Symposium ifi.2022

This fourth international symposium on the thought of Soviet philosopher Evald Ilyenkov addresses its systematic and practical significance. It will bring together researchers from different disciplines drawing on and developing his work in contemporary conditions. We encourage diverse perspectives on Ilyenkov’s texts and seek new directions for Ilyenkovian approaches. The central focus of the symposium is on the concept of development and the future orientation of human activity. 

Deadline for abstracts: 29 July 2022

If you would like to present a paper, please send an abstract of approximately 400 words and a short bio to

Hosted by International Friends of Ilyenkov, and the Centre for Philosophy of Education, UCL Institute of Education.

Invited keynote speakers:

  • David Bakhurst, Queen’s University, Canada / UCL Institute of Education
    Author of Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy
  • Ezequiel Di Paolo, Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain / Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics COGS, University of Sussex, UK; co-author of Linguistic Bodies and Sensorimotor Life

Suggested themes:

  • Concepts of the human, praxis and human practices
  • Ideal and activity in development and education
  • Marxist methodology and the dialectics of nature, society and thought
  • Aesthetics, perception, art, iconic form and embodiment
  • The Ideal and the challenge of overcoming disability
  • Ilyenkov’s contribution to contemporary theories of cognition, knowledge and representation 
  • The political relevance of Ilyenkov and the contemporary state; the communist ideal
  • Ilyenkov’s critique of other thinkers and contemporaneous philosophies
  • Soviet ‘Hegelianism’ and/or ‘Spinozism’

Given the Ilyenkovian concept of philosophy and its intrinsic practical relevance, we are keen to receive submissions that draw on fields outside of philosophy, such as sociology, psychology, ecology, economic and political relations or literature.




Deconstructing Neoliberal Hegemony


The Copenhagen interpretation of Ilyenkov’s relevance – ifi.2018 symposium report


Corinna Lotz & Penny Cole
Deconstructing Neoliberal Hegemony

Signe Juhl Møller
The Pedagogy of daring (Powerpoint show)

Seth Chaiklin
Teaching thinking – abstract and background reading

Morten Nissen, Thomas Gylling Andersen, Sebastian Tobias-Renstrøm
The dialectics of concepts, aesthetics and politics in social work

Marcelo José de Souza e Silva
State and health

Mikhail B. Konashev
Ecological crisis, evolutionary theory, “market” economy and alienation
+ Powerpoint show



2014 Helsinki

Evald Ilyenkov – Prospects and Retrospects in Philosophy and Psychology:  An international symposium arranged by the Aleksanteri Institute and the Centre of Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE), University of Helsinki 15-16 April 2014

Contradictions within the Ideal, mediation and transformation in global capitalist society – paper given by Corinna Lotz, Paul Feldman, Penny Cole and Gerry Gold

2012 Helsinki

SPINOZA IN SOVIET THOUGHT, An International Symposium
at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki  18-19 May 2012

Spinoza, Ilyenkov & Western Marxism – meeting the challenges of the global crisis – paper given by Corinna Lotz and Penny Cole