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    What if Ilyenkov had known Marx's transcription of Spinoza?

    Bowring, Bill (2012) What if Ilyenkov had known Marx's transcription of Spinoza? In: Spinoza in Soviet Thought, 18th - 19th May 2012, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. (Unpublished)

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    Event synopsis: Spinoza is one of the figures who have played a key role in the formation of the Soviet Marxism, and even later many thinkers critical of the official Diamat have repeatedly recurred to Spinozistic arguments (Vygotskij in psychology, Il’enkov in philosophy, to mention only the most prominent names). To a part, the importance of Spinozistic ideas came from the heritage of the discussions in the Second International, during which the representants of the Left wing such as Mehring and Plekhanov stressed the significance of the materialistic tradition of Spinoza as a counterweight to the Neo-Kantian influence in the workers‚ movement. In the Russian Social Democracy, there were other Spinozainspired theorists, too, for example Anatolij Lunacharskij. In the early Soviet Union, this strain of thought was continued especially by Abram Deborin, the most influential Marxist philosopher of the 1920‚s, which later was criticized to have interpreted Spinoza as a kind of "Marx without a beard". During the onslaught of Stalinism, the official Diamat was consolidated in polemics against the Spinozistic tendencies of the 1920‚s, which, however, never quite disappeared from the orbit of later Soviet philosophy. Especially in the formation of the so-called "activity approach" since the 1960's Spinoza played a role, most notably in Il’enkov, who in his attempt to renew the Marxist theory of cognition relied heavily on Spinoza's famous equation of agendi potentia and cogitandi potentia. Despite the continuous presence -- be it hidden or manifest -- of Spinoza in Soviet thought, there has been very little research on the actual influence of Spinozistic motifs in Soviet Marxism. Besides casual articles, the only book on the subject seems to be George Kline's Spinoza in Soviet Thought, published already in 1952, and even it is, essentially, but a collection of materials confining itself into the early (preStalinist) phase of Soviet philosophy. There is an obvious need for a further research.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: School of Law > Law
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2016 17:31
    Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 15:28


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