The reception of Ivan Sikorsky’s scientific studies in the West

Наукові Записки Наукма. Філософія Та Релігієзнавство 2:43-56 (2018)
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It is generally known that the influential Kyiv researcher, professor of the St. Volodymyr University and honorary member of the Kyiv Theological Academy Ivan Sikorsky (1842–1919) made a significant contribution to the development of the psychological science of his times and gained great authority among his colleagues in the West. In recent years, many studies have been launched in Ukraine, whose authors are trying to demonstrate the relevance of his work also in terms of contemporary science. It remains unclear as to when and how he was recognized in the West, which of his colleagues he influenced in his own life, how his academic achievements are now appreciated in foreign professional circles. Trying to fill this gap, the author of the paper created Sikorsky’s personal profile on the Internet platform “Google Scholar” (“Google Academy”). This Internet-based platform is regularly used to calculate citations of the contemporary scholars and publications. However, as it has turned out, Google Scholar may also be a useful tool for the historical research. This search engine collates information on almost all of the Sikorsky’s works, including those written or translated into foreign languages and published abroad. Despite the fact that Google Scholar identified and included in its own list not all of the existing references, it nevertheless helped to reconstruct a rather large and representative bibliography. Combining the quantitative and qualitative analysis of relevant information from Google Scholar as well as such tools as Google Books, Internet Archive, JSTOR, etc. helps to clarify and substantially expand the understanding of Sikorsky’s place within the history of science and the treatment of his works in the West. As it is clearly shown in the article, he became one of the brightest domestic representatives of the leading trends in the world psychology. A significant number of Western experimental psychologists of the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century (including such prominent figures as Alfred Binet, Franz Boas, Edouard Claparede, Edward Thorndike, etc.) were actively referring to his pioneering researches on the phenomenon of mental fatigue in children. It is also shown that the contribution made by Sikorsky to the development of psychology and pedagogy has not been forgotten by the contemporary researchers.

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Vadym Menzhulin
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

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