The Moscow Methodological Circle
Moscow Methodological Circle (MMC) is the philosophical and methodological intellectual and practical school established by Georgy Petrovich Shchedrovitsky (or, GP, as many of his pupils nicknamed him)
The Circle emerged in the early 1950s and took its final shape in 1954 in the course of the discussion on the issues of logic that was held at the Philosophy Department of the
In the year of 1958, after the split-up with A. A. Zinoviev, G. P. Shchedrovitsky became the ideological and organisational leader of the Circle, and the Circle took the name of the
The followers of the Shchedrovitsky school — members of the Methodological Movement — fulfil projects in cultural studies, theory of justice, theory of socio-cultural systems, methodology of education and science, and methodology of social changes; design educational systems; engage in financial and managerial consulting; cooperate with institutions of strategic development of municipal and governmental agencies.
The school has worked out an original analytic approach to the broadest range of socio-cultural and intellectual phenomena, namely, systems of thought-activity approach (see STA Approach, about). The invention of Activity Organising Games (see AOG, about) as an absolutely new social and cultural factor was an outstanding achievement by GP and his pupils. AOG is a unique tool for analysis and development of virtually any system of thought-activity — institutions, intellectual trends, programmes and projects, etc.
During GP’s lifetime, for over 30 years seminars conducted by Georgy Petrovich have been the centre of the MMC’s intellectual life. After the year 1987 when the seminars ceased due to a variety of whys and wherefores, GP strived to sustain the organisational and ideological unity of the Circle through Methodological Conventions. The first Convention (at first modestly called, ‘a meeting’) was held in the city of
Even at the first Conventions it became clear that the MMC was morphing itself into Methodological Movement that lacked the erstwhile organisational forms of unity but was still bound by the intellectual tradition, the common school, and the personality of G. P. Shchedrovitsky.
After G. P. Shchedrovitsky’s decease, attempts to co-ordinate the Methodological Movement resulted in the decision to conduct Methodological Congresses. Only two Congresses were held, in 1994 and 1995.
The final realisation that either organisational or ideological unity was unattainable, as well as the realisation of the fact that all the Movement members were consolidated by their common respect for the MMC originator, led to starting (1995) annual G. P. Shchedrovitsky Memorial Conferences; and to establishing a number of successful institutions including School for the Cultural Policy, Russia’s Mission, DEPO etc. (see links). In 1991–99 ‘Voprosy Metodologii’ (‘Issues of Methodology’) journal was being published; from 1990 to the day a methodological almanac, ‘Kentavr’ (‘Centaur’) is being issued.