In their update to Intentionality All-Stars, Hutto and Satne claim that there is currently no satisfactory account for a naturalised conception of content. From this the pair suggest that we need to consider whether content is present in all aspects of intelligence, that is, whether it is content all the way down. Yet if we do not have an acceptable theory of content such a question seems out of place. It seems more appropriate to question whether content itself is the (...) problematic assumption. This paper will explore this question, with the analysis hinging on whether those trying to naturalise content are facing a tough challenge as Haugeland has suggested, or whether it is a genuine dilemma as Hutto has suggested elsewhere. If those attempting to naturalise content are facing a genuine dilemma, a dilemma in which the non-existence of content is one of the horns, then it would seem that the issue is not at what stage you posit content, but whether you should posit content at all. This also has the added benefit of shifting the debate to a more global discussion, that is, the best way to explain intelligence, period. (shrink)
An experiment was conducted to investigate the relative contributions of syntactic form and content to conditional reasoning. The content domain chosen was that of causation. Conditional statements that described causal relationships were embedded in simple arguments whose entailments are governed by the rules -of truth-functional logic. The causal statements differed in terms of the number of alternative causes and disabling conditions that characterized the causal relationship. Subjects were required to judge whether or not each argument’s conclusion could be accepted. Judgments (...) were found to vary systematically with the number of alternative causes and disabling conditions. Conclusions of arguments based on conditionals with few alternative causes or disabling conditions were found to be more accept-able than conclusions based on those with many. (shrink)
The twentieth century Russian philosopher Nikolai Lossky was one of the earliest and most important proponents—but also critics—of Bergson’s philosophy in Russia at a time when many Russian philosophers were preoccupied with the same complex of philosophical questions and answers that Bergson was addressing. Thus, if only from the standpoint of intellectual history, Lossky is central to the study of the reception of Bergson in Russia. In this article, I present the principal historical links, points of agreement between Bergson (...) and Lossky, such as their respective anti-Kantianism, intuitivism, ontological realism, vitalism, organicism, Neo-Platonism, as well as their points of disagreement, including some of Lossky’s key criticisms of Bergson, with special emphasis on the issues of intuition, ideal being, substance and change, time, and sensible qualities. This paper is meant as an introduction to the translations of Lossky’s “Heдocтaтки гнoceoлoгiи Бepгcoнa и влiянie иxъ нa eгo мeтaфизикy” (The Defects of Bergson’s Epistemology and Their Consequences on His Metaphysics) (1913) and his review of Bergson’s, Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion (1932), which are published in the present issue of Studies in East European Thought. (shrink)
This is a review of: Николай Онуфриевич Лосский, под редакцией В. П. Филатова, Москва: Росспэн (Серия "Философия России первой половины ХХ века"), 2016. It describes and appraises the content of this collection of nineteen articles on the life and thought of the prominent twentieth century Russian philosopher Nikolai Lossky. The volume, edited by Vladimir Filatov, presents the reader with an analysis of Lossky's philosophical legacy, including such aspects of his thought as his intuitivism, his personalism, his relation to phenomenology, (...) his narrative of the history of Russian philosophy, and so on. Lossky is also compared to other Russian philosophers (Shpet, Frank) and his legacy in other countries (Poland, Slovakia) is examined. The authors are Piama Gaidenko, Frances Nethercott, Albert Novikov, Victor Molchanov, Vitaly Lechtzer, Tatiana Shchedrina, Irina Beshkareva, Anatoly Pushkarsky, Elena Serdyukova, Vasily Vanchugov, Irina Blauberg, Roman Granin, Varvara Popova, Evgeny Babosov, Teresa Obolevich, Zlatica Plašienková, Oleg Ermichin, Alexander Podoxenov, Alexander Opalev, and Vladimir Schultz. (shrink)
Nikolai Lossky is key to the history of the Husserl-Rezeption in Russia. He was the first to publish a review of the Russian translation of Husserl’s first volume of the Logische Untersuchungen that appeared in 1909. He also published a presentation and criticism of Husserl’s transcendental idealism in 1939. An English translation of both of Lossky’s publications is offered in this volume for the first time. The present paper, which is intended as an introduction to these documents, situates Lossky (...) within the Rezeptionsgeschichte of Husserl in Russia and explains why he is central to it. It also explains what Lossky principally found in Husserl: he saw in the latter’s critique of psychologism support for his own ontology, epistemology, and axiology. Lossky characterizes his ontology as an ideal-realism. According to ideal-realism, both the realm of ideal beings and the realm of real beings are mind-independent. Per his epistemology, which he calls “intuitivism,” real beings are intuited by sensual intuition and ideal beings by intellectual intuition. The realm of ideal beings includes the subrealm of values, which is intuited by axiological intuition. This thoroughly realist conception contrasted sharply with the subjectivist tendencies of the time. So, when Lossky took cognizance of Husserl’s critique of psychologism, he thereupon found an ally in his battle against the various subjectivisms. But, when Husserl took the transcendental idealist turn, Lossky was at the forefront of the backlash against the new direction Husserl wanted to give to phenomenology. (shrink)
This article analyzes Nikolai Berdyaev’s ideas concerning the spiritual origins of the 1917 Russian revolution. The philosopher believed that its sources were “demons” living in the Russian national spirit, discovered and awakened in the works of the Russian classics, such as Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leo Tolstoy. The main reason these demons were able to take hold of the Russian national consciousness was the collapse of everyday life, and the false orientation of this consciousness toward a violent (...) establishment of a new social order. This order attempted to create a moral of equality and fair distribution of property, while lacking a religious-metaphysical foundation. Berdyaev’s views are compared with the contemporary realities in Russia at the time and the search for a resolution to the deep sociopolitical and moral contradictions inherent in these realities. (shrink)
Throughout his active philosophical life, Nikolai Berdiaev was preoccupied with the philosophical and sociological questions stemming from the impact of technology on the life of modern man. He gave to his thoughts a condensed expression in a longish essay in the journal Put' for 1933 with the title "Man and Machine" [Chelovek i mashina]. But he had touched on the subject penetratingly already in his early work The Meaning of History [Smysl istorii], which was first published in Russian in (...) 1923 and in English translation in 1936, and he devoted a chapter to it in his last major work, the posthumously published The Realm of Spirit and the Realm of Caesar [Tsarstvo dukha i tsarstvo Kesaria], which came out in Russian in 1949 and in English translation in 1952. In the last year of his life, Berdiaev read a paper titled "L'homme dans la civilization technique" at a conference in Neuchâtel. The Russian original of the paper apparently has not been published. (shrink)
I present a fragment from thehistory of the Russian reception of HerbertSpencer''s sociology. The discussion concernstwo diametrically opposed but exceptionallyimportant figures in the history of Russianthought, Nikolai Mikhajlovskij (1842–1904) andKonstantin Leont''ev (1831–1891). As one of thechief ideologues of the Populist movementMikhajlovskij turned Spencer''s ideas into anegative frame of reference for his own`romantic socialist utopia''. In turn, Leont''evformulated his extremely conservative politicalviews on the basis of Spencer''s organicistsociology. Though at the opposite ends of thespectrum both standpoints succeeded inexhibiting the political (...) implications of thepositivist and naturalist style of thinking. (shrink)
The article deals with the philosophy of Nikolai Berdjaev (1874–1948), which he formulated between The Philosophy of Inequality (written in 1918, but published in 1923) and The New Middle - Ages (1924). Berdjaev’s philosophy is analyzed in the context of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath. The other point of reference is the crisis of culture and civilisation, which affected the West in the inter-war period. Berdjaev’s position has been interpreted in view of the archetypal myth of (...) the struggle of the two principles, the principle of order (cosmos) and the forces of destruction (chaos). This myth is tied to the millenialist world view. Berdjaev took an anti-utopian stance. He juxtaposed the utopian-revolutionary principle with the hierarchical-creative one. From this position he criticized among others democracy, liberalism and socialism. In the midst of the crisis of the 1920s he remarked the possibility of spiritual rejuvenation putting forward the concept of the New Middle-Ages. One can say that at that time Berdjaev’s philosophy evolved within the conservative-creative framework, from the utopia of conservatism to the utopia of ‘free creativity’. (shrink)
This contribution examines the relatively unresearched doctoral thesis of Hans Urs von Balthasar as a Germanist, particularly in relation to the role that the reading of the Russian religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev played in the development of Balthasar's earliest theological thought. The authors argue that Berdyaev provided the young Germanist with a markedly eschatological point of departure for his nascent theological reflections. Although Balthasar had to renounce certain aspects of Berdyaev's thought, this eschatological orientation received from Berdyaev nevertheless remained (...) recognizable through Balthasar's mature theological works. This study is dedicated to Fr. James K. Voiss, S.J., teacher, mentor, and friend. (shrink)
The fact that the names of two philosophers who lived and worked in such different periods, under conditions of quite dissimilar cultures and civilizations, share the title of this article is in itself enough to require clarification. Nikolai Berdiaev, who belonged to a current of Russian philosophy that called itself mystical, hardly needs to be presented to the reader. Muhyiuddin ibn-'Arabi , the greatest mystic of the Arab Middle Ages, is known as the founder of a philosophical conception that (...) was later referred to as the "unity of being" and enjoyed broad popularity among Islamic thinkers, philosophers, and poets of the late Middle Ages. Moreover, motifs of this conception are not difficult to find in the works of contemporary literati enthralled by the ideas of Islamic mysticism, i.e., of Sufism. Hence these two outstanding figures can be compared on the common ground that they belonged to the current of philosophical thought of mankind that is called mysticism or mystical philosophy. Despite all the differences that doubtlessly exist among Russian, Arabic, and, let us say, European mysticism, there are also certain fundamental common features of this way of looking at the world that enable us to bring all these currents together under a single generic concept. (shrink)
Reflecting on aesthetics of the Russian religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, the author discusses one of its main principles: the tragedy of creativity. Berdyaev believes that the genuine tragedy of creativity of a real artist lies the contradiction between the artist's desire for perfection and the impossibility of realizing it. An artist cannot but strive for that which is from the very beginning—under this “earthly world's” terms of existence—unattainable.
The prominent Russian intellectual, Nikolai Berdyaev, is renowned for his metaphysics of creativity, which he founded on a unique concept of freedom. His unorthodox interpretation of human freedom and the reality of the Spirit became a kind of manifesto for religious existentialism. This article analyzes the social and metaphysical significance of Berdyaev's philosophy of creativity in the context of the European and Russian philosophical traditions.
Western political thought during the past two centuries has been inspired by a dream of liberation that has left it prey to ideological visions of utopia. Various attempts have been made to counteract this vulnerability, but one of the most ambitious has been relatively neglected. This is the use of the tragic vision to emphasize the limits imposed upon political action by the existence of ineliminable tensions inherent in the human condition. What is of especial interest in this connection is (...) the attempt made by Nikolai Berdyaev to bring the tragic vision to bear on the reformulation of socialism in particular. The article explores the strengths and weaknesses of his tragic version of socialism. (shrink)
This article discusses the sources and principal ideas of Nikolai Berdyaev's philosophical anthropology. The author argues against the recent trend of including Berdyaev among conservative Russian religious thinkers.
The spiritual geography of Russian cosmism. General characteristics ; Recent definitions of cosmism -- Forerunners of Russian cosmism. Vasily Nazarovich Karazin (1773-1842) ; Alexander Nikolaevich Radishchev (1749-1802) ; Poets: Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov, (1711-1765) and Gavriila Romanovich Derzhavin (1743-1816) ; Prince Vladimir Fedorovich Odoevsky (1803-1869) ; Aleksander Vasilyevich Sukhovo-Kobylin (1817-1903) -- The Russian philosophical context. Philosophy as a passion ; The destiny of Russia ; Thought as a call for action ; The totalitarian cast of mind -- The religious and spiritual (...) context. The kingdom of god on earth ; Hesychasm: two great Russian saints ; The Third Rome ; Pre-Christian antecedents -- The Russian esoteric context. Early searches for "deep wisdom" ; Popular magic ; Higher magic in the time of Peter the Great ; Esotericism after Peter the Great ; Theosophy and anthroposophy -- Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov (1829-1903), the philosopher of the common task ; The one idea ; The unacknowledged prince ; The village teacher ; First disciple: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy ; The Moscow librarian ; Last years: Askhabad: the only portrait -- The "common task" ; Esoteric dimensions of the "common task" ; Fedorov's legacy: projectivism, delo, regulation -- The religious cosmists. Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov (1853-1900) ; Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov (1871-1944) ; Pavel Aleksandrovich Florensky (1882-1937) ; Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyaev (1874-1948) -- The scientific cosmists. Konstantin Edouardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) ; Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945) ; Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky (1897-1964) ; Vasily Feofilovich Kuprevich (1897-1969) -- Promethean theurgy. Life-creation ; Cultural immortalism ; God-building ; Re-aiming the arrows of Eros ; Technological utopianism ; Occultism -- Fedorov's twentieth century followers. Nikolai Pavlovich Peterson (1844-1919) and Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kozhevnikov (1852-1917) ; Svyatogor and the biocosmists ; New wine and the universal task ; Alexander Konstantinovich Gorsky (1886-1943) and Nikolai Alexandrovich Setnitsky (1888-1937) ; Valerian Nikolaevich Muravyov (1885-1932) ; Vasily Nikolaevich Chekrygin (1897-1922) -- Cosmism and its offshoots today. The N.F. Fedorov museum-library ; The Tsiolkovsky museum and Chizhevsky center ; ISRICA - Institute for Scientific Research in Cosmic Anthropoecology ; Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev (1912-1992) and neo-eurasianism ; The hyperboreans ; Scientific immortalism: Igor Vishev, Danila Medvedev ; Conclusions about the Russian cosmists. (shrink)
I begin my eulogy to folly not in jest as did the illustrious Erasmus of Rotterdam in the old days, but in all sincerity and from all my heart. In this task Berdiaev's new book will be of great assistance to me. Had he wished to do so, he could have titled it, following his long-deceased colleague's example, In Praise of Folly, because its purpose is to challenge common sense. True, the book is a collection of articles written in the (...) last six years, hence, properly speaking, it does not and cannot serve some one purpose. Six years is a long time: not only a writer like Berdiaev, but any writer will change to some extent during so long a period. The book opens with an article written long ago, "The Struggle for Idealism" [Bor'ba za idealizm], in which the author still maintains a strictly Kantian viewpoint that admits, as we know, common sense and all its accompanying virtues. Then the author gradually evolves and, by the end of the book, he openly declares war on common sense, but what he opposes to common sense is not Folly, as is usually done, but Great Reason. Of course, one can express oneself in this way, calling Folly Great Reason, and, if you like, this has a deep meaning or, more precisely, a deep sting, for what can be more insulting and humiliating to common sense than to confer the honorific title of Great Reason on Folly? Until now common sense has been accepted as the father and closest friend of all minds, great and small. Now, Berdiaev, scorning genealogy and historically shaped heraldry, elevates "opposition to common sense," that is, Folly to the order of Great Reason. No doubt, this is very audacious, but Berdiaev is a writer who above all is daring and, in my opinion, this is his greatest strength. I would say that his gift, his philosophical and literary talent, lies in his audacity. As soon as it abandons him, the source of his inspiration evaporates, he has nothing to say, and he ceases to be himself. But I have run too far ahead. Let us return to his evolution or, rather, to the evolution of his idea. (shrink)
Among the most outstanding discoveries of the last century is one that is not quite as momentous as the theory of relativity or cybernetics. It may even still be enigmatic. It has no one single author, it is not expressed in a single formula, conception, or invention. Nonetheless it is worth all the others combined.
The article focuses on the intellectual decisions that Berdyaev made, especially in the first decade of his professional life, and that indicate his adoption of Marxist, idealist, and mystical-Christian religious beliefs. It analyzes what impact those beliefs had on the evolution of his understanding of history.