The Traditional and the New in Pavlov’s Theory of “Higher Nervous Activity”

  • Paul I. Yakovlev


Two phases are recognizable in the elaboration of Pavlov’s theory of higher nervous activity, the traditional and the new. The traditional phase is customarily dated to Sechenov, Pavlov’s teacher; the new phase has emerged since the Revolution of 1917. The contraposition of the subjective-private reality against the objective-public reality has been traditional in Russian scientific thought and is particularly clear and sharp in Pavlov’s work. Of the measurable, public reality one is the measurer; of the immense (not measurable) reality of the private self one is the measure.


Physical Agent High Nervous Activity Mental Apparatus Exact Science Random Stimulus 
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© Plenum Press Inc. 1962

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  • Paul I. Yakovlev

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