Mechanists(redirected from mechanist)
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a group of Soviet philosophers of the mid-1920’s and early 1930’s.
The mechanists equated dialectics with modern mechanics and created a distinctive “mechanist” conception of epistemology, logic, and historical materialism. The group included I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, A. K. Timiriazev, L. I. Aksel’rod-Ortodoks, V. M. Sarab’ianov, and V. A. Petrov. N. I. Bukharin, who laid claim to the leadership of the sociological school, allied himself with the mechanists. The ideas, of the mechanists were based on the introduction of positivist ideas into Marxist philosophy. The mechanists denied the independent role of philosophy, substituted the theory of equilibrium for dialectics, and denied the objective nature of contingency.
The views of the mechanists were criticized at several scholarly conferences and in public debates. In 1929, the All-Union Conference of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Institutions declared that mechanism was a distinctive revision of dialectical materialism (see Estestvoznanie i marksizm, 1929, no. 3, p. 211). The resolution of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) of Jan. 25, 1931, On the Journal Pod znamenem marksizma, defined mechanism as the most dangerous influence on the philosophical theory of those years.
In the early 1930’s, the principal representatives of the mechanist group renounced and criticized their erroneous views.
REFERENCES“O zhurnale Pod znamenen marksizma: Iz postanovleniia TsK VKP(B)” In O partiinoi i sovetskoi pechati. Moscow, 1954.
Narskii, I. S., and L. N. Suvorov. Pozitivizm i mekhanisticheskaia reviziia marksizma. Moscow, 1962.
L. N. SUVOROV