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Publication Details

On the Interpretation of Soviet Philosophy of the Twenties

(Original title: K interpretaci sovětské filosofie dvacátých let)
Filozofia, 22 (1967), 5, 492-504.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Czech
The present paper starts out (Chapter 1 and 2) from a characterization of basic philosophical attitudes of some prominent representatives of Soviet philosophy of the 1920’s (Bucharin, Deborin, Luppol). An attempt is made to specify their standpoints and, on that basis, to give some hypotheses which would contribute to the interpretation of this complicated period. From this point of view, attention is dovetod, first of all, to the problem of science (Chapter 3), in particular, to the influence of the idea of the dialectics of nature upon the forming of the philosophy of Marxism, and to some further questions (the position of sociology in Marxism, the question of so-called scientism, problem of methodology of science) which ceased existing, to a certain degree, in discussions, but today they could help in illuminating their sense. In the following part (Chapter 4) the discussions are confronted with Stalin’s intervention and his conception of philosophy. Some basic philosophical attitudes are found which are common to the rivaling philosophical schools, and the view is disproved according to which Stalin has brought, in comparison with them, an essentially new conception of philosophy. It is therefore recommended to use the term Stalinist conception rather than Stalin’s conception of philosophy This conception is being expressed rather in a certain practice of philosophy. Evidence on some common viewpoints of Soviet philosophers lead to the question of so-called Eastern and Western Marxism i. e. to the problem of whether there exists a specifically Soviet („Eastern“) version of Marxism. This approach is considered to be justified only with regard to the needs to specify the form and functions of Marxism in the Soviet Union, otherwise the purposefulness of the division of Marxism to Eastern (Soviet) and Western is denied. This is being justifed, among others, by that genesis and influence of Soviet philosophy cannot be understood without international historical context and, besides, by that the most clean-cut connecting link of Soviet philosophy — Lenin's philosophy — grew out of the development of Marxism in the West. Lenin’s philosophy, which is to be critically investigated, has a place of full rights in the history of Marxist philosophy. However, it cannot be considered as the only obligatory type of Marxist philosophy of the 20th century.
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