Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy: From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 28, 1991 - Philosophy - 292 pages
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This is the first critical history of the philosophical culture of the USSR, and the first substantial treatment of a modern Soviet philosopher's work by a Western author. The book identifies a significant tradition within Soviet Marxism that has produced powerful theories exploring the origins of meaning and value, the relation of thought and language, and the nature of the self. The tradition is presented through the work of Evald Ilyenkov (1924-79), the thinker who did the most to rejuvenate Soviet philosophy after its suppression under Stalin. Professor Bakhurst sets Ilyenkov's contribution against the background of the bitter debates that divided Soviet philosophers in the 1920s, the "sociohistorical psychology" of Vygotsky, the controversies over Lenin's legacy, and the philosophy of Stalinism. He traces Ilyenkov's tense relationship with the Soviet philosophical establishment and his passionate polemics with Soviet opponents. This book offers a unique insight into the world of Soviet philosophy, the place of politics within it, and its prospects in the age of glasnost and perestroika.

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About the author (1991)

David Bakhurst works primarily in three areas: Russian Philosophy, philosophicalpsychology, and moral philosophy. In 1991, he published a study of the philosophical culture of the USSR, Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (Cambridge University Press), focused on the life and work of Evald Ilyenkov (1924-79). Ilyenkov, like the renowned psychologist Lev Vygotsky, maintains that each individual mind is formed through initiation into culture. Bakhurst explores this idea in many recent publications and examines parallel views in the thought of such thinkers as Wittgenstein and Jerome Bruner. His ethical writings include several papers on moral realism and ethical particularism. Educated at Keele, Moscow, and Oxford, Bakhurst studied with Jonathan Dancy, Felix Mikhailov, and John McDowell. He has twice held visiting fellowships in Oxford, most recently at All Souls College (2001-02). In 2003, he was appointed to an honorary chair in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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