David Bakhurst

David Bakhurst has taught at Queen’s University since 1990. His philosophical interests include metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of education, and Russian philosophy and psychology. He is the author of Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (Cambridge, 1991) and The Formation of Reason (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and co-editor of The Social Self (Sage, 1995), Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self (Sage, 2001), and Thinking About Reasons: Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Dancy (2013).

He has also published many articles in journal and books. Before taking up his present position at Queen’s, David worked at Oxford University and the University of California, San Diego. In 2001-02, he was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and he presently holds up a visiting professorship at the Institute of Education, London. He held an honorary chair in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, UK from 2003 to 2006. David has visited Moscow many times, studying at Moscow University in the early 1980s and collaborating with colleagues at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences and the Institute of Philosophy.

More information about David can be found at www.davidbakhurst.com.
An interview with David, Soviet Philosophy and Then Some, appears in 3AM magazine.

Selected Publications


  • Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy: From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
  • The Formation of Reason. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. (Translated as Formirovanie razuma. Moscow: Kanon+, 2014.)

Edited Volumes

  • The Social Self. London: Sage, 1995 (with C. Sypnowich).
  • Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self. London: Sage, 2001 (with S. Shanker).
  • Education and Conversation: Exploring Oakeshott’s Legacy. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016 (with Paul Fairfield).


  • “Action, Epistemology and The Riddle of the Self”. Studies in Soviet Thought, 24, 1982, 185 209.
  • “Social Memory in Soviet Thought”. D. Middleton and D. Edwards (eds.), Collective Remembering. London: Sage, 1990, 203-26.
  • (with Carol Padden) “The Meshcheryakov Experiment: Soviet Work on the Education of Blind-Deaf Children”. Learning and Instruction, 1, 1991, 201-15.
  • “Soviet Philosophy in Transition: an Interview with Vladislav Lektorsky”. Studies in Soviet Thought, 44, 1992, 33-50. (Text translated from Russian.)
  • “Lessons from Ilyenkov”. Communication Review, 1 (2), 1995, 155-78.
  • “Social Being and the Human Essence: An Unresolved Issue in Soviet Philosophy”. Studies in East European Thought, 47, 1995, 3-60. (A dialogue with F.T. Mikhailov, V.S. Bibler, V.A. Lektorsky, and V.V. Davydov. Text translated from Russian.)
  • “On the Social Constitution of Mind: Bruner, Ilyenkov and the Defence of Cultural Psychology”. Mind, Culture and Activity, 2 (3), 1995, 158-171.
  • “Meaning, Normativity and the Life of the Mind”. Language and Communication, 17 (1), 1997, 33-51.
  • “Activity, Consciousness and Communication”. M. Cole, Y. Engestrom and O. Vasquez (eds), Mind, Culture and Activity. Seminal Papers from the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, 147-63.
  • “Ilyenkov on Aesthetics: Realism, Imagination, and the End of Art”, Mind, Culture, and Activity 8(2), 2001: 187-99.
  • “Ilyenkov on Education”, Studies in East European Thought, 57, 2005, 261-75.
  • “Vygotsky’s Demons”. M. Cole, H. Daniels and J. Wertsch (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 50-76.
  • “Minds, Brains, and Education”, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42, 3-4, 2008, 415-432.
  • “Reflections on Activity Theory”, Educational Review, 61, 2009: 197-210.
  • “The Riddle of the Self Revisited”, Studies in East European Thought, 2011, 63: 63-73.
  • “Freedom and Second Nature”, Mind, Culture, and Activity, 19, 2012, 172-189.
  • “Il’enkov’s Hegel”, in D. Bakhurst and I. Kliger (eds), Hegel in Russia. Studies in East European Thought (Special Issue) 65 (3-4), December 2013, 271-285.
  • “Activity and the Search for True Materialism”, in V. Oittenen and A. Maidansky (eds), The Practical Essence of Man: The ‘Activity Approach’ in Late Soviet Philosophy. Leiden: Brill, 2015, 17-28.
  • “Training, Transformation, and Education”, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 76, May 2015, 301-327.

Read more in Chapter 9
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