Diderot, Narychkine et la "civilisation" de la Russie
Diderot came to Russia in 1773 with A.V. Naryshkin, chambellan of Catherine II, and in St. Petersburg took advantage of his hospitality, as well as the hospitality of his brother S.V. Naryshkin. Conversations with them have become one of the most important sources of Diderot's information about Russia. Over time, their paths as their ideas about the prospects for the development of Russia, diverged, but their ideas about civilization turned out to be closely connected with their reflections on the “special path” of our country.
We publish here the complete tetx of the questionnaire concerning the state of the Russian Enpire which Diderot presented to Catherine II, followed by her replies. It is published following the manuscript found in the Prussian Archives in Berlin. An introduction presents the history of the different publications of the text, and of the Berlin manuscript.
The artice fixed specificity "Russian Dream" and same of its key elements, its connections with the basic ideas of Russian national prodject
Spirituality is one of the key concepts in cultural historical psychology; however, its definition remains the subject of controversy. Most approaches simply reproduce the meaning of spirituality adopted in various religions (especially in Christianity). In this case spirituality is understood as a feature of human beings, something high spirited and positive, implying the infinite perspective of approximating the Absolute. Yet, when this concept is used in a non religious sense, its definitions reveal circular reasoning (spirituality is understood as an aspiration for spiritual values). One can also speak of circular reasoning when the religious understanding of spirituality is prefaced with scientific researches of spiritual phenomena in all spheres of human existence, so that the outcomes of such researches would confirm the initial premises, or even coincide with them. The author suggests that spirituality be understood as the potential for human freedom. Actualization of this potential can thus be positively or negatively evaluated with regard to the historically relevant cultural context (and not according to the absolute scale of values as it happens when spirituality is understood in the religious sense). The suggested interpretation implies the understanding of culture as the system of ultimate values that people accept as guidelines in their lives. Within this culture spirituality can be evaluated both positively and negatively, and so do cultural values that spirituality refers itself to. This is spirituality in its subjective meaning. Objectivation of spirituality can be defined as the potential for culture that is being actualized in the changes in the system of cultural universals. The spirit of culture is free and thus capable of such changes. Otherwise, there is no culture, but only its formal outer shell called civilisation.
A key characteristic of 18th century literature is its interest in the fortune of a single individual, and The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Defoe is a prime example of and a significant contribution to the literature of the Enlightenment period, as it includes elements of autobiography, as well as descriptions of education and philosophy of that period.