The historical meaning of the psychological crisis. Methodological research


  • Lev Vygotsky founder of the cultural-historical school in psychology, which is based on the psychological theory of activity. Known in Europe and the USA as one of the founders and developers of cognitive psychology.



general psychology, methodological crisis, historical event, theoretical psychology, zoopsychology, traditional psychology


The fundamental study of one of the most famous Soviet psychologists of the first third of the XX century, Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934), on a broad scientific basis and purely on comprehensive psychological material highlights the root problems of the structure-disciplinary construction, logic and regularities of the ratio-humanitarian knowledge development, also ways, directions, methods and tools for the formation of psychology as a science are outlined. This study is a life-giving reaction of a thirsty for the truth extraordinary personal mind to the need for urgent changes in the field of psychological cognition in the society of that time, that is undergoing striking revolutionary transformations. Presented attributive s i g n  o f  t h e  c r i s i s – both psychological and methodological – is considered to be the adversarial and non-systematic coexistence of disciplines and directions, and the r e a s o n is the absence, on the one hand, of a “general science” that would enable the verification and synthesis of comprehensive data and would develop the methods, concepts and principles of this science, on the other hand – “complete methodology of psychology” and in “neglecting the methodological nature of the crisis”. The way out of the crisis can be seen in Marxist psychology which “is not a school among schools, but the only true psychology as a science, there can be no other psychology than this”, but it “doesn’t exist yet, it must be understood as a historical task, but not as a given” which, first of all, “is a methodological problem”. A false worldview dome of  f u n-  d a m e n t a l s  is built from here, such as a personal conviction “in the impossibility of non-party psychology today”, in the existence of “a real methodology of the era that coincides with Marxism”, in the over-task “to create a theory of psychological materialism”, and therefore precisely “the materialist branch should be called psychology” etc. Despite the unjustified idealization and open positivism in the understanding of the place of science in the social life practice, the proposed monographic study is exemplary methodological and systematic, full of original ideas, generalizations, metaphors and actual examples, which have not lost their relevance even today, after almost a century of time. Firstly, it is spoken  a b o u t:          1) “the possibility of methodology on historical foundations”, 2) a five-stage “scheme of the explanatory ideas’ line development”, 3) “the skeleton of general science as a system of basic laws, principles, facts”, 4) a special “work on concepts” and about the purposeful “development of concepts, methods, theories”, 5) two alternative “positions in defining general and separate disciplines”, 6) “methodological illegality of attempts to eclectically combine new psychological systems”, 7) “method of logical superimposition of concepts”, 8) “methodological value of a separate theory”, 9) “the degree of methodological validity of the positions”, 10) “methodological meaning of the principle” and about awareness of the “methodological nature of each idea”, 11) the emergence of an “indirect (mediated) method of mental phenomena cognition”, 12) “methodologically heterogeneous material” and “methodological value of categories”, 13) explanation of self-observation (introspection) “from the postulate, method and general principle of psychology”, 14) language as a “tool of thought and a tool of analysis” and about “the word as a theory of a signified fact”, 15) psychological terminology as about “valuable methodological fact and the basic framework of science”, 16) a hypothesis as about the “component of a philosophical outlook”, 17) “methodological work carried out in the science itself”, 18) “methodological substantiation of the psychological crisis, its historical stage”, content, nature and probable result, 19) negativity of the “concept of empiricism in terms of historical origin and methodological content”, 20) a tendency to metatheorize and to create metapsychology, 21) “falsity of the methodological construction of empirical psychology”, 22) full-scale “development of applied psychology as about the main mover of the crisis in its last phase”, 23) “dialectical unity of methodology and practice” and prospects for the development of “psychotechnics, or philosophy of practice”, 24) reconstruction of “the entire methodology of science on the basis of the practice principle”, 25) analysis as “the application of methodology to the fact cognition” and about the “methodological system of principles”, 26) experiment as about analysis in thought-action, where “the power of analysis is in abstraction, and the power of experiment is in artifice”, 27) the exceptional importance of “unraveling the cell of psychology” as about the “key to all psychology” in its main objectification - nature-historical cause-development of the psyche and in the analytical “distinction between epistemological and ontological aspects” of coverage, 28) “the impossibility of mastering psychology as a science directly without the help of methodology” and about “the creation of methodology as about the first step out of the psychological crisis”, 29) the scheme of general psychology and its adequate naming and elegantly logical division of disciplines within psychology itself, etc. Anyway, a thorough reflective study of the proposed diamond core of the original thinker’s creative heritage will, without a doubt, significantly enrich the worldview horizon of Ukrainian truth seekers both with theoretical ideas, concepts, themes, notions and generalizations, and with methods, means and tools of professionally trained methodologization. Of course, it is required a critical assessment of all the presented material, an intense internal dialogue with the author, and most importantly, a comprehensive  r e c o n s t r u c t i o n  of the content, taking into account the culture-historical achievements of methodology and psychology over the last century. In addition, it is necessary to understand that even today the field of psychology is “primarily a methodological problem”, because “no science has so many difficulties, unresolved contradictions, a combination of distinctive in one, as in psychology. The  s u b- j e c t  of psychology is the most difficult of everything in the world, the least amenable to study; the method of its cognition must be rich in special tricks and safe approaches to give what is expected of it.






How to Cite

Vygotsky, Lev. “The Historical Meaning of the Psychological Crisis. Methodological Research”. Psyhology & Society, no. 1, Mar. 2023, pp. 102-90,