Friday, June 1, 2018

Ivan Sviták on Baron D'Holbach et al

New on my website:

Sviták, Ivan. Baron d’Holbach, Philosopher of Common Sense, translated by Jarmila Veltrusky. Chico: California State University, 1976. 76 pp. (Translated from Filosof zdravého rozumu, Holbach.)

In April I found this monograph on Holbach written by the dissident Czech Marxist philosopher Ivan Sviták (1925-1994) apparently just prior to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. I've now read it, following up on Philipp Blom's A Wicked Company, and here it is. This is an excellent analysis of both Holbach's historically innovative perspective and his limitations as a bourgeois revolutionary thinker. Svitak takes up where Blom leaves off conceptually. Note also that Sviták has a sophisticated historical perspective on religion.

Sviták, Ivan. The Dialectic of Common Sense: The Master Thinkers. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1979. ii, 217 pp. (Front matter only.)

This volume includes studies of Montaigne, Voltaire, and Holbach. The Holbach study is the same as the aforementioned monograph on Holbach.

Both publications include information on the persecution of Sviták at the hands of the Stalinist Czech government. Sviták found refuge at California State University, Chico.

See also:

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