Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vygotsky & Cognitive Science

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) was one of the great pioneers of psychology, with a Marxist perspective that fell into disfavor with the Stalin regime. His Soviet school of psychology nonetheless survived, and he has been influential in the West as well.

I've had this book lying about for years, and stumbling onto to it recently, realized I should move it way up in my reading queue:

Frawley, William. Vygotsky and Cognitive Science: Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

There are some reviews and related articles you will find interesting:

Rosemary Luckin, review, Computational Linguistics, Volume 24, Number 3, pp. 520-524.

William Frawley, Why I am (still) a sociocomputationalist and why you should be, too!

KaiLonnie Dunsmore, Individual Mental Functioning in a Sociocultural Context: Schematic Representations of Cultural Knowledge when Comprehending Text.

Jacques Vauclair and Patrick Perret, The cognitive revolution in Europe: taking the developmental perspective seriously.

My current motivation for taking an interest comes from my perception of how reactionary cognitive science is when applied in an ahistorical manner to social & political problems. Same goes for neuroscience: Sam Harris is a prime example of clueless ideology at work. I have no idea the degree to which the cognitive psychology crowd takes Vygotsky's Marxism seriously.

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