Converted Forms. On the Need for Irrational Expressions
The article “Converted Forms” by Merab Mamardashvili (1930–90) was first published in Polish in 1972 in a journal called Studia filozoficzne [Philosophical studies]. It only appeared in Russian in 1990 in the final book Mamardashvili published while living, a collection of articles under the title Kak ia ponimaiu filosofiiu [How I understand philosophy]. During the Soviet era, Mamardashvili’s theory of converted forms was mostly known from his book Klassicheskie i neklassicheskie idealy ratsional’nosti [Classical and non-classical ideals of rationality] (1984), and prior to that from his articles “Analysis of Consciousness in Marx” (1968) and “Forma Prevrashchennaia” [Converted form], an article in the fifth volume of the Soviet Filosofskaia Entsyklopediia [Philosophical Encyclopedia] (1971). Some similar issue are present in the extended summary of Mamardashvili’s talk “Prevrashchenye formy i pragmemy” [Converted forms and pragmemes], given at a 1970 Summer school in Tartu on secondary modeling systems. In 1984, Mamardashvili gave a talk entitled “Converted Forms” at the Moscow Institute of Philosophy. In the insitute’s archive, there remained several drafts with the title “Converted Forms,” the earliest of which dates from 1966, and the latest, from 1971–72. It was this latter draft that was finally published in 1990. (by Andrei Paramonov)
Mamardashvili, Merab (1971). “Forma prevrashchennaia” [Converted form]. In Filosofs- kaia Entsyklopediia [Philosophical studies], Vol. 5, 1297–98. Moscow: Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia.
Mamardashvili, Merab (1972). “Przeksztlcone formy. O konieczności irracjonalnych srodków wyrazy” [Converted forms. On the need for irrational expressions]. Studia filozoficzne 3: 99–108.
Mamardashvili, Merab (1984). Klassicheskie i neklassicheskie idealy ratsional’nosti [Classical and nonclassical ideals of rationality]. Tbilisi: Metznierba.
Mamardashvili, Merab (1986). “Analysis of Consciousness in the Works of Marx.’’ Studies in Soviet Thought 32: 101–20.
Mamardashvili, Merab (1990). “Prevrashchenye formy (O neobhodimosti irratsional’nykh vyrazhenii)” [Converted forms. On the need for irrational expressions]. In Kak ia ponimaiu filosofiiu [How I understand philosophy], 315–28. Moscow: Progress.
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