M. Rogovin as outstanding methodologist of psychology

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mazilov


Mazilov V.A. M. Rogovin as outstanding methodologist of psychology // Psychological science and practice: State of the Art. Collected papers / Ed. Kostrigin A.A. Chicago, 2017. P. 51-56.

M.S. Rogovin (1921-1993) is a famous domestic psychologist, PhD in Psychology and professor. There are many articles devoted to M.S. Rogovin as a psychologist (Mazilov, 2006, 2008).  The reputable Psychological Lexicon contains an informative article about M.S. Rogovin written by V.Ya. Gindikin. It reports, among other things, thatM.S. Rogovin is a “Russian psychologist specializing in military and cognitive psychology, history and philosophy of psychology and pathopsychology” (Gindikin, 2004, p. 395). The author of the sketch correctly reports that the   area of M.S. Rogovin’s scientific interests was very wide. “He was one of the first scientists in Russia to describe the origins and principles of cognitive psychology and give detailed analysis of that trend (new at that time).  M.S. Rogovin deeply explored the problems of pathopsychology and studied principles of diagnostic process in a psychiatrist’s work. He made a significant contribution to the theory and practice of the most complicated aspects of differential diagnosis in psychiatry. M.S. Rogovin stressed the importance and special role of clinical analysis of the results of pathopsychological (Gindikin, 2004, p. 395). We do not in any way derogate his merits in pathopsychology; however, we dare to say that his contribution to the methodology of psychological science is the most significant as he was a philosopher in psychology by his temper.  As we already reported in 2006, M.S. Rogovin was first of all a methodologist of psychology. He was a sort of person who could be described by the words of L.S. Vygotsky addressed to Koffka “he was first and outmost a consistent methodologist”. Surely, these words should be addressed to L.S. Vygotsky himself - first and foremost, he strived to achieve “the very essence”, “the core” as it was brilliantly expressed by a great poet. Such an approach was typical for M.S. Rogovin too.

Mikhail Semenovich Rogovin was born on October 27, 1921 in Moskow in the family of a famous translator and philosopher S.M. Rogovin. He entered the mechanical and mathematical faculty of Moscow State University. He was recruited into the army and took part in the Great Patriotic War and the war with Japan. He was a tank commander and then instructor and military interpreter (after injury). After the war, M.S. Rogovin graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages and become a post-graduate student in Psychology in Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. His tutor was V.A. Artemov. M.S. Rogovin defended his thesis on the topic “Problem of Understanding” in 1956. He worked in the fundamental library for social sciences of USSR Academy of Sciences at the end of the fifties - the beginning of the sixties. M.S. Rogovin worked at the psychology department of V.I. Lenin MSPI in the sixties. He was a professor in the psychology department of Yaroslavl State University in the seventies and eighties. In the last years of his life, he was a head of psychology department at Moscow State Linguistic University. During that time, we wrote and published books and manuals: Introduction to Psychology (1969), Philosophical Problems of Memory Theory (1966), Problems of Memory Theory (1977), Psychological Study (1979), Structural and Level Theories in Psychology (1977), Theoretical Bases for Psychological and Pathopsychological Study (1988, with other authors), Study of Negation in Practical and Cognitive Activity (1985, with other authors), Basic Studies in Action Sciences (1993, with other authors) etc. He published a total of three hundred and fifty works. Mikhail Semenovich failed to complete his Basics of Linguistic Psychology. Mikhail Semenovich Rogovin died in September, 1993.

Let us turn now to a doctoral thesis written by M.S .Rogovin in 1968 and defended on May 16, 1968. Do not be confused by the fact that the thesis was defended in the defectology research institute of USSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. The thesis was defended in Special Psychology and M.S. Rogovin received a degree of the doctor of pedagogical sciences in Psychology. We should provide some additional clarifications for those who are too young to remember the specifics of Soviet scientific life and certification for staff in Psychology.

The thesis of M.Rogovin represents an outstanding methodological study in Soviet psychology. Nevertheless, Wilhelm Wundt’s declaratively scientific psychology began its life as an independent science. However, it had a lot of unsettles issues and constructive drawbacks. Therefore, the task of M.S. Rogovin’s thesis is to filly contribute to the transition from “patchwork of some facts, observations and theories represented in tradition psychology (we remember this characteristic of psychology from the beginning of the thesis) into a modern science. We also remember that a thesis has to describe and characterise accompanying processes. Indeed, such enthusiasts of science should be remembered...

Actually, we can interpret Rogovin’s work in the following way: this is an attempt to remove serious drawbacks of Wundt’s project aimed at establishing psychology as an independent science.  I do not know whether I succeeded in convincing a sceptical reader... In any case, I began to think that this task is even more than titanic.


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Gindikin V.Ja. Rogovin Mihail Semenovich // Istorija psihologii v licah. Personalii / Pod red. L.A. Karpenko // Psihologicheskij leksikon. Jenciklopedicheskij slovar' v shesti tomah / Redaktor-sostavitel' L.A. Karpenko, pod obshh. redakciej A.V. Petrovskogo. M.: PERSJe, 2005. S. 395–396.

Mazilov V.A M.S.Rogovin i metodologicheskie problemy psihologii // Problemy psihologii i jergonomiki. № 3. 2000. S.36-39.

Mazilov V.A Slovo o Mihaile Semenoviche Rogovine // Jaroslavskij psihologicheskij vestnik. Vyp. 17. M.: Jaroslavl', «Izd-vo Rossijskoe psihologicheskoe obshhestvo», 2006. S. 146-151.

Mazilov V.A. M.S.Rogovin – filosof psihologii // Sibirskij psihologicheskij zhurnal. 2006. № 24. S. 32-36.

Mazilov V.A. Mihail Semenovich Rogovin – metodolog psihologii // Metodologija i istorija psihologii. 2006. № 2. S.103-113.

Rogovin M.S. Jelementy obshhej i patologicheskoj psihologii v postroenii psihologicheskoj teorii. Avtoreferat dissertacii na soiskanie uchenoj stepeni doktora pedagogicheskih nauk. M., 1968. 28 s.


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(c) 2017 Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mazilov