Michael Hagemeister. Nikolaj Fedorov. Studien zu Leben, Werk und Wirkung

Russian Studies in Philosophy 30 (4):77-82 (1992)
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The name Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov has entered the ranks of the most outstanding thinkers who are worthy representatives of Russian philosophy. However, we shall not forget that this has become obvious only in recent years in the homeland of this unique philosopher. The scandal created by the publication in 1982 of Fedorov's works in the series Filosofskoe nasledie [Philosophical Heritage] is still remembered. On instructions from above, publication of the works was followed by dismissals, investigations, and allegations about the resurrection, under conditions of "developed socialism," of the works of a "religious-conservative utopian"; there was also an anti-Fedorov campaign in the press. True, enthusiastic investigators—philosophers, literary figures, and artists—did not cease their efforts either before or after this ill-starred scandal to study and publish the works of this "strange" thinker. But it should be said—and this is pointed out in the book under review here—that under conditions of unfree development of philosophical thought, Fedorov's ideas were sometimes distorted to better accord with official attitudes, to make them "acceptable" for publication under the circumstances of that time, as well as for the sake of adapting them for the propaganda of various unofficial ideas, such as "native soil" ideas. Both Fedorov's person and his works have been surrounded by legend. Paradoxical though it may seem, foreign students of the works of the Russian philosopher have had more favorable conditions to study his legacy and have written many articles and books about him. Among them, the dissertation by Michael Hagemeister, Nikolai Fedorov. Studies of His Life, Works, and Influence, published as a book in the series Marburg Studies in the History and Culture of Eastern Europe in 1989, occupies a worthy place



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