Lenin on fantasy & cognition

The approach of the (human) mind to a particular thing, the taking of a copy (= a concept) of it is not a simple, immediate act, a dead mirroring, but one which is complex, split into two, zig-zag-like, which includes in it the possibility of the flight of fantasy from life; more than that: the possibility of the transformation (moreover, an unnoticeable transformation, of which man is unaware) of the abstract concept, idea, into a fantasy (in letzter Instanz = God). For even in the simplest generalisation, in the most elementary general idea (“table” in general), there is a certain bit of fantasy. (Vice versa: it would be stupid to deny the role of fantasy, even in the strictest science: cf. Pisarev on useful dreaming, as an impulse to work, and on empty day-dreaming.)


SOURCE: Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich. Conspectus of Aristotle’s Book Metaphysics (1915), translated by Clemence Dutt, edited by Stewart Smith, in Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Edition (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), Volume 38, pp. 363-372. Courtesy of Marxists Internet Archive (source of notes below).

First published in Lenin Miscellany XII, 1930. Aristotle. The Metaphysics, translated by A. Schwegler (2 volumes, Tübingen, 1847) was published in Greek with a German translation. Lenin’s Conspectus is contained in a notebook directly following the fragment “On the Question of Dialectics.”

in letzter Instanz: in the final analysis.

Pisarev: “Blunders of Immature Thought” by D. I. Pisarev.


Lenin on Aristotle

V.I. Lenin on Idealism & The Spiral of Knowledge

V.I. Lenin: Their Abstraction & Ours

V. I. Lenin: Collected Works, Volume 38: Philosophical Notebooks: selections from writings of 1914-1916

Salvaging Soviet Philosophy (1)

Marx and Marxism Web Guide

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Dmitry Pisarev - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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