The article focuses on Alexander Bogdanov’s utopian novel The Red Star (1908), which is interpreted as a sort of literary experimentation that, in a free artistic form, develops ideas of socialist revolution, collectivist culture, and the future of civilization. The author analyzes the ways in which the novel poses the question of the future communist culture that requires a new subject of perception. It is demonstrated that, in the novel, this new, different subject of perception is introduced via the experience of the movie audience, while Bogdanov’s description of the protagonist’s behavior could well be interpreted as a film script of a special kind. It is via the personal experience of a movie spectator that something which might be called the experiencing of collective sensuousness (or sensuousness of the community) opens to the protagonist of the novel. This form of sensuousness is shared by all, regardless of social, political, or class distinctions and interests.
Leo Tolstoy’s Moralism is a call for the purification of moral universals as the foundations of culture, in which there is no contradiction between the values of an individual life and the values of the social “world.” A “moralist preacher” must fulfill two main requirements. First, he must personally fulfill the principles of his teaching. Second, he must be absolutely sure that he speaks on behalf of the truth he knows. Otherwise, his preaching will be deceptive and will serve the destruction rather than creation of a moral culture. Lev Shestov rejects this pathos of preaching as incompatible with existential perception of the world. Shestov replaces “absolute morality” with the absolute of human individuality, but this absolute is incompatible with the universalism of cultural values.
This article discusses the varying circumstances of the extensive travels abroad in 1875–1876 of Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov (1853–1900). The author devotes particular attention to Solovyov’s time spent in the Italian town of Sorrento near Naples, where, in the old Hotel Cocumella, Solovyov finished his treatise The Sophia (in French) that he had begun in Egypt, a treatise in which he outlined the earliest contours of his great philosophical system. Using a wealth of documentary materials, the author examines events associated with Solovyov’s stay in Sorrento, and later in Florence, Venice, and Genoa
The article considers a fundamental contradiction between a hypertrophied desire to freely pursue one's goals and the insuperability of fate that is inherent in Mikhail Lermontov's novel Hero of Our Time [Geroi nashego vremeni] in which the drive for “freedom” precipitates meaningless rebellion. The collision between thought (awareness contradiction) and the vital impulse (élan vital) causes the identity of the hero to split: thought turns out to be fruitless and life hopeless. This contradiction is symptomatic of cultural degeneration, and of the transformation of cultural values into “simulacra”—the “superfluous man” is a simulacrum of identity.
The author examines the key philosophical problem of theodicy and freedom as it was first formulated by Fyodor Dostoevsky and later developed by Nikolai Berdyaev.
This article discusses the evolution of the cultural-civilizational self-identification of Russia’s greatest twentieth-century poet, Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (1890–1960), the 1958 Nobel Prize laureate in literature. Analyzing an extensive range of materials, the author shows that Pasternak positioned himself as a particular type of “Russian European,” a “man of the North,” a “winter man,” continuing a fruitful lineage in the Russian cultural tradition (Gavriil Derzhavin, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Blok). The literary thinker himself repeatedly testified to his own “northernness,” including in his autobiographical works Safe Conduct and “People and Propositions.” The “winter theme” dominates many of Pasternak’s poems, as well as his prose works, including his novel Doctor Zhivago.
This article examines the possibilities of constructing a discourse of the medial that involves no essential distinction between the spheres of the technical, the natural, and the human. Because the only area in which this distinction occurs is culture, this article analyzes the status of this distinction, its rationale, and its relevance to reality, as well as various ways to handle sign systems. The author considers theories in which this distinction is made in other ways (A. Gehlen, F. Rapp, A. Feenberg). Without an essential distinction (as in the works of A. Whitehead and G. Simondon), the natural, the technical, and the human can be differ- entiated on common grounds, forming an environment in which permu- tations of all the elements of formation might be called recombinations. The medial is then examined within this combinatorial environment. A special attention is paid to sound and its various theorizations in the media studies of B. Siegert, C. Cox, and E. Ikoniadou.
The author analyzes Dostoevsky's ideas about confession and theodicy and shows how they were influenced by Vladimir Solov'ev and St. Augustine
Contemporary philosophical anthropology fluctuates between, on the one hand, the positivist rejection of the metaphysically loaded concepts of “essence” and “existence” in their theoretical constructions and, on the other, the essentialist traditions in which these con- cepts have played and continue to play a decisive role. Positivism rejects the ethical component of philosophi- cal anthropology, reducing it to relativism. Essentialism nourishes the metaphysical overtones of ethics but can- not withstand comparison to real-life history, which pro- vides examples of an anti-human (“hellish”) actuality in which there is seemingly no place for humanity. This article examines the anthropological intuitions of Andrei Platonov as the key to a new philosophical understanding of this issue. Platonov problematizes the concepts of “essence” and “existence,” placing them in the context of a “hellish reality” and tracing how this context “reworks” their meanings. Suffering and long- ing repeatedly take the place of “essence,” while “exis- tence” ceases to be only a series of phenomena but becomes a foundation for meanings of essence.
This article outlines the main threads in the reception of Friedrich Schelling’s ideas by Alexei F. Losev as reflected in his philosophical works. The author singles out three main sets of issues where Schelling’s influence on Losev manifests itself especially vividly: the dialectical interpretation of primordial essence, the conditions for the possibility of language, and the theory of the symbol and philosophy of mythology. The author shows that within Losev’s reception of Schelling’s philosophy, there could be observed a tightly woven solidarity with Schelling’s position, an instrumental appropriation of individual Schellingian concepts, productive misunderstanding, and precise hermeneutic penetration into the semantic interrelations of various semantic clusters within Schelling’s extensive corpus of texts.
This article delves into the history of classical philology and the relationship between two prominent classical philologists, one Russian and one German: Alexei Losev (1893–1988) and Bruno Snell (1896–1986). The article shows that both scholars worked at the intersection of philosophy, philology, and history of concepts, and both were interested in the history of ideas, terminology, aesthetics, and mythology and in the language of ancient Greek epics. Unlike Snell, who did not speak Russian and was unable to familiarize himself with Losev’s work on the history of ancient thought, Losev relied on Snell’s work from the mid-1920s until the very end of his life, using Snell to defend his own views on various controversial issues (e.g., reconstructing Homer’s archaic notions of the cosmos, debating the meaning of Heraclitus’ term “ethos,” or discussing the usage of the word sēmainō, and so forth). The subject of analysis is Losev’s 1962 review of the Dictionary of the Early Greek Epic (Lexicon des frühgriechischen Epos), edited by B. Snell, as well as the two scholars’ correspondence in 1959–1960.
This article analyzes the individual projects of Tatishchev and Karamzin 5 as Russian historians. Vasily N. Tatishchev (1686–1750), a civil servant during the Petrine era, spent thirty years creating his Russian History as a set of commentaries on “chronicle records.” Nikolai M. Karamzin (1766–1826) gained entrance to European intellectual culture through his travels around Europe, which served as a source for his Letters of a 10 Russian Traveler and later publication of his journal Vestnik Evropy (1802–1803). The exposure to European intellectual life stimulated Karamzin’s project, the twelve-volume History of the Russian State. This article examines the similarities and differences in the thinkers’ methodologies for constructing history, which relied on European histor- 15 iography and a substantially different set of personal experiences: one the builder of Empire under Peter, and the other an intellectual educator, writer, creator of the Russian literary language, and professional historiographer in the court of Emperor Alexander I.
This article explores the fundamental structure of “man who manages to do without Being” and whose constitution lacks the relation to Being and God. Within synergic anthropology, this phenomenon is regarded as “the Ontic Man,” whose extreme experience does not actualize the ontological difference (the difference between the existent¹1. In the author’s text the German das Seiende is translated as “the existent,” but in the referenced English translations of Heidegger’s it is usually translated as “beings.”View all notes and Being). To establish his genesis, we analyze the borderland between the Ontological and Ontic Topics, in which the Ontological Man who actualizes the ontological difference does so only in a rudimentary and deficient manner. This analysis is based on the discourse of concealment found in Heidegger’s later works and studies closely the figure introduced by Heidegger en passant, a man who is prone to concealment—the Lathon (Greek for “concealing himself,” “shutting himself off [from Being]”), who does not tell Being from the existent. However, according to Heidegger, the Lathon cannot stop being the Ontological Man, because this is the only anthropological formation. Synergic anthropology, alternatively, propounds a different view: man’s relationship to Being as something distinct from the existent can be eliminated entirely. This happens as concealment increases until it reaches a limit—an event best described by Plato’s notion to exaiphnes, “suddenly.” In this event man acquires a different constitution: the Lathon becomes the Ontic Man. We introduce the basic concepts of this anthropological formation and establish its principal characteristics.
In this article, the author examines one of the most important issues in the spiritual maturation of Russian culture. Peter the Great brought Russia back to Europe as a military and political power. We could rightly call Karamzin a Russian European who laid the groundwork for the development of a great culture.
The conception of Eurasianist legal philosophy (1920–1930) represents an interesting but little studied phenomenon.Most researchers consider either the general features of Eurasianism or the individual legal views of Eurasianists without investigating their political and juridical ideas in the multiplicity of their manifestations. The author of this article attempts to fill in this gap by analyzing the concepts like “law,” “freedom,” “rightduty” (pravoobrazovannost’), and “positive law,” which are crucial for the Eurasianist concept of legal philoso- phy, revealing the contemporary reflection of the Eurasianist legal ideas in academic and publicistic texts.
This article analyzes Nikolai Berdyaev’s (1874–1948) 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.
In this article, the author considers the main milestones in the development of Russian Enlightenment ideas, using Nikolai Karamzin’s creative output as an example. Karamzin undoubtedly represented a new type of Russian enculturated person, who had traveled a long path to understanding what it means not only to consider oneself an enlightened individual but actually to be one.