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Bogdanov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1873–1928)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-E005-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bogdanov, né Malinovskii, was a Russian thinker who helped Lenin create the Bolshevik or Communist Party, broke with Lenin over a mixture of philosophical and political issues, yet would not quit the Revolution. His life and thought illuminate the interaction of philosophy and politics within the tumultuous context of a ’developing’ country, which calls in question political philosophies that take for granted the conditions of ’developed’ countries.

Bogdanov never won such widespread interest as those dissident communists – Georg Lukács, most notably – who turned Marxism away from claims of science towards theories of consciousness and wilful action. Bogdanov sought a positivist basis for his philosophy of action or practice. He offered ’empiriomonism’ and ’organizational science’ to creators of a ’free collectivism’, but the creators of the Soviet system brushed him aside. He has been studied by scholars who wonder why the Russian Revolution – or twentieth-century revolutions in many developing countries – has failed to realize dreams of justice and freedom, and by a different cluster of scholars who conceive of a metascience that might unify the fragmented world of knowledge. Less known is Bogdanov’s sense of tragic contradictions in revolutionary pragmatism, as we may call active belief in Marx’s famous declaration that the point of philosophizing is not merely to interpret the world but to change it.

Citing this article:
Joravsky, David. Bogdanov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1873–1928), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E005-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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