Znaczenie historii w refleksji Lwa Karsawina. Prolegomena
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THE MEANING OF HISTORY IN LEV KARSAVIN’S THOUGHT. PROLEGOMENA
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The purpose of the article is to present Lev Karsavin’s reflection on history within the metaphysical and epistemological context. The issue is demonstrated in two parts. The first one concentrates on the analysis of two fundamental principles of Karsavin’s philosophy of history: All-Unity and Tri-Unity. Connected with these are the concepts of Godmanhood, eternity, symphonic persons. All-Unity can be defined as a hierarchical structure including every kind of historical being – all “moments” and joining them in a harmonic community without unification or elimination of differences. This “unity in multiplicity” consists of “individual persons” (people) and “collective persons”: families, nations, social groups, churches, culture and finally – humankind. The last one connects all other types of historical being, which are perceived as its individualizations – forms of a lower order. Humankind seems to be the best manifestation of All-Unity and the strongest sign of the Absolute in history. It becomes also the most important component of the historical process. In this process humankind with its individualizations have to achieve their perfect condition and a higher state of consciousness. Karsavin’s model of history is based on the idea of Tri-Unity (cf. the dogma of the Holy Trinity) propagated in the Russian religious philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries. This principle gives history a dynamic aspect and determines the triadic shape of the world process with its three stages: the primal (perfect) unity – disjoining – reunification. Reunification, in Karsavin’s philosophical system, ensues when historical being finishes its development and becomes God. The second part examines the features of historiosophical narrative in Lev Karsavin’s works. There are two distinct ways of thinking about history, two perspectives: the historical and the universalistic one, which perceive and explain the world differently. The aim of this part is to show how the Russian philosopher understands the past, which perspective he adopts to present his reflection and why.
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