Kantian Journal

2016 Vol. 35. No. 4

Receptions of Kant’s philosophy

Kant’s fundamental idea of state and law in Pushkin’s Boris Godunov

Abstract

The tragedy Boris Godunov occupies a unique place in A. S. Pushkin’s oeuvre. It was a turning point, when the author needed the whole power of his poetical genius, when a work beyond traditional literary and aesthetic styles, which interchange and establish a canon of a new style that transforms its predecessors in an act of creativity, appeared in Russian culture. Boris Godunov marked the birth of an individual author’s style in Russian art. A unique literary world — the world of Pushkin — manifested itself in a work of art. This article sets out to prove the influence of Kant’s philosophical and legal ideas on A. S. Pushkin during the poet’s work on Boris Godunov. Kant’s thought that the people is the only monarch and that legislative power is vested in it in a rule-of-law state is the central idea of the tragedy. When working on Boris Godunov, Pushkin not only studied the Critique of Judgement but he also read Kant’s works on epistemological theory. In his tragedy, Pushkin was guided by Kant’s ideas of state and law and strived to make it obvious that the people is the only monarch and source of political and legislative power. The tragedy of the people is that it does not know it and the mission of the educated class is to make the people aware of its powers and educate it. Law cannot exist beyond the people’s consciousness — everything else is despotism and a tyranny.

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Ideas of Kant’s theoretical philosophy in Peirce’s graph theory

Abstract

C. S. Peirce is a prominent figure in the nineteenth-century American philosophy. His contribution to philosophy and logic is enormous. The significance of some of his ideas was not realized until today. As a philosopher, Peirce was shaped by Kant, whose Critique of Pure Reason he knew almost by heart. Peirce was fascinated by the German thinker, who literally opened for him the philosophy of modern era and introduced him to the problem of cognition and increment of knowledge. Peirce was never a Kantian but the oeuvre of the Königsberg philosopher had a profound effect on all of his further works. The major elements of Kant’s theory (transcendental deduction of categories, classification of judgements, synthetic and analytic judgement dichotomy, etc.) were substantially modified by Peirce. He reduced the number of categories, changed their content, and transformed analytic and synthetic judgements into ampliative and explicative reasoning. Kant helped Peirce to overcome the doctrine of nominalism and develop the doctrine of critical realism. This paper addresses the existential graph theory, which is scrutinised from the perspective of transformations of Kant’s ideas. The graph theory was chosen, firstly, because of its chronological significance — it is the last logical theory of the American thinker. Secondly, it was greatly valued by the author, who called the theory his greatest accomplishment. The fact that the echo of Kant’s philosophy is heard in such a recent theory is an evidence of Kant’s strong influence. This thesis is proven in this work.

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Neokantianism

Around the “social pedagogy” of Paul Natorp: Vladimir Dinze in the debates on national upbringing. Part 1

Abstract

Many scholars and practitioners in the sphere of the public education and upbringing in Russia addressed themselves to the philosophical-pedagogical ideas of German philosopher of Neo- Kantian movement Paul Natorp. These ideas were formulated mainly in his fundamental work “Social Pedagogy”. Vladimir Dinze relies on Natorp’s thesis of the national school as the way of accustoming “the all people to the national culture”, actualizes the heritage of Russian and Western pedagogues and philosophers and formulates newly the problem of the national upbringing that is after hundred years in tune with the times as before. The papers of Dinze himself and the translation of Natorp’s “Social Pedagogy” which was organized by him turned out to be the catalysts in the debates on the national education and upbringing. The debates took place in Russian in 1913—1916, and the outstanding philosophers and pedagogues like M. Rubinstein, P. Blonskiy, V. Soroka-Rosinskiy, S. Zolotarev, P. Devin, S. Rusova and others participated in these debates. As result there worked out the principles of the general and equally accessible national education for all social groups and the harmonious and humane patriotic upbringing, which had to be open to the best achievements of the world culture. The letters of Russian scholars V. Dinze and A. Grombach to P. Natorp and one letter of Natorp to Dinze will be published as a supplement to the article. These letters show not only the process of the translation of “Social Pedagogy” into Russian, but also disclose the peculiarities of the organization of translations of the contemporary scientific literature in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. They were the personal initiative, enthusiasm, the responsibility before the future reader, the scope and intensity of the translators’ and publishers’ activity and the constant lack of adequate financing of this activity

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Publications

Kant’s lectures on natural law: Justice and conscientiousness

Abstract

The lectures on natural law delivered by Kant in the winter semester of 1784/85 have recently attracted increasing attention from Kant scholars. Dating back to the 1780s, they elucidate a number of important aspects in the genesis of Kant’s practical philosophy. Firstly, this relates to the formation of the Königsberg philosopher’s views on law. However, the lecture notes (especially the introduction) are of equal importance to understanding certain problems of Kant’s ethical concept and interpretation of the connection between ethics and law. An important role is played by the concept of Billigkeit, which is rather difficult to translate into the Russian language and is found in other Kant’s texts on practical philosophy. This term is usually translated as justice. However, there is another word in the German language — Gerechtihkeit — that has the meaning of justice. Moreover, such translation of Billigkeit creates a false connection with the realm of law, which Kant tried to avoid stressing the difference between Billigkeit and Gerechtigkeit. If Gerechtigkeit relates to external deeds subject to legal regulation and external enforcement, Billigkeit relates to tacit intentions and dispositions that cannot be controlled from the outside. This supports the thesis about the difference between ethics and law and the need for a more accurate identification of the place of natural law in the system of practical philosophy.

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Research. Archives Documents

Königsberg Cathedral and Kant’s tomb in Soviet Kaliningrad

Abstract

Based on earlier unknown or poorly studied archival documents, this article reconstructs the post-war history of the 14th century Königsberg Cathedral and the tomb of philosopher Immanuel Kant in former Kneiphof. The study investigates the authorities’ and general public’s attitudes towards this monuments. Throughout the Soviet period until the beginning of Perestroika, the local Communist party and state authorities attempted to demolish the ruins of the Cathedral, which was damaged during the war, and relocate Kant’s grave. However, this goal was not achieved, because members of Kaliningrad intelligentsia and the emerging civil society, who had the support of Moscow cultural organisations and institutions, including the Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR, furthered the cause of protecting the main attractions of Königsberg/Kaliningrad. Thе article discusses the projects of using the ruins of the Cathedral for different purposes (creation of a university library, construction of an observatory, a concert hall, or an open-air theater, etc.). The author cites documents about granting the Cathedral the status of a monument of cultural heritage. The article provides information about the physical condition of the Cathedral and Kant’s tomb in different years, including the materials of various relevant committees. The author describes the conservation, maintenance, and restoration of both objects. The history of the Cathedral and Kant's grave is examined in the context of politics of memory pursued by the regional authorities. Changes in the attitudes towards the German historical and cultural heritage of former East Prussia are traced. The supplement contains 16 documents from the State Archive of the Kaliningrad region, 14 of which are published for the first time.

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