Lenin: the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism – part twenty-five


Freedom and Necessity (continued)

…Engels plainly employs the salto vitale method in philosophy, that is to say, he makes a leap from theory to practice. Not a single one of the learned (and stupid) professors of philosophy, in whose footsteps our Machists follow, would ever permit himself to make such a leap, for this would be a disgraceful thing for a devotee of “pure science” to do. For them the theory of knowledge, which demands the cunning concoction of “definitions”, is one thing, while practice is another. For Engels all living human practice permeates the theory of knowledge itself and provides an objective criterion of truth. For until we know a law of nature, it, existing and acting independently of and outside our mind, makes us slaves of “blind necessity”. But once we come to know this law, which acts (as Marx repeated a thousand times) independently of our will and our mind, we become the masters of nature. The mastery of nature manifested in human practice is a result of an objectively correct reflection within the human head of the phenomena and processes of nature, and is proof of the fact that this reflection (within the limits of what is revealed by practice) is objective, absolute, eternal truth.

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 171


Part twenty-five/to be continued…

Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

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