Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union

By Loren R. Graham | Go to book overview

Preface

The writing of this book began in the fall of 1959, although at the time I did not know that a full-length study would be the result of my research. I was a chemical engineer who had re-entered university studies in order to become a historian. As a member of a seminar at Columbia University under Professor Henry Roberts, I found my attention attracted to a specific topic in science that had caused some discussion in the Soviet Union: the theory of resonance. In the course of investigating that issue, I followed one different thread after another until an entire web of scientific, philosophical, and political issues became visible. This web constituted a single historical problem, yet it encompassed far more than any one historian could hope to master. The problem proved to be one of the most interesting and unexplored questions I could ever anticipate encountering, but it was thoroughly intimidating in its dimensions. In the years that followed, I worked on another book, a history of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, but I continued to collect information on the relation of Soviet Marxism to specific problems of scientific interpretation. Until 1964 I did not believe it possible or proper for a single person to try to bring together in one frame issues requiring competence in such diverse technical backgrounds. Nonetheless I was unconsciously building toward this larger goal. Through study of the Soviet Academy I had gained a better understanding of the political and institutional framework of science in the Soviet Union. During a year as an exchange graduate student at Moscow University in 1960-61 I frequently discussed dialectical materialism with Soviet

-ix-

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Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • I Introduction: - Background of The Discussions 3
  • II- Dialectical Materialism: The Soviet Marxist Philosophy of Science 24
  • Iii Quantum Mechanics 69
  • Iv Relativity Theory 111
  • V- Cosmology And Cosmogony 139
  • VI - Genetics 195
  • Vii Origin of Life 257
  • Viiistructural Chemistry 297
  • IX - Cybernetics 324
  • X- Physiology And Psychology 355
  • Concluding Remarks 430
  • Appendixes 441
  • Appendix I Lysenko and Zhdanov 443
  • Appendix II H. J. Muller on Lenin And Genetics 451
  • Notes 471
  • Bibliography 553
  • Index 585
  • A Note on the Author 601
  • A Note on the Type 603
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