Henri Lefebvre

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lefebvre, Henri


Born June 16, 1905, in Hagetmau, Landes. French eclectic philosopher. Doctor of sciences. Professor of sociology at Strasbourg (1961–65) and Nanterre (from 1965).

Lefebvre is the author of a number of works on the history of philosophy (on Descartes, Pascal, Diderot, Nietzsche) and aesthetics (Introduction to Aesthetics, 1948, Russian translation, 1954; Contribution to Aesthetics, 1953). A member of the French Communist Party since 1928, he wrote propagandistic works on dialectical materialism (Dialectical Materialism, 1939; Understanding the Ideas of K. Marx, 1947). Lefebvre later departed from Marxism, defending ideas incompatible with the basic principles of dialectical materialism. In 1958 he was expelled from the French Communist Party for revisionism disguised in pseudo-Marxist terminology and for divergences from the general Communist Party line.

In his main work published after his expulsion from the Communist Party (The Sum and the Remainder, 1959), Lefebvre develops anti-Marxist and anticommunist positions. He rejects the struggle of two camps in philosophy. He views materialist and idealist solutions to the fundamental question of philosophy as merely two equally unprovable and irrefutable “postulates.” Lefebvre also denies the philosophical significance of the materialist dialectic. In his Metaphilosophy (1965), he opposes Marxism-Leninism and rejects scientific philosophy as a teaching about the universal laws of development of nature, society, and thought; he replaces scientific philosophy with his subjectivistic “anthropologism.”


Critique de la vie quotidienne. Paris, 1947.
Problèmes actuels du marxisme. Paris, 1958.
Introduction à la modernité. Paris, 1962.
Le Langage et la société. Paris, 1966.
Sociologie de Marx. Paris, 1966.


Borev, lu. “Protiv revizionizma v esteticheskoi teorii.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1958, no. 4.
Davydov, lu. N. “A. Lefevr i ego ‘kontseptsiia otchuzhdeniia’.” Voprosy filosofi, 1963, no. 1.
Bykhovskii, B. E. “‘Itog i ostatok ili balans renegata.” Voprosy filosofii, 1964, no. 7.
Sève, L. H. “Lefebvre et la dialectique chez Marx.” La Nouvelle Critique, 1958, no. 94.
Sève, L. H. La Différence. [Paris] 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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