Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №1(51)

From Marburg to Odessa: A contribution to a scientific bio-graphy of S. L. Rubinstein

Abstract

This article reconstructs certain episodes of the early intellectual biography (1889—1960) of S. L. Rubinstein — a Russian Neo-Kantian, philosopher, and psychologist — and presents the fol-lowing archive documents: the letter of Martha Cohen (1918), the widow of the German neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen, S. L. Rubinstein’s teacher; two Rubinstein’s autobiographies of the early 1920s; a review of Rubinstein’s thesis, which was supervised by H. Cohen and P. Natorp and de-fended at Marburg University, prepared by N. N. Lange (1858—1921), an eminent psychologist and philosopher, a professor at Novorossiysk University. The first three documents are published for the first time. Lange’s review, which was initially published in Germany in the German language and was presented earlier by researchers of the “Odessa period” of Rubinstein’s intellectual biography, was checked against the archive document. The mistakes identified were corrected. These documents, as well as old and new publications and studies in the German language made it possi¬ble to reveal certain facts and dates of Rubinstein’s biography, as well as his earlier little or un-known creative projects and plans. For instance, it was established that Rubinstein intended to translate into the Russian and publish Cohen’s smaller religious philosophical works, which he obtained in post-war Odessa with the help of E. Cassirer and B. Strauss. The article stresses the need to study personal archives of philosophers in order to establish the ideational sources of their concepts and reconstruct their intellectual landscape.

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Frolova Ye. The theoretical and methodological issues of the revival of natural law

Abstract

This article considers the understanding of natural law from the perspective of neo-Kantian legal philosophy of the late 19th/early 20th century and the problem of correlation between changing rules of law and the unchanged form of moral prescriptions.The author focuses on the development of Kantian approach in solving the problem of moral philosophy. The essence of morals is revealed not in the creation of ideal projects but rather in the need for action: the moral law must be implemented in the outside world. The theory of standards and ethics evaluates moral foundations as an internal absolute value. However, a definition of morals is meaningful only as an individual experience of a person, social requirements become moral only through a self-determined person. Being critical and formal, the moral principle does not eliminate the possibility of a combination with certain temporary goals. The formulas of a categorical imperative are aimed at an individual but their requirements are based on such objective repre-sentations as law and state.This article shows that, according to Novgorodtsev, the moral critique of law rests on under-standing that law is created with the participation of human will, i. e. moral judgement is possible only regarding a human action. Law can be assessed from the perspectives of purposiveness and morals. It is stressed that the Russian philosopher of law interpreted law not only as a product of human will but also as a phenomenon of the moral world. Natural law suggests a belief that law is not only a means to achieve certain practical goals but also an instrument of satisfying the highest moral requirements.

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