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.
'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, Editor, Culture and Psychology and Editor-in-Chef, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
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.