In Dialectics of the Ideal: Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism Levant and Oittinen provide a window into the subterranean tradition of ‘creative’ Soviet Marxism, which developed on the margins of the Soviet academe and remains largely outside the orbit of contemporary theory in the West. With his ‘activity approach’, E.V. Ilyenkov, its principal figure in the post-Stalin period, makes a substantial contribution toward an anti-reductionist Marxist theory of the subject, which should be of interest to contemporary theorists who seek to avoid economic and cultural reductionism as well as the malaise of postmodern relativism. This volume features Levant’s translation of Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of the Ideal (2009), which remained unpublished until thirty years after the author’s tragic suicide in 1979.
Contributors include: Evald Ilyenkov, Tarja Knuuttila, Alex Levant, Andrey Maidansky, Vesa Oittinen, Paula Rauhala, and Birger Siebert.
Alex Levant holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought (York, 2007) and teaches Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. His articles on subjectivity, social memory, and signification have appeared in international journals, including Critique, Historical Materialism, and Studia Sociologia.
Vesa Oittinen, Ph. Dr. (1994), University of Helsinki, is Professor of Russian Philosophy and History of Ideas at the Aleksanteri Institute. He has published books and many articles on the history of modern philosophy, especially on Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Marxism and Scandinavian and Russian philosophy.
Foreword – Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen
I. DIALECTICS OF THE IDEAL
E.V. Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism: Introduction to Dialectics of the Ideal, Alex Levant
Dialectics of the Ideal (2009), Evald Ilyenkov
Ilyenkov in the Context of Soviet Philosophical Culture: An Interview with Sergey Mareev, Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen
Prospects for a Cultural-Historical Psychology of Intelligence, Birger Siebert
Evald Ilyenkov, the Soviet Spinozist, Vesa Oittinen
Reality of the Ideal, Andrey Maidansky
Metamorphoses of Meaning: The Concept of the Ideal from a Semiotic Perspective, Tarja Knuuttila
Evald Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of Abstract and Concrete and the Recent Value-Form Debate, Vesa Oittinen and Paula Rauhala
Emancipating Open Marxism: E.V. Ilyenkov’s Post-Cartesian Anti-Dualism, Alex Levant
IV. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL
Published works by Ilyenkov
All working in contemporary philosophy and social theory, and anyone interested in the history of Soviet thought.