Lenin on Matter: Part Six

The fundamental characteristic of materialism is that it starts from the objectivity of science, from the recognition of objective reality reflected by science, whereas idealism needs “detours” in order, in one way or another, to “deduce” objectivity from mind, consciousness, the “psychical”.

Sensation is an image of matter in motion. Save through sensations, we can know nothing either of the forms of matter or of the forms of motion; sensations are evoked by the action of matter in motion upon our sense-organs. That is how science views it.

“Matter disappears”, only equations remain. At a new stage of development and apparently in a new manner, we get the old Kantian idea: reason prescribes laws to nature.

Materialism and Empirio-Criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, 1908, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, pp. 275, 282, 288

3 thoughts on “Lenin on Matter: Part Six

  1. What intrigues me re materialism, is its applicability “beneath” the aggregated form of law-bound energies. Because basically matter is “just” that, a complex conglomerate of energies following laws into/onto its theoretically infinite forms. Laws nevertheless, are not material, but rather theoretical if I may use a diversion, and therefore seemingly better belonging to the world of ideas. Materialism comes organised, and of course being the “primordial soup” of many aspects of idealism, it is justified from the point of its aggregated existence. But for me, the question remains: is there any reason beyond our need for boundary framed rational/logical morphemes, to limit/delimit philosophical areas, instead of leaving them completely open to the normal overlaps of incidentallity?


    • Hello Moshe, matter is the philosophical concept for objective reality – for the complex of energies you refer to. It is an important point – at the time Lenin wrote ‘Materialism and Empiro-Criticism it was claimed, with the penetration of the atom, that ‘matter had disappeared’. Kandinsky wrote that with the penetration of the atom, the pillars of science had collapsed, and used this as a justification for his move to abstraction. Objective reality had not disappeared, rather, our knowledge of objective reality had continued to deepen. Laws are the reflection in matter organised in particular ways (the conscious brain) of the essential interconnections of phenomena – e.g. the interconnection of mass and energy. Materialism holds that consciousness is the product of objective reality and philosophical idealism holds the opposite. I fully agree that no area can be closed to philosophy. Phil


      • Hi Phil, that’s exactly both my catharsis and my doom; stranded between the painfully sharp, logical and rationalist understanding of reality, which would tip my philosophical balance towards materialism, and the intuitive rebellion against all this being the sequel, rather than the prequel for objective reality…
        I just can’t avoid having to clarify the archetype first, before concluding any further. For my pluridimentional thinking, epignosis cannot make abstraction of the ab ovo momentum. And that makes my philosophy doomed to some inner samsara rather than progress to shamballa…
        But that’s I guess the “destiny” of a defiant hopeless like the undersigned☺


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