Essays in Philosophy, Books 1–3


Editor / Translator: David Rowley
Empiriomonism is Alexander Bogdanov’s scientific-philosophical substantiation of Marxism. In Books One and Two, he combines Ernst Mach’s and Richard Avenarius’s neutral monist philosophy with the theory of psychophysical parallelism and systematically demonstrates that human psyches are thoroughly natural and are subject to nature’s laws. In Book Three, Bogdanov argues that empiriomonism is superior to G. V. Plekhanov’s outdated materialism and shows how the principles of empiriomonism solve the basic problem of historical materialism: how a society’s material base causally determines its ways of thinking. Bogdanov concludes that empiriomonism is of the same order as materialist systems, and, since it is the ideology of the productive forces of society, it is a Marxist philosophy.

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David G. Rowley, Ph.D (1982), University of Michigan, is Emeritus Professor , University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He has published research on Alexander Bogdanov and is the translator of Volume 8 of the Bogdanov Library, The Philosophy of Living Experience (Brill, 2016).
"As Bazarov mentions, one of the concepts with a great variety of applications in Tektology is the ‘law of the leasts’, the fact that people and things take the path of least resistance. This has certainly applied to the way Bogdanov’s ideas have been treated over the years. Instead of investigating what Bogdanov actually wrote, verdicts stemming from Lenin and Plekhanov have been repeated uncritically. This was understandable so long as Bogdanov’s works remained inaccessible. With this translation of Empiriomonism, this need no longer be the case." - James D. White, University of Glasgow, in: Europe-Asia Studies 72/10 (2020)

"… Rowley’s excellent translation will not only permit a wide new audience to explore the grand systems and historical forays of Bogdanov’s Empiriomonism – it also illuminates a particular moment where various strains of Marxism debated the very relationship between understanding and changing the world: a generative conflict between Bogdanov and Lenin." - Nicholas Bujalski, in: Marx and Philosophy Review of Books (2021) [ Full review]
The Autobiography of Alexander Bogdanov
Bogdanov as a Thinker
V.A. Bazarov

Book One

1 The Ideal of Cognition (Empiriomonism of the Physical and the Psychical)

2 Life and the Psyche
 1  The Realm of Experiences
 2  Psychoenergetics
 3  The Monist Conception of Life

3 Universum (Empiriomonism of the Separate and the Continuous)

Conclusion to Book One

Book Two

4 The ‘Thing-in-Itself’ from the Perspective of Empiriomonism

5 Psychical Selection (Empiriomonism in the Theory of the Psyche)
 1  Foundations of the Method
 2  Applications of the Method (Illustrations)

6 Two Theories of the Vital-Differential

Book Three

7 Preface to Book Three
 1  Three Materialisms
 2  Energetics and Empiriocriticism
 3  The Path of Empiriomonism
 4  Regarding Eclecticism and Monism

8 Social Selection (Foundations of the Method)

9 Historical Monism
 1  Main Lines of Development
 2  Classes and Groups

10 Self-Awareness of Philosophy (The Origin of Empiriomonism)

All interested in Russian intellectual history, Russian Marxism in the revolutionary era, the philosophy of historical materialism, and the philosophy of mind.