Aleksandr Bogdanov's History, Sociology and Philosophy of Science

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (2):231-248 (2000)
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With the failure of the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Bogdanov has come under increasing scrutiny as the anti-authoritarian, left-wing opponent of Lenin among the Bolsheviks and the main inspiration behind the Proletk'ult movement, the movement which attempted to create a new, proletarian culture (Sochor, 1988). Bogdanov's efforts to create a new, universal science of organization, a precursor to systems theory and cybernetics, has also attracted considerable attention (Gorelik, 1980; Bello, 1985; Biggart 1998). And he has been recognized as an early environmentalist and as a feminist (Graham, 1984; Gare, 1994; Gare, 1996, pp.249-52). But few people have paid much attention to Bogdanov as an historian, sociologist and philosopher of science. Yet Bogdanov developed highly original ideas on science, offering unique resolutions to the oppositions between instrumentalism and realism and between internalist and externalist accounts of scientific development, and following from these, proposed a radical transformation of science as the foundation for an equally radical transformation of society.

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Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology


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