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Evald Ilyenkov, the Soviet Spinozist

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Chapter Summary

Evald Ilyenkov stresses how dialectical materialism he does not mean the then really-existing Diamat, but rather the one he is intending to formulate 'revives in a rational form the simple and profound assertion of Bruno and Spinoza, that in the matter, taken as a totality, the development is at every finite moment of time actually consummated, in it are all the stages and forms of its necessary development at the same time actually realised'. Spinoza was an important philosopher for Ilyenkov. One can say that Ilyenkov is one of the most prominent 'Spinozists' in the history of both Russian and Soviet philosophy. This is a Spinozistic theme with intimations of Spinoza's doctrine of attributes and the concept of facies totius universi. In the 1970s Ilyenkov tried to establish himself as the 'court philosopher' of Soviet psychologists.

Keywords: court philosopher; Evald Ilyenkov; Russian psychology; Soviet psychology; Soviet Spinozist

10.1163/9789004246928_006
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