More than 75 years ago, at the Second All-Russian Psychoneurological Congress, L. S.
Vygotsky presented a paper, “Methods of Reflexological and Psychological
Investigations,” in which he began to lay the foundation for a unified theory of mind.
Vygotsky's concern was that psychology had lost sight of the uniqueness of human mental
functioning, which for him resides in our ability to intentionally mediate, and hence regulate, our
biologically specified mental systems (i.e., in today's jargon, input systems)
through culturally determined means. Contemporary sociocultural psychologists, J. V. Wertsch
in particular, have noted that, although Vygotsky called for the unification of psychology, in his
writings, he actually paid very little attention to one part of the mental equation—the
biological, or natural, mind. As it turns out, even those who fault Vygotsky for his failure here
have themselves not focused much attention on the contribution of the natural, or what Frawley
refers to as the computational, mind, preferring instead to concentrate on the sociocultural
parameters of cognition. The present book can be seen as an attempt to bring to fruition
Vygotsky's earlier vision of a unified psychology.