Minding the gap: Detachment and understanding in aleksej Losev's dialektika mifa

Studies in East European Thought 56 (2-3):143-160 (2004)
Abstract
Aleksej Losev''s definition of myth centres onthe concept of detachment. In modern timesdetachment has most often figured in thecontext of philosophical aesthetics, where itis a cognitive category akin to Kant''s``disinterestedness'''' or the Russian formalists''``estrangement.'''' However Losev''s usage alsomakes reference to the ontological sense ofdetachment as contemplativeascent (cf. Meister Eckhardt''sAbgeschiedenheit). Thus, Losev''s concept ofmyth combines both senses of detachment,binding perceptual attitude and being togetherin a double movement of resignation from theworld and union with meaning; this movementliterally makes sense out of reality. Ittherefore bears comparison to the treatment ofdistanciation in contemporary hermeneutics,where detachment is a key condition ofunderstanding. By investigating Losev''sconnections to other Russian thinkers, theauthor makes a case for a distinct Russiantradition of hermeneutic philosophy (V. Ivanov,G. Shpet, A. Bakshy, A. Losev).
Keywords aesthetics  aesthetic distance  Alexander Bakshy  detachment  distanciation  Gustav Shpet  hermeneutics  Vjacheslav Ivanov
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