Re: XMCA Book Discussions

From: Oudeyis (
Date: Fri Aug 20 2004 - 21:11:47 PDT

Despite the length of DAC (it's the longest of Ilyenkov's writings in MIA) I
found it the clearest and easiest to read of all EVI's works. I agree that
chapter 5 is probably the most interesting, but reviewing my notes I see
that I also found chapter 2, The Unity of the Abstract & the Concrete as a
Law of Thought, worthy of high focus.
Lot's of luck with your project.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Gabosch" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: XMCA Book Discussions

> I am putting this post both here and at the Book Forum site (follow
> Clark's directions to get there).
> Peter Moxhay and I discussed some ideas earlier this summer about how to
> organize a discussion on Ilyenkov's _Dialectics of the Abstract and the
> Concrete in Marx's Capital_ (let's call it DAC for short). DAC consists
> 5 chapters, each divided into 5 to 30 page or so subtitled sections. This
> provides a natural way to discuss the book. In some cases, it might work
> to divide these subtitled sections into 5 to 15 page subsections.
> The biggest question we have is whether to try to go through the whole
> starting on page one, or tackle just one chapter, probably chapter 5, "The
> Method of Ascent from the Abstract to the Concrete in Marx's Capital."
> I think the people who want to study Ilyenkov together in this first round
> of the XMCA Book Forum should talk things over to see what we want to do.
> read DAC this spring and was very impressed with it - EVI is having a big
> impact on me. I will be happy to study his work however we do
> it. Starting with a single 66-page chapter might be a reasonable-sized
> challenge in which to get oriented in our new book discussion space that
> Kristen has set up for us.
> The book DAC was originally published in Russian in 1960, and was
> translated into English in 1982 by Progress Publishers - but it is now out
> of print. Some copies can be found through online used book dealers. I
> understand it is also available (but perhaps out of print) in other
> languages. The book is well respected internationally.
> Marxist Internet Archive has the entire book available in English at
> It is a dense book that requires slow reading and close
> consideration. Familiarity with dialectical materialism and Marx's
> is a big help. At the same time, DAC is itself a very good introduction
> Capital and dialectical logic.
> The second section of Chapter 5, entitled "Contradiction as the Condition
> of the Development of Science" is a succinct 4-page overview of some of
> EVI's essential themes in the book. He concludes this small section with
> the idea "objective reality always reveals itself to theoretical thought
> contradictory reality." Perhaps this section would be a good entry point
> to discuss chapter 5 - summarizing a key idea in the book as a whole - and
> leading into his discussion of the method of the ascent from the abstract
> to the concrete in Marx's Capital, the main subject of chapter 5. Check
> out. It is at
> As I mentioned, I am going to put this post both on xmca and the Book
> site. Those interested in perhaps studying some Ilyenkov, come on in!
> Best,
> ~ Steve

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