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Emancipating Open Marxism: E.V. Ilyenkov’s Post-Cartesian Anti-Dualism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter specifically brings Evald Vasilyevich Ilyenkov's thought to bear on a set of debates about structure and agency that developed in the journal Open Marxism (OM) between 1992 and 1995. It focuses on John Holloway's contribution to these debates an important contemporary philosopher in the Western Marxist tradition whose book Change the World without Taking Power has been quite influential and the subject of much debate. The chapter demonstrates the relevance of Ilyenkov's work to the project of OM. It also takes seriously recent criticisms of Holloway and the philosophy that informs his political conclusions. Drawing on Ilyenkov's post-Cartesian anti-dualist reading of Marx, the chapter addresses some of these criticisms, specifically OM's perceived subjectivism. It shows how the dominant categories of intellectual histories Western Marxism and Soviet Marxism exclude the subterranean tradition of creative Soviet Marxism.

Keywords: creative Soviet Marxism; Evald Vasilyevich Ilyenkov; John Holloway; Open Marxism (OM); post-Cartesian anti-dualist; Western Marxism



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