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Here is what we have in terms of Bekhterev's (Bekhterew) lifetime publications in German and French, according to AbeBooks search engine, as of now [source: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Bekhterew&sts=t ], -- but to be continued, shortly:

* Les voies de conduction du cerveau et de la moelle
Bekhterew, W. v.

Published by Stork, Paris (1900)
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Item Description: Stork, Paris, 1900. Large 8vo, pp. [4], x, 856, [32] (ads); 3 color plates, one folding; in original paper wrappers and glassine dust jacket; chip at top of spine, jacket with shallow tears at edges, endpapers foxed. With a cancel slip for the editor A. Maloine pasted over the publishing information on cover and title. This edition was translated from the second German edition, and is scarce in either language. A contemporary and critic of Pavlov, Bekhterew is known as the father of objective psychology and made a number of important discoveries on the functions of the cerebellum, medulla, and midbrain, amid other contributions. His sudden death after diganosing Stalin with paranoia lead many to suspect foul play. Bookseller Inventory # 47775

* Les fonctions nerveuses. Les fonctions bulbo-médullaires. 2 Vols.

Published by Paris: Octave Doin, 1909-10. (1909)
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Item Description: Paris: Octave Doin, 1909-10., 1909. ads., 2 leaves, 372 pp, 14 figs., ads; ads, 2 leaves, 603 pp, 42 figs., ads. Original cloth. Marginal browning in text. Very Good. First Edition in French. Bookseller Inventory # 8917

* Bewusstsein und Hirnlokalisation : Rede, gehalten auf der allgemeinen Versammlung des VI. Kongresses russischer Aerzte zur Erinnerung an N. J. Pirogoff / von W. v. Bechterew. Translation of O lokalizatsii soznatel'noi deiatel'nosti u zhivotnykh i cheloveka.
Bekhterev ( Bekhterew Bechterew Bechterev) Vladimir Mikhailovich

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Item Description: Leipzig, Arthur Georgi, 1898. 50pp. original printed wrappers. Fine condition. Translation of O lokalizatsii soznatel'noi deiatel'nosti u zhivotnykh i cheloveka Translator R. Weineberg. Very scarce first German edition. Bookseller Inventory # 83974

* Die Funktionen der Nervencentra.
Bechterev [Bekhterev], Vladimir M

Published by Fischer 1908-1911, Jena (1908)
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Item Description: Fischer 1908-1911, Jena, 1908. Bechterev, Vladimir Michailovic (1857-1927). Die Funktionen der Nervencentra. Erstes Heft: Einleitung, Untersuchungsmethoden, Rückenmark und verlängertes Mark. [Zweites Heft: Kleinhirn, Mittelhirn, Zwischenhirn und subkorticale Ganglien. Drittes Heft: Hemisphären des Grosshirns.] Translated from the Russian by Richard Weinberg. 3 volumes. ix, 691; viii, 693-1336; x, 1337-2047pp. Text illustrations. Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1908-11. 248 x 167 mm. Library buckram, light wear, hinges cracked. Very good set, from the library of American neurologist Smith Ely Jelliffe (1866-1945), with his bookplate and signature in each volume. Embossed stamp of the Hartford Retreat Medical Library on each title; library call numbers on spines. First Edition in German of Bechterev’s Osnovy uchenia o funktsiakh mozga [Fundamentals of Brain Function] (1903-7). Bechterev was one of the most prominent neuroscientists of his era, playing a crucial role in the study of the development of the brain’s organization, neurophysiology, neuropathology and experimental psychology. In his Fundamentals of Brain Function, first published in Russian in seven volumes between 1903 and 1907, Bechterev included a summary of his extensive observations of the functions of the frontal lobes, confirming that extirpation of the frontal lobes destroys the capacity for goal-directed behavior. Animals deprived of their frontal lobes "do not evaluate the results of their actions as they should, cannot correlate new external impressions with past experience, and do not direct their movements and actions to their own advantage" (quoted in Luria, p. 251). The German edition of Bechterev’s book contains one of the first uses of the term "extrapyramidal" to describe neural structures. This copy is from the library of Smith Ely Jelliffe, author of Diseases of the Nervous System (1915; Garrison-Morton [online] 4599), founder of The Psychoanalytic Review and one of the first American book collectors in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # 43612

* Die Persönlichkeit : und die Bedingungen ihrer Entwicklung und Gesundheit
Bekhterev, Vladimir Mikhaĭlovich, 1857-1927.
Wiesbaden : J.F. Bergmann, 1906.
vi, 38 p. ; 26 cm.
Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens ; Heft 45




Pretty cool stuff that, regardless of its topic and time period, demonstrates how research on scientific conferences should be done. Besides, from the standpoint of the historiography of psychology in the interbellum period this is a very informative piece, indeed. All texts are open access publication:

Ответственный редактор:
Д. В. Арзютов, С. С. Алымов, Д. Дж. Андерсон
Год издания:

Библиографическая информация:

От классиков к марксизму: совещание этнографов Москвы и Ленинграда (5–11 апреля 1929 г.) = From classics to marxism: the meeting of ethnographers from Moscow and Leningrad (5–11 April 1929) / Рос. акад. наук, Музей антропологии и этнографии им. Петра Великого (Кунсткамера), Абердинский университет (Шотландия, Великобритания); [под ред. Д. В. Арзютова, С. С. Алымова, Д. Дж. Андерсона]. — Санкт-Петербург: МАЭ РАН, 2014. — 511 с. — (Кунсткамера — Архив; т. 7).


Another exemplary piece, but in English, is Krementsov's exploration of the several twists and turns of the plot of the history of the genetics International Congress that was to be held in late 1930s in Moscow:
International Science Between the World Wars: The Case of Genetics
Preview here, but an electronic copy of the whole book is also available: https://books.google.ca/books?id=HEF00F-_nVAC

Among the studies on the history of Russian psychology and its involvement in international congresses of psychology (and allied sciences) there some relatively recent text available authored by Bogdanchikov, Yasnitsky, Stoyukhina & Mazilov, and, possibly, some other guys, but all these are quite far from the 'gold standard' established in the first two publications mentioned here. Way to go, guys! ;)

The materials of the discussion of the "Stalin model of science" in psychology as a scientific discipline, social practice and the set of shared values and attitudes of scientific community--from historical standpoint and in contemporary Russian Federation. The materials are presented here in logical and chronological sequence:

(1) Ясницкий А. СТАЛИНСКАЯ МОДЕЛЬ НАУКИ: ИСТОРИЯ И СОВРЕМЕННОСТЬ РОССИЙСКОЙ ПСИХОЛОГИИ // PEM: Psychology. Educology. Medicine. – 2015. – № 3-4 (part I);
URL: pem.esrae.ru/8-74 (дата обращения: 16.01.2016).

(2) Ясницкий А. ПРИГЛАШЕНИЕ К ДИСКУССИИ: ИСТОРИЯ СОВЕТСКОЙ И РОССИЙСКОЙ ПСИХОЛОГИИ // PEM: Psychology. Educology. Medicine. – 2015. – № 3-4 (part II);
URL: pem.esrae.ru/9-90 (дата обращения: 16.01.2016).

(3) Чупров Л. Ф., Костригин А. А., Мироненко И. А. ДИСКУССИЯ ПО СТАТЬЕ А. ЯСНИЦКОГО «СТАЛИНСКАЯ МОДЕЛЬ НАУКИ: ИСТОРИЯ И СОВРЕМЕННОСТЬ РОССИЙСКОЙ ПСИХОЛОГИИ» // PEM: Psychology. Educology. Medicine. – 2015. – № 3-4 (part II);
URL: pem.esrae.ru/9-98 (дата обращения: 16.01.2016).

Presumably, to be continued.

* lchpr@rambler.ru (главный редактор журнала),
* OtvetSec@ya.ru (ответственный секретарь журнала).

The story of the "Vygotsky boom", aka "Vygotsky cult', dates back to late 1970s and has its logic of development. Jerome Bruner on a number of occasions in 1960s-1970s prophesied the "boom" to come, but all in vain. The turning point is 1978 and the publication of the fake, the quasi-Vygotsky's "Mind in Society" by Michael Cole and his collaborators, who appear to have expected the blow to their reputations not to mention fiscal losses the book would cause. The reasons why Vygotsky got so popular in the West thereafter are not of entirely clear nature, but a combination of factors could have been in play. They include the disappointment with Piaget (whose ideas were perceived as too "natalist" and "biological deterministic") and the need in another authority who could serve in support of educational optimism of the environmentalist, interventionist, and teacher-centered approach to learning and instruction. This one was termed "social constructivism". The publication of Toulmin's "The Mozart of psychology" essay might have played its role, too, but given that the main message of the paper -- the idea of the inseparable unity of the Vygotsky-Luria project of the "historical materialist" psychology -- apparently remained virtually totally unnoticed, the impact of this particular publication seems to have been minimal and chiefly propagandist. Since then, the star of Vygotsky -- exemplified by Michael Cole's "Mind in Society" has always been rising. In fact, it was rising until quite recently.

Indeed, if only Google Scholar is a trustworthy instrument in such matters, we clearly see that the number of references to the notorious "Mind in Society" has been continuously rising from 1979 until 2013. Yet, 2014 appears to be the break point: this was the first year when the number of quotes to this source slightly declined. Curiously, the number of quotes to another "Vygotskian star" -- cumulative quotes to the publications actually authored by Michael Cole -- also started its decline. This might suggest that what we experiencing now is the transition from the "Vygotsky boom" to the phase of the "Vygotsky bubble" that has already started shrinking and continues do so right at this very point.

Curiously, the disappointment with the "Vygotsky cult" has been explicitly expressed a lot of times from early 1980s up to now, and the phrase seems to have been first pronounced as early as 1991 (the credits go to Sheldon White). Yet, it took another "revolution" to be first openly stated in a publication of 2012 along with a series of critical studies of 2010s for the dramatic change to really take place. These studies were summarized in a most recent book project: Yasnitsky, A. & van der Veer, R. (Eds.) (2015/2016). Revisionist Revolution in Vygotsky Studies. London and New York: Routledge, -- followed by another one: Yasnitsky, A., van der Veer, R., Aguilar, E. & García, L.N. (Eds.) (in press, 2016). Vygotski revisitado: una historia crítica de su contexto y legado. Buenos Aires: Miño y Dávila Editores (in Spanish). It is not clear yet what other factors were in play, but the impact of the consolidated "Revisionist revolution" in the start of the collapse of the "Vygotsky bubble" seems to be very probable.

Yet, chances are that the trend might still reverse, which makes the whole game of guessing the future even more exciting and breath-taking. So, the bets are still accepted, and the question is: Will this year of 2015 continue the declining trend in the number of quotes to "Mind in Society" (whoever actually wrote it) and, by extension, the references to the cumulative published output by Michael Cole, in which his :) "Mind in Society" consistently comprises more than a half, if Google Scholar is to be trusted.

For the sake of curiosity, Google Scholar quote numbers will be monitored, recorded here, and updated on a regular basis. Only the decade of 2010s will be indicated in the table, below. Yet, the sources for the measurements are all online.
"Mind in Society": https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=djqLs50AAAAJ&citation_for_view=djqLs50AAAAJ:umqufdRvDiIC
Michael Cole: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=djqLs50AAAAJ&hl=en

So, this is what we have as of today, [update:]November 3, 10, 20, 30, December 10, 20, 31, 2015; January 10, 20, 31; February 10, 20, 29, March 10, 20, 31, April, 10, 20, 30, May, 10, 20, 31, June 10, 20, 30, July 10, 20, 31, August 10, 20, 31, September 10, 20, 30, October 10, 20, 31, November 10, 20, 30 December 10, 20, 31, 2016:

"Mind in Society":

Michael Cole (including "Mind in Society" references, for comparison see the table above):

So, the question is: is there a new trend -- or not?
We will see that pretty soon :).

[Update of November 20, 2015] Besides, it is truly exciting to observe the amazing dynamics of GoogleScholar citing rate changes. Yet another piece of data to consider from the perspective of the question as to what extent GoogleScholar is useful and usable as a research tool in the studies of the kind...[/Update]

[Update of January 11, 2017] The update of the tables has been discontinued as of now and here. For the continued data update and statistics for the 2017 see a newer post at http://psyanimajournal.livejournal.com/15748.html

Revisionist Revolution in Vygotsky Studies


Lev Vygotsky is one of those titans of psychology who have been grossly and unfairly misperceived. A subtly cultural and deeply politicized author, Vygotsky creatively combined Freudian and Trotskyite, developmental and linguist influences. This book gives a thorough revision of Vygotsky’s heritage, which is indispensable for everyone who reads and follows Vygotsky the psychologist’. - Alexander Etkind, European University at Florence, Italy

An indispensable volume for the intellectual project of coming to terms with Vygotsky’s theory and adapting it to current problems in new contexts’. – Peter Smagorinsky, The University of Georgia, USA

Yasnitsky and van der Veer offer a sharp polemic with ‘cultism’ in Vygotsky Studies, rooting their revisionist arguments in an original historical reconstruction and deconstruction of the Vygotskian legacy in the Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia and the wider world. This collection of studies sheds new light on the history of the reception and promotion of Vygotsky and his ‘school’’. - Andy Byford, Durham University, UK

Texts available and in progress (virtually, in press):

· Kurt Koffka: „Die Usbeken haben doch Illusionen!“

· Die Aufzeichnung der psychologischen Veröffentlichungen Vygotskijs.

· Dekonstruktion der Legende von Vygotskys Viktimisierung: Eine Überprüfung der „Stalinistischen Unterdrückung“ der Theorie Vygotsky’s.

· [LSV]. Der nackte Kaiser

· Vygotskij Übersetzungen: Probleme einer transnationalen Vygotskij-Wissenschaft

· Der Vygotsky-Kreis als ein persönliches Netzwerk von Wissenschaftlern.

· [KaZa]. Tagebücher, Notizen, wissenschaftliche Manuskripte von L.S. Vygotsky (1912-1934) : Ergebnisse einer Arbeit im Familienarchiv. (translation not finished until now)

· Der Archetyp der sowjetischen Psychologie als wissenschaftliche Disziplin und soziale Praktik. (translation not finished until now)

History of the Human Sciences
Table of Contents
April 2015; 28 (2)

Vygotsky in His, Our and Future Times
Guest editor: Gordana Jovanović

Gordana Jovanović
Vygotsky in his, our and future times
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 3-7, doi:10.1177/0952695115577691

Jerome Bruner
The uneasy relation of culture and mind
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 8-9, doi:10.1177/0952695115575348

Gordana Jovanović
Vicissitudes of history in Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 10-33, doi:10.1177/0952695115577227

Harry Daniels
Mediation: An expansion of the socio-cultural gaze
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 34-50, doi:10.1177/0952695114559994

Vladimir P. Zinchenko
Should the ‘postulate of directness’ be overcome?
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 51-71, doi:10.1177/0952695115580733

Carlos Cornejo
Searching for the microcosm: A glimpse into the roots of Vygotsky’s holism
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 72-92, doi:10.1177/0952695114563842

Jaan Valsiner
The place for synthesis: Vygotsky’s analysis of affective generalization
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 93-102, doi:10.1177/0952695114559530

René van der Veer
Vygotsky, the theater critic: 1922–3
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 103-110, doi:10.1177/0952695114559531

Kirill Maslov
‘Neither class, nor party’: Paradoxes and transformations of the Russian and Soviet scientific intelligentsia
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 111-127, doi:10.1177/0952695115580751

Jennifer Fraser and Anton Yasnitsky
Deconstructing Vygotsky’s victimization narrative: A re-examination of the ‘Stalinist suppression’ of Vygotskian theory
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 128-153, doi:10.1177/0952695114560200

Alexandre Métraux
Lev Vygotsky as seen by someone who acted as a go-between between eastern and western Europe
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 154-172, doi:10.1177/0952695115575410

Luciano Mecacci
Vygotsky’s reception in the West: The Italian case between Marxism and communism
History of the Human Sciences April 2015 28: 173-184, doi:10.1177/0952695115575409


OK, essentially Nietzschean idea of an elitarian Übermensch (aka overman, сверхчеловек) in Trotsky's interpretation transformed into the idea of egalitarian Übermensch of Communism and the "socialist transformation" of the actual Homo sapiens into the potential self-made socio-biological type that will evolve in the course of deliberate and conscious effort of artistic and technological transformation of the world (i.e. the nature, society, and culture). On that see the previous entry: http://psyanimajournal.livejournal.com/11878.html

Then, Vygotsky picks up this utopian proclamation of the "prophet unarmed" of Russian Bolshevism and goes further with his proclamations of the promise of the new technology of massive production of New Men of Communism that he frames in terms of the "new psychology" as a theory and social practice. A series of statements to that effect can be copiously found in a number of his texts, uniformly referring to the inflammatory lines of Trotsky, all from his essay of 1923 (drafts of 1922) titled "Искусство революции и социалистическое искусство" (The art of revolution and the socialist art); again, for discussion and references/links see http://psyanimajournal.livejournal.com/11878.html . We owe it to E. Zavershneva that we have the list (possibly, incomplete) of those texts where these ideas figure explicitly. A long quote from Zavershneva is due here:
Таких работ – с цитатами из Л.Д. Троцкого, тезисами о переплавке человека и ссылкой на теорему 17 «Этики» Спинозы – как минимум пять: «Педагогическая психология» [9], «Психология искусства», «Психологическая наука», «Социалистическая переделка человека» [14], а также доклад «Психология в нашей школе. Как надо сейчас преподавать психологию», который Л.С. Выготский прочел на II Всеросийском съезде по психоневрологии в соединенном заседании психологической, рефлексологической и педологической секций 9 янв. 1924 г. Процитируем полностью окончание этого доклада:
«…все говорит за то, что психология действительно встала на тот путь, идя по которому она достигнет рационализации самых стихийных и слепых сил организма, овладения всем сознательным и подсознательным аппаратом психики и подчинит его себе так же, как мир внешних сил. Здесь самые смелые мечтания могут отстать от действительности в течение, может быть, и недолгих лет. Троцкий говорит по этому поводу о создании нового человека, сверхчеловека, но не в нитцшеанском смысле этого слова, не новую биологическую породу, а социально-организованного, просветленного насквозь во всех тайниках самых стихийных сил организма, освобожденного от самого страшного рабства – самому себе и от самой горькой зависимости – от своих нервов и психики, подчинившего себе игру внутренних сил организма, как и внешних сил природы, – сверхчеловека» .

Статья «Психологическая наука» представляет еще одну вариацию данной темы: «Но, конечно, эта психология будущего — эта теория и практика сверхчеловека — будет напоминать нашу современную психологию только по имени, или на великолепном языке Спинозы: non aliter sci¬licet quam inter se conveniunt canis, signum coeleste, et canis animal latrans, т. е. как созвездие Пса напоминает собаку, лающее живот¬ное (Спиноза, 1892, с. 29) . Поэтому нам и дорого имя нашей науки — имя, на котором осела пыль веков, но которому принадлежит будущее» [13; 45]. Интересно, что в данной статье Л.С. Выготский цитирует не только доклад Льва Троцкого «Вопросы культурной работы» [26; 83—84], фактически повторяющий положения его книги «Литература и революция», но и «ренегата» Карла Каутского, и тоже в связи с идеей сверхчеловека [22; 70—71]: «Каутский прекрасно показал, что создание нового человека есть не предпосылка, а результат социализма. “Не вправе ли мы пред¬положить, что при таких условиях создастся новый тип человека, стоящий выше самых высоких типов, какие создавала до сих пор культура? Это будет сверхчеловек, если хотите, но он будет не исключением, а правилом, он будет сверхчеловеком по сравнению со своими предками, а не со своими ближними”» [13; 45].
Безусловно, термин «сверхчеловек» появился в работах Л.Д. Троцкого, К. Каутского и Л.С. Выготского благодаря Ф. Ницше, однако они вкладывали в этот термин иное содержание. Так, в статье «Социалистическая переделка человека» (1930) мы видим попытку дистанцироваться от философа-немарксиста: «Когда говорят о переделке человека, о создании нового, выс¬шего типа человеческой личности и поведения, то при этом неизбежно затрагиваются те представления о новом типе человека, которые свя¬заны с учением Ницше о сверхчеловеке. <…> Ошибкой этой теории является игнорирование того факта, что законы исторической эволюции человека в корне отличаются от зако¬нов биологической эволюции, и что коренное различие того и другого процесса заключается в том, что человек эволюционирует и развива¬ется, как историческое, общественное существо. Только поднятие все¬го человечества на высшую ступень в общественной жизни, только ос-вобождение всего человечества является путем к возникновению но¬вого типа человека. Однако, это изменение человеческого поведения, изменение че¬ловеческой личности неизбежно должно привести к дальнейшей эво¬люции человека и к переделке биологического типа чело¬века. Человек, борясь со старостью и болезнями, овладевая процес¬сами, определяющими его собственную природу, несомненно, поднимет на высшую ступень и переустроит самую биологическую организацию человеческого существа» [14; 43-44].
Текст этой статьи опирается по преимуществу на цитаты из работ К. Маркса и Ф. Энгельса; мечтательно-профетическая интонация, с которой Л.С. Выготский обсуждает утопию сверхчеловека в новом обществе, присущая ранним работам, сменяется в «Социалистической переделке человека» интонацией докладчика, излагающего бесспорные факты. В статье появляется термин «новый человек», тезисы о переплавке человека уже не связаны с работами Л.Д. Троцкого (ссылок на него нет); в соответствующем фрагменте текста Л.С. Выготский цитирует Ф. Энгельса: «…Энгельс говорил, прослеживая процесс развития от обезьяны до человека, что труд создал самого человека. С тем же основанием можно было бы сказать, что новые формы труда создают нового человека, и этот новый человек будет только по имени напоминать старого человека “ветхого Адама”, — точно так, как по вели¬колепному выражению Спинозы, пес, лающее животное, напоминает небесное созвездие Пса» [14; 45].
Все эти совпадения и пересечения говорят в пользу того, что данная тема, во-первых, была чрезвычайно важна для Л.С. Выготского, во-вторых, что формулировки ее появились уже в 1923—1924 гг. и переносились с небольшими изменениями в тексты статей до 1927 г. включительно (в «Социалистической переделке человека» мы видим следующий этап разработки данной темы в новом идеологическом контексте). SOURCE: * in Russian: Завершнева Е.Ю. Исследование рукописи Л.С. Выготского "Исторический смысл психологического кризиса" // Вопр. психол. 2009. №6, с. 119 - 138.

As a matter of fact, the stuff is available in a somewhat less exotic and less funny looking language. So, the whole thing, inglese, goes as follows:
At least five
works contain quotes from Trotsky and ideas about the recasting of man,
as well as references to Proposition 17 from Spinoza’s Ethics: Pedagogical
Psychology [Pedagogicheskaia psikhologiia] (Vygotsky, 1926c); The Psychology
of Art, “The Science of Psychology” [Psikhologicheskaia nauka] ; “The
Socialist Transformation of Man” [Sotsialisticheskaia peredelka cheloveka]
(Vygotsky, 1930b), as well as a paper, “Psychology in Our School: How
Psychology Should Be Taught” [Psikkhologiia v nashei shkole. Kak nado
seichas prepodavat’ psikhkologiiu], which Vygotsky delivered before the
second All-Russian Psychoneurology Congress at a joint session devoted
to psychology, reflexology, and pedology held January 9, 1924.16 Below we
quote the ending of this paper in its entirety:
[E]veryone says, on the other hand, that psychology is truly now on a path
toward the achievement of a rationalization of the body’s most elemental
and blind forces and the mastery of the entire conscious and subconscious
apparatus of the mind and that it will subordinate it in the same way that
the world of outside forces is subordinated. Here, the boldest dreams will
pale in comparison with reality in the course of, perhaps, a few short years.
Trotsky talks in this regard about the consciousness of the new man, the
superman, but not in the Nietzschean sense of the word, not a new biological
breed, but a socially organized superman, enlightened through and through,
in every cache of the most elemental forces of the body, freed from the most
terrifying enslavement—enslavement to the self—and from the most bitter
dependence—on one’s own nerves and mind—by subordinating to himself
the play of the body’s inner forces as he does the outer forces of nature.17
The article “The Science of Psychology” offers yet another variation on
this theme:
But of course this psychology of the future—this theory and practice of the
superman—will resemble our contemporary psychology only in name, or, as
Spinoza so magnificently put it: non aliter scilicet quam inter se conveniunt
canis, signum cceleste, et canis, animal latrans, or, as the constellation Canis
resembles a dog, the barking animal (Spinoza, 1892, p. 29).18 This is why
the name of our science is dear to us—the name on which the dust of ages
has settled, but to which the future belongs. (Vygotsky, 1930b, p. 41)
It is interesting that in this article Vygotsky quotes not only Leon Trotsky’s
paper, “Questions of Cultural Work” [Voprosy kul’turnoi raboty] (Trotsky,
1924, pp. 83–84), which essentially repeats the ideas of his book Literature
and Revolution, but also the “renegade” Karl Kautsky, also in connection with
the idea of the superman (Kautsky, 1917, pp. 70–71):
Kautsky brilliantly demonstrated that the creation of the new man is not
the precondition for socialism, but its result. “Would we not be justified in
assuming that given such conditions a new type of man would be created
who stands taller than the tallest of types that culture has thus far produced?
This will be a superman, if you like, but he will be the rule, not the exception;
he will be a superman compared with his ancestors, but not compared
with those around him.” (Vygotsky, 1928, p. 45)
While it goes without saying that the term “superman” made its way into
the works of Trotsky, Kautsky, and Vygotsky via Friedrich Nietzsche, they
imbued it with a different content. For example, in “The Socialist Transformation
of Man” (1930), we see an attempt by Vygotsky to distance himself
from the non-Marxist philosopher:
In discussions of the transformation of man, of the creation of a new, higher
type of human personality and behavior, understandings of the new type of
man associated with Nietzsche’s writings on the superman are inevitably
encountered. . . . A mistake of this theory is that it ignores the fact that the
laws of historical human evolution are, at their core, different from the laws
of biological evolution, and that the fundamental distinction between these
processes is that man evolves and develops as a historical social being. Only
the elevation of all humanity onto a higher level of social life, only the liberation
of all humanity leads toward the emergence of a new type of man.
However this change in human behavior, this change in human personality,
must inevitably result in the subsequent evolution of man and the transformation
of the human biological type. Man, in struggling against old age
and disease, in mastering the processes that determine his own nature, will
undoubtedly bring the very biological organization of human existence to
a higher level and transform it. (Vygotsky, 1930b, pp. 43–44)
The text of this article is primarily structured around quotes from Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels. The dreamy-prophetic tone with which Vygotsky
discussed the utopia of the superman in a new society found in early works
is replaced in “The Socialist Transformation of Man” with the tone of a
lecturer enumerating indisputable facts. The article brings in the term “new
man” and ideas about recasting man, but no longer links them to the works
of Leon Trotsky (his name is not mentioned). The corresponding fragment
in this paper cites Engels:
Engels said, in tracing the process of development from monkeys to humans,
that labor created man himself. One would be equally justified in saying
that the new forms of labor are creating a new man, and this new man will
resemble the old man, the decrepit Adam, only in name, in the same way
that, as Spinoza so eloquently put it, the dog, the barking animal, resembles
the heavenly constellation Canis. (Vygotsky, 1930b, p. 44)
All of this repetition and overlap speaks to the fact that this topic was, first
of all, extremely important to Vygotsky and, second, that his thoughts on it
were first formulated in 1923–24 and carried over with minor changes into
the texts of articles written before 1928 (in “The Socialist Transformation
of Man,” we see the further development of this theme in a new ideological
* in English: Zavershneva, E. Investigating the Manuscript of L.S. Vygotsky’s “The Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology”. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, vol. 50, no. 4, July–August 2012, pp. 42–63; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2753/RPO1061-0405500402

Thus, the list of Vygotsky's speculations on zee Übermensch (aka homo sapiens novus communiensis
) with refs to Nietzsche (indirect), Trotsky (unnamed, yet quoted), and Spinoza (several instances, named, quoted) includes titles such as:

* “Psychology in Our School: How Psychology Should Be Taught” [Psikkhologiia v nashei shkole. Kak nado seichas prepodavat’ psikhkologiiu] (conference presentation, unpublished manuscript presented in Petrograd in January 1924)
* Pedagogical Psychology [Pedagogicheskaia psikhologiia] (published, Vygotskii, 1926)
* The Psychology of Art [Psikhologiia iskusstva] (manuscript contracted for publication in 1926, but actually published posthumously in 1965)
* “The Science of Psychology” [Psikhologicheskaia nauka] (book chapter, Vygotskii, 1928)
* “The Socialist Transformation of Man” [Sotsialisticheskaia peredelka cheloveka] (journal article, Vygotskii, 1930)

The paper of 1930 happens to be available online, in the original:
* here: http://red-w1ne.livejournal.com/113213.html (in html)
* or here: http://lib.uni-dubna.ru/search/files/psy_kurek/~psy_kurek.htm (as a djvu, within a fairly lame book -- but who cares? -- direct link to the file: http://lib.uni-dubna.ru/search/files/psy_kurek/1.djvu )


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