory of emotions and a theory of consciousness, others reveal Vygotsky's involvement in activities that were previously unknown, and still others provide outlines of papers and lectures. The notes are presented in chronological order, preceded by brief introductions and accompanied by an extensive set of notes. The result is a book that allows us to obtain a much deeper understanding of Vygotsky's innovative ideas.
René van der Veer graduated in experimental psychology at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1975 and obtained his PhD in psychology in 1985 with a dissertation about Vygotsky. He is currently a professor of the history of education at Leiden University, and his research interests include the history of attachment theory, cultural-historical theory and the history of childcare advice. His books include Understanding Vygotsky (with Valsiner, 1991), and Lev Vygotsky (2007).
Ekaterina Zavershneva graduated at Moscow State University in 1996 and defended her candidate dissertation on the crisis in contemporary psychology in 2004. She is the author of many works in the interdisciplinary field of methodology, theory, and history of psychology and specializes in cultural-historical psychology. She is an acknowledged expert on the Vygotsky family archive, a topic on which she has published articles and chapters in several languages.
Introduction to the book.- 1 A tragicomedy of strivings.- 2 Jewry and world history.- 3 The book of fragments.- 4 The Jewish question.- 5 Genres of writing.- 6 The trip to London.- 7 From the Zakharino hospital.- 8 Towards the cultural-historical theory.- 9 The instrumental method.- 10 Concepts and the systemic approach.- 11 The anomalous development of the child.- 12 From the EDI clinlic.- 13 Spinoza and the problem of higher emotions.- 14 Observing Asya.- 15 The study of consciousness.- 16 From sign to meaning and sense.- 17 The problem of consciousness.- 18 The semic method.- 19 The results of many years of work.- 20 Disintegration and schizophrenia.- 21 Thinking and speech.- 22 Psychology as a science.- 23 Dubious moves.- 24 The conference of October 27-29, 1933.- 25 The semantic field: Sparring with Lewin.- 26 Neuropsychology.- 27 Difficult children.- 28 The playing child.- 29 The rest is silence.