The aim of this article is to bring into focus the existence of two methodologically divergent tendencies in what George Kline denotes as «Soviet Spinoza scholarship» and to draw a line of differentiation between them. In particular, it aims to define on the one hand the instrumental interpretations of Spinozism, that is Spinoza’s presence in Soviet philosophy properly speaking, and on the other its historiographical interpretations, that is Spinoza’s presence in Soviet philosophical historiography. The author addresses specifically the readings of Spinoza’s ontology and tries to trace the process of the «emancipation» of Soviet philosophical historiography of this subject from what may be called «Georgi Plekhanov’s heritage». In addition, she analyses Vasilij V. Sokolov’s reading of the doctrine of substance in Spinoza and outlines his contribution to the advance of high-standard historicalphilosophical studies in the Soviet Union.
Keywords: Philosophical historiography, Soviet philosophy, Spinoza, substance, ontology.