What history of philosophy do we need, or, is soviet scientific
Your complimentary articles. You can read four articles free per month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please. The main aim of this article is to describe briefly the state of philosophy in the USSR and how it has been affected by the recent change in ideological context.
From the time of its foundation and during a long period afterwards, Marxism-Leninism was the official philosophical doctrine in the USSR. Thus the policy of the CPSU strictly determined the state of philosophy in the USSR both in the educational system and in the field of philosophical investigations.
It was only Marxism- Leninism and nothing else. All the alternatives were drowned in a strong stream of negative criticism or were simply excluded from the sphere of cultural information. But now in the period of Perestroika the situation has changed. The change of the State ideological concept to democracy and pluralism exerted great influence on philosophy in the Soviet Union.
For one thing, the political ideals of the CPSU were modified for example, such an important principle of Leninism as the priority of class interests to the interests of humanity was eliminated ; for another, the position of the CPSU in the State government changed.
Negative phenomena in the economy and social sphere of the country obviously showed that from the point of view of social practice something was wrong in Marxism- Leninism or in its former interpretations.
Thus it became clear to every intelligent person: either some new understanding of Marxism was needed or else something radically new. Now it is very difficult to speak about official philosophy in the USSR because the processes of Perestroika have not finished, the political situation in the country is unstable and certainly it is simply impossible to fix modern official philosophy as a paradigm.
Now let us turn to the nature of philosophy in the educational system in the USSR. Traditionally in the Soviet secondary school programme philosophy was included in the so-called course of social subjects which began from studying the basics of the State and of law and finished with sociology. The course of political economy presented the contents of the first volume of K. The philosophical programme in secondary schools described in general the struggle of two philosophical lines: materialism and idealism.
Philosophy was defined as the science of the most general laws of nature, society and thinking. But what are substance and consciousness? But consciousness is that which is not substance. Then the attributes of matter: space, time and motion are described in the text. And after that without any basis for distinguishing them the textbook presents a classification of the forms of motion: mechanical, physical, chemical, biological and social. After that, the philosophical programme is over.
In principle the same educational scheme was repeated in the university philosophy programme. Certainly only in principle because the programme of social disciplines in universities was incomparably wider. Yet until recently students had to study for a year a great course of history of the CPSU before studying philosophy.
The philosophical programme included dialectical materialism, historical materialism, scientific atheism and scientific communism. Also students studied political economy of capitalism by Marx and socialism the only authorities were economic documents of the CPSU.
At special philosophical departments the philosophical programme was rather wider. There were such subjects as ethics, aesthetics, logic, history of philosophy, criticism of modern bourgeois philosophy and some special courses. But all the materials were given from the point of view of Marxism-Leninism. Probably traditional formal and mathematical logic was the only one subject which, because of its specificity, evaded politicoideological pressure.Leninismprinciples expounded by Vladimir I.
Lenin, who was the preeminent figure in the Russian Revolution of Whether Leninist concepts represented a contribution to or a corruption of Marxist thought has been debated, but their influence on the subsequent development of communism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere has been of fundamental importance.
Lenin saw the Communist Party as a highly committed intellectual elite who 1 had a scientific understanding of history and society in the light of Marxist principles, 2 were committed to ending capitalism and instituting socialism in its place, 3 were bent on forcing through this transition after having achieved political power, and 4 were committed to attaining this power by any means possible, including violence and revolution if necessary. At the root of Leninist authoritarianism was a distrust of spontaneity, a conviction that historical events, if left to themselves, would not bring the desired outcome— i.
Lenin was not at all convinced, for instance, that the workers would inevitably acquire the proper revolutionary and class consciousness of the communist elite; he was instead afraid that they would be content with the gains in living and working conditions obtained through trade-union activity.
In this, Leninism differed from traditional Marxismwhich predicted that material conditions would suffice to make workers conscious of the need for revolution.
Just as Leninism was pragmatic in its choice of means to achieve political power, it was also opportunistic in the policies it adopted and the compromises it made to maintain its hold on power. If the conditions of Russia in its backward state of development did not lead to socialism naturally, then, after coming to power, the Bolsheviks would legislate socialism into existence and would exercise despotic control to break public resistance.
The building of the socialist society proceeded under a new autocracy of Communist Party officials and bureaucrats. Communist rule in the Soviet Union resulted instead in the vastly increased power of the state apparatus. Terror was applied without hesitation, humanitarian considerations and individual rights were disregarded, and the assumption of the class character of all intellectual and moral life led to a relativization of the standards of truth, ethicsand justice.
List of Russian philosophers
Leninism thus created the first modern totalitarian state. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History.
Alternative Titles: Boshevism, Marxism-Leninism. Read More on This Topic.
Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Russia in the early 20th century was an unlikely setting for the proletarian revolution that Marx had predicted.
Its economy was primarily agricultural, its factories were few and inefficient, and its industrial proletariat was small. Most Russians were peasants who farmed…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address.This article provides a historical survey of Russian philosophers and thinkers.
It emphasizes Russian epistemological concerns rather than ontological and ethical concerns, hopefully without neglecting or disparaging them. After all, much work in ethics, at least during the Soviet period, strictly supported the state, such that what is taken to be good is often that which helps secure the goals of Soviet society.
Various conceptions of Russian philosophy have led scholars to locate its start at different moments in history and with different individuals. Despite the difficulties, we can distinguish five major periods in Russian philosophy. In the first period The Period of Philosophical Remarksthere is a clear emergence of something resembling what we would now characterize as philosophy.
However, religious and political conservativism imposed many restrictions on the dissemination of philosophy during this time. The second period The Philosophical Dark Age was marked by much forced silence of the Russian philosophical community.
Many subsumed philosophy under the scope of religion or politics, and the discipline was evaluated primarily by whether it was of any utility. The third period The Emergence of Professional Philosophy showed an increase in many major Russian thinkers, many of which were influenced by philosophers of the West, such as PlatoKantSpinozaHegeland Husserl.
The rise of Russian philosophy that was not beholden to religion and politics also began in this period. In the fourth period The Soviet Erathere were significant concerns about the primacy of the natural sciences. This spawned, for example, the debate between those who thought all philosophical problems would be resolved by the natural sciences the mechanists and those who defended the existence of philosophy as a separate discipline the Deborinists.
The fifth period The Post-Soviet Era is surely too recent to fully describe. However, there has certainly been a rediscovery of the works of the religious philosophers that were strictly forbidden in the past. The very notion of Russian philosophy poses a cultural-historical problem.
No consensus exists on which works it encompasses and which authors made decisive contributions. To a large degree, a particular ideological conception of Russian philosophy, of what constitutes its essential traits, has driven the choice of inclusions.
In turn, the various conceptions have led scholars to locate the start of Russian philosophy at different moments and with different individuals. Among the first to deal with this issue was T. Masaryk, following the lead of a pioneering Russian scholar E. Radlovheld that Russian thinkers have historically given short shrift to epistemological issues in favor of ethical and political discussions.
For Masaryk, even those who were indebted to the ethical teachings of Immanuel Kantscarcely understood and appreciated his epistemological criticism, which they viewed as essentially subjectivistic. However, he makes clear that the Russian predilection for unequivocal acceptance or total negation of a viewpoint stems, at least to a large degree, from the native Orthodox faith.
For this reason, Masaryk certainly placed the start of Russian philosophy no earlier than the 19th century with the historiosophical musings of P. For N. LosskyRussian philosophers admittedly have, as a rule, sought to relate their investigations, regardless of the specific concern, to ethical problems. This, together with a prevalent epistemological view that externality is knowable—and indeed through an immediate grasping or intuition—has given Russian philosophy a form distinct from much of modern Western philosophy.
Even then, Russian thought remained heavily indebted to developments in Germany until the emergence of 19th century Slavophilism with I.
Kireyevsky and A. Khomiakov Even more emphatically than Lossky, V. Zenkovsky denied the absence of epistemological inquiry in Russian thought. In his eyes, Russian philosophy rejected the primacy accorded, at least since Kant, to the theory of knowledge over ethical and ontological issues.Russian philosophy includes a variety of philosophical movements.
Authors who developed them are listed below sorted by movement. While most authors listed below are primarily philosophersalso included here are some Russian fiction writers, such as Tolstoy and Dostoyevskywho are also known as philosophers. Russian philosophy as a separate entity started its development in the 19th centurydefined initially by the opposition of Westernizersadvocating Russia's following the Western political and economical models, and Slavophilesinsisting on developing Russia as a unique civilization.
The latter group included Nikolai Danilevsky and Konstantin Leontievthe early founders of eurasianism. The discussion of Russia's place in the world has since become the most characteristic feature of Russian philosophy.
In its further development, Russian philosophy was also marked by deep connection to literature and interest in creativitysocietypolitics and nationalism ; cosmos and religion were other notable subjects. From the early s to late s, Russian philosophy was dominated by Marxism presented as dogma and not grounds for discussion.
Stalin's purges, culminating indelivered a deadly blow to the development of philosophy. A handful of dissident philosophers survived through the Soviet period, among them Aleksei Losev. Stalin's death in gave way for new schools of thought to spring up, among them Moscow Logic Circle, and Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School. Pre- Solovyov. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Namespaces Article Talk.The term was probably coined by Pythagoras c. Philosophical methods include questioningcritical discussionrational argumentand systematic presentation.
Classic philosophical questions include: 'is it possible to know anything and to prove it? Historically, philosophy encompassed all bodies of knowledge. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective?
Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include: metaphysicswhich is "concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being;"  and epistemologywhich is about "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]…its limits and validity;"  as well as ethicsaestheticspolitical philosophylogicand philosophy of science. Initially, the term 'philosophy' referred to any body of knowledge. Though as of the s it has been classified as a book of physics, Newton 's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy uses the term natural philosophy as it was understood at the time to encompass disciplines, such as astronomymedicine and physicsthat later became associated with sciences.
In the first part of his Academica 1, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic, physics, and ethics, emulating Epicurus ' division of his doctrine into canon, physics, and ethics. This division is not obsolete but has changed: natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences, especially physics, astronomychemistrybiologyand cosmology ; moral philosophy has birthed the social scienceswhile still including value theory e.
Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. McGinn and others claim that no philosophical progress has occurred during that interval. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdomintellectual culture, and a search for knowledge. In this sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions, such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality.
Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western worlddating back to pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in 6th-century Greece BCEsuch as Thales c.
Western philosophy can be divided into three eras:. While our knowledge of the ancient era begins with Thales in the 6th century BCE, comparatively little is known about the philosophers who came before Socrates commonly known as the pre-Socratics. The ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schoolswhich were significantly influenced by Socrates' teachings. Most notable among these were Platowho founded the Platonic Academyand his student Aristotle who founded the Peripatetic school.
Other ancient philosophical traditions included CynicismStoicismSkepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics with competing theories such as atomism and monismcosmologythe nature of the well-lived life eudaimoniathe possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason logos. With the rise of the Roman empireGreek philosophy was also increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca see Roman philosophy.
Medieval philosophy 5th—16th centuries is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the rise of Christianity and hence reflects Judeo-Christian theological concerns as well as retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought. Problems such as the existence and nature of Godthe nature of faith and reason, metaphysics, the problem of evil were discussed in this period.
Some key Medieval thinkers include St. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to Theology ancilla theologiae and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture.
This period saw the development of Scholasticisma text critical method developed in medieval universities based on close reading and disputation on key texts.
The Renaissance period saw increasing focus on classic Greco-Roman thought and on a robust Humanism. The 20th century saw the split between analytic philosophy and continental philosophyas well as philosophical trends such as phenomenologyexistentialismlogical positivismpragmatism and the linguistic turn see Contemporary philosophy.
The regions of the fertile CrescentIran and Arabia are home to the earliest known philosophical Wisdom literature and is today mostly dominated by Islamic culture. Early wisdom literature from the fertile crescent was a genre which sought to instruct people on ethical action, practical living and virtue through stories and proverbs. In Ancient Egyptthese texts were known as sebayt 'teachings' and they are central to our understandings of Ancient Egyptian philosophy.
Babylonian astronomy also included much philosophical speculations about cosmology which may have influenced the Ancient Greeks. Jewish philosophy and Christian philosophy are religio-philosophical traditions that developed both in the Middle East and in Europe, which both share certain early Judaic texts mainly the Tanakh and monotheistic beliefs.
Later Jewish philosophy came under strong Western intellectual influences and includes the works of Moses Mendelssohn who ushered in the Haskalah the Jewish EnlightenmentJewish existentialismand Reform Judaism. Pre-Islamic Iranian philosophy begins with the work of Zoroasterone of the first promoters of monotheism and of the dualism between good and evil.
This dualistic cosmogony influenced later Iranian developments such as ManichaeismMazdakismand Zurvanism. After the Muslim conquestsEarly Islamic philosophy developed the Greek philosophical traditions in new innovative directions.Become a Friend of Aeon to save articles and enjoy other exclusive benefits.
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Now its Office of Public Information had learned that the Hearst-owned Los Angeles Examiner was preparing one or more articles on communist infiltration at the university. The news was hardly surprising. We have done this quietly and without fanfare — but most effectively. Unlike other UCLA administrators, he is nowhere commemorated on the Westwood campus, having suddenly left office inafter seven years in his post, just ahead of a football scandal.
But as the country emerged from the Second World War, things were different.Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. When studying the inner workings of Soviet society and government, one cannot but notice the intricate weaving between ideology and reality.
While it was envisioned as pure science and innovation, Soviet science tended to fall short when it came to pragmatic terms. Although the sciences were less rigorously censored than other fields, suppression of ideas was still very present.
The banning of modern theorems and use scientific ideas in the name of Marxism caused a gap in the exchange of ideas with outside world, bringing about isolation of the Soviet scientific community.
Philosophy in the Soviet Union
The space program was also part of Soviet pride. This research guide focuses on science and technology, and their development throughout the duration of the USSR. But more than that, it plans to show how politics and ideologies can mar the development of scientific research and empirical thinking.
Brukhonenko's Dog. This section attempts to cover works that discuss Marxism and science as ideologies and ways of thinking and analyzing. Skip to content. Soviet Science. Search Guided History.