Publication Details

Findlay, J. G. (2003). Known 'Bugs' in cultural historical activity theory. In G. Whymark (Eds.), Transformational Tools for 21st Century Minds (pp. 24-29). Central Queensland University: Knowledge Creation Press.


When Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) was first propounded by the Vygotskian school of Russian psychologists in the 1920s it offered a robust explanation of how human development is mediated by cultural as well as biological influences. Along the way, CHAT has acquired some "bugs" or usability difficulties by remaining isolated from other theories that have a common heritage. This paper explores how the theory may have evolved if Vygotsky was alive today. Revisions to CHAT are proposed that borrow from complexity theory, innovation theory, group dynamics and Flow theory to explain the evolution of minds, tools and cultures as a series of large-scale discontinuous transformations.