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Maurice Cornforth

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Title: Maurice Cornforth  
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Subject: Communist Party of Great Britain, Karl Popper
Collection: 1909 Births, 1980 Deaths, 20Th-Century British Writers, British Marxists, British Philosophers, Place of Birth Missing, Place of Death Missing
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Maurice Cornforth

Maurice Campbell Cornforth (28 October 1909 – 31 December 1980) was a British Marxist philosopher. When he began his career in philosophy in the early 1930s, he was a follower of Ludwig Wittgenstein, writing in the then current style of analytic philosophy. He later became a leading ideologist of the Communist Party of Great Britain. He vigorously opposed the aesthetic theories of fellow Marxist Christopher Caudwell.

In Defense of Philosophy attacks social organization, and the essential role of the external world in the increasingly complex development of forms of life.

His multi-volume book Dialectical Materialism was originally published in 1953 by the International Publishers, Co., Inc. The first U.S. edition of this work was printed in 1971. The text originated from lectures that Cornforth received funding for from the London District Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1950.

The first volume, Materialism and the Dialectical Method provides a good introduction to several important sociological principles; idealism, metaphysics, materialism, mechanical materialism, and dialectical materialism, in addition to Marxist philosophy. The other volumes of this text are entitled as follows: volume 2 as "Historical Materialism", and volume 3 as "Theory of Knowledge".


  • Food and Farming for Victory, Communist Party Pamphlet (1942)
  • Science Versus Idealism: An Examination of "Pure Empiricism" and Modern Logic (1946)
  • Dialectical Materialism and Science (1949)
  • In Defense of Philosophy - Against Positivism and Pragmatism (1950)
  • Science for Peace and Socialism (c.1950) with J. D. Bernal
  • Vol 1: Materialism & the Dialectical Method (1952) Dialectical Materialism, Vol 2: Historical Materialism, Vol 3: Theory of Knowledge, and later editions
  • Readers' Guide to the Marxist Classics (1952)
  • Rumanian Summer: A View of the Rumanian People's Republic (1953) with Jack Lindsay
  • Philosophy for Socialists (1959)
  • Marxism and the Linguistic Philosophy (1965)
  • The Open Philosophy and the Open Society: A Reply to Dr. Karl Popper's Refutations of Marxism (1968)
  • Communism and Human Values (1972)
  • Rebels and Their Causes: Essays in honour of A. L. Morton (1978) editor
  • Communism & Philosophy: Contemporary Dogmas and Revisions of Marxism (1980)

See also

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