Valentin Ferdinandovich Asmus

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Valentin Ferdinandovich Asmus (Russian: Валенти́н Фердина́ндович А́смус; 1894 – 1975) was a Russian philosopher. He was one of the small group who continued the classical European philosophical tradition through the early Soviet times.[1] He was an independent thinker and unorthodox Marxist,[2] with interests in the history of philosophy and aesthetics.

He graduated from Kiev University in 1919, then moved to Moscow in 1927.[3] At this period he attacked the views of William James.[4] In the mid-1920s, he was a theorist of literary Constructivism.[5]

Through his wife Irina, he became a friend of Boris Pasternak, from about 1931.[6] His major work Marx and Bourgeois Historicism (1933) was influenced by György Lukács.[7] At this point an opponent of formal logic, he changed position and wrote a textbook on it. There is a story of his being summoned to see Joseph Stalin, and required to give logic lectures to Red Army generals.[8]

He was Professor at Moscow State University from 1942 to 1972.[9] In the 1960s he edited Plato, with A. F. Losev. Outside the USSR, Asmus was mostly known for his contributions to studying Immanuel Kant.


  1. ^ Bakhurst, David (June 1991). Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy: From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov (Modern European Philosophy). Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-521-40710-9. 
  2. ^ PostSoviet Russian Philosophy
  3. ^ Barnes, Christopher (February 2004). Boris Pasternak: A Literary Biography. Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition. p. 5. ISBN 0-521-52072-X. 
  4. ^ Grossman, Joan Delaney; Rischin, Ruth (February 2003). William James in Russian Culture. Lexington Books. p. 7. ISBN 0-7391-0527-2. 
  5. ^ Makaryk, Irena R. (April 1993). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory: Approaches, Scholars, Terms (Theory / Culture). University of Toronto Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-8020-6860-X. 
  6. ^ Marsh, Rosalind (November 1998). Women and Russian Culture: Projections and Self-Perceptions (Studies in Slavic Literature, Culture, and Society, V. 2). Berghahn Books. p. 168. ISBN 1-57181-913-4. 
  7. ^ Delanty, George (February 2006). Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory. Routledge. p. 159. ISBN 0-415-35518-4. 
  8. ^ Bazhanov, Logic and Ideologized Science Phenomenon (Case of the URSS), in Sica, Giandomenico (2005). Essays on the Foundations of Mathematics and Logic 1. Polimetrica. p. 51. ISBN 978-88-7699-014-4. 
  9. ^ van der Zweerde, Evert (November 1997). Soviet Historiography of Philosophy: Istoriko-Filosofskaja Nauka (Sovietica). Springer. pp. 89–90. ISBN 0-7923-4832-X.