Todor Dimitrov Pavlov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pavlov, Todor Dimitrov


(pseudonym, P. Dosev). Born Feb. 14, 1890, in Ŝtip, Macedonia. Bulgarian Marxist philosopher, aesthetician, literary critic, and public figure. Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences since 1945. President of the academy from 1947 to 1962 and honorary president since 1962. Hero of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and twice a Hero of Socialist Labor of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Member of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) since 1919. Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the BCP since 1966. Director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences from 1948 to 1952 and since 1960. Editor in chief of the journal Filosofska misul (Philosophical Thought) since 1945.

After 1900, Pavlov lived in Sofia. He graduated from the faculties of philosophy and education at the University of Sofia. In 1922 he became the editor of the newspaper Mladezh (Youth), the organ of the Bulgarian Communist Youth League. He became a member of the Central Committee of the BCP in 1924. From 1925 to 1929 he was repeatedly subjected to repressive measures by the government. From 1932 to 1936, Pavlov lived in Moscow, where he was dean of the philosophy department at the Institute of History, Philosophy, and literature and a professor at the Institute of Red Professors. He returned to Bulgaria in 1936. An active participant in the struggle against fascism, he was confined in a concentration camp from 1941 to 1944. After the liberation of Bulgaria, Pavlov served as one of the country’s regents from 1944 to 1946. From 1946 to 1948 he was a professor at the University of Sofia.

Since the 1920’s, Pavlov has worked on dialectical and historical materialism, aesthetics, language, methodology of science, and the history of Bulgarian society and philosophical thought. He has contributed to the development of Lenin’s philosophical legacy, concentrating on problems of the theory of reflection as a universal attribute of matter and as the core of the theory of knowledge. (Pavlov’s Theory of Reflection was published in 1936.) He was the founder and editor in chief of the joint Soviet-Bulgarian publication The Leninist Theory of Reflection and Modem Times (published in Russian and Bulgarian in 1969; revised and enlarged edition, books 1–3, 1973).

Pavlov has investigated the problems of the relationship between philosophy and the various natural and social sciences in Philosophy and the Individual Sciences (1940), Dialectical Materialist Philosophy and the Individual Sciences (1956), The Theory of Reflection and Cybernetics (1959), and Information, Reflection, and Creativity (1965; Russian translation, 1967). He has written on a number of problems in aesthetics, including the relationship between philosophy and aesthetics, philosophy and art, and art and morality (A General Theory of Art, 1937; and Fundamental Problems of Aesthetics, 1949; Russian translation, 1952). A number of his works deal with problems of methodology in the historical sciences and the history of the Bulgarian people (For a Marxist History of Bulgaria, 1954, and The Nature and Meaning of the Socialist Revolution in Bulgaria, 1958).

Pavlov played an important role in the development of the Marxist study of literature and literary criticism in Bulgaria and in the struggle against bourgeois conceptions of art. In works on Bulgarian writers such as Kh. Botev, I. Vazov, Elin Pelin, Kh. Smirnenski, and N. Vaptsarov, as well as in studies of Russian and Soviet writers, he has paid considerable attention to the elements of continuity linking socialist literature with progressive traditions of the past. Several of his scholarly studies have focused on the rise and development of socialist realism and the problems of partiinost’ (party spirit) and narodnost’ (closeness to the people).

Pavlov has conducted a vigorous struggle against bourgeois philosophy and ideology—for example, the philosophy of Rehmke, Freudianism, positivism, and irrationalism (Rehm-keanism and Materialism, 1930, and The Conclusions of a Reactionary Idealist Philosophy, 1953). Since 1947 he has been a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and since 1959, a member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR. He also belongs to a number of other foreign academies. He has been awarded five Orders of Georgi Dimitrov and two Orders of Lenin.


Izbrani proizvedeniia, vols. 1–10. Sofia, 1957–70.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye filosofskie proizvedeniia, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1961–63.


Zaimov, I., and L. Velinova. Todor Dimitrov Pavlov: Biobibliografiia. Sofia, 1957.
Popov, N., and Z. Petrov. T. Pavlov: Kratuk. ocherk. Sofia, 1958.
Kaloshin, F. I. T. Pavlov. Moscow, 1960.
Tsenkov, B. T. Pavlov—teoretik na izkustvoto i literaturen kritik. Sofia, 1973.
Filosofska misul, 1956, no. 6; 1965, no. 1; 1970, nos. 1, 4.
Markov, D. F. Iz istorii bolgarskoi literatury. Moscow, 1973. Pages 164— 84.
Dimov, G. Iz istoriiata na bulgarskata literaturna kritika. Sofia, 1968. Pages 283–323.


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