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Published Jan 2020
ISBN: 978-90-04-30031-6

Essays in Philosophy, Books 1–3

Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov


Editor: David Rowley

Author: Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov

Empiriomonism is Alexander Bogdanov’s scientific-philosophical substantiation of Marxism. In Books One and Two, he combines Ernst Mach’s and Richard Avenarius’s neutral monist philosophy with the theory of psychophysical parallelism and systematically demonstrates that human psyches are thoroughly natural and are subject to nature’s laws. In Book Three, Bogdanov argues that empiriomonism is superior to G. V. Plekhanov’s outdated materialism and shows how the principles of empiriomonism solve the basic problem of historical materialism: how a society’s material base causally determines its ways of thinking. Bogdanov concludes that empiriomonism is of the same order as materialist systems, and, since it is the ideology of the productive forces of society, it is a Marxist philosophy.

Biographical note

David G. Rowley, Ph.D (1982), University of Michigan, is Emeritus Professor , University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He has published research on Alexander Bogdanov and is the translator of Volume 8 of the Bogdanov Library, The Philosophy of Living Experience (Brill, 2016).


All interested in Russian intellectual history, Russian Marxism in the revolutionary era, the philosophy of historical materialism, and the philosophy of mind.

Table of contents


The Autobiography of Alexander Bogdanov

Bogdanov as a Thinker

  V.A. Bazarov

Book One

1 The Ideal of Cognition (Empiriomonism of the Physical and the Psychical)

2 Life and the Psyche

 1  The Realm of Experiences

 2  Psychoenergetics

 3  The Monist Conception of Life

3 Universum (Empiriomonism of the Separate and the Continuous)

Conclusion to Book One

Book Two

4 The ‘Thing-in-Itself’ from the Perspective of Empiriomonism

5 Psychical Selection (Empiriomonism in the Theory of the Psyche)

 1  Foundations of the Method

 2  Applications of the Method (Illustrations)

6 Two Theories of the Vital-Differential

Book Three

7 Preface to Book Three

 1  Three Materialisms

 2  Energetics and Empiriocriticism

 3  The Path of Empiriomonism

 4  Regarding Eclecticism and Monism

8 Social Selection (Foundations of the Method)

9 Historical Monism

 1  Main Lines of Development

 2  Classes and Groups

10 Self-Awareness of Philosophy (The Origin of Empiriomonism)