Article ID: CBB336726144

The muscular sense in Russia: I. M. Sechenov and materialist realism (2019)


Contemporary Russian sensory physiology and psychology uses the notion of a “dark sense,” referring to the background of bodily sensation, especially of the position and movement of the body. The physiologist Ivan Sechenov introduced this language in the 1860s in the context of arguing for a physiological basis for scientific psychology. The muscular sense (the term preceding modern notions of kinaesthesia and proprioception) thereafter featured in the many talks and journal articles he presented to spread scientific enlightenment. The paper describes the history and significance of this. It does so in the light of Soviet representations of Sechenov as a scientist who substantially contributed to the Leninist materialist–realist theory of knowledge. These representations assessed Sechenov’s discussions as a breakthrough in world science to the understanding of the human organism as a self-regulating material system. It is necessary to understand the purposes and pressures driving Soviet historiography. The paper confirms the historical importance the sense of movement has had in realist theories of knowledge of the world; and it contributes a previously unknown chapter to the history of psychology.

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Authors & Contributors
Wade, Nicholas J.
Smith, Roger C.
Canales, Jimena
Horvath, Christopher D.
Ostrovskii, M. A.
Fedorovich, I. B.
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
British Journal for the History of Science
Biology and Philosophy
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
University of Minnesota Press
University of Washington Press
Harvard University
Oxford University Press
Process Press Ltd
Senses and sensation; perception
Physiological psychology
Human body
Science and art
Experimental psychology
Hirsch, Adolphe
Sherrington, Charles Scott
Darwin, Erasmus
Galilei, Galileo
Tarkhanov, Ivan
Pasha, Spyridon Mavrogenis
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
Great Britain
Georgia (Republic)
Rossiiskaia Akademiia Nauk

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