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Russian Academy of Sciences

  Philosophy Journal. 2017, Vol. 10, No. 4
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Philosophy Journal. 2017, Vol. 10, No. 4

The Philosophy Journal. 2017, Vol. 10, No. 4




MORALS, POLITICS, SOCIETYRevolution and the destiny of philosophy

Igor K. Pantin. October Revolution as a dramatic way toward modernity.

The author argues that contemporary disputes over the historical significance of the Russian Revolution of 1917 are influenced not so much by any newly discovered facts about the events, as by the struggle between the opposing views on whether the effects of the October uprising can be regarded as the advent of Russian modernity. The progressive liberal assessment of the October revolution which has been prevalent in Russian-language academic literature rests on the assumption that the way followed by Western European nations in their development is predetermined for all countries, and this is a self-evident 'historical law'. Any dissimilarity, any discrepancy from this pattern of progressive advancement gets considered as a failure to hang on to one's place in the civilization process or as a result of an intervention of a 'non-historical force'. No doubt such an idea of historical development completely neglects the situations where the masses assume the role of true agents of history, as human beings capable of 'self-legislation' and willing to break with the logic imputed by the old order. Moreover, a transformation of this kind is actually provoked in them not by their free will but rather is enforced onto them by the changing circumstances which demand revolutionary action.

Keywords: revolution, alternative, dictatorship, party, Jacobinism, agency, historical process, autocracy

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-5-20


Alexander V. Rubtsov. Revolution as a chronopolitics and an ethos.

The present article examines the two opposing approaches to revolution, that of cult-like worship vs. that of amnesia, or the nation's foundation myth vs. the origin of trauma. The author provides an analysis of the contradictory attitude toward the October Revolution in today's Russia, both when considered as an event in 1917 or seen as a political fact of universal significance. The recent history and political overturns which occurred in geographical proximity of Russia give multiple examples of how the idea of revolution as the highest possible threat is formed. This perspective allows to view Modernity as a revolution in itself and also as the Age of revolutions, fundamental to which is the conflict between the idea of the new and that of order, as well as dualism between modernization and totalitarianism, freedom and technocratic dictatorship. Particular attention is given to the destiny of both the notion and the phenomenon of revolution in postmodern thinking, considering its perception of history as a 'vanishing denotatum'. Revolution can also serve as one of the key notions of chronopolitics, or the politics of speed. Apart from this, the author attempts to demonstrate the historical nature of such terms as 'the present age', 'the time being', and similar: they emerge only when unified time, owing to ever increasing speed, gets exfoliated engendering the conflict between the alternating phases of lagging and outstripping. From the anthropological point of view, revolution can be analysed in terms of pathopsychology of political narcissism.

Keywords: revolution, chronopolitics, politics of speed, present age, modernity, postmodernity, novelty, order, freedom, totalitarianism, political narcissism

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-21-40


Alexey A. Kara-Murza. Critique of revolutionary consciousness in the work of Semyon Frank (140th anniversary of Frank’s birth).

In this paper, the author traces down the evolution of social and political ideas of the eminent Russian philosopher of the 20th century Semyon Ludwigovich Frank (1877-1950). As a young man, Frank had been an adherent of the Marxist variety of radical socialism; only the events of 1905–1907 led him, as well as other young intellectuals of his generation, such as Berdyaev, Bulgakov, Struve, Isgoev, Kistyakovski and others, to abandoning Marxism and positivism first for moderate Christian liberalism and then eventually for liberal conservatism. The immediate effect of the first Russian revolution on Frank was that he became member of the Constitutional Democratic Party and took part in 1909 collection of essays Vekhi ('Landmarks'). The article, further on, contains a detailed analysis of the most important among Frank's writings in political philosophy, mainly intended to debunk the ideology of Russian revolutionary intelligentsia, such as Philosophical prerequisites of Despotism (1907), The Ethics of Nihilism (Frank's contribution to Vekhi, 1909), De profundis (an essay from the homonymous collection of 1918), and the emigrant publication Beyond the Left and the Right (1930).

Keywords: Russian philosophy, Semyon Frank, revolution, intelligentsia, radicalism, liberal conservatism, emigration

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-41-58 


Alexander S. Tsygankov and Teresa Obolevitch. Semyon Frank on Pugachev as a symbol of Russian revolution. Appendix: S.L. Frank. Marx and Pugachev (Marx und Pugatschow).

In this publication, we present (in a Russian translation from German) the transcript of Semyon Frank's lecture notes entitled Marx und Pugachev (orig. Marx und Pugatschow), stored in the Bakhmeteff Archive in New York, USA. The lecture was delivered by Frank on 15 November 1927 at the Russian Scientific Institute in Berlin. The essaywhich serves an introduction to this publication defines the place which belongs to this manuscript text among the works on social and political philosophy Frank completed in 1920s, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It can be shown that throughout his entire output of this period, including the notes on Marx and Pugachev, Frank attaches to such names as Marx, Pugachev and Lenin a symbolic meaning. While even before this lecture Frank did use the word Pugachevshchina ('Pugachevism') as a general name for the particularly atrocious, blindfold kind of uprising common in Russian history, here Pugachev himself becomes a symbolic name for peasants and soldiers (Cossacks) who participate in the revolutionary movement and in whom Frank recognizes the 'mediating force' of the revolution. On the other hand, Pugachev remains for Frank a historical figure who in late 18th century already became an embodiment of many significant aspects of the Russian revolutionary type. A similar symbolic quality Frank also conveys to the figure of Lenin who is regarded by him as an 'amalgamation of Marx and Pugachev'. The introductory essay examines the possible reasons why from mid-1920s onward the reflections on revolution gain Semyon Frank's German-language writings an increasing weight.

Keywords: archival heritage of Semyon Frank, Russian philosophy in emigration, Russian revolution, Pugachev, Marx, Lenin

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-59-71 



Andrey V. Smirnov. Qiyās as a formal proof: the way the fuqahā’ argued. Part I.

This article makes a case for the hypothesis that the qiyās (lit. ‘co-measuring’) elaborated by the fuqahā’ (Islamic jurists) is a logically valid demonstration procedure and not an analogy judgement as it is generally assumed to be by Western scholars. The first part of the paper traces down the main stages in the theoretical evolution of qiyās within the’uṣūl al fiqh (foundations of Islamic juridical science). It can be argued that Islamic thinkers, including fuqahā’, were well acquainted with Greek syllogism; moreover, such eminent Islamic jurists as Ibn Ḥazm and al Ghazālī even advocated the adoption of Greek syllogism in fiqh as a method of demonstration. Generally the fuqahā’, however, preferred to develop an original theory of demonstration. This fact, hitherto unexplained in Western scholarship, can therefore be accounted for neither by the fuqahā’s alleged ignorance of Greek syllogism nor by their reluctance to adopt it. The solution here proposed is that the Greek-type qiyās-syllogysm and the genuine Islamic qiyās-commeasuring each have in fact a different epistemic basis. This hypothesis will be elaborated in the second part of the article.

Keywords: qiyās, fiqh, substantial logic, processual logic, episteme, demonstration, proof

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-72-92



Nina N. Sosna. ‘Faces in the sky’, social network agencies.

In this paper, the author brings into consideration certain modes of functioning of the networks, as well as their technological, social, political and biological aspects. Now that the integrated view of networks as a combination of biological, technological and social principles has become widespread, and the idea that networks are universally operable both on the level of biotechnology and that of social politics is prevalent, there emerges the problem of the elements of a network which are identifiable despite it still being widely recognized in the literature of the subject that network dataflow can neither be controlled nor decomposed. Combining Bruno Latour's vision of a network as claiming to uniformly include both human and non-human quasi-objects, constructed to explain processes of translation and substitution, with the conclusions about the elementary constituents of networks found in the works of technologically oriented media theorists, the present author argues that a more exact description of a network demands an analysis of the topological points where different subject areas intersect.

Keywords:media, agency, social network, individuation

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-93-103


Maxim D. Miroshnichenko. Transcendentalism and the arche-fossil: how a phenomenology of ‘non-given’ can be possible?

This article concerns the problem of the arche-fossil as a key element in the critique of transcendental philosophy, in particular phenomenology, within the project of 'speculative materialism' of Quentin Meillassoux, where it is represented as a variety of 'correlationism'. The present author argues that Meillassoux's position can be interpreted as sort of anti-traditionalism evolving on the principle of factuality, based on the factor of contingency. It lends itself to comparison with one of contemporary versions of naturalism with which it shares a common view of contingency problem and the assumption of the correlation between reason and nature as being historically and naturally predetermined. Further on, Catherine Malabou's attempt to revive transcendentalism in the form of 'epigenetic rationality', standing in opposition to Meillassoux's philosophy, is brought under consideration. The transcendental persists owing to the notion of epigenesis, first mentioned in §27 of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and elaborated in connection with the problem of teleology of all living beings. This is how reason gets informed of its own contingency, while not abolishing the immutability of architectonics of transcendental subjectivity. An intelligent discourse about the arche-fossil results possible within the framework of phenomenology where it is fulfilled as an essay of the phenomenology of the 'non-given' in a series of procedures of reducing of the 'non-given' to the given. Once the issue of arche-fossil has been thematized, there ensues a revision of certain guidelines of phenomenology. The polemic against Meillassoux's speculative materialism, where the main problem fields have to be defined from the perspective of correlation between the transcendental and the contingential, helps designate the implications of the speculative justification of phenomenology. Expanding on the works of Alexander Schnell and Iain Hamilton Grant, the author seeks to demonstrate how phenomenology, with its claim for the role of 'first philosophy', endeavours to find speculative self-justification as a transcendental philosophy.

Keywords: the arche-fossil, the transcendental, epigenesis, phenomenology, contingency, naturalism, speculative foundations of phenomenology

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-104-120



Gleb N. Mekhed. The Gnostic roots of the philosophy of Friedrich Maximilian Klinger’s Faust.

In this article, the author brings to an analysis the novel Faust, His life, Deeds, and The Overthrow to Hell by Friedrich Maximilian Klinger, relatively little known to Russian readers, and investigates the Gnostic conceptual roots of Faust as an archetype of European culture. Conceptual nucleus of Gnosticism consists in the problem of theodicy, which is also the focal point of Fausts's most profound reflections. The absolutist propensity of Faust's thinking and his morbid perfectionism make him perceive the world through Gnostic optics as the matter of non-being and the 'veil' separating humans from the true and supreme being, God; this eventually results in his moral and psychological degradation and spiritual sterility. It can be argued that the figure of Faust, legendary man of science who is prepared to trade his soul for the possession of absolute truth, could only come into existence as a literary embodiment of the same metaphysical and epistemological problems that perplexed many generations of European philosophers. A close study of the novel's text helps the author reveal the indissoluble connection between the problems first faced by Gnosticism and the modern philosophy, in particular that of critical rationalism, symbolically expressed by Klinger in the figure of Faust.

Keywords: history of philosophy, fiction, Faust, Klinger, Kant, Gnosticism, critical rationalism, theodicy

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-121-138


Tat’yana M. Ryabushkina. Subjectivity and temporality as conditions of the possibility of experience: identification or demarcation.

In this article, the author analyzes the tendency, manifest in transcendental phenomenological philosophy, to identify the concept of subjectivity with that of temporality. The most vital problem within this particular philosophical tradition concerns the conditions of the unity of conscious experience. The classical solution to this problem was that contents of consciousness are brought to unity by virtue of belonging to the same self. David Hume, however, questions its phenomenological validity, for the reason that perceptions are given to us as they are, i.e., as particular existences that come one after another. For Hume, as he admits in the Appendix to his Treatise, it appears impossible from the flux of perceptions alone to justify not only the existence of the self as a fixed self-identical entity and subject of perceptions, but even the existence of the persistent bundle or collection of different perceptions”. It is this difficulty that prompted Kant to consider the idea that Hume’s method of directly describing the content of consciousness needed to be complemented with the transcendental method. A further important step toward identifying subjectivity with temporality was made by Kant when he advanced his solution of the problem of self-consciousness as a necessary condition of the existence and unity of conscious experience. According to Kant, the difficulty that lies in the question “how can the subject have an internal intuition of itself” is common to every theory, and therefore nothing remains but to abandon the question and recognize that self-consciousness brought about by self-affectation is an essential feature of subjectivity. As a result, the study of subjectivity getssubsequently reduced to the exploration of only those cognitive processes which are conscious, the essential quality of such processes, their temporality, being perceived as'absolute subjectivity' (Husserl). The work of subjectivity is understood as temporalization, and subjectivity itself as time (Heidegger, Sartre). The present author argues that reliance on temporality in the understanding of subjectivity engenders the problem of the formal nature of connections within a conscious experience, which can be solved only by taking into consideration the preconscious level of subjectivity.

Keywords: phenomenology, transcendental philosophy, subjectivity, conscious experience, pre-reflective self-consciousness, temporalization, the quasi-temporal flow of consciousness, inner time-consciousness, passive synthesis, self-affection

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-139-155


Evgeniya A. Strizhak. Aby Warburg’s anthropological project in the perspective of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms.

The present article attempts, from the standpoint of philosophical anthropology, a reconstructionof Aby Warburg's last project in which some of his followers were also involved. Legitimacy of such approach is warranted by the results of a close examination of certain works in the history of medicine produced by Warburg's successors. These writings show the same interest in finding a strict correspondence between micro- and macrocosm as Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas, which suggests that the actual centrepiece of the project has to deal with anthropology, though not narrowly understood as, e.g. in Warburg's early study of the habits of Pueblo Indians, but rather in the widest sense of the term embracing the problem of the subject and its manifestations. To recreate this theoretical framework and the respective problems without transcending the limits Warburg set himself in his last project, the author recurs to the model of the subject of culture grounded in Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms. This latter model, in its turn, in order to match Warburg's ideas needs a careful revision which is achieved with the help of Cassirer's doctrine of symbolic concept based on the principle of mathematical function, or relational structure. To understand the problem of unity within Cassirer's ontology, one has to follow the reform of logic he undertakes. Only this way can his system be confronted with that implicitly present in Warburg. As a result, it becomes clear that what both systems have in common is that in either case the subject can only be defined via certain mediating symbolic structures: symbolic form and symbolic image. It ensues that the subject only comes to be as an array of its own projections which, as regards their unity, are functionally conditioned. The main difference between Cassirer's theory and the doctrine underlying Warburg's reflections is that for the latter the most important constituent of an image is its affective nature, whereas the former maintains cognition to be the 'purest' form of symbolic activity.

Keywords: Aby Warburg'santhropological project, theory of image, philosophy of symbolic forms, Cassirer, subject, symbol, medicine

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-156-170



Vadim M. Mezhuev. Philosophy as ideology.

This is an elaborated version of the paper read at the RAS Institute of Philosophy general seminar and attempting to demonstrate that philosophy, alongside with religion, morals, law, etc., directly belongs to ideology, the latter being understood as the world of ideas, or a system of alienated and ideally represented social relations of man. The idea that man as a rational being is by nature free from any form of personal dependence has been fundamental in Classical Western philosophy ever since its origins in antiquity; during the Modern period, with the advent of 'bourgeois (or civil) society', it gradually became universally adopted. (The term 'bourgeois philosophy', often applied to the thinking of this period, seems perfectly justified in this sense.) This idea lies at the heart of all classical Modern Age ideologies, i.e. conservatism, liberalism and socialism, all of which survive to this day, even if in somewhat modified versions. But what can philosophy be outside bourgeois society? For Marx, to take his example, the end of the bourgeois era would immediately mean the end of ideology and, along with it, of all philosophy which is doomed to be superseded by science.From this point of view, it is science that the critique of ideology belongs to, not philosophy. In reality, however, this kind of critique, contrary to Marx's prediction, proved to be not the end of philosophy but rather its transformation into a new quality, that of postclassical philosophy which is as remote from science as it is from ideology. Present-day ideologies in most cases have lost any connection with the idea of individual freedom as it was cultivated in philosophy. One is inclined to look for its legitimation into the depths of one's own existence, outside the limits of reason and society of any kind. Philosophy, on the other hand, tends to assume the role of intellectual intercourse between private persons, which remains unattached to any socially significant ideology. Philosophy thus becomes, as it were, every single one's personal ideology or serves the same function for a close group of friends.

Keywords: philosophy, ideology, science, critique, freedom, practice, spiritual production, idea, social relations, leisure

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-171-180


“Intolerance to theories means to be intolerant against thinking”: An interview with Raffaele Mirelli, by Nina N. Sosna, translated into Russian by Julia G. Rossius.

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2017-10-4-181-187