Could anyone shake nineteenth century Russia out of herphilosophico-juridical stagnation? Was there anyone whodared speak of rights, of freedoms based on vital principles?Was there anyone who had the courage to suggest that the lawof force be turned into recognition of the force of law, orwas bold enough to call for the revival of natural law onits idealist reading? Solov'ëv turned out to be the thinkerwho was able to do these things. An amateur in juridicalquestions, remote from the enlightenment rationalizations ofpolitical (...) liberalism, Solov'ëv set out to lay the basis forjuridical freedom in way that was unexpected philosophicallyand culturally. (shrink)
From the Editors:Such was the topic considered by members of a new discussion club, "The Free Word" [Svobodnoe slovo] , along with specialists from the Institute of Philosophy, USSR Academy of Sciences.
From the Editors:Such was the topic considered by members of a new discussion club, "The Free Word" [Svobodnoe slovo], along with specialists from the Institute of Philosophy, USSR Academy of Sciences.
Vladimir Sergeevich Solov'ev was born on January 16, 1853, into the highly educated family of the outstanding Russian historian Sergei Mikhailovich Solov'ev. Solov'ev received his secondary education in the Fifth Moscow Gymnasium, and his higher education at Moscow University. At first Solov'ev studied in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. After three years and eight months there he left the university, but a few months later he stood his candidate's examination for the full university course in (...) the Faculty of History and Philology. At the same time as he was preparing his candidate's examination he audited lectures on theological and philosophical issues at the Moscow Spiritual Academy. (shrink)
Solov’ev gilt als »der erste christliche Denker, der den individuellen und nicht nur den Gattungssinn der Liebe zwischen Mann und Frau anerkannte« . Der bedeutendste russische Philosoph des 19. Jahrhunderts sieht in der Unbedingtheit des leidenschaftlichen Verlangens der sinnlichen Liebe ein Geschehen der unbedingten Anerkennung des geliebten Menschen – das Fundament der Ethik. Unveränderter Print-on-Demand-Nachdruck der Ausgabe von 1985.
I attempt to clarify the connection between two late texts by V.S. Solov''ëv: Justification of the Good and Theoretical Philosophy. Solov''ëv drew attention to the intrinsic connection between moral and intellectual virtues. Theoretical Philosophy is the initial -- unfinished -- sketch of the dynamism of mind seeking truth as a good. I sketch several parallels and analogies between the doctrine of moral experience set out in Justification and the account of the intellect''s dynamism based on immediate certitude set out in (...) Theoretical Philosophy. Solov''ëv can thus be considered as a virtue epistemologist in the current meaning given to this description. I conclude by suggesting that Solov''ëv''s position on these questions does not easily cohere with the impersonalism he appears to defend in Theoretical Philosophy. (shrink)
Looking back I count, not without some sadness, that I have been a reader of Voprosy filosofii for forty-five years, an author for almost forty, and a staff member for exactly ten. I hope that this entitles me to discuss briefly the most tempting of anniversarial problems; namely, the problem of periodization.
Marxism has relinquished the position of the ruling ideology in Russia without having been subjected to a fundamental critique. There was hardly time to boo it as it expired. The shelves in our libraries are still occupied by hundreds of books in which the Marxist-Leninist doctrine is introduced as the total fulfillment of the preceding social and philosophical thought. The tendentious construct of the history of philosophy that upholds this illusion has not been demolished to this day. People who teach, (...) study, or simply love philosophy fall, as before, into this trap. It has had a particularly strong influence on the reception of the German philosophical classics, which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Lenin had already raised to the ideological rank of one of the immediate sources of Marxism. (shrink)
The author analyzes Mamardashvili's philosophical views by putting them in the context of contemporary Western philosophy, especially existentialism. He identifies unique features of Mamardashvili's philosophizing that he equates with existentially interpreted soteriology.
Gentlemen! In inviting you to the free pursuit of philosophy, I should like first of all to reply to one question that may arise on this account. This question would be easy to dismiss as excessively naive, one that could only come from someone totally unfamiliar with philosophy. But since I have in mind mainly people who are as yet unfamiliar with philosophy, who have only just come to it, I cannot be so dismissive of this naive question, but rather (...) deem it better to answer it. (shrink)
Contrary to the widespread opinion that in the Soviet period the Institute of Philosophy had been a mere citadel of ideological dogmatism, the author shows that even in the most oppressive periods of stagnation not only did the institute resist the imposition of this atmosphere, but it openly refused to take part in any campaign of condemnation or ideological reprisal against nonconformists, whether in philosophy, literature, economics, or politics. The reigning atmosphere in the institute at that time was one of (...) glasnost, open argument, and constructive discussion. And the mediator of such an environment was the institute's Communist Party chapter, which among other positive influences, provided the institute and its associates with real protection from Stalinism, hostility, and societal pressure. While in the country as a whole there had never been a civil society, the institute always possessed and actively displayed the key features of such an institution. The famous wall newspaper published at the institute was one sign of such its civic-social maturity. (shrink)
Moral absolutes were perceived, by Solov'ëv, in a dual manner: a) from the side of content, of psychology, as when we speak of feelings, emotions, etc.; and b) under a formal aspect, as “ideas,” i.e. logically. Neither of these can be treated without relating to moral absolutes astrue, and without a rationalbelief in their truth, a truth that cannot be logically proved. In my opinion, our time has become keenly aware of the universally human value of Vladimir Solov'ëv's ethics, of (...) its humanist nature, oriented towards the everyday and the ideal tasks of man, and of the concrete direction of his philosophy of “practical idealism”. (shrink)
I recall that Solov''ëv wasRussia''s first professional philosopher andpresent the most important currents andconcepts of his many-sided theoretical edifice.Solov''ëv conceived philosophy in a verybroad sense of the term, for which reason histhinking comprises metaphysics no less thantheology, ecclesiology, history, and sociology.I show how Solov''ëv sought constantly to bringthese diverse elements into agreement with oneanother for the sake of a consistent systematicproject, how he attempted to synthesizenumerous oppositions (including patriotism anduniversalism, humanism and theocentrism).
In this contribution, the author analyzes Vladimir Solov''ëv''s intention to study the idea of the Good as something relatively independent from religion and metaphysics. Some implications of Solov''ëv''s definition of moral philosophy in The Justification of the Good are investigated, and illustrated with his applied ethics of war in chapter 18 of this book. It appears that Solov''ëv''s moral philosophy and his account of war must be understood in connection with the central place of the cult of ancestors in his (...) ethics. The idea of the Good and the idea of God spring from a religious origin and appear in our efforts to conjure up and exorcize the spirits of our forefathers. The author explains this ethics by referring to Solov''ëv''s article China and Europe. There, Solov''ëv assumes that the Christian mind is treatened by the danger of a cultural order in which the cult of ancestors is most purely preserved. In the future war against China, however, Christian civilization must show itself superior to its enemy without betraying its loyalty to its own ancestors. The author concludes that in Solov''ëv''s ethics, the moral subject is divided between the confirmation of its own autonomy and its being haunted by the spirits of its forefathers, a haunt which results in relentless wars against others. (shrink)
Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov is one of the most original and as yet inadequately studied Russian thinkers. Neither a professional philosopher, nor a well-known scholar, nor a critical essayist, he led a kind of double existence while working as an ordinary civil servant, developing his original philosophy at his leisure in the hours free from his intensive daily work. Fedorov's life was one of selflessness and self-denial, not at all eventful outwardly. He graduated from the Gymnasium in Tambov and completed three (...) years of study in the Law Department of the Richelieu Lyceum in Odessa, after which he taught for a number of years in the Borovsk, Lipetsk, Podol'sk, and other regional schools. The quarter century he spent working in the Library of the Rumiantsev Museum in Moscow was the most stable period in Fedorov's life. Fedorov's ideas attracted the attention of outstanding cultural figures. F.M. Dostoevskii became acquainted with them in 1878 through Peterson, and on March 24 of that year he wrote: "I am essentially in full accord with these ideas. I read them as if they were my own." L.N. Tolstoy, who knew Fedorov personally, said, "I am proud to be living in the same times as such a man." V.S. Solov'ev, who also associated with Fedorov, wrote to him as follows in the mid-1880s: "Your ‘project’ is the human spirit's first advance along the path of Christ since the advent of Christianity. As for me, I can only acknowledge you as my teacher and spiritual father." A.M. Gorky was especially impressed by the activism in Fedorov's views. But none of this precludes the many and very essential divergences of these authors from Fedorov. One can find some links with his ideas in A.N. Belyi, V. Ia. Briusov, N.A. Zabolotskii, V.V. Maiakovskii, A.P. Platonov, M.M. Prishvin, I.L. Sel'vinskii, O.D. Forsh, and V.N. Khlebnikov. The artist B.N. Chekrygin drafted a large fresco entitled The Resurrection of the Dead [Voskreshenie mertvykh] and a philosophical work entitled The Synod of the Resurrecting Museum [Sobor voskreshaiushchego muzeia], both inspired by Fedorov's teachings. (shrink)
In the article I presentSolov'ëv's views on the national question(including the so-called Polish question)presented in his writings of the 1880s. Thequestion involved uniting the Churches as wellas Russia's specific mission in building thefuture Kingdom of God. Solov'ëv's position,according to which individual nations acquire aconcrete place in the course of mankind'sexistence, was subjected to criticism by thePolish historian Stanisaw Tarnowski. Thiscontributed to an interesting discussion andpolemic between the two thinkers that tookplace on the pages of the journal PrzegldPolski (The Polish Review).
From the 1890s on, the atheist philosopher F. Nietzsche exerted a profound and enduring impact on Russian religious, cultural, and social reality. The religious philosopher V.S. Solov'ëv perceived Nietzsche's thought as an actual threat to Russian religious consciousness and his own anthropological ideal of Divine Humanity. He was especially preoccupied with the idea of the Übermensch since sometwo decades before the Nietzschean Übermensch was popularized in Russia, Solov'ëv had already developed his own interpretation of the sverkhchelovek.
In this narrative analysis oftwo Soviet dissertations in philosophy Idiscuss the role of Solov'ëv as one of themajor characters in the Soviet academicnarration of Russian philosophy: I show how theauthors (Turenko and Spirov) cope with thenecessity of criticizing Solov'ëv from theMarxist position and protect him from Westernscholars as the latter attempted to reviseRussian philosophy. I also discuss the way inwhich this requirement both to criticize andprotect is represented in the dissertations inwhich the strong Marxist posture and loyalty tocommunist doctrine corresponded (...) to the authors'belief that Solov'ëv was a greatphilosopher who made mistakes, although hisphilosophy remains a part of Russia's culturalheritage. The main conclusion is that in spiteof their vision of the world as split into thecommunist and bourgeois camps, both authors tryto avoid straightforward Manichean assessmentsand, in 60s and 70s, were keen to find as manypositive elements in Solov'ëv's philosophyas possible. (shrink)
Anyone who knows Solov'ev mainly from his mystical speculations and aspirations will of course be surprised to hear that he was a brilliant and outstanding representative of the philosophy of law. One is not immediately able to see how such a supremely real and practical idea as the idea of law [pravo] was able to find a place among his dreams and prophecies. And yet we have all the evidence to affirm that this idea was for him one of (...) the most important and precious. It would be an act of unfairness toward the late philosopher, at this solemn celebration of his memory, to forget that aspect of his activity, which he bequeathed to us to remember and esteem. (shrink)
The lecture of V. S. Solov'ev on "The Historical Tasks of Philosophy" [Istoricheskie dela filosofii] was given by the young privat-docent on November 20, 1880 at St. Petersburg University; the text of the lecture was published in the periodical Russkaia mysl' soon thereafter. The lecture prepared the way for two parallel courses: a course in metaphysics at the university and a course in the history of ancient philosophy in the Advanced Women's Courses of K. N. Bestuzhev-Riumin. It is clear (...) from the text of the lecture how important a role Solov'ev's simultaneous and mutually related pursuits in metaphysics, the history of philosophy, comparative mythology, and the history of religion played in his early works. (shrink)
The life and thought of Vladimir Solov’ëv have long fascinated students of Russian culture. Poet, philosopher, mystic, theologian, scholar, humorist, theosopher, ecclesiologist—a tale of Solov’ëv’s very considerable influence could be told by focusing on any single one of these terms. Attempting to encompass all of them at once in a grand summation of the significance of his life is a thoroughly daunting task. Perhaps it will never be accomplished to general satisfaction in a single work, which might partly explain the (...) steadily expanding stream of articles and monographs in several languages devoted to the study of this remarkable figure. Nemeth, perhaps wisely, declines any attempt to... (shrink)
I attempt to clarify the connection between two late texts by V.S. Solov'Ã«v: Justification of the Good and Theoretical Philosophy. Solov'Ã«v drew attention to the intrinsic connection between moral and intellectual virtues. Theoretical Philosophy is the initial -- unfinished -- sketch of the dynamism of mind seeking truth as a good. I sketch several parallels and analogies between the doctrine of moral experience set out in Justification and the account of the intellect's dynamism based on immediate certitude set out in (...) Theoretical Philosophy. Solov'Ã«v can thus be considered as a âvirtue epistemologistâ in the current meaning given to this description. I conclude by suggesting that Solov'Ã«v's position on these questions does not easily cohere with the âimpersonalismâ he appears to defend in Theoretical Philosophy. (shrink)
Russia of the 1990s, in spite of its thousand-year traditions, is in some respects a new country in an unfamiliar and strange world: a country confronting a complex of hitherto unencountered macro-economic, technological, and ecological circumstances; a country compelled, in fact, to renounce its past global imperial ambitions, which in previous periods were defended in terms of the exclusive truth of the "autocratic-Orthodox" or "Marxist-Leninist" doctrine.