2012 | 61 | 4 | 395-418
Article title

Концептуализация «нравственного имератива» в русской философии и литературе накануне Серебряного века

Title variants
Conceptualization of Moral Imperative in Russian Philosophy and Literature at the Eve of the Silver Age
Languages of publication
This article is an attempt to look at the problem of morality undertaken in Russian literature and philosophy in the second half of the 19th century. Unevenly distributed in the course of historical development, yet always present in Russian culture, ethical charge gains particular meaning in the period of classical realism due to the importance of – provoked mainly by the Western philosophy – questions about the meaning of existence and ways of organizing an individual and social life, about the place of truth, beauty and good in life. Reflection on man understood by positivists and materialists in his biological, historical and economic aspects gains a new quality in the work of critical Russian Narodniks –Peter Lavrov and Nicolas Mikhailovsky, who have had their input into a modern understanding of progress, deprived of materialistic additions. From then on progress was to be made only inside man – a moral and a rational creature, as I. Kant used to teach. Both thinkers, giving priority to Jesus Christ as a role model, have questioned validity of revolutionism as the main – as it takes palce for example in the work of M. Gorky - method of solving the problem of social devilry. Their moderate urn towards religion-as an aggregation of ethical norms important to an individual-made them reject the ,,new morality” teaching of F. Nietzsche as fundamentally non-democratic. A fully mature attempt of rehabilitation of religion, presenting the very important spiritual education of man based on tradition, morality and aesthetics, was undertaken by F. Dostoyevsky, whose perceptiveness demonstrated in his statement about the fall of humanism ( as a result of expansion of the idea of man-God, initiated by L. Feuerbach) did not allow for easy prescriptions for an improvement of man being put forward which would then lead to a radical triumph of his good nature. A different concept of good, founded on the teachings of Christ and understood as a universal panacea for the world’s devilry, was proposed by L. Tolstoy. This writer’s and philosopher’s moralism, rejecting transcendence, was questioned by representatives of the Russian Silver age despite of it’s traditional argumentation and Tolstoy’s preacher’s passion. Based on Dostoyevsky’s anthropology and criticism of Nietzsche’s teaching they have arrived to their own vision of man- a person who is unique, irreplaceable, individual, carefully studying himself, preoccupied with his own self-improvement and realizing Christ’s ideal through mental and moral activity and arts, despite the “ amorality of cosmic life” ( S. Frank).
Physical description
  • Instytut Filologii Wschodniosłowiańskiej Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, 31-041 Kraków, Mały Rynek 4, Poland
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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