Research Intervention in Activity Theory. The Actual Relevance of Vygotskian Tradition
AbstractThe article documents the history of activity theory as an activist and interventionist theory, in which theoretical developments are intertwined with practical transformations in work and educational practices through research interventions. Seeds for research interventions in cultural-historical activity theory are identified in the rich heritage of the works of Vygotsky and other classic authors. Particular attention is devoted to Vygotsky’s epistemic
reasoning in “The Historical Meaning of the Crisis in Psychology”
and to his emphasis on the use of an indirect method and dialectical thinking in scientific investigations. The article points out that the future of activity theory depends on the understanding and creative development of this heritage of Vygotsky and those who pursued his work. The article also introduces two interventionist epistemological principles stemming from the history of activity theory, namely the principle of double stimulation and the principle of ascending from the abstract to the concrete. Understanding
the relationship between these principles is seen as a possible direction to orient future studies in activity theory.