Ilin, Ivan Aleksandrovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Il’in, Ivan Aleksandrovich


Born Mar. 16 (28), 1882, in Moscow; died Dec. 21, 1954, in Zurich. Russian neo-Hegelian religious philosopher.

Il’in graduated from the law and history and philology departments of Moscow University. He was appointed privatdocent at Moscow University in 1912 and became a professor there in 1918. Il’in is the author of the most significant work on Hegel in the history of Russian philosophical idealism, The Philosophy of Hegel as the Doctrine of the Concreteness of God and Man (vols. 1–2, 1918; German translation, Bern, 1946), which has gained widespread recognition in contemporary bourgeois philosophy.

Il’in saw the mastering of Hegel’s philosophy as the path to an independent elaboration of a “substantial metaphysical” world view. Characterizing it as the systematic exposition of pantheistic religious experience, he regarded the crisis of Hegelian philosophy as the result of the incapacity of “the rational concept” to subordinate fully and penetrate “the irrational element” of the empirical world. This, in Il’in’s view, was the cause of Hegel’s constant wavering between a “hidden form of dualism” and the “rejection of the concrete empirical reality.” He emphasized the universal significance of the concept of “the speculative-concrete” in the Hegelian system, as contrasted to the “concrete-empirical” and the “abstract-formal.” Characteristic of Il’in’s subsequent philosophical works was his turn to a special type of phenomenology of religious experience, at the center of which stood the concept of the “religious act” as the “personal spiritual condition”of man.

Il’in was exiled from the USSR in 1922 for antirevolutionary activity. He lived and taught in Berlin until 1934 and later, beginning in 1938, in Switzerland. He participated in the anti-Soviet activity of the Russian emigres.


“Krizis idei sub”ekta v naukouchenii Fikhte starshego.” Voprosy filosofiiipsikhologii, 1912, books 111 (1) and 112 (2).
Religioznyi smysl filosofii. Paris, 1925.
Osoprotivlenii zlu siloiu. Berlin, 1925.
Aksiomy religioznogo opyta, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1953.
O sushchnosti pravosoznaniia. Munich, 1956.


Istoriia filosofii v SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow, 1971.
Hegel bei den Slaven, 2nd ed. Edited by D. Tschizewskij. Darmstadt, 1961. Pages 360–68.


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