Studies in Soviet Thought

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 52–63 | Cite as

Soviet philosophy's conception of “basic laws”, “order” and “principles”



Political Philosophy Soviet Philosophy 
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  1. 1.
    See, e.g., Aleksandrov, G. F. (ed.):Dialektičeskij materializm. Moskva. 1954. (pp. 69ff. and 117ff.)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See: Kedrov, B. M.:Zakon otricanija otricanija. Kommunist 1956, 13. On the same theme: Vorob'ev, M. F. and Kazakevič, T. A.; Abolenceva, A. G. and El'meev, V. Ja.; Kazakov, A. P., Xarin, Ju. A. and Savel'ev, S. G. - in “Vestnik Leningradskogo Universiteta. Serija ekonomiki, filosofii, prava” (henceforward: V LGU SEFP) 1956, 23. Xarin, Ju. A. in V LGU SEFP 1957, 5. Morozov, V. D. in FN 1958, 4. Vorob'ev, M. F.:Zakon otricanija otricanija. Leningrad. 1956. Kedrov, B. M.:Otricanie otricanija. Moskva. 1957. - See also: Dahm, H.:Ontologische Aspekte der sowjetischen Dialektik. In: Osteuropa (Stuttgart) 1957, 4, 233–244.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See the discussion on “Programming of the Study-Plan for Dialectical and Historical Materialism” in “Vestnik vysšej školy” (VVŠ) and “Voprosy filosofii”, most of the articles of which are devoted to these three laws and an interpretation of Engels' arrangement of them. In particular: Enevič, F. F. (Kiev) in VVŠ 1957, 1, 28–35. Rutkevič, M. N. (Sverdlovsk) in VVŠ 1957, 4, 36–40. Kazakov, A. P. and Rožin, V. P. (Leningrad) in VVŠ 1957, 4, 40–44. Mixajlov, V. N. (Saratov) in VVŠ 1957, 5, 18–20. Eričev, L. I. (Leningrad) in VVŠ 1957, 5, 21–25. Askinadze, Ja. F. (Saratov) in VVŠ 1957, 6, 17–20. Karasev, B. A. (Murmansk) in VVŠ 1957, 6, 20–24. Zbandut, G. P. (Odessa) in VVŠ 1957, 6, 24–27. as well as thirteen other participants in the discussion (VVŠ 1957, 6, 27–35). Majzel', I. A., Meleščenko, Ju. S., Novikov, A. I. (Leningrad) in VF 1957, 1, 214–216. Kaltaxčjan, S. T. in VF 1958, 2, 162–167. Čaplygina, S. G. (Sverdlovsk) in VF 1958, 4, 175–177. Suslov, I. A., Šubnjakov, B. P., Sidorkin, V. A., Pilipenko, N. V., Šadrin, E. I. (Jaroslavl') in VF 1958, 6, 157–160. Sternin, A. O. (Jaroslavl') in VF 1958, 9, 164–168.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    (1) General connection between phenomena in nature and society, (2) Movement and development in nature and society, (3) Development as the transition of quantitative changes into qualitative, (4) Development as battle of opposites (seeKratkij filosofskij slovar' p. 322 and Wetter, G. A.:Dialectical Materialism. London. 1958. p. 310ff.).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lebedev, S. P.:K voprosu o klassifikacii osnovnyx zakonov dialektiki i ix vzaimosvjazi In: V MGU SEFP 1958, 2, 80.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kogan, S. Ja. in “Izvestija Odesskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta” (IOGU) 1949, 1, 7.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    See: Enevič, F. F.: VVŠ 1957, 1, 31 and Kazakov, A. P., Rožin V. P.: VVŠ 1957, 4, 42.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lebedevop. cit. p. 80.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    ibid. p. 81.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koganop. cit. p. 13.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lebedevop. cit. p. 83.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    ibid. ff.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vasilij Petrovič Tugarinov (b. 1899 at Ostaškov in Tver'); began his university studies in 1917 (2 months in Moscow); drafted into the Red Army in 1918 and fought on the Eastern front against the Czechs and Kolčak; 1920 saw the resumption of his studies in Moscow; in 1925 he graduated and joined the Communist Party; from 1925 to 1951 he taught the history of the CPSU and Historical Materialism at Orexovo-Zuevo, Kolomna, Rjazan' and Kalinin; in 1940 he became “Candidate” with a dissertation “Marksistsko-leninskoe učenie o morali” and in 1951 a Ph. D. with a dissertation “Dialektičeskij materializm o zakone i zakonomernosti”; at the end of 1951 he became Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and professor of Dialectical and Historical Materialism at the University of Leningrad; he has devoted himself principally to the construction of an ontologically founded theory of categories. Since 1926 he has published a total of 75 scientific works, the most interesting of which are three of the most recent:Zakony ob'ektivnogo mira, ix poznanie i ispol'zovanie. Leningrad. 1954.Sootnošenie kategorij dialektičeskogo materializma. Leningrad. 1956.Sootnošenie kategorij istoričeskogo materializma. Leningrad. 1958. For his biography, see V LGU SEFP 1959, 11, 158.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    TugarinovZakony p. 108.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    See Lebedevop. cit. p. 85.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lebedevop. cit. p. 84. It should be noted that Tugarinov rejects this view. According to hisZakony, every proposition in which a characteristic is attributed to an object- like “All elephants have trunks” - is a law (see p. 133). For all that, Tugarinov's interpretation agrees with the Soviet variation on the doctrine of attributive judgement (suždenie prinadležnosti) according to which “Therelations of identity and difference are reflected in everyjudgement, no matter what its content be. This peculiarity of the judgement of inherence is due to the fact that in its conception we include only that content which is proper to every judgement, i.e. the inherence or non-inherence of a property in an object and the corresponding identity or difference of the objects” (Gorskij, D. P., Tavanec, P. V.:Logika. Moskva. 1956, pp. 72 and 104). See also: Asmus, V. F.:Logika. Moskva 1947 (pp. 69–76). Gorskij, D. P.:Logika. Moskva. 1954 (pp. 46–49). Tavanec, P. V.:Voprosy teorii suždenija. Moskva. 1955 (pp. 19–22).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lebedevop. cit. p. 84.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    ibid. p. 85.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    In the standard works, the concept “zakonomernost'” (regularity) does not yet have a systematizing function in a theory of principles. See: Rozental', M. M., Judin, P. F.:Kratkij filosofskij slovar'. Moskva. 1954. Aleksandrov, G. F. (ed.):Dialektičeskij materializm. Moskva. 1954. Rozental', M. M., Štraks, G. M.:Kategorii materialističeskoj dialektiki. Moskva. 1956. Tugarinov, V. P.:Sootnošenie ... 1956.Osnovy marksistskoj filosofii. Moskva. 1958. (Osnovy). Exceptions to this are: Kedrov, B. M.:O količestvennyx i kačestvennyx izmenenijax v prirode. Moskva. 1946 (p. 132ff.). Tugarinov, V. P.:Zakony p. 134.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Engels, F.:Anti-Djuring. Moskva. 1950 (p. 34).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rožin, V. P.:Marksistsko-leninskaja dialektika kak filosofskaja nauka. (Henceforward:Dialektika). Leningrad. 1957 (p. 30). See the parsimonious explanation in the “Large Soviet Encyclopedia”: “A principle (from Lat.principium = axiom (načalo), basis (osnova)) is the essential propositional point of departure of a theory, doctrine, science, etc.; the internal conviction of men; man's view of things (vzgljad na vešči)”. BSE. (ed. 2. Moscow. 1955) 34, 529.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    RožinDialektika p. 31.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid. Here is to be found a short presentation of the theory of principles in which the usual regularities of the dialectic (1. Movement and development, 2. Inter-connection and mutual determination) are, for the first time, defined as “general principles”. This is not the case inOsnovy (see pp. 10–30, especially 11 and 25; and 202ff.).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kopnin, P. V.:Ideja i ee rol' v poznanii. VF 1959, 9, 53–64 (here p. 60).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    . The second section of this affirmation is directed against Tugarinov who explains, in hisZakony, that a scientific principle is not expressed in a law (judgement) but in a concept, and indicates-as opposed to a law (connection) - a quality of the thing (on p. 134f.).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ovsjannikov, M. F.:Filosofija Gegelja. Moskva. 1959 (IV, 3:Učenie o ponjatii. pp. 133–151; especially p. 146ff.).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    See Ojzerman, T. I.:O materialističeskom rešenii vtoroj storony osnovnogo voprosa filosofii. V MGU SEFP 1959, 3, 147–154 (here p. 147).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    The article “Ideja” in the KFS (p. 186f.) restricts itself to repeating the systematically worthless references from Stalin's “Voprosy leninizma” (see: ed. 11. Moskva. 1939–1947, p. 546f.). There is no mention of Lenin's crude polemic against Bogdanov's “substitution-theory” or of his correction of Dietzgen's “Incursions of a Socialist into the Domain of Epistemology” (see: Lenin, V. I.:Materializm i empiriokriticizm. In: Soč. 14. Here: p. 214 and 232f.).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kopninop. cit. p. 61.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Aleksandrovop. cit. p. 89.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ibid. p. 90. For completeness, here are the most important passages of the entry on “Law” (zakon) in the “Large Soviet Encyclopedia” - preference has been given to Leninist texts: “Law (in philosophy) is the general, essential, i.e. durable, self-repeating and necessary in the phenomena of the world. The laws of science are reflections of the objective processes which take place in nature and society, independent of the will of man. The recognition of the objective character of the laws of science is one of the basic principles of philosophical materialism which definitively refutes the fantasies of idealism. This latter denies the objective character of laws and presents them as products of reason, of supernatural ideas, of divine pre-destination, etc. (Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Hegel, the Machists, etc.).” (BSE 16, 368). According to Lenin, the basic idea which was common to Hume and Kant is the “denial of the objective regularity of nature and the derivation of this or that ‘condition of experience’, this or that principle, postulate or supposition from the subject, from human consciousness and not from nature” (Lenin, V. I.: Soč. 14, 153). The difference between Hume's view (“Sensation and experience tell us not the least thing about any kind of necessity”) and the Kantian-Machist formula (“Man dictates the laws to nature”) is a “secondary difference between two agnostics who are in basic agreement on the denial of the objective regularity of nature” (Leninop. cit. p. 151; see also 145 and 149). “In opposition to idealism, which makes common cause with fideism, materialism recognizes the objective regularity of nature and the approximately correct reflection of this regularity in the consciousness of man. ... Knowledge of a law means penetration to the essence of phenomena, discovery of the general essential traits which are objectively proper to the infinitely diverse phenomena and processes” (BSE 16, 368). “Ergo”, Lenin concludes, “law and essence are both concepts, concepts of the same order, or, better, of the same power, which express a deepening of man's knowledge of the phenomena of the world, etc. ...” “The concept of law is one of the levels of human knowledge of the unity and connection, of the mutual dependence and of the totality of the world-process” (Lenin, V. I.:Filosofskie tetradi. Moskva. 1947. pp. 127 and 126).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Osnovy p. 202.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ibid. p. 203 (footnote).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marx, K.:Kapital. Moskva. 1955 (vol. III, p. 233).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    See: Rozental'-Štraks (pp. 171–176), TugarinovSootnošenie 1956 (p. 113) and RožinDialektika (p. 9).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    RožinDialektika p. 38.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    “In our philosophic literature the necessary distinction and correlation of law and regularity are not sufficiently heeded. One acts as if there were no distinction between law and regularity. This is false.” (TugarinovSootnošenie 1956 p. 114).Google Scholar
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
    Ibid. p. 115f.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    See: Lenin, V. I.:Materializm i empiriokriticizm. In: Soč. 14. p. 29.Google Scholar

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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1961

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  • H. Dahm

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