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Dialectics of the Ideal (2009)

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Abstract E.V. Ilyenkov is widely considered to be the most important Soviet philosopher in the post-Stalin period. He is known largely for his original conception of the ideal, which he deployed against both idealist and crude materialist forms of reductionism, including official Soviet Diamat. This conception was articulated in its most developed form in ‘Dialectics of the Ideal’ (2009), which was written in the mid-1970s but prevented from publication in its complete form until thirty years after the author’s death. The translation before you provides for the first time the complete, unabridged and unedited text of ‘Dialectics of the Ideal’ in English translation, including the author’s own subsequent comments on the text.

1. Dubrovsky David Izrailevich Психические явления и мозг Mental Phenomena and the Brain 1971 Moscow Science
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4. Ilyenkov Evald Vasilyevich"‘The Universal’" The Ideal in Human Activity 2009 [1974] Pacifica Marxist Internet Archive
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21. FN11 Lenin 1976, p. 114.
22. FN22 [The Russian term ‘всеобщие’, which is translated as ‘universal’ in his article, ‘The Universal’ (1974), carries a literal meaning – as ‘common to all’ – that may be lost for the English reader. This secondary meaning is significant for Ilyenkov, who underscores this point: ‘In the literal sense of the word, “vseobshchee [universal]” means “obshchee vsem [common to all]”, (Ilyenkov 2009, p. 225). – A.L.]
23. FN33 Narsky 1969, p. 78.
24. FN44 Dubrovsky 1971, pp. 187–9.
25. FN55 Dubrovsky 1971, p. 189.
26. FN66 Dubrovsky 1971, p. 188.
27. FN77 Ibid.
28. FN88 Narsky 1969, p. 74. [Ilyenkov’s italics – A.L.]
29. FN99 Marx 1996a, p. 21.
30. FN1010 Pavlov 1966, pp. 167–8.
31. FN1111 [Daglish translation begins roughly here – A.L.]
32. FN1212 Ibid.
33. FN1313 Ibid.
34. FN1414 [Kant 1933, p. 499, A599/B627. – A.L.]
35. FN1515 [In reference to a Russian saying: ‘to drink until [you see] green devils [напиться до зеленых чертей]’ – A.L.]
36. FN1616 Marx 1975a, p. 105.
37. FN1717 Ibid.
38. FN1818 Rubinstein 1957, p. 41.
39. FN1919 Hegel 2004, p. 50.
40. FN2020 Ibid.
41. FN2121 There is no ‘isomorphism’, ‘homorphism’, or any other morphisms here. No point in looking, for they are not here.
42. FN2222 Note that neopositivists, by fundamentally equating the definition of the concept with the definition of the term, thus in their own way resolve the problem of the ‘ideal’, essentially denying this important category of its scientific meaning, and attributing the opposition of the ‘ideal’ and the ‘material’ to the category of ‘metaphysical’, that is, in their terminology, to pre-scientific and anti-scientific distinctions.
43. FN2323 Marx 1969, p. 110. [English translation: Marx 1996b, p. 103 – A.L.]
44. FN2424 Marx 1996b, p. 62.
45. FN2525 Marx 1996b, p. 103.
46. FN2626 Marx 1996b, p. 82.
47. FN2727 [Here the Daglish translation substantially veers from the original text – A.L.]
48. FN2828 Keynes 2006, p. 145.
49. FN2929 [Daglish translation begins again roughly here – A.L.]
50. FN3030 Marx 1975b, p. 277.
51. FN3131 Leontyev 1972; Meshcheryakov 1974.
52. FN3232 Leontyev 1975.
53. FN3333 Leontyev 1975, p. 134.
54. FN3434 Marx 1987, p. 76.
55. FN3535 Lifshits 1972, p. 130.
56. FN3636 Ibid.
57. FN3737 [This paragraph does not appear in the Daglish translation – A.L.]

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