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The ideal 961
The article "Ideal" is one of the best philosophical works of a great Russian philosopher, Evald Ilyenkov. It was first published in the "Philosophical Encyclopedia" (Moscow, 1962, vol. 2), with the foreword by N.N. Karimskaya (Ph.D. in Philosophy), who studied at the Moscow State University in 1950s, when E.V. Ilyenkov had just started teaching. The notion of ideal is of fundamental importance for psychology as a whole, and for human and cultural-historical psychology in particular. Basing on the Marxist idea of ideal being secondary to material, E.V. Ilyenkov develops a dialectical social-historical concept of ideal as an active and semiotically mediated form of reflection, the genetic source of which is the process of human practical and objective transformation of nature. This concept of ideal as the function of social and labour activity subject rejects the straightforward statements of ideal being identical to structures and functions of brain, or that ideal can be brought to conditions of "substance that is under the individual's cranium, that is, brain".
Keywords: the ideal, man, idealism, materialism, symbol, sign, activity, labour, ideal image
Column: Theory and Methodology