New Directions for the Theoretical Development of Activity Theory

By Clive Kanes.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article considers developments in activity theory from a theory developmental point of view. It starts with Fichte's concept of activity and works from there through Marx's materialist, collective, dialectical approach to philosophical questions to those of Vygotsky and Leontiev around the socio-genesis of concept formation in psychology. Engeström's major recent contributions are also noted, especially as they lead activity theory into a more interventionary form. The article makes use of concepts elicited in these seminal accounts to suggest directions for a more contemporary take on the theory. To this end four problems around activity theory are posed. The article suggests the need for, consistent with Marx's vision in the 'Theses of Feuerbach', a fusion of activity theory and critical social science.

Keywords: Activity, Vygotsky, Fichte, Habermas, System, Development, Practice, Science, Social Science, Enlightenment, Mediation, Learning, Transformation, Dialogue, Communication, Norms

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp.145-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.821MB).

Dr Clive Kanes

Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London, UK

I research and teach in the area of mathematics education, learning and activity.

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