Issue 14 /2015

14 /2015

ed. by Michał Bohun and Cezar Jędrysko


From the Editorial Board fulltext.pdf (in English)

Michał Bohun, Cezar Jędrysko, Introduction fulltext.pdf (in English)

T H E M E    A R T I C L E S:

Janusz Dobieszewski, Włodzimierz Rydzewski – Leftist Thinking, Thinking of the Left fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The article is devoted to the memory of Włodzimierz Rydzewski, a person who has played a huge role in the shaping and development of Polish research into the Russian mind, the Polish Marxism, and philosophy in general (with particular regard to the Jagiellonian University). His views and actions have been placed in the broader context of the situation in Poland in the last decades of the twentieth century, together with the works by Andrzej Walicki and Marek Siemek, operating in similar fields. The article outlines the topics and the methodology of scientific and journalistic activities of Rydzewski; it highlights the manifold merits of Rydzewski as a person.

Keywords: W. Rydzewski, A. Walicki, M. Siemek, Left, Marxism, Russia, progress

Marian Broda, „The Russian idea” as a problem – philosophical horizon fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Comprehensive analysis of – understood as a problem – the “Russian idea” involves realizing wide array of the problem’s aspects. Concentrating one’s attention
on the philosophical dimension, one needs to remember that the philosophical reflection should exemplarily link together the maximum generality and the maximum (self-)criticism. In a situation, in which the integral element of the philosophical thought is the meta-reflection, and at the same time the integral element of the “Russian idea” remains its philosophical dimension, epistemic and epistemological level of the possible (self-) problematization is worth-distinguishing. The first is connected to the viewpoint of the subject involved in the project of the “Russian idea”, which means that the undertaken problematization of reality – and the ways of its conceptualization – in principle cannot undermine its common sense, axiological arguments and social reality, but on the contrary, explain them and legitimize. The second one is an attempt to look at the analyzed process from the outside, which creates a possibility to problematize the general framework of the subject-object order, which the project of the “Russian idea” a priori designates and recognizes, in a world, assuming it de facto before as true, essential and real.

Keywords: Russian idea, Russian soul, philosophy, subjectivity project, reality, (self-) problematization

Leszek Augustyn, The Grand Inquisitor and the Russian Idea fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

This article is an attempt at a philosophical interpretation of the Grand Inquisitor, a figure from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. My interpretation refers to Dostoevsky’s historiosophical and political views as expressed in his journalistic writing. The analysis points to the connection between the literary figure of the Grand Inquisitor and the notion of the ‘Russian idea’, which posits the complementarity of religion and politics (constituting a variant of political theology)..

Keywords: Dostoevsky, Grand Inquisitor, political theology, Russian idea

Vladimir Varava, Metaphysical Sources of Radicalism and Nihilism in Russia fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

This article is an attempt to deal with one of the eternal questions of Russian philosophy: the question of how the Russian idea is related to nihilism and how nihilism manifests itself in the Russian idea, and, on the other hand, to what extent the Russian idea is a Russian nihilism. A famous quote by Nikolai Berdyaev on the nihilism of the Russian people is the starting point for further discussion. Berdyaev states that Russians are nihilists, but this nihilism is understood as a moral reflection on culture and a rejection of the existing culture. The first part of the text is devoted to the meaning of nihilism in Russian thought, beginning with Chernyshevsky’s prosvetitel’stvo and Dostoyevsky, then going through Vekhi, and ending with selected representatives of the Russian Religious Renaissance of the twentieth century. The second part of the article is an insight into the metaphysical source of nihilism – the existential apathy of being.

Keywords: Russian idea, nihilism, metaphysics, grief

Katarzyna Duda, The Principles of Independent Anarchist Ethics in the Doctrine of Peter Kropotkin fulltext.pdf (in English with summary in German and Polish)

Kropotkin’s philosophy is a creative modification of such ethical programs as individualism, nihilism, social Darwinism and naturalistic utilitarianism. His ethical convictions are completely free from religious assumptions. He suggests mutual help and cooperation for survival, because without solidarity of an individual and his species, the animal world would neither develop nor improve. The struggle for survival as defined by Kropotkin is the need for an intra-species alliance, a cooperation for the sake of survival. In this context, the fight for survival should be understood as a fight through cooperation, where cooperation becomes a weapon.

Keywords: Ethics, mutual aid, egalitarism, utopianism

Michał Bohun, Clausewitz Inverted. Bolshevism, Revolution and War in Nikolay Berdyaev’s Thought fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and Geman)

This paper presents some remarks on the influence of the First World War on Russian Revolution and post-war life in Soviet Russia. In my opinion, the ideas formulated at the time of war and revolution by Nikolay Berdyaev (1874-1948) shed light on the fundamental aspects of 20th century politics and social life both in Russia and other countries. Here, I understand war as the essence of modern politics. Berdyaev’s reflections on WWI and Bolshevik revolution prefigure and confirm the belief shared by such thinkers as Jan Patocka, Alain Finkielkraut or Pierre Hassner, that the 20th century brings the inversion of the most famous Clausewitz’s maxim: after WWI, politics becomes the continuation of war conducted by other means.
Berdyaev thinks about revolution as the “decay of the war” and analyses Russian communism as a “war reality” which is characterized by such phenomena as dehumanization, mob rule, totalitarianism, total mobilization, militarization of civil sphere, the rule of technology and, last but not least, the appearance of the “new man”. In his opinion, war and post-war militarism have determined the ideology, cultural patterns, and the means of wielding political power both in Russia and in the West.

Keywords: the First World War (WWI), Revolution, Bolshevism, modern politics, philosophy of history, Russian philosophy

Andrzej Ostrowski, The Individual and the Community – A Study of Two Cases fulltext.pdf (in English with summary in German and Polish)

The aim of the article is to discuss the problem of relationship between the individual and the community. The context of the analysis is provided by two models of the organization of social life, which were proposed by Vladimir S. Solovyov and Lev I. Shestov. The first of these models is typified by the escape from the community to the self. The second model is characterised by the escape from the self to the community. In the interpretive approach the two models are understood as a consequence of finding the truth. The discussion is based on the interpretive assumption that while gaining knowledge, both Shestov and Solovyov discovered the same truth – “the essence of the particular and the individual”.

Keywords: individual, community, duty, lies

Natalia Michna, Europe in Crisis: Catastrophic Visions of Alexander Herzen and José Ortega y Gasset fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and Geman)

This article presents the problem of the European crisis as seen by two thinkers: the nineteenth-century Russian philosopher Alexander Hercen and the Spanish philosopher of the first half of the twentieth century, José Ortega y Gasset. Undoubtedly their philosophy grew on the basis of different historical and cultural circumstances. Paradoxically, both thinkers presented surprisingly similar views on the nature and causes of the crisis consuming European culture. Observing the nineteenth century Europe, Hercen anticipated some of the ideas related to the crisis in Europe, evident later in the thought of Ortega y Gasset. Hercen and Ortega’s thought on crisis is characterized by two basic similarities: firstly, the kind of catastrophism presented by both thinkers; secondly, the philosophical approach to the idea of the mass and social elite.

Keywords: crisis, catastrophism, human mass, social elite, Europe, Aleksander Hercen, José Ortega y Gasset

Marek Kita, Russian “Orthodox Modernism” and Ecumenical Orthodoxy. A Fundamental Theological Reflection fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The religious philosophy and philosophical theology of Russian religious thinkers from the turn of 19th and 20th centuries evidently belonged to intellectual current of religious modernism. This article juxtaposes the “modernist Orthodoxy” of Russian religious-philosophical renaissance and various kinds of Catholic modernism, and places the reflection on the legacy of the “Russian school” in Orthodox theology in the context of discussion between contemporary fundamental theology and integrism on legitimate development of ecclesiastical tradition. The article touches the problem of proper understanding of the doctrinal ecumenism.

Keywords: ecumenism, integrism, Catholicism, modernism, orthodoxy, Orthodoxy, Russian religious-philosophical renaissance, “Russian school”, fundamental theology, ecclesiastical tradition

Halina Rarot, Religious Modernism and Neomodernism in Russia fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Religious modernism in Russia is an intellectual movement at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its essential idea was to strive for Russia’s revival based on reformed Orthodoxy, adequate to the origin of the capitalist social-economic system in Russia, or achieve a new Christian civilization with a respective vision of economic conditions. Religious Neomodernism, in contrast, is an intellectual movement at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, quite popular in contemporary Russia, but not identified with the return of Orthodoxy to public life or with another of its reformed versions. However, it refers to some of the ideas of Orthodox modernism.

Keywords: religious Modernism, Modernism orthodox, religious Neomodernism, Orthodox Church in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, modern Orthodox to Modernism and Neomodernism

R E V I E W S:

Cezar Jędrysko, Fyodorov for the first time fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

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