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  History of Philosophy, 2016, Vol. 21, No. 1.
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History of Philosophy, 2016, Vol. 21, No. 1.




Michail Gromov. Femininity in History of Russian Thought and Culture.

Femininity in this article is considered in the broad sense of the word. First, attention is drawn to Sophia the Wisdom of God, merging the ancient image of Pallas Athena and the old Testament image of the virgin of Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs. The article then presents the historical figure of Princess Olga, through whom Christianity began to penetrate Russia. The next figure of Euphrosyne of Polotsk a prominent 12th century enlightener. Standing out in the 17th century the author finds the bright person of Princess Sophia, who fought with Peter the Great for power. She was a pupil of Simeon of Polotsk, well-educated, knew Greek, Latin, Polish, and possessed a literary gift. But the time for such educated rulers will come only in the 18th century, the most significant of which will be Catherine the Great, a kind of philosopher on the throne, who did a lot for the prosperity of Russia.  

Keywords: femininity, Russian thought, Russian culture, Russian art, Sophia Wisdom Divine, philosopher on the throne, enlightenment


Vasily Vanchugov. Gender Aspect of the Professionalization of Philosophy in Russia: Historical and Philosophical Excursion.

The article is devoted to Mary Bezobrazova, the first among Russian women to receive training in philosophy. The author describes the main stages of her career and analyses her key works, showing the range of issues that reflect the spirit of time and her personal preferences (historiography, theoretical and practical ethics, the women’s movement, education). The focus is on works in the history of philosophy, and research in the field of Russian thought in particular, where Bezobrazova was among the few experts, who turned attention to the Old Russian period in the evolution of thought, and used rare manuscripts as empirical material. Research in the archives and collections, containing manuscripts, as sources for the study of philosophy, was an innovative method that was appreciated by few of her contemporaries, but created an elementary basis for further research in the field of reconstructing the past of the Russian thought.

Keywords: history of philosophy, source study, historiography, biography, women's education, ethics, feminism, University


Victoria Kravchenko. Maria Bezobrazova’s Works: the Background of Gender Researches in Russia.

The article considers one of important aspect of Maria Bezobrazova’s creative work (1857–1914), who was the first Russian woman – a professional philosopher. Bezobrazova upheld the principles of women‘s self-dependence and releasing from the “man’s appendage” role. She promoted idea of the consistent social-cultural women’s self-development and self-realization. Raising objections against the socialist ideas based on general equality in poverty and social limitations, Bezobrazova formulated the main social-philosophical, psychological and sociological problems which are a subject of modern gender researches, for example, she revealed different forms of obvious and latent exploitation of women, researched the problems of patriarchal family ruining, and ethno-cultural difficulties in forming psychological and social women’s independency. As a talented philosopher and ethicist, Bezobrazova created her own “ethical idealism”, the “pure morality” system, based on the peculiar interpretation of Kant’s “categorical imperative”. Bezobrazova based her philosophical position in the field of a women’s issue on the concepts of fairness, integrity, sincerity, duty, and responsibility. She insisted on the living, efficacious work in the women’s movement, and participated in the organization and working of Russian Women’s Mutual Charity Society (1895) and Ethics Society (1910).

Keywords: Maria Bezobrazova, Russian philosophy, women’s issue, gender inequality, the rights of women protection, gender and morality, “pure morality”


Irina Shcherbatov а. Factor of Philosophy in the System of Values of Catherine II.

The article analyses how Russian thinkers and political figures of the 18th century who were passionately consuming the ideas of the Enlightenment actually understood them. The author argues that the Russian society of the second half of the 18th century had a traditionalistic, a syncretic worldview, and was based on paternalism, submission to autocracy, the vision of the power as provided and ensured by God, and the vision of the social structure as composed of estates. This condition of the Russian society of the 18th century prevented the majority of Russian thinkers and political figures from grasping the ideals of the Enlightenment adequately and consistently. The author argues that Catherine the 2d was however one of the few people who actually received those ideas adequately and consistently. Yet, the outcomes of this reception were highly ambivalent on the level of Catherine’s political decisions and moral ideals. The author claims that Catherine understood and accepted some democratic and individualistic ideals of the Enlightenment, such as the aspiration to create a new personality, the ideas of personal happiness, natural law, civic service, anticlericalism, anthropocentrism, and social equality. Yet, at the same time, she systematically refused to put these ideals in practice in Russia.  

Keywords: Catherine the 2d, enlightenment, philosophy, humanism, concepts, morality, traditional society, retranslation meanings


Ksenia Vorozhikhina. Varvara Malakhieva-Mirovich's Philosophical Quest.

Poet, essayist, philosopher and translator Varvara Malakhieva-Mirovich was close to the circle of writers and philosophers of Russian religious and philosophical Renaissance, she knew L. Tolstoy, P. Florensky, E. Gertsyk and others. In her youth Mirovich was fascinated by theosophy, L. Shestov and F. Nietzsche′s philosophy. Inspired by Shestov she became the translator of William James's “The Varieties of Religious Experience”. At the core of Mirovich's worldview lies Manichean opposition between light and dark forces, which she identifies with spirit and matter. Death in the context of such dualism is regarded as redemption and liberation from matter and embodiment, and life – as preparation for the afterlife. Mirovich could not find her place in the Soviet surroundings, reality seemed to her corrupted with coarseness, materialism, and prose of everyday life. This world outlook got manifestation in Mirovich's poetry, which in its literary form and techniques was close to the Lianozovo artistic group. Ideologically, spiritually and emotionally she lived in a pre-revolutionary past among those who were close to her, i.e. thinkers and writers of the Silver Age. The article deals with intellectual biography of Varvara Mirovich and covers main themes of her work: the duality of human nature, which combines low and sublime; the cruelty of natural laws that condemn people to mental and physical torments, aging and death; existential experiences of loneliness, desolation and love.

Keywords: Lev Shestov, everyday life, poetry, God-seeking, death, decadence, theosophy, Daniil Andreev


Natalia Bonetskaya. The Philosophical Androgynes.

The Silver age was marked by a specific philosophical co-creation of men and women, which the author calls, remembering a myth from Plato's dialogue “Feast”, philosophical androgenism. This paradigm was defined already in the 19th century by Vl. Soloviev and A. Schmidt, who independently from each other developed the doctrine of the Church-Sophia, being the first in the line of philosophical androgynies. “Philosophical Church” by D. Merezhkovsky and Z. Gippius; the phenomenon of the tower of Vyach. L. Ivanov and Zinovieva-Annibal; an esoteric interpretation of the image of St. Seraphim of Sarov, offered by M. Voloshin and M. Sabashnikova; the memoir image of R. Steiner, presented from the two points of view of Andrei Bely and A. Turgeneva: these are the “philosophical androgynous” to be comprehended in the work.

Keywords : Sophian momentum, female creativity, Ecumenical Christianity, love and love, “Church” Dionysus, demonic, Gnosticism, anthroposophy, Christianity, neo-paganism




Denis Letnyakov. N.M. Karamzin and the Origin of Nationalist Discourse in Russia.

The paper is devoted to the process of formation of nationalist ideas in Russia by the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The author considers the conditions and the causes of the rise of these ideas, their development, as well as different collisions in the adoption of the European idea of nation in an autocratic empire with an estates system. It is shown that N.M. Karamzin played a crucial role in the genesis of the Russian nationalist discourse so his philosophical heritage should be estimated not only with reference to ideology of Russian conservatism but in the context of nationalism.

Keywords: N.M. Karamzin, nationalism, conservatism, ideology, Russia, Europe, nation, the people (narod)


Aleksandra Berdnikova. Neo-Leibnizianism in Russia: Two Projects of “Monadology”.

The article is devoted to the analysis of the two “monadological projects” in Russian philosophy – “Evolutionary Monadology” of N.V. Bugaev and the “critical Monadology” of P.E. Astafiev. Despite the fact that they belonged to different fields of science (mathematics and psychology), their projects were based on similar ideas. For example: the theory of discontinuous functions (arithmology) and the theory of psychic rhythm; idea of Monad as a living unit with an active freedom of will; and the critical rethinking of Leibniz’s “Monadology”. All of these moments reflect the distinctive features of the still poorly studied movement of Russian Neo-Leibnizianism, and show the peculiarities of Leibniz reception in Russia.

Keywords: G.W. Leibniz, N. Bugaev, P. Astafiev, evolutionary monadology, critical monadology, arythmology, will, efforce, inner experience, personalism, neo-leibnizianism


Sergey Bazhov. To the Question of Theoretical Issues in P.I. Novgorodtsev’ Philosophy of Law.

Taking into consideration the multidimensional nature of philosophical and legal heritage of P.I. Novgorodtsev, in which the natural-legal paradigm was closely tied to the legal and ethical-philosophical issues, and the natural-legal paradigm was developed in the methodological, historical and theoretical aspects; the article attempts to identify, to reconstruct the main theoretical problems of the philosophy of law of the famous Russian philosopher. The article discusses the evolution of theoretical problems in the legal philosophy of P. I. Novgorodtsev (from consideration of the 'revival' of natural law to the analysis of its transient and essential contents and, further, to the development of a natural law paradigm in the context of the crisis of legal conscience). The author emphasizes that such aspects of Novgorodtsev’s philosophical and legal perspective – as the question of the thematic “genre” of the philosophy of law, the relation of morality and law, subjective and objective ethics, of state and law, etc. are still of significant scientific and philosophical interest.

Keywords: P. P. I. Novgorodtsev, natural legal paradigm, philosophy of law, the relation of morality and law, state and law, subjective and objective ethics


Alexander Tsygankov, Teresa Obolevich. The Social Philosophy of Sergei Bulgakov in the Contemporary German-speaking Investigations (on the Example of the Works of K. Breckner).

The article analyses the contemporary German-speaking reception of the socio-philosophical thought of Sergei Bulgakov (based on the examples of the works of Hamburg’s scholar, Katharina Breckner). The basic “thinking prisms” which was used by the German scholar in her work on the interpretation of the concept of “Christian socialism” are exposed. The model of the comprehension of the socio-philosophical heritage of the Russian thinker proposed by Breckner is called the “mythological ontology” with the main principle of eliminating the symbolic element from socio-philosophical projects. According to the German scholar, such a model would underlie “the projective socialistic myths” and “the Christian socialism” of Sergei Bulgakov in particularly. This very position, which denies the symbolicity and implies bestowing the ideal with the status of the objective and independent reality to be achieved, is key for the Russian thinker’s understanding of such system-shaping notions of his philosophy as “communal man” and “communion” (sobornost).

Keywords: german-speaking reception of Russian philosophy, social philosophy of S. Bulgakov, contemporary investigations of the Russian thought, Sergei Bulgakov, Кatharina Breckner


Nikolai Gerasimov. E.V. Spektoskij as a Historian of «Social Physics».

The author analyzes the scientific heritage of the outstanding historian and philosopher Evgenij Spektorskij. The article studies some details of Evgenij Spektorskij’s biography, because the story of his life in emigration is still little studied. In the center of the article is the problem of social physics.  Spektorskij developed this problem in the light of historical and philosophical analysis. The article deals with the question of how and why Spektorskij describes the origin of social physics through the study of dialogue between the idea of natural and the idea of social. The author of the article argues that Spektorkij believed that the ancient social life was the general conceptual basis of the physical outlook of the Modern Age, which gave rise to the phenomenon of social physics.

Keywords: E. Spektorskij, social physics, Russian philosophy, Russian philosophy in emigration, history of Russian emigration


Viktor Kupriyanov. The Transformation of Bergson’s Philosophy of Duration in S.L. Frank’s Ideal-Realism.

The paper is devoted to S.L. Frank’s interpretation of H. Bergson’s philosophy of duration. Analyzing “Knowledge. Principles and Limitations of Conceptual Perception” the author of the article shows the way Frank treated Bergson’s philosophy of duration and which meaning it had in the philosophical discourse of the Russian thinker. Thus, it is demonstrated in the article that Bergson’s philosophy of duration was key to Frank’s understanding of the nature of the Absolut and Being, which speaks well for the fact of extensive influence of Bergsonism on Frank in that period of his creative work. Regardless of the fact that in “Knowledge. Principles and Limitations of Conceptual Perception” Frank was quite critical of the implications of philosophy of duration, he himself admitted that as a matter of fact Bergson in his philosophy of time had not discovered the time as pure duration but the absolute All-Unity of Being, which the Russian philosopher’s gnoseological conception was intended to discover. The result of such thinking is the idea that man is capable to immediately find in himself the Absolute, with ir which Bergson, in Frank’s opinion, highlights only the side of the becoming, while the substantial analysis of the philosophy of duration reveals the true All-Unity in it. Hence, it is this bergsonian becoming-creation, or élan, that is a necessary trait of the Absolute for Frank.

Keywords: Henri Bergson, Semen Frank, philosophy of duration, Russian religious philosophy, non-classical philosophy, time, the Absolute




Sergey Korsakov. Boris Grigoryevich Stolpner (for Archival Materials).

B.G. Stolpner translated most of Hegel’s writings into Russian language. His translations are republished again and again. Therefore he is relevant today as a philosophical writer. However, there still has been little research of his life and work. Work in several archives helped to assemble a "mosaics", which allows to trace the life, character, and beliefs of B.G. Stolpner in more detail than before. Basing the article on archival documents, the author tells about the life and writings of B.G. Stolpner, about his cooperation with Russian machists, his work at the Institute of philosophy after the revolution, and presents the contents of his speeches in various philosophical discussions. Appended is the never before published autobiography of B.G. Stolpner. Hopefully, this work will provide for a more accurate determination of B.G. Stolpner’s place in the philosophical process in Russia.

Keywords: B.G. Stolpner, machism, G.W.F. Hegel, Soviet philosophy, Institute of philosophy





Regula M. Zwahlen.The Trinitarian Concept of Person of Nikolai Berdyaev and Sergei Bulgakov.

In the beginning of the 20th century Russian philosophy eagerly returned to the concept of the Holy Trinity. Reflections of Russian personalists like Nikolai Berdyaev and Sergei Bulgakov over man as the image of God also explained the interpersonal being of man and his relations to God and the world. If we take Berdyaev's and Bulgakov's main anthropological concepts – theanthropism, the image of God, person – as related to their understanding of the Holy Trinity, it may clarify many conceptual differences in their systems of thinking. Berdyaev sees the (God-)man as originally directly participating in the trinitarity of God, while Bulgakov investigates the structure of man as the image of God and an autonomous analogue of the Holy Trinity. The main difference between the anthropological concepts of both thinkers shows in the explanation of “this world” as the consequence of the fall of man in Berdyaev and as the fact of divine creation in Bulgakov. This contradiction has consequences for their explanation of human creativity: Berdyaev's man is destined to “creatio ex nihil” as God himself and must overcome “this world” to recover the initial unity of man and God in the Trinity. Bulgakov's man is destined to creation on the borders of God's creation: he must give the wold such form, will allow God to “live” in it. Berdyaev's concept of person seeks the unity of man and God and Bulgakov's concept of person seeks dialog and synergy of man and God.

Keywords: person, creativity, Russian religious philosophy, personalism, the Trinity, God's image and likeness, theanthropism, Nikolai Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov





Vladimir Sidorin. On A. Deblasio’s «The End of Russian Philosophy. Tradition and Transition at the Turn of the 21st Century».

The review analyzes A. DeBlasio’s “The End of Russian Philosophy. Tradition and Transition at the Turn of the 21st Century” and examines the main theses of the author: the supposed historico-philosophical character of the so-called “philosophical boom” of the 1990-s; the exhaustion of “the nationalist narrative”, which was directed to identifying the distinguishing features of Russian philosophy; the universal conception of philosophy as a science without any national and cultural specificity; the crisis of the conservative approach in the historiography of Russian philosophy. The conservative historiographic approach, criticized by A. DeBlasio, is compared with the western histories of Russian philosophy. This analysis allows to conclude that in certain cases the author’s argumentation seems to be unconvincing. Critical assessment is also given to the author’s attempt to examine the complicated, many-sided and intricate sociocultural situation by means of simplifying binary oppositions.

Keywords: Russian philosophy, history of philosophy, nationalist narrative, conservative historiography, universal conception of philosophy


Anatoly Chernyaev. Neopatristic Synthesis as a Meeting of Tradition and Modernity.

The review discusses the importance of Paul Gavrilyuk’s monograph for understanding the history of Russian religious thought of the 20th century in the dynamic relation of tradition and modernism as its key landmarks. The work reviewed is a successful combination of theoretical and empirical genres of the history of ideas: it introduces a number of new documents, and based on their analysis, the author proposes a new concept of the history of Russian religious-philosophical renaissance. It is shown that the book of Gavrilyuk also sheds new light on the many individual stories of the history of Russian religious thought and helps to overcome the considerable number of stereotypes related to it. The author's socio-psychological analysis of the relationships between different generations of Russian religious thinkers abroad should be marked as having great historical-philosophical productivity. In particular, it gave the author of the reviewed monograph additional reason to interpret the legacy of Vladimir Solovyov and the whole Russian religious-philosophical renaissance as a "polemical subtext" of the concept of neo-patristic synthesis, developed by Florovsky. It is justified to interpret the critique of ideology of Eurasianism by Florovsky as based on building identity along not national, but religious lines. In this regard, the author has also taken a successful attempt to uncover the conceptual relationship of historical and philosophical works of Florovsky devoted to criticism of Western "pseudomorphs" of Russian theology and that part of his legacy, which contained the neo-patristic synthesis program. In addition to a detailed explication of the genesis and evolution of the neo-patristic synthesis, the author takes a critical analysis of Florovsky's conception, the basic contradictions of which are seen in the field of the history of philosophy. The incompleteness of neopatristic synthesis is a fundamental feature of this open project.

Keywords: Russian religious-philosophical renaissance, Vladimir Solovyov, Georges Florovsky, neo-patristic synthesis