Russian Academic Philosophy: Some Questions Regarding the Formation of the Concept of 'Science'

  1. Lemma
  2. Русская академическая философия: некоторые вопросы становления понятия 'наука’
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Philosophy of science/epistemology - History and philosophy of science
  6. 28-07-2018
  7. Панибратцев, Андрей Викторович [Author]. Русская академическая философия: некоторые вопросы становления понятия 'наука’
  8. Научный вестник Московского государственного технического университета гражданской авиации
  9. Orthodox Christianity - analytical philosophy - ascetism - patristic tradition - truth - Descartes, René - Philosophy - Russian philosophy - Russian history
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    1. <p>Панибратцев Андрей Викторович (2015). Русская академическая философия: некоторые вопросы становления понятия «Наука». <em>Научный вестник Московского государственного технического университета гражданской авиации,</em> (215 (5)), 12-19.</p>
    1. The article argues that Russian philosophy has always been particularly sensitive to ethical problems, investigating them not abstractly, but through the prism of the vital interests of society and the cultural environment. In the author’s view, this tradition is rooted in Orthodox Christianity. He posits that the adoption of Christianity in Russia contributed to its involvement in patristics, which was always associated with asceticism. This was manifested in hesychasm, a mystical tradition of contemplative prayer. These practices represented the first philosophical traditions in Russia and they influenced Russian philosophy of the 17th-18th centuries.

      In the 17th century Russia already had an independent (from the Church) secular culture. Philosophy also developed and in the 18th century was represented by two major schools of thought: the Kiev-Mogilev and Moscow Slavic-Greek-Latin academies, on the one hand, and the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, on the other. The latter was particularly influenced by European philosophy and science. The author points out that the three academies remained predominantly religious institutions, and “it would be incorrect to talk about the formation of any scientific schools within them.”

      Russian philosophy was then unsystematic and interested in religiously coloured metaphysics, social philosophy, ethics and aesthetics. The author mentions Theophylact Lopatinski as an important representative of Russian 18th century philosophy. Lopatinsky had a particular veneration for ethics, logic and natural philosophy, and was an adept of the teachings of Descartes. As regards understanding the nature of matter and physical processes, Lopatinsky generally adhered to moderate sensationalism, not accepting the extremes of both materialism and subjective idealism. He aquired an orientation towards the scientific worldview while studying in European universities, and this was reflected in his presentation of the problems of epistemology. Lopatinsky believed that objective knowledge was primordial in cognition. He also maintained that knowledge was conditioned by natural and regular processes. However, these processes could be adequately known only if rules of cognition were observed. And in this process a significant place was given to logic as an instrument that helped distinguish truth from lies.

      The article concludes by stating that the concept of “truth” has always been important for Russian science and philosophy. This concept was understood not as a purely theoretical notion but a practice that coincides with the inner basis of life, a moral and natural law. In this sense Russian philosophy is always interested in the search for truth and salvation. The latter is never an individual salvation (individualistic understanding of ethics being alien to Russian consciousness) but a search for the universal “truth,” on which “all human life and the entire cosmic universe is based.”