Len Semyonovitch Vygotsky was born on November 5, 1896 in Byelorussia (SovietUnion). He was first educated as lawyer and a philologist (one who studieswritten records esp. literary texts, in order to determine their authenticity,meaning, etc.). (Webster's, 1980). He began his career as a psychologist in1917 and only pursued this career for 17 years before his death fromtuberculosis in 1934.
His scientific contemporaries included those strongly in favor ofstimulus-response theories, such as Ivan Pavlov, and John B. Watson as well asthe founders of the Gestalt psychology movement such as Wertheimer, Kohler,Koffka and Levin. However, in Vygotsky's opinion, none of these theoriessucceeded in developing a completion description or explanation of higherpsychological functions in terms acceptable to natural science. Even thoughVygotsky wasn't able to accomplish these goals either, he was able to provide uswith an intelligent and precursory analysis of modern psychology (Cole, 1978).
Return to Home Page