Ilona Svetlikova, The Moscow Pythagoreans: Mathematics, Mysticism, and Anti-Semitism in Russian Symbolism, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 184 pp. [Book Review]

Canadian-American Slavic Studies 51 (1):167-170 (2017)

Frederic Tremblay
University at Buffalo (PhD)
This is a review of an interdisciplinary work of intellectual history on the Moscow philosophical-mathematical school. The author, Ilona Svetlikova, is primarily interested in the thought of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century mathematician and philosopher Nikolai Bugaev, of his son Boris Bugaev — better known under his nom de plume Andrei Belyi —, of Nikolai Bugaev’s student Pavel Nekrasov, and of other disciples of Bugaev, especially Vissarion Alekseev, the Baron Mikhail Taube, and Pavel Florensky. The book explores the views of these thinkers, all of whom were more or less closely associated with the Moscow Mathematical Society, on issues at the crossroads of mathematics, philosophy, literature, religion, and political ideology. Since he was the originator and pillar of the Moscow philosophico-mathematical circle, my critical comments focus on Nikolai Bugaev.
Keywords Russian Philosophy  Nikolai Bugaev  Russian Symbolism  Monadology  Leibniz  Pythagorians  Anti-Semitism  Mysticism
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