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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


LAMPREIA, Carolina. Language and activity in cognitive development: some reflections about the contributions of Vygotsky and Leontiev. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.1, pp.225-240. ISSN 0102-7972.

The notions of language and activity have been seen as of central importance to the study of cognitive development by L. S. Vygotsky and A. N. Leontiev. Vygotsky’s idea was to analyze how practical activity contributes to the development of consciousness. However, his studies concentrated on language and do not clarify the relationship between activity and language. Leontiev developed a theory in which activity is the unit of analysis but failed to carry out a thorough analysis of the role of language. Although Vygotsky and Leontiev considered the relevance of these two aspects of cognitive development, neither of them examined the two aspects simultaneously. In Wittgenstein’s philosophical reflections, language and activity can no longer be considered separately because language is action, and action is language. Joining authors with similar concerns, this approach may suggest the formulation of an eminently contextualistic, socio-cultural theoretical approach to cognitive development, inspired by Leontiev’s and Vygotsky’s formulations.

Keywords : Language; activity; Vygotsky; Leontiev; Wittgenstein.

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