Operationalising Research

Alexander Luria

  • Theoretical Field
Work carried out in 1930s Soviet Union in the context of Soviet psychology. Luria was also interested in the debate, in anthropology, between Franz Boas and Lucien Levy-Bruhl and was inspired by the linguistics of Kurt Goldstein.
  • Problematic: the Levy-Bruhl/Boas debate:

    • Levy-Bruhl: people from different kinds of society think in different ways

      • this, in effect, introduces (or is at least consistent with) a 'primitive'/'modern' distinction and a development view of society

      • it is consistent, in broad terms, with a Marxist view of evolving society and, in general, with European Enlightenment philosophy

    • Boas: all people think in the same way, but using different categories

      • this kind of view, also associated with J.G. Herder and with Martin Heidegger and with the project of Balkanisation, gives rise to (or is consistent with) the desire to preserve cultural differences

      • in extreme form, this view is associated with Naziism and Apartheid

  • Problem

    • Luria adopts a broadly Marxist epistemology interpreted within a linguistic framework:

      • language structures thought

      • social organisation structures language

      • so: the structuring of thought by social organisation is mediated by language

from: inferential statistics