On Stalin

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  Cognizability of the world and its patterns

K. Y. Andreev

Publishing House, Knowledge. Moscow. 1953

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The fundamental opposite of materialism and idealism in resolving the question of the cognizability of the world

Dialectical materialism about the process of cognition. The initial stage of knowledge -P22

Abstract thinking is the highest stage of the process of cognition

The role of language in cognition

Classics of Marxism-Leninism on practice as the basis of knowledge- P44

The Objective Character of Truth

On Absolute and Relative Truth

Practice as a criterion of truth

Significance of the Marxist-Leninist position on the cognizability of the world for the practical activities of the Communist Party


 The emergence of Marxism marks the greatest discovery, a real revolution in philosophy. The world-historical merit of Marx and Engels lies primarily in the fact that for the first time in the history of social thought they created a harmonious, uniquely scientific world outlook of the proletariat—dialectical materialism. Having deeply studied all the previous materialist philosophy, Marx and Engels freed the old materialism from metaphysics, enriched it with the scientific dialectical method, developed it further, extending it to the field of social phenomena. The philosophy of the proletariat they created was a qualitatively new philosophical system, radically different from all previous, even progressive, philosophical systems.

Under the new historical conditions of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, the great leaders of the proletariat Lenin and Stalin creatively developed dialectical materialism further, enriching it with new propositions and conclusions arising from the new practice of the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and its party.

The greatest theoretical result of the vast experience accumulated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Soviet state and the world revolutionary movement are the works of Comrade Stalin "On Dialectical and Historical Materialism", "Marxism and Questions of Linguistics" and "Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR".

In these works, Comrade Stalin advanced far ahead the development of all fundamental questions of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, gave deep and exhaustive answers to the vital questions that confronted us in the course of building socialism and communism in the USSR and the revolutionary struggle of the working people of the whole world, shed a powerful light on Marxist-Leninist science. development of all social and natural sciences, ideologically armed the Communist Party and the Soviet people in the struggle for the triumph of communism.

Raised to an unattainable height in the works of Comrade Stalin, dialectical materialism equips us with the only scientific method for cognizing and transforming the reality around us.

Comrade Stalin points out that the worldview of the Marxist-Leninist party "is called dialectical materialism because its approach to natural phenomena, its method of studying natural phenomena, its method of knowing these phenomena is dialectical, and its interpretation of natural phenomena, its understanding of natural phenomena, its theory - materialistic. ( Stalin. Questions of Leninism, p. 535. 11th ed.)

In his work On Dialectical and Historical Materialism, Comrade Stalin, for the first time in the history of Marxism, set forth in a systematic, coherent form the main features of the Marxist dialectical method and Marxist philosophical materialism, clearly showed their greatest significance for the practical activity of the proletariat and its party.

Revealing the radical opposition of idealism to Marxist philosophical materialism and characterizing the first feature of Marxist philosophical materialism, Comrade Stalin points out: “... 

Marx’s philosophical materialism proceeds from the fact that the world is material in nature, that the diverse phenomena in the world represent different types of moving matter, that mutual the connection and mutual conditioning of phenomena, established by the dialectical method, represent the laws of development of moving matter, that the world develops according to the laws of motion of matter and does not need any "world spirit". (Ibid., p. 541.)

This most important proposition of Marxist philosophical materialism, fully substantiated by Comrade Stalin, is of exceptional importance. It utterly shatters the ravings of idealism that the world is supposedly the embodiment of an "absolute idea", "world spirit", "consciousness", that the unity of the world supposedly consists not in its materiality, but in its "spirituality".

All the achievements of science and especially natural science irrefutably testify that everything around us is nothing but various types of eternally moving matter, that no supernatural, spiritual, non-material world has ever existed and does not exist, that nature, matter, by no one and nothing created, but exists forever, turning from one state to another.

But if there is nothing in the world but eternally moving matter, then how can we explain the appearance of our thoughts, consciousness, what is their relationship to the world around us?

The only correct, scientific answer to this question is given by Marxist philosophical materialism. Describing the second feature of Marxist philosophical materialism, Comrade Stalin writes:

“In contrast to idealism, which asserts that only our consciousness really exists, that the material world, being, nature exists only in our consciousness, in our sensations, ideas, concepts, Marxist philosophical materialism proceeds from the fact that matter, nature, being represents objective reality that exists outside and independently of consciousness, that matter is primary, since it is a source of sensations, ideas, consciousness, and consciousness is secondary, derivative, since it is a reflection of matter, a reflection of being, that thinking is a product of matter that has reached in its the development of a high degree of perfection, namely, the product of the brain, and the brain is the organ of thinking, that it is therefore impossible to separate thinking from matter without wanting to fall into a gross error. (I. Stalin. Questions of Leninism, p. 542.)

In this classical formulation, Comrade Stalin showed that it is not the consciousness of people that gives rise to the material world around us, but, on the contrary, matter, existing outside of us and independently of us, gives rise to our ideas, consciousness, thinking, that our thoughts, ideas, consciousness are nothing. other than the reflection in the human brain of objects, phenomena of the material world.

The question of the relation of thinking to being, consciousness to matter, was called by the classics of Marxism-Leninism the main, basic question of philosophy. Philosophers of all times and peoples are divided into two opposite camps fighting among themselves according to how they answered this question. Those philosophers who believed that spirit, consciousness, thinking are primary and who ultimately recognized the creation of the world, formed the camp of idealism. The same philosophers who believed that the main principle is the material world around us, nature, formed the camp of materialism. 

Reactionary philosophers have always tried to bypass the solution of the fundamental question of philosophy, to reconcile materialism and idealism, to hide the reactionary idealist essence of their worldview, but nothing came of this except confusion, sophistry, and charlatanism. Whatever self-contained "isms" hide the numerous "schools" and "trends" of modern bourgeois American-English philosophy, they express the same reactionary essence, belong to the same camp, for they all solve the basic question of philosophy idealistically. 

But the basic question of philosophy also has another side: 

“... how do our thoughts about the world around us relate to this world itself? Is our thinking able to cognize the real world, can we, in our ideas and concepts of the real world, constitute a true reflection of reality? (K. Marx, F. Engels. Selected works, vol. II, p. 351. Gospolitizdat. 1952.)
Idealists could not give a scientifically sound answer to this question. As a rule, they always reflected the ideology of the reactionary, moribund classes, not interested in the true knowledge of the world, with the aim of its revolutionary transformation. Therefore, idealists of all varieties in one form or another, openly or disguisedly, but in essence, always denied the possibility of reliable knowledge of the reality surrounding us by a person. 

The only scientific and exhaustively substantiated answer to the question of the knowability of the world is contained in the third feature of Marxist philosophical materialism. Comrade Stalin formulates it as follows: 

In contrast to idealism, which disputes the possibility of knowing the world and its laws, does not believe in the reliability of our knowledge, does not recognize objective truth, and believes that the world is full of “things in themselves” that can never be known by science—Marxist philosophical materialism proceeds from the fact that the world and its laws are completely cognizable, that our knowledge of the laws of nature, verified by experience, practice, is reliable knowledge that has the value of objective truths, that there are no unknowable things in the world, but only things that have not yet been known, which will be revealed and known by the forces of science and practice. (I. Stalin. Questions of Leninism, p. 543.) 

The entire history of the development of scientific knowledge irrefutably proves the truth of this most important proposition of dialectical materialism. Each new discovery in science shows that a person goes from ignorance to knowledge, unknown and unknown phenomena become known and known, that there is no such mystery in the world around us that a person is not able to unravel and cognize. 

The classics of Marxism-Leninism not only comprehensively and exhaustively proved the possibility of knowing the world and its laws, but indicated the only correct method, ways and means of this knowledge. Having created the theory of cognition of dialectical materialism, they armed humanity with the dialectical method of cognition, with the help of which people discover the most secret secrets of the reality around us. 

Summarizing the latest achievements of science and social practice, Comrade Stalin tirelessly developed and enriched this theory. The greatest contributions to the development of the Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge are the works of Comrade Stalin "Marxism and Questions of Linguistics" and "Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR". 

In the work Marxism and Questions of Linguistics, such fundamental questions of Marxist epistemology as the connection between language and thinking, the significance of abstract thinking in the process of cognition, the question of the concreteness of truth, the source of cognition, the role of free exchange of opinions in the process of cognition and other. 

In his work The Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, Comrade Stalin deeply creatively develops and develops further such important questions of the Marxist-Leninist theory of knowledge as the objective nature of the laws of nature and human society, the concreteness of truth, the unity of science and practice, the significance of studying the deep forces that determine the course of events, and many others. In this work, I. V. Stalin mercilessly criticized the anti-Marxist subjective-idealist point of view on the nature of the laws governing the development of nature and society. 

This brochure is devoted to the study of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the cognizability of the world and its laws, of the ways and means of cognizing the reality around us.