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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 18, Issue 2, Autumn 2013
Russian Philosophy

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1. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Marcin Podbielski A Century of Separation: A Note from the Editor
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2. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Maxim Kantor The Renaissance versus the Avant-Garde
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The essay contrasts two recurring phenomena of European culture: renaissance and avant-garde. The author discusses the paradigmatic Renaissance of 15ᵗʰ and 16ᵗʰ centuries and the paradigmatic Avant-Garde of early 20ᵗʰ century from the point of view of a practicing artist, interested in philosophical, social, religious,and political involvements of artists and their creation. The author shows the artistic and social history of 20ᵗʰ century as a struggle between the Avant-Garde and the Renaissance ideals, which, as he points out, found a fertile ground in in the 20 years that followed immediately the Second World War.
3. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Svetlana M. Klimova, Elena S. Molostova “Scientific Atheism” in Action: Soviet Sociology of Religion as an Agent of Marxist-Atheist Propaganda from the 1960s to the 1980s
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This paper discusses the methodological challenges of Soviet sociology of religion in the period between 1960 and 1989, when it was charged with the contradictory task of investigating the actual standing of religion in Soviet society and, at the same time, with proposing methods through which the official“scientific atheism,” deeply rooted in Marxism, could be imposed upon the very populations that were the subject of its inquiries. The authors propose an insight into the actual practices of the researchers, based on little-known archival materials from the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History. The materialsadduced by the authors show the various ways in which Soviet believers were surveyed and in which questionnaires were constructed, illustrating the modes ofargumentation used in atheist propaganda conducted alongside such surveys, and giving a rare glimpse into the methodological discussions that were taking place at conferences organized by the Institute of Scientific Atheism. The authors track also the sociological conceptions and typologies adopted by Soviet sociology.
4. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Tomasz Dekert Freedom and Kenosis: A Reading of Nicolas Berdyaev’s Philosophy of Freedom
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This article proposes to look at the concept of freedom formulated by Nicholas Berdyaev in his early work, Philosophy of Freedom, through the prism of kenotic Christology. The kenotic nature of the Incarnation of the Son of God, as it was described in the St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians and developed later by theChristian tradition, was connected with His renunciation of his own infinitude—adopting the “form of a servant” and embracing the limits of the human body. It was an absolutely free act of the divine Person, who revealed to man his own divine model and opened up for him the possibility of its implementation, i.e., the way to becoming a person. For Berdyaev, this possibility is conditioned by the ability to engage in a free act of kenosis, involving the renunciation of the compulsions of reason that have entangled us in natural forms of necessity and that reduce us to mere cogs in the machinery of nature. According to Berdyaev, this way of human kenosis is faith. The act of faith, understood as a rejection of the tendency to seek security through compelling evidence, constitutes a person in his / her uniqueness, and performatively realizes the similarity to God potentially present in every human.
5. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Aleksey Kamenskikh The Tragedy of Cosmogonic Objectivation in the Valentinian Gnosis and Russian Philosophy: Vladimir Solovyov, Lev Karsavin, Nikolay Berdyaev
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The subject of this paper is a specific form of cosmogony—the conception of cosmogonic objectivation, interpreted as a tragedy or cosmogonic fall. This conception is examined on the basis of the evidence furnished by two sets of materials: firstly, the original texts and paraphrases of the Valentinian Gnostics of the 2ⁿᵈ and 3ʳᵈ centuries AD (Irenaeus Adversus haereses, 1.1.1–1.1.10; Excerpta ex Theodoto, compiled by Clement of Alexandria; and The Gospel of Truth from theNag Hammadi Library), and secondly, the writings of the Russian philosophers Vladimir Solovyov, Lev Karsavin and Nikolay Berdyaev. The research reveals aseries of specific features common to both of these: in particular, the conception of cosmogonic objectivation appears to be connected with the doctrine of theabsolute person’s fall, and with the motive of self-alienation.
6. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Katharina Breckner Semyon Frank: An Apotheosis of Democracy in the Name of Personal Service
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This essay introduces Semyon Lyudvigovich Frank as a philosopher who deservedly may be called a revolutionary thinker: he introduced a remarkablesocial ontology that foregrounds service. His oeuvre presents service as the supreme principle of personal and hence social life. The singular personality isseen as being there to creatively serve itself: his view of man focuses on the human soul as being there to bring forth creative action—to serve those who willcome after, the community, society, and the Christian Churches. Service, then, is the source for freedom as a derivative principle. Consequently, and in oppositionto the fundamental idea of the “Charter of Human Rights,” freedom in Frank has no absolute value, but only a functional one. It is justified by the ontologicalprinciple of service. All governmental organization is, ideally, the organization of freedom, the planned, systematic formation of free, spontaneous cooperation.Spontaneous cooperation makes up part of his concept of sobornost’, the empirical substrate of social culture. Frank would have agreed with Karl Popper’s notion of the “open society,” yet he would have certainly added that accessibility and transparency, be they spiritual or social, emanate from the principle of the universality of service. The true ontological meaning and the true source of democracy is, in his eyes, not the rule of all, but the service of all.
7. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Oksana Nazarova Peter Ehlen’s Christian Reading of Frank’s Russian Religious Philosophy
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This paper analyzes the problem of Western perceptions of one of the most original branches of the Russian Philosophical Renaissance that occurred atthe beginning of the 20ᵗʰ century: namely, the so called Russian Religious Philosophy. This problem still possesses contemporary relevance, owing to the fact thatRussian philosophy continues to be engaged in a search for self-identification in respect of Western philosophical contexts. The paper shows that “Russian Religious Philosophy” is perceived by Western thinkers not only as “an exotic cultural phenomenon,” but also as an equal partner in a dialogue: it is considered asignificant philosophical achievement, meeting all generally accepted criteria of philosophical creativity. The German Catholic philosopher Peter Ehlen’s monograph on the subject of the religious philosophy of Semyon Lyudvigovich Frank will furnish us, here, with an example of just such an approach. The author of the monograph approaches his subject as something which he himself stands in an essential connection to—something which he, as a researcher, is in a peculiar spiritual communion with. A common spiritual experience of the religious perception of reality determines both Ehlen’s interest in Frank and the specificcharacter of the research undertaken by him. The position of researcher, expected to maintain a certain distance from his or her subject matter, is replaced by thatof a co-thinker, engaged in co-experiencing and understanding in depth the ideas of the particular philosopher under examination. The result of this approach is a new synthesis created by Ehlen on the basis of Frank’s philosophy.
book reviews
8. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Renata Ziemińska The Peripheral Mind. Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System by István Aranyosi
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9. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Carl Humphries Do Philosophers Talk Nonsense? An Inquiry into the Possibility of Illusions of Meaning by Ian Dearden
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10. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Łukasz Borowiecki Kulturen und Werte. Wittgensteins Kringel-Buch als Initialtext , eds. by Josef G. F. Rothhaupt, and Wilhelm Vossenkuhl
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11. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Reviewers of Articles Published in 2013
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12. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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