Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Conspectus of Hegel’s Book
Lectures On the History
of Philosophy

Introduction to the History of Philosophy

Written: 1915
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Edition, Moscow, 1976, Volume 38, pp. 245-246
Publisher: Progress Publishers
First Published: 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XII
Translated: Clemence Dutt
Edited: Stewart Smith
Transcription & Markup: Kevin Goins
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2008).You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Note that this document has undergone special formating to ensure that Lenin’s sidenotes fit on the page, marking as best as possible where they were located in the original manuscript.



p. 37 [1] ...“If the truth is abstract it
must be untrue. Healthy human rea-
son goes out towards what is con-
crete.... Philosophy is what is most an-
tagonistic to abstraction, it leads back
p. 40: 
to the concrete....”
comparison of the history of phi-
losophy with a circe—“a circle ...
which, as periphery, has very many

A very pro-
found correct
Every shade
of thought =
a circle on
the great
circle (a spi-
ral) of the
of human
thought in


...“I maintain that the sequence in the
systems of philosophy in history is the
same as the sequence in the logical deduc-
tion of the Notion-determinations of the
Idea. I maintain that if the fundamental
conceptions of the systems appearing in
the history of Philosophy be entirely di-
of that which pertains to their
outward form, their relation to the partic-
ular and the like, the various stages in
the determination of the Idea itself are
found in its logical Notion.”

“Conversely in the logical progression
taken for itself, there is, so far as its prin-
cipal elements are concerned, the progres-
sion of historical manifestations; but it is
necessary, of course, to be able to discern
these pure Notions in what the historical
form contains.” (43)

P. 56—ridicule of the chasing after fash-


ion,—after those who are ready “auch
jedes Geschwöge (?) für eine Philo-
sophie auszuschreien.”[2] Pp. 57-58—
excellent for strict historicity in the
history of philosophy, so that one
should not ascribe to the ancients a
“development” of their ideas, which
is comprehensible to us but which
in fact was not present in the ancients.

Thales, for example, did not possess
the conception άρχή[3] (as a prin-
), did not possess the concept of

...“Thus there are whole nations
which have not this concept” (of cause)
“at all; indeed it involves a great
step forward in development....” (58)


Extremely lengthy, empty and tedious on the relation
of philosophy to religion. In general, an introduction of
almost 200 pages—impossible!!




[1] Hegel, Werke, Bd. XIII, Berlin, 1833.—

[2] “to call every twaddle (?) a philosophy”—Ed.

[3] beginning—Ed.


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