The article considers L.N. Tolstoy not only as a thinker who represents but also accomplishes Enlightenment. Through a comparison of his ideas with philosophy of Spinoza and Diderot, the author clarifies the aspects of the transition from Enlightenment to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. A special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview of Tolstoy and Diderot. The contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of (...) life of the three philosophers is revealed. The author also researches their philosophical interpretations of the nature of creative thought. Diderot describes the nature through the concept of paradoxism, Spinoza describes it with the concept of integrity, and Tolstoy uses the method of cohesion that he founds in literary works. If for the philosophers of European Enlightenment, the way of thinking is directly related to human nature, which is presented as a unity of natura naturans and natura naturata, then Tolstoy considers that the most important is a certain a priori sense of life, which is imbued with faith in God and with an instinct of self-giving that is love for the Supreme and other people. The method of cohesion leads Tolstoy away from the direct continuation of educational ideas, stressing the significance of appealing not only to reason but also to creative intuition. Tolstoy gradually moves away from rational perception of Life to its religious and existential foundations. Tolstoy’s worldview undergoes transition from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a human being who lives by commandments of Christ. Starting from the worldview of Enlightenment, Tolstoy comes to the creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which is relevant to early 20th century. (shrink)
The article discusses how the meaning of the principle of “non-resistance to evil by violence” was changing in L.N. Tolstoy's religious and philosophical teachings and how this principle was evaluated in Russian religious philosophy of the late XIX - early XX century. In the first version of Tolstoy’s teachings, set forth in the book “What is my faith?”, the principle of non-resistance was understood in a moral sense, as the norm for all people; its execution should lead to the perfection (...) of earthly life. This idea of L. Tolstoy was sharply criticised by his contemporaries, who noted that there was no truly religious content in Tolstoy’s teachings, it was turning into a utilitarian doctrine of the earthly progress of mankind. Given this criticism, Tolstoy in his later works changed his understanding of the principle of non-resistance. Drawing a distinction between two levels of human life - “animal” and divine, Tolstoy recognised the principle of non-resistance to the law as the divine life of a man. As a result, the principle of non-resistance has acquired a religious rather than moral meaning, since the transition of a man to a divine life means a mystical transformation of his being. He is aware of his super-spatial and super-temporary unity with all people and with all being, and therefore can evaluate the consequences of his actions not only in the limited sphere of his life, but also in all infinite being. In this regard, a person realizes the absolute superiority of good deeds over evil, even if the latter are committed to confront evil. It is shown that some critics of Tolstoy came to a similar understanding of the religious meaning of the principle of non-resistance at the end of their lives. (shrink)
The problem of the article is based on a long tradition of studying the category ‘antinomy‘ in the history of philosophy from antiquity until the early twentieth century. Antinomical thinking has particular importance for the spiritual life in the 20th century. The author draws attention to the fact that, for example, in the poetry of Thomas Stern Eliot antinomies and paradoxes are of philosophical and religious nature especially in then dealing with questions of reaching the Truth by rational way exclusively. (...) The basic material for studies are the works of modern Russian poets Olesya Nikolaeva, Sergei Kruglov, Timur Kibirov, Olga Sedakova and Helen Schwartz. It is shown how moral and philosophical themes and descriptions of the spiritual lives of the characters associated with the interpretation of ideas of compositions in the form of antinomies. The idea of the influence of the antinomies of thinking on aesthetics and system of images of Russian poets verses is justified. Article reveals the originality of each of the poets whose poems are analyzed in the work. The author concludes that modern poetry gives traditional antinomies personal psychological nature, but at the same time, problems and poetics of paradox are in tune with thinking of twentieth century as a whole - with its disastrous spirit, full of doubt and contradiction. (shrink)
Early in the fourth century Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, and at once had reason to regret his having done so; for now not only the Church but the state was convulsed by controversies about the Holy Trinity. These controversies raged for over two hundred years, after which the bishops found new intellectual outlets, if not more rational ones, for their animosities. But Trinitarian trouble was not dead, only sleeping. The Great Schism of the eleventh and (...) twelfth centuries, which split the Western from the Eastern Church, took place, on its theological side, over a question concerning the Trinity. This was, of course, that most famous of all theological questions, the question of the procession of the Holy Ghost, or of the filioque. The Orthodox theory was that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone. The Western bishops, however, were equally adamant that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father filioque - 'and the Son'. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Study of the social determinants of consciousness is one of the more timely problems of contemporary philosophy. It requires a complex study of various factors determining the social nature of human consciousness and the cultural-historical mediation of humankind's reflection of the world. Esthetics, which studies the phenomenon of esthetic consciousness, has a place among these scientific disciplines.
Purpose. To turn to the diaries and journalistic works by Leo Tolstoy, to study the content and method of his religious and ethical search. To doubt the faithfulness of his interpretation of the evangelical message of Christ. Theoretical basis. The author proceeded from the necessity of a dialectical understanding of the concepts of nonviolence, mercy, justice and a cultural-historical focus on the possibilities of society in realizing the spirituality principles. Originality. The author focuses on the unilateral nature of the methodology (...) that Leo Tolstoy uses to deny violence, as well as on the ambiguous role of Tolstoy's ideology in the morality of society. Conclusions. The spiritual activities an individual person is able to do and that are instructive for society from the point of view of its moral influence may not be sufficient means for educating moral responsibility in a society as a whole. Tolstoy's methodological approach to justifying the absoluteness of nonviolence principle is one-sided and not productive for a true interpretation of the spiritual nature of the Christ’s message about love and mercy. (shrink)
First of all, I should like to express my gratitude to the organizers of this discussion for their initiative in posing and debating the question of Soviet philosophy. I cannot but note the timeliness of this question: today we are sobering up from the mindless nihilism toward all that is "Soviet" and we observe an increasingly sober and realistic, balanced, and analytic approach to the assessment of our past history, including the history of Russian social thought. Indeed, we cannot dismiss (...) as nonexistent or nonessential the range of problems touching on the nature and character of Soviet philosophy and its social functions. In my opinion they exist and they are essential in any event, even when it is claimed that Soviet philosophy was only a failure, a "hole" in the history of Russian philosophical thought. There are several questions: what caused this failure, who is responsible for it, and can one in that case describe Marxist philosophy as the absence of philosophy? (shrink)
I do not feel I have the authority to evaluate the individual speeches, much less to venture any conclusion sans appel. Let me just limit myself to some cursory comments about the course of today's conversation and the prospects of a further discussion of this extremely complicated and serious topic.