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    Spinoza, Marx, and Ilyenkov (who did not know Marx’s transcription of Spinoza)

    Bowring, Bill (2022) Spinoza, Marx, and Ilyenkov (who did not know Marx’s transcription of Spinoza). Studies in East European Thought 74 , pp. 297-317. ISSN 0925-9392.

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    In this article I start with Marx’s transcriptions of Spinoza, and the deep significance of what he transcribed, from the TTP and the Correspondence, and in what order. I contend that this demonstrates what was of particular interest and importance to him at that time. Second, I examine the presence, even if not explicit, of Spinoza in Marx’s works, and to the question whether Marx was a Spinozist. I think he was. Third, I turn to Ilyenkov and his engagement with Spinoza, and fourth, to Ilyenkov’s place in the Marxist tradition of Spinozism. Fifth and sixth, I present an analysis of Ilyenkov’s instrumental deployment of Spinoza first in his Dialectical Logic (Ilyenkov 1977), and then in his The Dialectic of the Abstract and Concrete in Marx’s Capital (Ilyenkov 1982). The following questions arise for consideration. Were Marx and Ilyenkov reading, in effect, two quite different Spinozas? Or was each of them reading Spinoza instrumentally, in order further to develop their own ideas? I prefer the latter, and it is what Spinoza himself would have wanted. And what if Ilyenkov had encountered Marx’s own appropriation of Spinoza? This chapter contends that he would have been delighted, and his own understanding both of Spinoza and of Marx would have been enriched.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Marx, Spinoza, Ilyenkov,
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Bill Bowring
    Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 10:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:09


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