Lenin: Empirio-criticism and historical materialism – part four

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Parties in Philosophy and Philosophical Blockheads (continued)

“Of all parties,” our Joseph Dietzgen justly said, “the middle party is the most repulsive…. Just as parties in politics are more and more becoming divided into two camps… so science too is being divided into two general classes (Generalklassen): metaphysicians on the one hand, and physicists, or materialists, on the other. The intermediate elements and conciliatory quacks, with their various appellations – spiritualists, sensationalists, realists, etc., etc. – fall into the current on their way. We aim at definiteness and clarity. The reactionaries who sound a retreat (Retraitebläser) call themselves idealists, and materialists should be the name for all who are striving to liberate the human mind from the metaphysical spell…. If we compare the two parties respectively to solid and liquid, between them there is a mush.”

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True! The “realists”, etc., including the “positivists”, the Machists, etc., are all a wretched mush; they are a contemptible middle party in philosophy, who confuse the materialist and idealist trends on every question. The attempt to escape from these two basic trends in philosophy is nothing but “conciliatory quackery”.

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 319

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Part four/to be continued…

Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

Image sources: 1st/2nd/3rd/4th

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