Volumes

The projected volumes are as follows:

Volume 1: Basic Elements of an Historical View of Nature

This is Bogdanov’s first philosophical work in which he developed a systematic and comprehensive scientific philosophy that he intended to be an up-to-date foundation for historical materialism. Although he gave up the principles of dialectic materialism (Hegel’s concept of change and the idea that matter is the cause of perception) Bogdanov’s system retained its spirit. He presented reality as a field of continuous change and development – a dynamic equilibrium of continuously changing complexes of elements – and he conceived of energy and not ‘matter’ as the fundamental stuff of reality. Bogdanov’s naturalist, determinist, and monist outlook was thoroughly consistent with historical materialism – the idea that existence determines consciousness.

Volume 2: Empiriomonism (FORTHCOMING 2019)

Bogdanov came to realize that the concept of ‘energy’ as the fundamental reality was as dualistic as the concept of ‘matter’, and he found a new basic for the outlook he had presented in Basic Elements of an Historical View of Nature in the neutral monism of Ernst Mach and Richard Avenarius. He then adapted their agnostic empiricism to his own determinist system, and elaborated his own philosophy, which he called empiriomonism, in a series of articles. These articles were collected in Volumes 1 and 2 of Empiriomonism. In Volume 3 Bogdanov contrasted his outlook with that of G. V. Plekhanov and showed how empiriomonism solved certain problems of historical materialism. All three books are included in Volume 2.

Volume 3: Toward a New World: Articles and Essays (1899-1906)

Volume 3 is made up of three parts. Part One contains the articles included in the collection Из психологии общество [On the Psychology of Society] (1906), which Bogdanov employs the principles of empiriomonism to criticise Russia’s Marxist neo-Kantian idealists, to rebut their critique of historical materialism, and to develop his own understanding of social change. Of particular importance is the notion of socio-morphism – the idea that forms of thought are modelled on forms of labour and economic relationships. Part Two contains the articles included in the collection, Новый мир [New World] (1906), which continued his polemics against idealism and considered, on the basis of empiriomonism, what the coming socialist society would be like. Part Three contains various uncollected articles, essays, book review, and letters-to-the-editor, which include his economic writings defending the labour theory of value and arguing against the marginal utility theory of value.

Volume 4: To Our Bolshevik Comrades: Political Writings

This volume will include some of Bogdanov’s general writings on liberalism and Menshevism, but will be primarily devoted to tracing the divergence between Lenin and Bogdanov which culminated in the formation of the Vpered group of the RSDLP which contested Lenin’s claim to be the standard bearer of true Bolshevism. Materials will include Bogdanov’s analysis of the split within Bolshevism; his writings on the First World War (where he provided the first definition of “War Communism”); his commentaries on the February Revolution and on Lenin’s seizure of power and his interpretation of social and political developments after October 1917, notably his writings on the emergence in Soviet Russia of a “new class”.

Volume 5: The Fall of Great Fetishism: The Contemporary Crisis of Ideology

This volume will provide the philosophical aspect of Bogdanov’s break with Lenin. It will contain The Adventures of a Certain Philosophical School, Fall of the Great Fetishism (which includes Bogdanov’s response to Lenin’s Materialism and Empiriocriticism), and a selection of shorter essays on philosophy.

Volume 6: The Cultural Tasks of Our Time: Essays on Proletarian Culture

Bogdanov’s key writings on Proletarian Culture, including The Cultural Tasks of Our Time, selections from On Proletarian Culture, 1904-1924, and various articles from the journal Proletarian Culture and elsewhere.

Volume 7: The Science of Social Consciousness

The basis of this volume will be the 1914 short book called The Science of Social Consciousness: A Short Course of Ideological Science in Questions and Answers that lays the foundation for Bogdanov’s theory of ideology (or ‘spiritual culture’). This will be a companion volume to the volume on ‘cultural tasks’.

Volume 8: Philosophy of Living Experience (AVAILABLE)

The Philosophy of Living Experience. Materialism, Empiriocriticism, Dialectical Materialism, Empiriomonism, the Science of the Future. Popular Outlines, (1913; 1923) with the appendix to the 1923 edition, ‘From Religious to Scientific Monism’. This is Bogdanov’s summative statement of his philosophy that anticipates his ultimate philosophical achievement: universal organisational science.

Volume 9: Tektology: Universal Organisational Science

This will contain all three parts of Tektologiia: Vseobshchaia organizatsionnaia nauka, a pioneering work in systems theory, in which Bogdanov proposed that all physical, biological, and human sciences could be unified by treating them as systems of relationships and by seeking the organisational principles that underlie all such systems.

Volume 10: Writings on Socialism

This volume will contain a variety of articles and books on socialism and political economy, including ‘On Socialism’, New World, ‘Socialism in the Present’, Problems of Socialism, The Socialism of Science: The Scientific Tasks of the Proletariat, selections from A Short Course of Economic Science, and economic essays from the 1920s.

Supplementary Volume: The Tenth Anniversary of Excommunication from Marxism: Autobiographical Writings

This volume will include: Selections from The Tenth Anniversary of Excommunication from Marxism (1914), selections from Bogdanov’s unpublished autobiographical manuscripts, from his biographical observations concerning other revolutionary figures, and from unpublished letters and communications.

 

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