An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity

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Andy Blunden presents an immanent critique of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, the pschychology originating from Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934). Tracing the roots of this theory from Goethe, Hegel and Marx, the author draws out the principles with which Vygotsky developed a theory of the mind in which transcended the problems of mind-body dualism

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608461455
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publication date: 3/20/2012
  • Series: Studies in Critical Social Sciences
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Blunden is an independent scholar in Melbourne, Australia. Andy works with the Independent Social Research Network and the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy and has run a Hegel Summer School since 1998. Andy retired from Melbourne University in 2002.

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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction and Historical Excursus

Chapter 1 Introduction 3

Chapter 2 Soviet Cultural Psychology (1924-) 13

Chapter 3 Goethe's Romantic Science 23

Chapter 4 The Young Hegel and What Drove Him 33

Chapter 5 The Phenomenology and 'Formations of Consciousness' 41

The Phenomenology 45

Chapter 6 The Subject Matter of the Logic 51

Chapter 7 Being, Essence & the Notion 59

Chapter 8 Subjectivity and Culture 69

Chapter 9 Hegel's Psychology and Spirit 75

Hegel's Psychology 79

Chapter 10 Marx's Critique of Hegel 85

Chapter 11 Marx and the Foundations of Activity Theory 93

Activity 94

Social Formations 100

Chapter 12 Marx's Critique of Political Economy 103

Abstraction 105

The Commodity Relation 108

Chapter 13 Conclusions from this Historical Excursus 113

Part II Lev Vygotsky

Chapter 14 Vygotsky's Critique of Behaviorism 119

Vygotsky's Hegelianism 122

Behaviorism 126

Vygotsky's Sources and Influences 130

Chapter 15 Vygotsky and Luria on Romantic Science 133

Luria 138

Chapter 16 Vygotsky on Units and Microcosms 141

Unit of Analysis 145

Chapter 17 Vygotsky on Gestalt and Bildung 149

The Higher Psychological Functions 152

The Social Situation of Development 154

Vygotsky on Concepts 158

Chapter 18 The Significance of Vygotsky's Legacy 163

Part III Activity Theory

Chapter 19 Activity 169

Interdisciplinary Concept 169

The General Conception of "Activity" 174

Chapter 20 Activity as the Substance of a Science 179

Gadamer on the Hermeneutic Circle 185

Chapter 21 Criticisms of Vygotsky's Concept of Activity 189

Vygotsky's Unit of Analysis for Consciousness 192

Leontyev's Criticism of Vygotsky's Unit of Analysis 197

Meshcheryakov's Work 199

Vygotsky's Cultural Psychology 201

Bakhtin 202

Chapter 22 Leontyev's Anatomy of Activity 205

Levels of Activity 205

The Standpoint of Activity Theory 208

Leontyev's Methodology 211

Some Outstanding Problems 213

Chapter 23 Leontyev's Activity Theory and Marx's Political Economy 217

The Object of Labor under Capital 218

Chapter 24 Groups as a Model of Sociality 223

Chapter 25 Yrjö Engeström's Model 229

Chapter 26 Michael Cole and Cross-Cultural Psychology 235

What is Context? 240

History and Culture 244

Chapter 27 The Results of this Immanent Critique 249

Part IV An Interdisciplinary Approach

Chapter 28 Collaborative Projects 255

Chapter 29 Ethics and Collaboration 267

Social Science and Ethics 267

Collaboration with Strangers 268

The Ethics of Collaboration 271

Chapter 30 Marx's Critique of Political Economy and Activity Theory 275

Collaboration and Exchange 276

Projects and Firms 277

Chapter 31 Towards a Taxonomy of Activity 281

Genre, Frame and Field 286

Chapter 32 Collaborative Projects and Identity 289

Chapter 33 Collaborative Projects and Agency 295

Chapter 34 Emancipatory Science 301

Chapter 35 Conclusion 317

Cultural Psychology and Critical Theory 318

Science and Survival 324

Acknowledgements 327

References 329

Index 339

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