Nikolai Lossky and Henri Bergson

Studies in East European Thought 69 (1):3-16 (2017)
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Abstract

The twentieth century Russian philosopher Nikolai Lossky was one of the earliest and most important proponents—but also critics—of Bergson’s philosophy in Russia at a time when many Russian philosophers were preoccupied with the same complex of philosophical questions and answers that Bergson was addressing. Thus, if only from the standpoint of intellectual history, Lossky is central to the study of the reception of Bergson in Russia. In this article, I present the principal historical links, points of agreement between Bergson and Lossky, such as their respective anti-Kantianism, intuitivism, ontological realism, vitalism, organicism, Neo-Platonism, as well as their points of disagreement, including some of Lossky’s key criticisms of Bergson, with special emphasis on the issues of intuition, ideal being, substance and change, time, and sensible qualities. This paper is meant as an introduction to the translations of Lossky’s “Heдocтaтки гнoceoлoгiи Бepгcoнa и влiянie иxъ нa eгo мeтaфизикy” (The Defects of Bergson’s Epistemology and Their Consequences on His Metaphysics) (1913) and his review of Bergson’s, Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion (1932), which are published in the present issue of Studies in East European Thought.

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