Subjective idealism today -- Scientific cognition and the external world -- 80 years on, Lenin's "What is to be done?" -- Studies on dialecticalmaterialism -- Some lessons from our summer school on dialecticalmaterialism.
: Studies of Chinese dialecticalmaterialism have long neglected the important philosophical dimension of Hegelian thought and its influence on Chinese Marxism. This essay examines the work of Zhang Shiying of Beijing University, whose studies of Hegel's works on dialectical logic in the 1950s sought to clarify the nature of Hegel's speculative dialectic and its relation to dialecticalmaterialism. Like Lenin before him, Zhang believed that Hegel's works on logic offered a more profound reflection on (...)materialism than had previously been recognized by Marxist critics of German idealism. Zhang's sensitive reading of both Hegel's Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia Logic highlights the problem of the speculative dialectic and negativity. Examined here is Zhang's analysis of the Hegelian dialectic in light of contemporary accounts of the role of Hegelian negativity in poststructuralist thought. (shrink)
Studies of Chinese dialecticalmaterialism have long neglected the important philosophical dimension of Hegelian thought and its influence on Chinese Marxism. This essay examines the work of Zhang Shiying of Beijing University, whose studies of Hegel's works on dialectical logic in the 1950s sought to clarify the nature of Hegel's speculative dialectic and its relation to dialecticalmaterialism. Like Lenin before him, Zhang believed that Hegel's works on logic offered a more profound reflection on (...) class='Hi'>materialism than had previously been recognized by Marxist critics of German idealism. Zhang's sensitive reading of both Hegel's Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia Logic highlights the problem of the speculative dialectic and negativity. Examined here is Zhang's analysis of the Hegelian dialectic in light of contemporary accounts of the role of Hegelian negativity in poststructuralist thought. (shrink)
The fact that this study of Russian dialecticalmaterialism originally appeared before the demotion of Stalin should not be allowed to obscure its value as a source book in the development of dialecticalmaterialism in the U.S.S.R. The author notes its limitations in the preface to the second edition and remedies the situation somewhat in a second appendix with an account of significant developments from 1950 to 1958. Each of the two major parts of the main (...) text, the first historical the second systematic, is marked by the author's capacity for terse and pointed analysis of his material.—R. H. K. (shrink)
This volume is a translation from the French original which appeared in 1965. It is a concise and critical examination of Soviet philosophical thought since the death of Stalin. The study is restricted to dialecticalmaterialism probably on the supposition that this crucial area would provide significant clues to the status of Marxist philosophy as a whole in the post-Stalin period. The author discloses that Soviet philosophers, even before the 20th Congress, had already begun to criticize as thought-stifling (...) Stalin's dogmatic views on diamat. De-Stalinization has encouraged the renewed serious study of Hegel and the rediscovery of the importance of the categories for philosophical synthesis. But the author finds Soviet philosophic thought still barren of originality. Soviet philosophy is found to be the least critical of all philosophies. The easiest way to discredit Soviet philosophy, the author asserts, would be to translate one of their contemporary texts on the history of philosophy! Planty-Bonjour does not make any comparisons between the interplay of philosophers and working scientists in the western world and in the U.S.S.R. He reports that diamat is of no particular use to working Soviet scientists and that it has lost practically all control over scientific activity. The main body of the book is devoted to a critique of the Soviet notion of category and to the dialectification of the categories. In the author's view, Soviet philosophers are inevitably led to a dead-end by the incompatible and nonjustified concepts that the real is rational and that the real is matter. This incompatibility makes diamat inherently incoherent. Hegel's dialectic cannot serve as a means of avoiding the problem of transcendence toward which the basically realistic attitude of Soviet philosophy is leading. A genuine dialogue between Soviet philosophers and spiritualist philosophers is possible only if the former drop the dialectic of nature and allow the realistic tendency in their philosophy to develop.--H. B. (shrink)
This article offers an analysis of dialecticalmaterialism. The author, being a supporter of this theory, offers a self-critical assessment of its foundations. He argues that the predecessors of Marxism constructed their systems with the confidence that they were building the true and only true philosophy. This utopian idea shared by Marx, Engels, and their successors was refuted by subsequent developments in philosophy. Indeed, philosophy by its very nature is pluralistic and interminable. Self-critical Marxism must recognize the legitimacy (...) not only of dialecticalmaterialism, but also of other philosophies no matter how much they may differ in their content. This is supported by analysis of the main categories and problems of dialecticalmaterialism—the laws of dialectics, matter, evolution, consciousness, and truth. (shrink)
This book was originally published in French in 1965. The great bulk of the citations from Soviet works are from sources in the period 1956-1960. Planty-Bonjour’s book is concerned with the ‘categories’ of dialecticalmaterialism; the scope of his study is restricted to the post-Stalin era.
In the discussions regarding the philosophical system and the essence of Marxism, ontological theory is a very important issue. At the moment, there are three basic sets of opinions on this problem, namely, the opinion that Marxism, in fact, does not consist of any ontological theory , the opinion that Marxist ontology is a theory of practical ontology, and the opinion that it is a dialectical materialist theory of material monism. The latter two acknowledge that Marxist philosophy does involve (...) an ontological theory. The following article, proceeding on this premise, will focus on whether the ontological theory in Marxist philosophy is a theory of practical ontology or a dialectical materialist theory of material monism. I would like to propose a number of topics for concrete discussion surrounding this general issue. (shrink)
This is a slightly revised English translation of the third German edition of Bocheński.’s now near-classic introduction to Soviet philosophy. It still remains the best short introduction to the field and can be unhesitatingly recommended for all interested in learning something about philosophy in Soviet Russia. The body of the work is divided into two sections, one historical and the other systematic. The historical section presents both the Western and the Russian origins of dialecticalmaterialism as well as (...) a discussion of the development and characteristics of Soviet philosophy. The systematic section explains and critically evaluates the content of diamat with emphasis on materialism and dialectics. This portion of the book, originally written in 1950, was revised in 1956. The reader should bear in mind that present-tense judgments refer to this latter date. While most of the material is still pertinent, some—for instance the emphasis on Stalin—is not. Newer material appears in the second of the two appendixes. (shrink)
Psychological explanations of how behavior is acquired are compared between the US and pre- and post-Soviet. The comparison is drawn in terms of communist theories of 1-way and 2-way dialecticalmaterialism. Evidence is brought to bear that physiological, necessary and sufficient interpretations , not only still exist in the former Soviet, but--for reasons other than communist theory--are on the upswing in the US. An advantage of America's more open society is that investigators are encouraged to challenge existing theories. (...) An experimental example is described in which conditioning influences underlying neurology, thereby demonstrating that the relation is not just unidirectional. While such findings are important, they do not diminish the need for psychology to maintain its own enterprise. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
In Less Than Nothing, the pinnacle publication of a distinguished career, Slavoj i ek argues that it is imperative that we not simply return to Hegel but that we repeat and exceed his triumphs, overcoming his limitations by being even more ...
Western materialism and dialectics are different from their Chinese analogues. The informed perspective presented here may rouse a sensitivity to these differences in a tongbian reading of Marxist philosophy on the part of Chinese intellectuals; Marxism is no longer exactly what it is understood to be in the Western tradition. Ai Siqi's discussions of "materialism" and "the interpenetration of opposites" exemplify how Chinese Marxism draws on tongbian to read Marx and Engels in a distinctly different way. Little in (...) Ai's thought can be identifiable with Engels' law of unity of contradiction, where all motion consists of the interplay of attraction and repulsion, and the form of motion is what physics terms "energy." Following Hall and Ames on correlative thinking in the Chinese tradition, it is argued that certain Western cosmological assumptions have led to differences between Western Marxism and particular philosophical currents in the Chinese tradition, and that Chinese Marxism has developed from a culture and tradition that cannot be understood fully in terms of Western categories. (shrink)
This article raises the question of whether the thought of Mao Zedong is simply derivative from Marxist thought, whether it represents a deviation from Marxist thought, or whether it contains any original contribution to Marxist thought. It discusses such topics as Mao’s concepts of the principal and the non-principal aspect of the contradiction, Mao’s concept of permanent revolution, Mao’s replacement of the industrial proletariat with the peasant farmer class, Mao’s inversion of the classical Marxist position of the base determining the (...) superstructure, Mao’s concept of the complementarity of opposites, Mao’s concept of antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions, Mao’s reduction of all laws of dialectic to one law. (shrink)
A philosophical movement, correctly called logical pragmatism, is growing up around the philosophy of W. V. O. Quine. Soviet scholars follow this development with clear and well-grounded understanding of the origins and tenets of the system. This essay continues the "dialogue" between contemporary Marxism-Leninism and logical pragmatism recommended by Soviet scholars.