Historical Introduction to Nicolai Hartmann’s Concept of Possibility

Axiomathes 27 (2):193-207 (2017)
Authors
Frederic Tremblay
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University
Abstract
In his article “The Megarian and Aristotelian Concept of Possibility”, Nicolai Hartmann attempts to revive an interpretation of the conception of possibility of the Megarians that stood in opposition to the Aristotelian conception of possibility and thus in opposition to the Aristotelian conception of modality in general. In this introduction, I undertake to situate Hartmann’s article in its historical context. Did Hartmann come to adopt this thesis through his study of ancient Greek philosophy? Or did he already have a predilection for the Megarian conception of possibility prior to this? If so, how did this predilection come about? Was there an influence from his friend Vasily Sesemann, who published an article discussing the Megarians the previous year? Or were both Hartmann and Sesemann influenced early on by their mutual Russian teacher Nikolai Lossky, or even by a general tendency pervading Russian thought—itself grounded in the fatalism typical of the Russian collective unconscious—as we find it expressed in the philosophy of Vladimir Solovyov, Lev Tolstoy, and other Russian thinkers?
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-017-9330-x
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