Alexander Bogdanov: Tektology (1913–) [Russian, English]

3 December 2013, dusan

Bogdanov playing chess with Lenin during a visit to Gorky on Capri, Italy, April 1908. (source)

Tektology is a term used by Alexander Bogdanov to describe a discipline that consisted of unifying all social, biological and physical sciences by considering them as systems of relationships and by seeking the organizational principles that underlie all systems.

Bogdanov’s work on tektology, published in Russia in two volumes in 1913 and 1917, anticipated many of the ideas that were popularized later by Norbert Wiener in Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the General Systems Theory. There are suggestions that both Wiener and von Bertalanffy might have read the German edition of Tektology which was published in 1928. (from Wikipedia)

In Bogdanov’s philosophical endeavours there was one very important motive: from his point of view the philosophy of Marxism should be a philosophy of modern natural science and in this respect he acted in full accordance with Engels’ thesis that “with each epochal discovery, even in the natural-historical field, materialism should inevitably change its form.” (from the Foreword)

English edition
Publisher Intersystems Publications, Seaside/CA, 1980
265 pages

Russian edition
First published as The Universal Science of Organization (Tektologia), 1913-1917
This edition: Tektologia: Universal Organizational Science
Publisher Ekonomika, Moscow, 1989
303 and 352 pages

English edition
Foreword by Vadim N. Sadovsky and Vladimir V. Kelle
Edited with an Introduction by Peter Dudley
Translated by Vadim N. Sadovsky, Andrei Kartashov, Vladimir V. Kelle and Peter Bystrov
Publisher Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, 1996
ISBN 0859588769
322 pages
via Ken

Aleksandr Bogdanov and Systems Theory (Arran Gare, Democracy & Nature, 2000)
Against Social Determinism (McKenzie Wark, Public Seminar, 2013)

Essays in Tektology (English, trans. George Gorelik, 1980, added on 2013-12-23, via Marcell Mars)
Essays in Tektology, 2nd ed. (English, trans. George Gorelik, 1984, added on 2014-3-25, via Marcell Mars)
Тектология. Всеобщая организационная наука. том 1 (Russian, 1989, DJVU)
Тектология. Всеобщая организационная наука. том 2 (Russian, 1989, DJVU)
Bogdanov’s Tektology, Book 1 (English, trans. Vadim N. Sadovsky et al, 1996)

See Monoskop wiki for further writings of Bogdanov.

2 Responses to “Alexander Bogdanov: Tektology (1913–) [Russian, English]”

  1. activey on December 23, 2013 3:36 pm

    That’s kinda … odd. I’ve been looking for this book for ages, and this morning just though out of blue: “let’s ask google once more …”. And here it is, added today!

    Essays in Tektology (English, trans. George Gorelik, 1980, added on 2013-12-23, via Marcell Mars)

    telepathy ftw!

  2. sym on January 13, 2014 8:34 pm

    THANK YOU! I have been searching for this for so long. Ever since I heard of Bogdanov, I have been trying to find the English translations online. Now we have two versions. Looking over the rest of this site, I think I will find much to appreciate here. THIS is what the best of the web is all about!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind