Re: Il'enkov: The ideal

From: Peter Moxhay (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 08:22:48 PDT

Eugene wrote:

> I think Il'enkov had to "dance" to avoid being seen as anti-Leninist.
> As far as I remember reading Lenin, Lenin gave a very primitive
> definition of the ideal as the material transferred into individual
> heads (or something like that – it is interesting that Il’enkov
> avoided citing Lenin in his article but instead uses Rubenstein).

In his Dialectical Logic, Ilyenkov actually refers to Marx as the
source of the "transplanted into the head" definition of the ideal, and
argues for its subtlety:

“When Marx defines the ideal as ‘the material,’ transplanted into the
human head and transformed in it, he did not at all understand this
‘head’ naturalistically or in the sense of natural science. Here he
had in mind the socially developed head of man, all of whose forms of
activity, starting with the forms of language, its supply of words and
syntactic structure, and ending with its logical categories, are
products and forms of social development. Only, being expressed in
these forms, the external and material is transformed into a social
fact, into the common property of social man, i.e. into the ideal.”

What do you think?


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