The Principles of Philosophy – Rakitov

In this post, we will see the book The Principles of Philosophy by Anatoly Rakitov.


About the book:

The structure of this book permits the student to read and master its matter in varying order according to the aims and purposes he or she is pursuing. The introduction “What Is Philosophy?” provides basic information about philosophy, its subject-matter and methods, the main points that distinguish it from other disciplines, and its place in the system of Marxism-Leninism. This chapter also contains information on the origin and various stages in the evolution of philosophy, and singles out the main matters that will subsequently be discussed. These problems will be treated in more detail in the following chapters, the material being arranged in order of increasing difficulty. Each of the successive chapters depends on the preceding ones. For the reader’s better assimilation of the proofs and arguments by which the superiority of materialism over idealism, of dialectics over metaphysics, and of Marxist-Leninist philosophy over other philosophical schools and currents is demonstrated, the text includes dialogues and talks between imaginary persons who express different points of view. These dialogues should be read and studied as attentively as the basic text.

The book was translated from the Russian by H. Campbell Creighton and was first published in English by Progress Publishers in 1989. This book is a part of the series Student’s Library in which many books were published especially pertaining to philosophy and sociology within the framework of dialectical-materialism.

Original scan by IA user Thomas Mrett. We cleaned, OCRed, bookmarked the scan.

The Internet Archive link.



How to Use This Book 7

Introduction 9

What Is Philosophy 9

Who Needs Philosophy? And Why? 9

001 Man in the Modern World 9

002 “The Intellectual Quintessence of Its Time” 10

003 Philosophy and World Outlook 12

004 Philosophy and the General Methodology of Activity and Cognition 13

005 Philosophy and Ideology 16

006 The Main Task of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy 20

The Basic Question. The Subject Matter and Method of Philosophy 22

007 The Basic Question of Philosophy 22

008 The ‘ First Aspect of the Basic Question of Philosophy. Idealism and Materialism 24.

009 A Dialogue of a Materialist and an Idealist 26

010 The Second Aspect of the Basic Question of Philosophy 30

011 A Dialogue about the Knowability of the World 31

012 The Method of Philosophy; the Preliminary Concept of Dialectics and Metaphysics 34.

013 The Subject Matter of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy 36

014 The Principle of Partisanship in Philosophy 37

The Origin and Development of Philosophy 39

015 The Philosophy of Antiquity 39
016 The Philosophy of the Orient 41
017 The Philosophy of the Middle Ages 42
018 The Philosophy and Culture of the Renaissance 43
019 The Philosophy of Bourgeois Society 44
020 The Philosophical, Social, and Scientific Prerequisites of Marxian Philosophy 46

021 The Rise of Dialectical Materialism: a Radical Turn in the Development of Philosophy 49
022 A New Stage in the Development of Marxist Philosophy 51


Chapter I
Matter and Consciousness

Matter and the Picture of the World 56

101 Notion and Category 56
102 What Is Matter? 57
103 How Views of Matter Developed 59
104 The Contemporary Scientific Picture of the World 62
105 The Material Unity of the World 65
106 System, Structure, Element 65
107 Necessity and Chance 68
108 Laws of the Objective World 70.

Motion, Time and Space 74

109 Matter and Motion 74
110 Dialogue on Motion and Rest 76
111 Form and Content 77
112 The Forms of the Motion of Matter 79
113 Time and Space 81
114 The Irreconcilability of the Idealist and Materialist Conceptions of Time and Space 82
115 Modern Scientific Notions of Time and Space 84
116 Cause and Effect 85

Reflection as a General Property of Matter 88

117 The Basic Question of Philosophy in the “Computer Age” 88
118 What Is Reflection? 89
119 Reflection in the Inorganic World 90
120 The Complication of Reflection during the Transition to Animate Nature 92
121 The Evolution of Life and Origin of the Nervous System 93
122 Active and Passive Reflection of Reality 95
123 The Psychic and the Physical, the Ideal and the Material 97

Human Consciousness 101

124 The Brain as the Material Organ of Mental Activity 10l
125 Work as the Basis of Consciousness 102
126 Language and Thought 104
127 On the Relative Character of the Opposition of Matter and Consciousness 106
128 Can Computers Think? 108
129 Some Conclusions. The Synthesising Function of Philosophy 111

Chapter II

Social Being and Social Consciousness 114

The Materialist Conception of Society and Its History 114

201 A Talk about the Idealist and Materialist Conceptions of Society 114
202 Man and Activity. Preconditions for the Materialist Conception of History 116
203 The Development of Society &s a NaturalHistorical Process 118
204 The Mode of Production as the Basis of the Development and Functioning of Society 120
205 Basis and Superstructure 125
206 Classes and Class Struggle 127
207 The State in the System of the Superstructure 130
208 Political Parties in the System of the Superstructure 134
209 Social Organisations in the System of the Superstructure 137
210 Social Being and Social Consciousness 139
211 The Basic Principle of Historical Materialism 142

The Theory of SocioEconomic Formation 144

212 The Individual, Particular, and Universal 144
213 What Is a SocioEconomic Formation? 146
214 Social Revolution 148
215 The Structure of a Social Revolution 149
216 The Forming of Human Society 151
217 The Primitive Communal Formation 152
218 The SlaveOwning Formation 154
219 The Feudal Formation 156
220 The Capitalist Formation 158
221 The Communist Formation 161
222 The Category “SocioEconomic Formation” and Historical Reality 164

The Functions and Forms of Social Consciousness 166

223 Social Consciousness and the Development of Society 166
224 Ideology in the System of Social Consciousness 168
225 Social Psychology and Everyday Consciousness 170
226 Political Consciousness and Politics 172
227 Legal Consciousness and Law 174
228 Morality as a Form of Social Consciousness 176
229 Economic Consciousness 179
230 Religion as a Form of Social Consciousness 181
231 Artistic Consciousness and Art 183
232 Individual and Social Consciousness 187
233 On the Relative Independence of Social Consciousness 189
234 Growth of the Role of the Subjective Factor under Socialism 192

Chapter III

Nature and Society 196

On the Relationship of Nature and Society 196

301 Nature and Society 196
302 Dialogue about Nature and Society 198
303 PreMarxian Views on Nature and Society 201
304 Dialectical Materialism on the Relation of Nature and Society 203.

The Environment. The Biological and Social in Social Development 205

305 The Structure of the Environment 205
306 Mankind and the Natural Environment 206
307 The Biological and Social in Man 209
308 Races and Nations 211
309 The Role of Population in the Development of Society 216
310 The Artificial Habitat 220

Nature and Society in the Age of Scientific and Technological Progress 222

311 What Is Scientific and Technological Progress or the Scientific and Technical Revolution? 222
312 Scientific and Technical Progress and Its Consequences under Capitalism and Socialism 226
313 Ecological Consciousness and Ideological Struggle 230

Chapter IV

The Main Laws of Dialectics 234

The Sources of Development 234

401 The Idea of Development 234
402 What Is the Source of Development? 237
403 The Categories of “Opposition” and “Contradiction” 239
404 The Unity and Mutual Conversion of Opposites 241
405 The Struggle of Opposites and Resolution of Contradictions: the Source of Development 244
406 Forms of Contradictions 247
407 The Resolution of Contradictions in Socialist Society 252
408 The Law of the Unity and Struggle of Opposites: the Essence and Core of Dialectics 255

Forms of Development 257

409 On the Form of Development 257
410 A Dialogue about the Continuous and Intermittent, the Gradual and Sudden in the Process of Development 257
411 Quantity, Quality, Measure, and Leap 260
412 Evolution and Revolution 263
413 The Dialectic Connection between Quantitative and Qualitative Changes 266
414 The Law of the Transition of Quantitative Changes into Qualitative, and Vice Versa 270
415 Quantitative and Qualitative Changes in the Structure of the Socialist Revolution 271
416 The Dialectic of Quantity and Quality in the Present Stage of the Development of Socialism 274

The Direction of Development 417

A Dialogue on the Direction of Development 277
418 The Spiral Like Character of Development 278
419 Dialectical Negation and Continuity 279
420 Possibility and Actuality 283
421 The Dialectic of the Possible and the Real in a Revolutionary Situation 285
422 What Is Social Progress? 286
423 The Dialectical Law of the Negation of Negation 289

Chapter V

The Theory of Knowledge 291

The Dialectics of Knowing 291

501 What Does It Mean to Know? 291. 502 Cognition as Reflection 293. 503 A TalJ… about the Sources of Knowledge · 294. 504 The Role of Sensation in Knowing 298. 505 The Role of Abstraction in Knowing. The Method of the Ascent from the Abstract to the Concrete 300. 506 The Epistemological Roots of Idealism 304. 507 What Is Truth? 305. 508 The Role of Practice in Knowing 309. 509 Appearance and Essence. The Dialectics of Knowing 311.

The Forms and Methods of Scientific Cognition.

510 Theory and Hypothesis 314
511 Experiment and Observation in Scientific Cognition 318
512 Certain General Scientific Methods of Cognition 320
513 Models and Modelling in Scientific Cognition 326
514 The Application of Mathematics and Modern Science 327
515 Science and Society 329.

Chapter VI

Man and Society

601 A Chat on the Essence of Man and the Sense of Life 333
602 Freedom and Necessity 338
603 The Role of the Individual and of the Masses in the Development and Life of Society 342
604 The Individual and the Masses in Socialist Society 346
605 Socialist Democracy and Communist Education 348
606 Acceleration of Socio-Economic Progress. Reorganisation (Perestroika) and the Human Factor 351
607 The Road to a New Civilisation 353
608 The Struggle for Peace and the Destiny of Humankind 356
609 Predicting the Future 359

A Last Chat with the Reader 363

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