Three brochures on comparative psychology:
Vozniknovenie i razvitie psikhicheskikh sposobnostei. Vypusk pervyi: Donervnaia zhizn’ [i.e. The Emergence and Development of Psychic Abilities. The First Issue: Life Before Neural System]. 50,  pp.: ill. One of 3000 copies.
Vypusk tretii: Ot refleksov do instinktov vysshego tipa u cheloveka i ikh znachenie v zhizne poslednego [i.e. The Third Issue: From Reflexes to Top Type Instincts of Humans and Their Significance in Life of the Latter]. 81,  pp.: ill. One of 5000 copies.
Vypusk piatyi: Ot refleksov u zhivotnykh do razumnykh sposobnostei vyschego tipa u cheloveka [i.e. The Fifth Issue: From Reflexes of Animals to Sensible Features of Human]. 78,  pp.: ill. One of 4150 copies. Leningrad: Nachatki znanii, 1924-1927. 23x16 cm. All three issues without original wrappers (issues taken from the binding). Otherwise fine.
First editions. Very rare.
Vladimir Wagner (1849-1934) was a Russian psychologist and naturalist known for his studies of comparative and evolutionary psychology. The main idea of his works of 1910s and 1920s was of comparative genetic method of studying psyche in zoopsychology. Wagner’s original concept about patterns of emergence and development of psychic abilities in evolutionary process of animal world presents an important contribution to study of comparative psychology as it gives a complex vision of psychic displays at all stages of evolution. Today Wagner’s comparative method based on evolutionary theory is still of a current value. His studies constituted zoopsychology as an independent scientific branch of psychology.
In 1924, Wagner began to produce works united by a common theme: «The Emergence and Development of Psychic Abilities». Total number of such issues was 9, the last released in 1929. These are the first, third and fifth issues.
The psychic manifestations of animals and men were considered by Wagner as a system whose constituent parts (instinct, emotions, mind) mutually penetrate each other and condition each other’s evolution. He showed that at the same time they are different abilities, which were differentiated from one process - a reflex. This provision was later developed by Ladygina-Kots (see our winter catalogue 2017). Wagner considered the development of mental abilities in the evolution process, depending on the type of nervous system in invertebrates and vertebrates. He showed that psychic abilities are a factor in the transformation of organisms.
Wagner was a darwinist, and he carried out his darwinism through his studies. In 1896 he defended his PhD dissertation in which he for the first time in Russian zoology raised a serious question of studying animal’s psyche, and so became one of the founders of Russian zoopsychology or comparative psychology. He systematized its theoretical problems, gave a clear definition of the field of practical application which led to emergence of Russian zoopsychology. He introduced an objective biological method, based on three methods, which made it possible to exclude subjectivism from research: determining the type of given instinct and its vibrations, phylogenetic and ontogenetic methods. In the history of Russian comparative psychology Wagner’s method represents the first experience of combining various data to determine the psychological nature of the activity of animals at different stages of evolution. Later this method was used by Ladygina-Kots, Vygotsky, Voitonis, Fabry, et al.
Wagner’s studies of the instinctive activity of invertebrate animals were highly appreciated both by foreign researchers and by Russian psychologists. In 1929 Wagner published his work «Psychological Types and Collective Psychology» which was banned and put away to closed archive (‘spetskhran’). After his death, the
originality of his ideas in the study of instincts led to unjust accusations of idealism and vitalism and distortion of his conclusions. In Soviet times Pavlov’s studies became canonical, ‘the only right’, and everything different from it was never a subject of a wide research. Despite the fact that modern science does not consider instinct as a separate psychic ability, the data collected by Wagner - on the instinctive behavior of animals - are of undoubted interest.
First issue located in National Library of Medicine and Teacher’s College of Columbia University.