Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences

  History of Philosophy. 2018, Vol. 23, No. 1
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History of Philosophy. 2018, Vol. 23, No. 1


Intellectual biographies


Igor D. Dzhokhadze. Has Richard Rorty Ever Been an Analytic Philosopher?

It has become a commonplace to distinguish between analytical and pragmatist phases in Richard Rorty’s philosophical career. Nevertheless, not all historians of American philosophy or Rorty’s colleagues agree with this conventional periodization. It is suggested that in the 1960–70s Rorty only disguised himself as analytical philosopher, actually being pragmatist. This view is held in United States by N. Gross, J. Richardson and C. West, and in Russia by E. Loginov. The purpose of this article is to refute the “sociological argument” put forward by Gross and those scholars who question the “polycentricity” of Rorty’s philosophy.

Keywords: Richard Rorty, pragmatism, analytical philosophy

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-5-16



World Philosophy: the Past and the Present


Nadia Maftouni. Images of Imagination for Iranian Philosophers

This essay tries to provide an account of imagination, having an underlying position in various issues such as those of philosophy of art. Although philosophers like Farabi, Avicenna and Suhrawardi show some features of Aristotle’s theory of imagination, they have expanded it thus new phases are added to it. Farabi conceptualizes imagination with three principal activities: storing sensory forms, composing and decomposing sensory forms, and imagery. Avicenna defines what Farabi calls the faculty of imagination as imagination, estimative and memory faculties. Suhrawardi criticizes Avicenna’s theory and offers an internal explanation as well as an external one. He reckons imaginary perception as a kind of illuminated intuitive knowledge implying observation of suspended forms, positing upon which a stage of the universe out of mind.

Keywords: imagination, artistic creativity, Aristotle, Farabi, Avicenna, Suhrawardi

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-17-28


Galina V. Vdovina. God, Angels and Conjoined Twins: Theological and Anthropological Applications of Post-Medieval Scholastic Psychology

The article discusses the post-medieval concepts of physical and intentional life, taken in their theological and anthropological applications. First, these concepts are applied to divine beings and checked for compliance with fundamental principles of rational theology concerning the perfect actuality of God. Secondly, they are applied to immaterial created substances – angels and checked for compliance with the general criteria of the living, adopted in late scholastic tradition, i.e. that of the immanence of vital acts and of their non-belonging to the natural status. Thirdly, these concepts are applied to the phenomenon of conjoined twins and provide a way to resolve the issue which was unquestionably important in theological perspective: how many souls and therefore how many lives are present in conjoined bodies and, hence, how many baptisms you need, so that these souls could be saved. The consideration of these applications also allows to draw some conclusions concerning the method of post-medieval scholastic philosophy.

Keywords: post-medieval scholasticism, physical and intentional life, God, angels, conjoined twins, philosophical psychology of scholasticism

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-29-41


Tamara B. Dlugatsch. Joseph de Maistre, as an Enemy of Enlightenment

The author traces the ideas of one of the most important European conservative thinkers. Moulded under the influence of Burke and Bossuet, de Maistre also mastered the doctrines of Enlightenment, and raised arguments against them. De Maistre criticized optimism and rationalism, proceeding from the picture of man as corrupted by incurable original sin. His invectives were directed primarily against Voltaire and Rousseau, irreligion and negativism in relation to the past and also against the theory of sovereignty and revolution. No human agreements and covenants can establish sanctity and inviolability of government, except divine will and presence of God in human affairs. Established from above, unwritten rights and obligations hide behind the customs, traditions, and are to be put in effect by monarchs. The revolution of 1789 de Maistre declared satanic and contrary to the will of the people. Its leaders did not actually lead it, but were involved into it by spontaneous movement that brought destruction. The monarchy, the best of human arrangements, was overthrown, but there is no doubt that it will be restored. De Maistre rejected the need for social change, and praised the preservation of traditions. In the 18th–19th centuries his teachings were widely known and popular in Europe and Russia.

Keywords: monarchy, revolution, divine will, rationalism, optimism, contract, constitution

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-42-55


Vera Pozzi. Irodion Vetrinskii’s “Institutiones Metaphysicae” and the St. PetersburgTheological Academy (Part I)

The author explores the “Institutiones Metaphysicae” (1821), the textbook by Irodion Yakovlevich Vetrinskii, professor at St. Petersburg Theological Academy. “Institutiones”, so far ignored as a  historical document, appears to illustrate the earliest reception and spread of Kantianism on Russia. The paper deals with Vetrinskii’s considerations in the first part of the textbook concerning the status of metaphysics. The author also defines the sources used by Vetrinskii, namely J.G. Daries’s “Elementa Metaphysices”, F.S. Karpe’s “Institutiones philosophiae dogmaticae”, and G.I. Wenzel’s “Elementa metaphysicae et anthropologiae”. The last, the author concludes, proves to be the most congenial to Kant’s philosophy.

Keywords: Philosophizing at Russian Theological Academies, Russian Enlightenment, Russian early Kantianism, St. Petersburg Theological Academy, history of Russian philosophy, history of metaphysics, G.I. Wenzel, I. Ya. Vetrinskii

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-56-66


Svetlana G. Gutova. Syncrethism in the Philosophy of the Pan-Unity of Vladimir Solovyov and Plotinus

This article gives the comparative analysis of philosophical ideas of Plotinus and V.S. Solovyov. The center of interest is the basic principles in their construction of the “pan-unity” theory. It is asserted that the idea of pan-unity is presented in the entire history of philosophical knowledge – from its sources up to now. The brief survey of the philosophical development of this idea shows its close connection with the philosophical mysticism, since the syncretic form of the construction of conceptual systems dominates in this field. It is found, that the problem of the construction of complex syncretism systems consists of the need for the methodological synthesis of the rational and mystical (or intuitive) ways of knowledge. To disclose the specific character of cross-cultural synthesis the methods of historic-philosophical reconstruction and comparative analysis were used. The main concepts of Plotinus and Solovyov philosophy were analyzed in this key. The logical connection in the theoretical constructs of Solovyov and Neo-Platonism in the region of epistemology, ontology and anthropology is revealed. It is accented that there is succession between the ideas of Goodness and Unity from Plotinus to Solovyov. In addition, the conclusion that Solovyov’s philosophical views rise from established mystical tradition is done. However, they were directed toward its development, comprehension and completion in the spirit of age.

Keywords: mysticism, rationalism, Neo-Platonism, methodological syncretism, philosophy of panunity, Godmanhood, holistic knowledge, “the One”, emanation

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-67-81


Mikhail А. Minakov. Return to the Most Important: Philosophical Revolt of Leo Shestov

The author analyses the philosophy of Leo Shestov in the context of struggle between modernists and traditionalists in Russia and Europe of the first half of the XX century. Shestov’s critique of philosophical solidity connects to his quest for origins of Being. A revolt against the fundamental philosophical thinking stems from his search for direct relation to Being. Towards this end Shestov revises philosophical canon and defines thinkers as unacceptable (Spinoza, Kant, Hegel) and acceptable, the philosophical Jerusalem (Abraham, Plotinus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche). He interprets the “flight to the primordial” as a way of thought transcending the rational-causal paradigm and moving towards the true-being dimension. Hence, Shestov’s position is regarded paradoxical: on one hand, he defends fideism and irrationalism, while on the other hand he rejects metaphysics of the next-world eternity. The author notes the convergence of Shestov’s position with that of Heidegger on issues, concerning the unhiddenness of truth, the void as possibility of realization of Being, and of God as a source of human being.

Keywords: Leo Shestov, Martin Heidegger, ontology, fundamentalism, modernism, traditionalism

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-82-95


Alexandra I. Vakulinskaya. Aspects of Ivan Ilyin's Philosophy and Russian Tradition of Understanding Law

The author analyzes the sources of Ivan Ilyin’s philosophical and legal theory within the framework of the Russian tradition of understanding law, and finds it similar to the ancient Russian perception of the concepts of “right” and “law”. Compared with the 18th-century philosophy of law and various  currents in the philosophy and legal science of the 19th – early 20th centuries, Ilyin’s theory seems to posit the source of law in the spiritual experience of an autonomously developing person. The author emphasizes that the peculiarity of the philosopher’s concept of law is his doctrine of legal awareness, based on three axioms: the rule of self-affirmation, the rule of autonomy, the rule of mutual recognition. The research performed has allowed to reveal the unique features of Ivan Ilyin’s law theory, as well as to show his work as a natural continuation of the Russian tradition of understanding law.

Keywords: Russian philosophy of law, jus and lex, idea of law, Moscow school of jurisprudence, natural-law theory, axioms of legal consciousness

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-96-107


Mariya M. Fedorova. History/Memory: “Difficult” Dilemma

The author attempts to analyze the problem of the correlation of history and memory. There were analyzed three models of the solution of this problem, presented in the modern French social and philosophical thought, and caused a huge public resonance – the theory of the collective memory of M. Halbwachs, the concept of “places of memory” of Pierre Nora and the hermeneutics of the history of P. Ricœur. The author shows that the solution of the problem is possible at the intersection of two lines of research – philosophical-epistemological and practical-political. At the same time, maintenance of the gap between history and memory leads to a depletion of history and opens up opportunities for manipulating with memory. At the same time, memory can be inscribed in an interpretative perspective open to the future, become a subject of collective capturing, but not simply an element of museography, divorced from the present. For a normally functioning society, the problem is not to divorce history and memory, having carefully delineating their sphere, but to resolve the issue of how to link history, memory and oblivion.

Keywords: history, memory, duty of memory, tradition, epistemology of history, history politics

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-108-121


Publications and Translations


Anatoly A. Yakovlev. Locke and the Furnace of Tolerance

Coming back to England in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution, Locke set up an intellectual community named The Dry Club, for communication of persons holding different opinions under the rules excluding conflicts. Locke’s ecumenical minimalism of “Reasonableness of Christianity”  was directed toward the advancement of toleration and helped to repair communion. The article is supplemented by translation of two documents written by Locke in 1688 and 1692, ‘Pacific Christians’ and ‘Rules of a Society’.

Keywords: John Locke, Francis van Helmont, Knorr von Rosenroth, Isaac Newton, John Dury, Samuel Hartlib, Joseph Mede, Benjamin Furly, Millenarianism, Kabbala, intolerance, conversionism, alchemy, toleration

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-122-126


Supplement. Charter and Rules of the Religious Society “Dry Club”




Ksenia V. Vorozhikhina. The Living God of Russian Philosophers (on N.N. Rostova's “The Expulsion of God. The Problem of the Sacred in the Philosophy of Man”.Moscow, 2017)

N.N. Rostovа’s book “The Expulsion of God. The Problem of the Sacred in the Philosophy of Man” is devoted to the theme of “the death of God” and the related topic of “death of a man”. According to the author, in European thought the concept of God was replaced by the category of the sacred, which is characterized as immanent and ambivalent. As Rostova points out, man (that is, consciousness) disappears with God, since God is a form, a structure ordering the chaos of human subjectivity. With the loss of this form, subjectivity is dispelled, and consciousness ceases to exist. The place of the disappeared consciousness remains a stream of subjective emotions and affects. The discourse of the sacred, being “a reflection of the self-consciousness of the scientific age”, presupposes an ontology and anthropology of continuity consistent with evolutionism, implying that the being and existence of man are limited to the immanent sphere. In contrast to the Western tradition, Russian philosophy, according to Rostova, is based on the traditional understanding of God as the only transcendental living and concrete truth. Russian philosophy is the philosophy of a cult that “covers the whole of reality”, the philosophy of unitotality and sobornost’, which derives human subjectivity from its isolation. Russian philosophy presupposes ontology and anthropology of “ruptures”, implying the mysterious interaction of the transcendent and the immanent, the finite and the infinite, the absolute and the relative. If in the Western tradition God was “banished”, like demons, for inhumanity and intolerance, then, according to the author, for the Russian philosophy God remains the basis of hierarchy, division, inequality, order and consciousness.

Keywords: “death of God”, sacral, mysterial, N.N. Rostova, Russian religious philosophy, G. Bataille, P.A. Florensky, the philosophy of the cult, the fear of God

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-130-135


Lev I. Titlin. Unify the Ununified (on J.C. Gold’s “Paving theGreat Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy”.New York: ColumbiaUniversityPress, 2015)

The reviewed book of J.C. Gold “Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy” is dedicated to the outstanding thinker of Ancient India, Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (4th century). The article contains brief information about the figure of the philosopher. The monograph, in six chapters of which Jonathan K. Gold considers the figure of Vasubandhu and the philosophy that unites his works is considered and analyzed in detail. The author of the review dwells in detail on the third chapter of the book, dedicated to the problem of the self in the philosophy of Vasubandhu, as well as Appendix B, which contains a brief refutation of the existence of the self from “Abhidharmakosha-bhashyam”. The author emphasizes Vasubandhu’s description by J.C. Gold as an ironic philosopher who consistently observes the form of explanation he deems necessary and ultimately self-destructive, and that the book is not an intellectual biography, but something like a portrait of an individual philosophical style capable of uniting the disjointed works of an ancient philosopher.

Keywords: Indian philosophy, Buddhism, Yogachara, Sautrantika, Sarvastivada, J.C. Gold, Vasubandhu, Abhidharmakosha-bhashyam, atman, anatman

DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-1-136-140


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