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History and EventFrom Marxism to Contemporary French Theory$
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Nathan Coombs

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748698998

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698998.001.0001

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Lenin’s Philosophy: A New Dialectics of Revolution?

Lenin’s Philosophy: A New Dialectics of Revolution?

(p.66) Chapter 3 Lenin’s Philosophy: A New Dialectics of Revolution?
History and Event

Nathan Coombs

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues against the Hegelian-Marxist narrative, in which Lenin’s reading of the Science of Logic in 1914 led him to refound Marxist dialectics. Through a close reading of Lenin’s Philosophical Notebooks it is shown that although he made withering remarks about Engels’s and Plekhanov’s dialectics, this did not lead Lenin to reject the core principles of dialectical materialism. Indeed, it is demonstrated that Lenin neither intended to nor accomplished a refoundation of Marxist dialectics in 1914. The notion of quantity-quality leaps Lenin adds to his works from the time onwards show him less as an innovator in Marxist philosophy and more as a keeper of the flame of dialectical materialist orthodoxy.

Keywords:   Philosophy, Lenin, Engels, Plekhanov, Marxism, Hegel, Quantity to quality, Leaps, Kautsky, Philosophical notebooks

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