This paper deals with the ontological foundations of the Soviet interpretation of dialectical materialism as exemplified by one of its “founding fathers,” Abram Deborin, in his works of the late 1920s. It has been claimed that the “ontologizing” tendency in Soviet philosophy is due to the influence of Friedrich Engels and his ideas pertaining to the dialectics of nature. However, a more plausible interpretation is that the ontologism of Soviet philosophy is connected with the rejection of the Kantian Copernican turn (...) in philosophy and the idea of the primacy of gnoseology it implies. In this article, I argue in favor of the latter thesis. Ontologism, i.e., the tendency to give priority in philosophy to questions concerning Being, and anti-Kantianism are but two sides of the same coin. (shrink)
E. V. Il'enkov is regarded as perhaps the most "Spinozist" of Soviet philosophers. He used Spinoza's ideas extensively, especially in developing his concept of the ideal and in his attempts to give a more precise philosophical formulation to the "activity approach" of the cultural-historical school of Soviet psychology. A more detailed analysis reveals, however, that Il'enkov's reception of Spinoza was highly selective, and that there are substantial differences between them.
Evald Ilyenkov (1924-1979) was an outstanding philosopher, whose ideas not only influenced profoundly the Soviet philosophy, but even left their mark on the discussions concerning the role of the dialectical method, the theoretical foundations of psychology and the philosophy of Marxism in general. This volume is based on the selected materials presented twenty years after the death of Ilyenkov at an international congress in Helsinki. The contributions focus on several areas of Ilyenkov's influence: on psychology, on semiotics, on the logic (...) of Marx's Capital. The volume also includes a previously unpublished foreword by Ilyenkov to the Russian edition of Hegel's Science of Logic. (shrink)
In his last, uncompleted essay Teoreticheskaja filosofija (1897–1899) Vladimir Solov'ëv seems to acknowledge thecentral statements of Kant's epistemology andphilosophy of subjectivity in a manner whichhas lead many interpretators to think that hewanted to revise substantially his earlierphilosophy. A closer look at Solov'ëv'sarguments show, however, that this is not thecase: his critique of the Cartesian concept ofsubjectivity does not allow him to embraceKantianism, either. So it must be stated thateven Solov'ëv does not, in the last instance,abandon the primarily Anti-Kantian positions ofRussian (...) idealism. (shrink)
The article analyzes Lev Vygotsky’s attempts to utilize Spinoza’s philosophical ideas in solving the methodological crisis of psychology in the 1920s and 1930s. Vygotsky had a manuscript, Uchenie ob emocijakh, where he scrutinized the doctrines of the effects on Descartes and Spinoza. Whilst Descartes’ doctrine built on a dualistic soul versus body premise, Spinoza’s starting point was monistic. Despite his clear sympathies for Spinoza’s solution, which according to him was more compatible with Marxism, too, Vygotsky did not manage to finish (...) his study. One may, indeed, doubt whether Spinoza was able to deliver the decisive key for the solution of the dualism problem, since his philosophy built on metaphysical postulates that were unacceptable to Vygotsky. (shrink)
The Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki organized in 25–26 of September 2009 a special symposium Northern Lights — Facets of Enlightenment Culture with the aim to discuss form of Enlightenment thought in Sweden/Finland and Russia. The symposium, which was opened by Prof. Emeritus Matti Klinge, a renowned historian of 18th- and 19th-century Finland, had four participants from Russia, five from Finland and one from Germany; thus, it was yet a quite small event, but we hope that with it (...) the foundations of a fruitful co-operation, with annual symposia on questions of Enlightenment culture, will be laid. Of the speakers, Prof. Tatiana Artemyeva, Dr. Oili Pulkkinen and Prof. Vesa Oittinen focused on more general problems of study of Enlightenment ideas, while the other contributions dealt with different ―case studies‖ either in Sweden/Finland (Dr. Kimmo Sarje, Dr. Johan Sten), Russia (Prof. Mikhail Mikeshin, Dr. Johannes Remy, Dr. Larisa Agamalian), in France (Dr. Alla Zlatopolskaya) or Germany (Dr. Carola Häntsch). (shrink)
A Kantian Utopia in Russia: Erikh Solov'ëv. The article deals with Erikh Solov'ëv, a historian of philosophy who is one of the best Soviet and post-Soviet exponents of Kant. In several of his works and articles, published in the 1990s, Solov'ëv has attempted to apply the ideas of Kant's social philosophy to post-Soviet realities. Kant is important above all as a theoretician of a free subjectivity, human rights, and a critic of paternalism in social life. Several Kantian motives came to (...) the fore during the perestrojka when the Marxist "class approach" was abandoned and "all-human" values entered into the discussion. Later, Solov'ëv attempted to develop Kantian guidelines for a post-Soviet society, including moral norms for businessmen in the new Russia, but these attempts bore the distinct hallmark of social utopianism. (shrink)
The article focuses on one highly idiosyncratic trait of Lifshits’ reading of Hegel, namely his assertion that the epoch of Restoration during which Hegel produced his main works was analogous to the period of the 1930s in the USSR. In both cases, “constructive” tasks came to the fore as the fermentation of the revolutionary era waned. On this assumption, Lifshits built up his idea of a Restauratio magna, which should serve as the guiding star of cultural politics. In fact, Lifshits (...) came very near to rehabilitating of Edmund Burke’s views about the conservation of cultural heritage, which is highly problematic in light of his initial Marxist convictions. (shrink)
In his last, uncompleted essayTeoreticheskaja filosofija (1897–1899)Vladimir Solov'ëv seems to acknowledge thecentral statements of Kant's epistemology andphilosophy of subjectivity in a manner whichhas lead many interpretators to think that hewanted to revise substantially his earlierphilosophy. A closer look at Solov'ëv'sarguments show, however, that this is not thecase: his critique of the Cartesian concept ofsubjectivity does not allow him to embraceKantianism, either. So it must be stated thateven Solov'ëv does not, in the last instance,abandon the primarily Anti-Kantian positions ofRussian idealism.