Science And Ideology In Soviet Society

Overview

Set within the context of an era referred to as the age of science as well as the age of ideologies, this volume explores how the Soviet Union responded to the impacts and interactions of both science and ideology between 1917 and 1967. Non-specialists as well as experts are apt to disagree sharply about, or to be ignorant of, the mutual relationship. But even if the system is defunct, the issues remain.

This book divides its attention among four different fields of science: ...

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Overview

Set within the context of an era referred to as the age of science as well as the age of ideologies, this volume explores how the Soviet Union responded to the impacts and interactions of both science and ideology between 1917 and 1967. Non-specialists as well as experts are apt to disagree sharply about, or to be ignorant of, the mutual relationship. But even if the system is defunct, the issues remain.

This book divides its attention among four different fields of science: cybernetics, economics, philosophy, and sociology. The authors believe that the disciplines discuss revealing trends in Soviet science, in general, and its interaction with an established (though not immutable) ideology, in particular.

The authors conducted a pioneering examination of the mutual influence of ideology and science and the problems and opportunities created for government by the new scientific revolution. Specifically, they hold that in the 1960s Soviet science (or at least the disciplines covered here) helped sustain the established system and its ideology rather than weaken them. This volume is of historical interest and provides insight into how one may explore the ways science and ideology interact.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“For too long, Stalinist entanglement with the sciences seemed, to Communists and anti-Communists alike, an unavoidable result of Soviet ideology, which supposedly commits adherents to all manner of particular beliefs, from the existence of universal ether in physics to the nonexistence of genes in biology and the falsehood of marginal calculation in economics. Here now are four learned authors reinforcing a basic truth we should have perceived long ago: Soviet ideology is a very fuzzy and elusive thing; simply pointing to it does not explain why Soviet leaders have taken changing stands in various sciences, including no stand at all.”

—David Joravsky, Slavic Review

“This book consists of separate essays dealing with developments in Soviet sociology, philosophy, cybernetics, and economics… Clearly, these essays demonstrate that conflict between Soviet science and ideology is not inevitable.”

—Warren L. Sauer, American Sociological Review

“Specialists in any of the four fields which are the subjects of the essays will… find the appropriate essay more rewarding than will non-specialists. Even non-specialists, however, will find it interesting and rewarding to dip into the essays.”

—Warren B. Walsh, The Russian Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412845946
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

George Fischer, author and editor of this volume, taught sociology at Columbia University. His books include Soviet Opposition to Stalin, Science and Politics, andAmerican Research on Soviet Society.

Richard T. De George was awarded his Ph.D. at Yale and is distinguished professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Kansas. He has held Fulbright, Ford Foundation, and ACLS/SSRC fellowships, and he is the author of Patterns of Soviet Thought.

Loren R. Graham is professor emeritus of the history of science at MIT. He was awarded his Ph.D. in history at Columbia and is the author of The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party, 1927-1932.

Herbert S. Levine was professor emeritus of economics at the University of Pennsylvania and served as chairman of the University of Pennsylvania graduate group in economics, and as co-director of the Lauder Institute. His Harvard dissertation on the economic performance of the USSR won the prestigious David A. Wells Prize.

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