Pëtr chaadaev and the rise of modern Russian philosophy

Studies in East European Thought 54 (1-2):25-46 (2002)
Abstract
I present and argue for twotheses: the first concerns the degree to whichChaadaev''s thought represents a breakthrough inthe development of Russian social philosophyand the second concerns the Hegelian characterof this thinking. I also show that Chaadaev''stheory retained an open character closely tiedto the crisis character of the social realityof his time and that it depended for itsjustification on the further course of thehistorical process, which is impossible topredict. All this leads to an interpretation ofChaadaev''s view according to which the standardopposition of Chaadaev''s two best-known texts,The Philosophical Letters, with theirpredominantly pessimistic picture of Russia,and the Apology of a Madman, whichrefutes this evaluation, is rejected.
Keywords Chaadaev  Christianity  crisis  Hegel in Russia  pessimism  Russia-Europe  Slavophilism-Westernism
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