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Lev Vygotsky has acquired the status of one of the grand masters in psychology. Following the English translation and publication of his Collected Works there has been a new wave of interest in Vygotsky accompanied by a burgeoning of secondary literature. Ronald Miller argues that Vygotsky is increasingly being ‘read' and understood through secondary sources and that scholars have claimed Vygotsky as the foundational figure for their own theories, eliminating his most distinctive contributions and distorting his theories. Miller peels away the accumulated layers of commentary to provide a clearer understanding of how Vygotsky built and developed his arguments. In an in-depth analysis of the last three chapters of Vygotsky's book Thinking and Speech, Miller provides a critical interpretation of the core theoretical concepts that constitute Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory, including the development of concepts, mediation, the zone of proximal development, conscious awareness, inner speech, word meaning and consciousness.Read more
- Focused and detailed analyses of selected Vygotsky texts enable a deeper understanding and appreciation of his work - its positive aspects, its blemishes, and its unfinished and incomplete character
- Particular attention is given to the role and influence of Jean Piaget's ideas in Vygotsky's thinking - an area often neglected or overlooked in much of the contemporary literature
- Attempts to explicate and further develop Vygotsky's ideas about learning and instruction - linking Vygotsky, hermeneutics and contemporary theories of the self
Reviews & endorsements
"… [Miller] brilliantly analyzes Vygotsky's original text, and then examines some of the interpretations and misrepresentations of this work … [He] exhibits a keen understanding of Vygotsky, one that gives readers a better understanding of such key terms as 'mediated action' and 'cultural tools' … this is a marvelous complement to Vygotsky's own Mind in Society and Thought and Language … Highly recommended …"
S. T. Schroth, ChoiceSee more reviews
"You do not need to agree with all Miller's claims and criticisms in order to appreciate his deep understanding of Vygotsky's original texts. Vygotsky in Perspective is required reading for everyone interested in Vygotsky's theory of consciousness."
Alex Kozulin, International Institute for the Enhancement of Learning Potential
"A deeply argumentative tour-de-force through our contemporary interpretations of Vygotsky's ideas. Miller's is a powerful contrarian voice in the efforts to clarify how the human mind operates through the social world. Hopefully the book will trigger new interest among young scholars to solve complex theoretical issues in the social sciences that both Vygotsky and Miller have attempted to accomplish."
Jaan Valsiner, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
"… a valuable addition to the recent publications interpreting Vygotsky's work … it is worthy of the attention of anyone interested in a social/cultural/historical account of the human mind."
Katherine Nelson, PsycCRITIQUES
"… there is no denying the perspicacious powers evident throughout Miller's tour de force …"
Ronald A. Goodrich, Philosophical Psychology
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- Date Published: January 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107412477
- length: 466 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. A thematic overview
Part I. Vygotsky at Home:
3. The development of concepts
4. The development of scientific concepts
5. The development of scientific concepts: critique
6. Thought and word
Part II. Vygotsky in America:
7. Michael Cole: artifact mediated action - setting the record straight
8. James V. Wertsch: cultural tools and mediated action - getting it wrong
9. James V. Wertsch: mediation and the zone of proximal development
10. The essential commentators
Part III. Vygotsky over the Rainbow:
11. Vygotsky: mediation.
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