Finding Evald Ilyenkov

Finding Evald Ilyenkov

In the era of alt-truth, disinformation and scepticism about the very possibility of knowledge, the work of a defiant Soviet thinker is attracting growing interest.

Evald Ilyenkov’s dialectical approach to philosophy from Spinoza to Hegel and Marx made him a target for persecution by the bureaucratic Stalinist authorities of his day.

The re-discovery of his original texts, suppressed or harshly redacted during his lifetime, is giving rise to an enhanced view of his contribution.

Finding Evald Ilyenkov draws on the personal experiences of researchers in the UK, Denmark and Finland. It traces Ilyenkov’s impact on philosophy, psychology, politics and pedagogy and how it continues to be relevant in the light of today’s crises.

ISBN: 978-1-916031-81-4  | 64 pages | Published April 2019

First printed edition sold out but you can download the pdf


It cannot be emphasised enough, then, that Lotz’s booklet is a fine introduction to Ilyenkov and hence a welcome addition to the growing literature on that mighty thinker.

Jason Devine
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

The Theses insisted that Marxism is not a holy writ, handed down from on high, but a living theory of knowledge that is to be developed as the material world it engages with develops.

Barry Healy in Green Left

Corinna Lotz’ Finding Ilyenkov can be read in a few hours, but for those readers taken with its ideas and appeal to the relevance of Ilyenkov’s life and theory, this book provides a salient and fecund starting point for any variety of in-depth engagements relating to Ilyenkov, dialectical materialism and creative Soviet Marxism. This is a lovingly and comprehensively researched introduction to Ilyenkov’s thought, history and influence that will pique the interest of non-scholars and scholars alike.

Dom Taylor in Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

Philosophy can seem remote from practical problems in the sciences, pedagogy or politics. And yet, this book – written simply for Marxists and non-Marxist to understand – shows that the concepts which Ilyenkov championed can help us to understand the complex world of today from the standpoint of changing it.

He offers powerful assistance to activists who are battling the hegemony of neo-liberal capitalism whether in politics, education or the social sphere.

Penny Cole in the Real Democracy Movement

A very readable short introduction into the many events that have, against the odds, culminated in an international appreciation of the work of Ilyenkov. The book requires no special knowledge of Ilyenkov or of philosophy. What I found interesting was how many separate streams of contemporary work Ilyenkov had mediated, giving me a better understanding of the context and motivations of current influential figures in social psychology like Engeström and Hedegaard.

Kyrill Potapov in Goodreads