• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Stankevich, Bakunin, Belinsky, and the Phenomenology of Conscience: On the Founding Myth of the Russian Intelligentsia

This article examines how a crucial aspect of the founding myth of the Russian intelligentsia—the notion of the intelligentsia as “the conscience of Russian society”—was initially formulated in the conceptual language of Hegelian philosophy by the members of Stankevich circle in the late 1830s and early 40s.  The aim is to present a more precise account of how specific Hegelian ideas were assimilated and experienced by the Stankevich circle, in order to establish the conceptual interconnection between what will later become the intelligentsia and the Hegelian notions of conscience (Gewissen) and the conscientious community, as formulated in the Phenomenology of Spirit.  The distinct contributions of Nikolai Stankevich, Mikhail Bakunin, and Vissarion Belinsky to the emergence of the intelligentsia will thus be conceptualized in terms of their struggle with the inner logical instability and contradictions of conscience.