Mach’s Reception in Pre-revolutionary Russia
Mach had an extraordinary reception in Russia: his works were translated in Russian so promptly and completely as in no other language, and his thought was discussed on the press, in salons, in political debates. Such a success has been considered mainly through Lenin’s Materialism and Empiriocriticism. But a harsh polemic work is not a reliable source to grasp the positions of its rivals. J.T. Blackmore, in 1972, successfully inquired into Ernst Mach Institut Archive in Freiburg in order to sketch out Mach’s Russian reception. However he could not investigate Russian sources. Relying on Mach’s correspondence, and on a general reconstruction of the “second positivism” in Russia, the paper sketches out three main aspects of Mach’s influence in Russia: Mach’s direct contact with Russian scholars and teachers; the work of P. K. Engel’mejer, Mach’s main popularizer in Russia, and the “Machomakija” that enlivened Russian Marxism in 1905–1910.