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Weinstein, E.A. (1990). Vygotsky Revisited: Wertsch, James V. Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 26:1-15.

(1990). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26:1-15

Vygotsky Revisited: Wertsch, James V. Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985.

Review by:
Edwin A. Weinstein, M.D.

THEORIES OF BEHAVIOR AND brain function have long been influenced by the social and political milieu in which they develop, and wars and revolutions have sparked advances in the neurosciences. Franz Gall was banished from imperial Vienna because his views of the localization of mental functions in the brain ran counter to Catholic doctrine of the unity of the mind and the imperishability of the soul. Out of the ferment of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars came the foundations of experimental neurophysiology, studies of tissue and organ pathology, and the method of clinical anatomic correlation as opposed to discussions about vital principles. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, clericals and conservatives in France supported Pierre Flourens' doctrine of the indivisibility of the higher mental functions, while liberals and republicans accepted the evidence of Jean Baptiste Bouillaud and Paul Broca that language and other mental functions were specifically localized. After the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian war, German neurology was in the ascendant and American students went to the clinics of Berlin and Vienna rather than to Parisian hospitals. In England, Hughlings Jackson's formulations of hierarchies of brain function received much of their impetus from Herbert Spencer's social and psychological Darwinism. The intense anti-German feelings aroused in the first world war discredited the work of Carl Wernicke and other


The essays in this issue by E. Weinstein, A. Turner, A. Tenzer, A. Wilson and L. Weinstein, and J. Wertsch represent a continuation of our plan to present classics in psychoanalysis and related dicsiplines with commentary by contemporary writers.— Ed.

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1990)

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