Evald Ilyenkov & Activity Theory:
Bibliography of Writings in English

Compiled by Ralph Dumain


Chukhrov, Keti. Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism, foreword by Boris Groys. Minneapolis: e-flux / University of Minnesota Press, 2020.

Bakhurst, David. Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy: From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Bakhurst, David. The Formation of Reason. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. (Journal of Philosophy of Education Book Series; 12)

Ilyenkov, E.V. [Il'enkov, Eval'd Vasil'evich]. Dialectical Logic: Essays on Its History and Theory, translated from the Russian by H. Campbell Creighton. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977.

Ilyenkov, E.V. [Il'enkov, Evald Vasil'evich]. The Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx's Capital, translated from the Russian by Sergei Syrovatkin. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982.

Ilyenkov, Evald Vasilyevich. The Ideal in Human Activity, with a preface by Mike Cole. Marxists Internet Archive, 2009. epub mobi

Dialectical Logic 1

Introduction 1
From the History of Dialectics
1. Descartes & Leibniz – The Subject Matter of Logic  5
2. Spinoza – Thought as an Attribute of Substance  14
3. Kant – Logic and Dialectics 42
4. Fichte & Schelling – Dualism or Monism 66
5. Hegel – Dialectics as Logic 94
6. Feuerbach – Idealism or Materialism? 122
Certain Problems of the Marxist-Leninist Theory of Dialectics
7: A Critique of Objective Idealism 132
8: Thought as the Subject Matter of Logic 146
9: Dialectics and the Theory of Knowledge 167
10: Contradiction as a Category of Dialectical Logic 185
11: The Problem of the General in Dialectics 198
Conclusion 213

Activity and Knowledge 215

The Universal  225

The Concept of the Ideal  253

Reflections on Lenin’s book: “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism” 285

Introduction 285
1. Marxism against Machism  296
2. The Positive Programme of Russian Positivism 320
3. Dialectics – Philosophy and natural science 349
Conclusion 383

Ilyenkov, Evald. Intelligent Materialism: Essays on Hegel and Dialectics, edited and translated by Evgeni V. Pavlov. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2018. (Historical Materialism Book Series; Volume 181)

Editor’s Note ix

Evgeni V. Pavlov

1 Hegel Today 1

2 Hegel and the Problem of the Subject Matter of Logic 6

3 The Peak, the End and the New Life of Dialectics (Hegel and the End of Old Philosophy) 26

4 Hegel’s Science of Logic 59

5 Hegel and Hermeneutics: the Problem of the Relationship between Language and Thinking in Hegel 98

6 The Problem of the Ideal in Philosophy 115

7 Understanding of the Abstract and the Concrete in Dialectics and Formal Logic 149

8 The Logical and the Historical 182

9 Lenin’s Idea of the Coincidence of Logic, Theory of Cognition and Dialectics 208

10 Materialism Is Militant and Therefore Dialectical 229

Bibliography 249

Index 253

Ilyenkov, Evald. Leninist Dialectics and the Metaphysics of Positivism (1979). London: New Park Publications, 1982.

Lektorsky, V. A., ed. Activity: The Theory, Methodology, and Problems. Orlando, FL: Paul M. Deutsch Press, Inc., 1990.

Note to the American Reader / V.P. Lektorsky ix

An Invitation to Discussion / V.P. Lektorsky xi

SECTION ONE: Activity as a Problem

Chapter 1: The Concept of Activity as a Philosophical Category: Problems Involved / V.S. Shvyrev 1

Chapter 2: The Category of Activity: Inexhaustible Possibilities and Limits of Applicability / G.S. Batishchev 7

Chapter 3: Ability and Rationality / I.T. Kasavin 15

Chapter 4: Activity, Behavior and Creativity / A.L. Nikiforov 23

Chapter 5: The Categoric Context of the Activity Approach / V.N. Sagatovsky 33

Chapter 6: The Place of the Category of Activity in the Theoretical System of Historical Materialism / Y.K. Pletnikov 41

Chapter 7: Activity and Social Relationships / V.Z. Kelle 49

Chapter 8: Activity - Labor - Culture / N.S. Zlobin 57

Chapter 9: The Activity of the Subject and Psychic Activity / A.V. Brushlinsky 67

Chapter 10: On The Place of the Category of Activity in Modern Theoretical

Psychology / V.V. Davydov 75

PART TWO: Discussion and Criticism

Chapter 11: Activity as an Open System / V.S. Shvyrev 83

Chapter 12: The Activity Approach in the Captivity of Substantialism / G.S. Batyshchev 89

Chapter 13: Defining Activity in the Context of a Research Task / I.T. Kasavin 93

Chapter 14: The Common and the Individual in Activity / A.L. Nikiforov 99

Chapter 15: Activity: Monism at Any Price or Polyphony? / V.I. Sagatovsky 103

Chapter 16: Discussion Continued / V.Z. Kelle 109

Chapter 17: Terminological Discordance and/or Conceptual Differences / N.S. Zlobin 115

Chapter 18: The Importance of Manʼs Interaction with the World / A.V. Brushlinsky 123

Chapter 19: Problems of Activity as a Mode of Human Existence and the Principle of Monism / V.V. Davydov 127

SECTION THREE: Replies to Criticism

Chapter 20: A Serious Conceptual Problem and not Scholastic Theorizing / V.S. Shvyrev 133

Chapter 21: Some Remarks on Critical Remarks / V.Z. Kelle 139

Chapter 22: To Argue is to Seek the Truth / Y.K. Pletnikov 143

Chapter 23: Yes, We Need a Monistic Theory of Human Existence / V.V. Davydov 149

Chapter 24: Reply to Objections and Misunderstandings / A. V. Brushlinsky 157

Chapter 25: Rational Limits and Prospects of Human Activity / I.T. Kasavin 163

Chapter 26: Not by Deed Alone / G.S. Batyshchev 169

Chapter 27: Activity and Freedom / A.L. Nikiforov 177

Chapter 28: Returning to the Problem of Method / V.N. Sagatovsky 185

Chapter 29: By Way of Conclusion / V.A. Lektorsky 189

Index 194

Lektorsky, Vladislav A.; Bykova, Marina F.; eds. Philosophical Thought In Russia in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century: A Contemporary View from Russia and Abroad. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction: Philosophy in Soviet Russia: A Brief Overview / Marina F. Bykova and Vladislav A. Lektorsky / 1

Part I: Russian Philosophy of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century in the Context of Culture and Science 17

1 The Russian Philosophy of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century as a Sociocultural Phenomenon / Vladislav A. Lektorsky 19

2 Main Configurations of Russian Thought in the Post-Stalin Epoch / Mikhail N. Epstein 35

3 Punks versus Zombies: Evald Ilyenkov and the Battle for Soviet Philosophy / David Bakhurst 53

4 On Soviet Philosophy: A Philosophical Reflection / Karen A. Swassjan 79

5 The Philosophy of the Russian Sixtiers in the Humanist Context: A Philosophical Reflection / Abdusalam A. Guseynov 91

6 Philosophy From the Period of “Thaw” to the Period of “Stagnation”: A Philosophical Reflection / Vadim M. Mezhuyev 103

Part II: Philosophy of Science 115

7 The Russian Philosophy of Science in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century / Vyacheslav S. Stepin 117

8 Systemic Analysis of Science: Ideas of Equifinality and Anthropo-Measurement / Alexander P. Ogurtsov 129

9 Soviet Philosophy and the Methodology of Science in the 1960s–1980s: From Ideology to Science: A Philosophical Reflection / Boris I. Pruzhinin 143

Part III: Philosophy as the History of Philosophy 153

10 Spinoza in Western and Soviet Philosophy: New Perspectives After Postmodernism / Vesa Oittinen / 155

11 On the Reception of German Idealism / Marina F. Bykova 167

12 Ilyenkov’s Hegelian Marxism and Marxian Constructivism / Tom Rockmore 187

13 The Western Reception of Alexei Losev’s Philosophical Thought / Maryse Dennes 197

Part IV: The Problem of Activity in Philosophy, Methodology and Human Sciences 207

14 The Activity Approach in Soviet Philosophy and Contemporary Cognitive Studies / Vladislav A. Lektorsky 209

15 The Activity Theory in Soviet Philosophy and Psychology in the 1960s–1980s / Petr G. Shchedrovitsky 225

16 Activity and the Formation of Reason / David Bakhurst 233

17 Georgy Shchedrovitsky’s Concept of Activity and Thought-Activity / Vadim M. Rozin 245

Part V: Dialogue and Communication 259

18 Between “Voice” and ‘Code”: Encounters and Clashes in the Communication Space / Natalia S. Avtonomova 261

19 A Belated Conversation / Vitaly L. Makhlin 277

20 From Historical Materialism to the Theory of Culture: The Philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin as a Cultural Phenomenon / Maja E. Soboleva 285

21 On the Role of the Communication Topic in the Discussions of the 1980s–1990s: A Philosophical Reflection / Viktor A. Malakhov 297

Part VI: Philosophical Anthropology 309

22 Human Ontology: On Discussion in Soviet Philosophy in the Late Twentieth Century / Alexander A. Khamidov 311

23 On the Problem of Morality in Soviet-Era Philosophy / Yuri V. Pushchaev 339

24 The Individual and the Problem of Responsibility: Merab Mamardashvili and Alexander Zinoviev / Daniela Steila 351

25 Alexander Zinoviev’s Teaching on Life / Abdusalam A. Guseynov 369

A Chronology of Key Events in the Russian Philosophy (1953–1991) 385

Selected Bibliography (1953–1991) 399

Subject Index 415

Names Index 423

Levant, Alex; Oittinen, Vesa; eds. Dialectics of the Ideal: Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism. Boston: Brill, 2014. (Historical Materialism Book Series; Volume 60)

Foreword / Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen vii

Part One: Dialectics of the Ideal

E.V. Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism: Introduction to Dialectics of the Ideal / Alex Levant 3

Dialectics of the Ideal / Evald Ilyenkov 25

Part Two: Contexts

Ilyenkov in the Context of Soviet Philosophical Culture: An Interview with Sergey Mareev / Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen 81

Prospects for a Cultural-Historical Psychology of Intelligence / Birger Siebert 97

Evald Ilyenkov, the Soviet Spinozist / Vesa Oittinen 107

Part Three: Commentaries

Reality of the Ideal / Andrey Maidansky 125

Metamorphoses of Meaning: The Concept of the Ideal from a Semiotic Perspective / Tarja Knuuttila 145

Evald Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of Abstract and Concrete and the Recent Value-Form Debate / Vesa Oittinen and Paula Rauhala 165

Emancipating Open Marxism: E.V. Ilyenkov’s Post-Cartesian Anti-Dualism / Alex Levant 183

Part Four: Supplementary Material

Bibliography of Evald Ilyenkov’s Works 203

References 211

Index 219

Lotz, Corinna. Finding Evald Ilyenkov: How a Soviet Philosopher Who Stood Up for Dialectics Continues to Inspire. London: Lupus Books, 2019.

Maidansky, Andrey; Oittinen, Vesa; eds. The Practical Essence of Man: The ‘Activity Approach’ in Late Soviet Philosophy. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016. (Historical Materialism Book Series; 108)

Introduction / Andrey Maidansky and Vesa Oittinen 1

1 Activity and the Search for True Materialism / David Bakhurst 17

2 ‘Praxis’ as the Criterion of Truth? The Aporias of Soviet Marxism and the Activity Approach / Vesa Oittinen 29

3 Reality as Activity: The Concept of Praxis in Soviet Philosophy / Andrey Maidansky 42

4 The Category of Activity in Soviet Philosophy / Inna Titarenko 58

5 The Activity Approach and Metaphysics / Edward M. Swiderski 75

6 Abstract and Concrete Understanding of Activity: ‘Activity’ and ‘Labour’ in Soviet Philosophy / Sergey Mareev 96

7 The Kiev Philosophical School in the Light of the Marxist Theory of Activity / Elena Mareeva 103

8 The Evolution of Batishchev’s Views on the Nature of Objective Activity, and the Limits of the Activity Approach / Alexander Khamidov 120

9 The Activity Approach in Soviet Philosophy and Contemporary Cognitive Studies / Vladislav Lektorsky  137

10 The Concept of the Scheme in the Activity-Theories of Ilyenkov and Piaget / Pentti Määttänen   154

11 The Ideal and the Dream-World: Evald Ilyenkov and Walter Benjamin on the Significance of Material Objects / Alex Levant  167

Bibliography 189

Index 202

Note: The construction of this bibliography in progress proceeds thusly: first, books and anthologies of Ilyenkovʼs writings, books and anthologies about Ilyenkov and Soviet philosophy with emphasis on publications following the demise of the USSR. Links to essays and articles will follow. Activity Theory is a much broader area, encompassing the work of Lev Vygotsky and many others. This larger area may not be thoroughly documented here. Ilyenkovʼs work intersects not only with Vygotsky, but with Lifshits, Mamardashvili, Lektorsky, and others.

Also, there may be some duplication between articles appearing in journals and in books. Many of these authors can be found at academia.edu, which encompasses much material not (yet) included here. Check also the Marxists Internet Archive, the journal Historical Materialism and the book series of the same name from Brill publishing company, books in archive.org,, and other web sites, guides and bibliographies.

Note also that due to censorship, some items from the Soviet period are truncated versions of the original writings.

Evald Ilyenkov, V. A. Lektorsky, the Ideal, & Activity Theory — on this site:

"The Concept of the Ideal" by E. V. Ilyenkov

"The Universal" by E. V. Ilyenkov

"From the Marxist-Leninist Point of View" by E. V. Ilyenkov

"Humanism and Science" by E. V. Ilyenkov

Lenin and the Hegelian Conception of Thinking” by Evald Ilyenkov

Markso kaj la okcidenta mondo” de E. V. Iljenkov, trad. Yury Finkel (in Esperanto)

Galvano Della Volpe on E. V. Ilyenkov

Galvano Della Volpe on determinate abstraction & Evald Ilyenkov by John Fraser

Evald Ilyenkov's Philosophy Revisited (front matter)

"On Trends in the Status of Dialectical Logic: A Brief Study of Lefebvre, Ilyenkov and Wald" by Claude M. J. Braun

The Problem of the Ideal: Contents by David Dubrovsky

The Problem of the Ideal: Introduction

The Problem of the Ideal (Extracts)

Subject, Object, Cognition: Contents & Preface to the English edition by V. A. Lektorsky

Idealised and Real Objects by V. A. Lektorsky

The Collective Subject. The Individual Subject by V. A. Lektorsky

"Cognition in the Context of Culture" by Vladislav Lektorsky

Activity Theory: A Marxist Approach to Psychology by Carl Shames

Bibliography & Other Reference Works — on this site:

Evald Ilyenkov & Mikhail Lifshits: Aesthetics, Symbolic Mediation, & the Ideal: Selected Bibliography

Cybernetics & Artificial Intelligence: Ideology Critique

Merab Mamardashvili: Selected Bibliography & Web Links

Salvaging Soviet Philosophy (1)

Soviet Philosophy from Progress Publishers: Selected Bibliography, 1968-1990 (1)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia: Selected Entries on Philosophical & Related Topics

Marx and Marxism Web Guide

Evald Ilyenkov, Lev Vygotsky, & Activity Theory — on other sites:

International Friends of Ilyenkov

Webinar Notes

YouTube channel

Evald Ilyenkov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ilyenkov Internet Archive

Reading Ilyenkov [mostly in Russian, some English, & photo gallery]

Ильенков. Фильм Александра Рожкова (Ilyenkov documentary, in Russian, with English subtitles; 1 hour, 24 min.)

Ilyenkov by James Scanlan (Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers)

Ideal, by E. V. I’ENKOV [sic], in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov (New York: Macmillan, London: Collier Macmillan, 1974-1983), translation of 3rd Russian edition of Bol'shaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya (1970-1979).

Dialectical Contradiction and Formal Logic (1979) by Evald V. Il'enkov

On the Coincidence of Logic with Dialectics and the Theory of Knowledge of Materialism by Evald Ilyenkov, from Dialectical Logic (1977)

Stasis, Vol 5 No 2 (2017): Antiquity and Modernity of Soviet Marxism. All articles are downloadable in English or Russian.

Rereading Pashukanis: Discussion Notes (Antonio Negri)
Introduction: Antiquity and Modernity of Soviet Marxism (Maria Chehonadskih, Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin)
‘When Was Caesar Born?’ Theory and Practice of Truth in Plekhanov and Bogdanov (Evgeni V. Pavlov)
Consciousness and Affectivity: Spinoza and Vygotsky (Pascal Sévérac)
The Communist Drama of Individuation in Lev Vygotsky (Maria Chehonadskih)
The Ilyenkov Triangle: Marxism in Search of its Philosophical Roots (Andrey Maidansky)
Cosmology of the Spirit (Evald Ilyenkov)
A Commentary on Evald Ilyenkov’s Cosmology of the Spirit (Giuliano Vivaldi)
Converted Forms. On the Need for Irrational Expressions (Merab Mamardashvili)
Boris Porshnev’s Dialectic of History (Artemy Magun)
Smart Matter and the Thinking Body: Activity Theory and the Turn to Matter in Contemporary Philosophy (Alex Levant)
Marx Against Marxism, Marxism Against Marx (Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin, Valery Podoroga)

Journal of Russian & East European Psychology, Volume 45, Issue 4 (2007) (Ilyenkov issue)

Editor’s Introduction (Pentti Hakkarainen), pp. 3-5
The Training of the Mind: From the Compiler (A. Novokhat'ko), pp 6-8
Our Schools Must Teach How to Think (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 9-49
A Contribution to the Discussion on School Education (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 50-55
On the Nature of Ability (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 56-63
The Biological and the Social in Man (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 64-68
A Contribution on the Question of the Concept of “Activity” and Its Significance for Pedagogy (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 69-74
Knowledge and Thinking (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 75-80
A Contribution to a Conversation About Esthetic Education: (January 15, 1974) (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 81-84
A Contribution to a Conversation About Meshcheriakov: (November 20, 1975) (E. V. Ilyenkov), pp. 85-94

Brill: articles on Ilyenkov

Электронная библиотека "Нестор": Ilyenkov [electronic library in Russian]

INTERVIEW: Evald Ilyenkov and Soviet Philosophy by Andrey Maidansky and Vesa Oittinen, Monthly Review, January 2020

Ilyenkov - a philosopher under suspicion (1990) by Sergei Mareyev, translated by Angela Landon

"Ilyenkov and Lenin's Dialectic" by Vesa Oittinen (2017)

Symbols, Tools, and Ideality in Ilyenkov” by Peter E Jones

"Ideality, Symbols, and the Mind (Response to David Bakhurst)" by Peter Jones

Ilyenkov and Foucault - some paradoxes and (im)possible connections by Jussi Silvonen

A Marxist Psychology of Language and Representation by Kyrill Potapov, Cosmonaut, November 25, 2021

Corinna Lotz , Finding Ilyenkov: How a Soviet Philosopher Who Stood Up for Dialectics Continues to Inspire, reviewed by Dom Taylor, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, 29 August 2019

Evald Vasilievich Ilyenkov and the End of Classical Soviet Philosophy by Rogney Piedra

Soviet Philosophy and then some, David Bakhurst interviewed by Richard Marshall [3:16]

David Bakhurst (Dept. of Philosophy, Queen's University)

Peter E. Jones

An International symposium: "Evald Ilyenkov - Prospects and Retrospects in Philosophy and Psychology" (2014)

Symposium on Evald Ilyenkov (University of Helsinki, 1999)

The Problem of the Ideal by David Dubrovsky [available through chapter 4.1]

Yanes-Fernandez, Inti. “David I. Dubrovsky and Merab Mamardashvili: Adam’s Second Fall and the Advent of the Cyber-Leviathan,” Forum Philosophicum 24 (2019) no. 2, 301–41.

Subject, Object, Cognition by V. A. Lektorsky (entire book)

The Dialectic of Subject and Object and some Problems of the Methodology of Science by V. A. Lektorsky.
Also at Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition: Mind, Culture, and Activity

Mind, Culture, and Activity Summer 1995

Activity, Consciousness, and Personality by Aleksie Nikolaevich Leont'ev

Activity and Consciousness by Aleksei Nikolaevich Leontyev

Activity Theory and Individual and Social Transformation by Yrjö Engeström

Leontiev's Activity Theory Approach to Psychology: Activity as the "molar unit of life" and his "levels of psyche" by Paul F. Ballantyne

Psychological Conditions of the Origin of Ideal Acts by V.V. Davydov and V.P. Andronov

MCA: Research Paper Archive

ISCAR - International Society for Cultural and Activity Research

The Vygotsky Project (A Trbute to Vygotsky)

Vygotsky and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (bibliography, 2015)

Activity Theory (Warwick)

Activity Theory (Martin Ryder, 2007)

Lev Vygotsky by Mikhail Yaroshevsky

Soviet Philosophy — Bibliographies, Reference Works, Web Pages & Sites

Russian Philosophy [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Marxists Internet Archive: Soviet Philosophy

Marxists Internet Archive: Psychology & Marxism

The Value of Knowledge: a Miniature Library of Philosophy
(also part of Marxists Internet Archive)

Tom Weston's Web Page: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Marxism

Marxist Philosophy: Articles, Sources, Translations and Links

Soviet & related Marxist publications: Thomas Mrett collection at archive.org [12 pp.]

Social Sciences USSR Academy of Sciences @ archive.org

Filosofia: An Encyclopedia of Russian Thought


Dialectical Materialism Page

Documents from or about the Soviet Union

Theoretical and Technical Books and Pamphlets from China in the Maoist Era: Philosophy

I Collect Soviet Books [for bibliography]

Bibliography for Historical Materialism By Haines Brown

Bibliography of the History of Russian and Soviet Science and Technology

Philosophy of Science in Russia by Anna Alexandrova [interview with Daria Drozdova] | European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA), 18 August 2020

'leninist.biz' (Soviet titles & e-books: defunct site, but some material may still be available via Wayback Machine at archive.org):
Start here and check backwards if necessary:



Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Coming Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links

CONTACT Ralph Dumain

Uploaded 12 February 2022
Last update 20 October 2022
Previous update 24 May 2022

© 2022 Ralph Dumain