Kantian Journal

2017 Vol. 36. №1

The significance of the critique of A. I. Vvedensky’s ‘new psychophysiological law’ for Russian philosophy

Abstract

This article analyses the historical and philosophical critique of A. I. Vvedensky’s ‘new psychophysiological’ law. The author examines the most substantial commentaries, namely, those by P. E. Astafyev, N. Y. Grot, L. M. Lopatin, E. L. Radlov, and S. N. Trubetskoy. At the end of the 19th century, these authors contributed to an active discussion in the pages of scientific journals. The discussion focused on the ideas expressed in the work On the Limits and Characteristics of Becoming Conscious, which was published in the form of theses in book 16 book of the journal Problems of Philosophy and Psychology. Trough formulating the law of the absence of objective evidence of becoming consciousness, Vvedensky did not only raise issues relating to philosophy of mind but also pointed to the growing contradictions in Russian philosophy caused by the development of scientific knowledge amid the dominance of religious philosophy. Using the tools of criticism, the Russian philosopher identified the metaphysical origins in scientific knowledge in order to eliminate them, although preserving the particular critical field of metaphysics dealing with issues transcending the available rational knowledge. Such an approach to the role of metaphysics, as well as demarcation of the border between philosophy and psychology amid the need for coherent knowledge provoked sharp criticism. The author describes Vvednesky’s position, which can be traced in all of his later works. Its central elements is the need to create a coherent understanding of the world providing answers to all the phenomena of human existence, including those traditionally interpreted as objects of nonscientific knowledge. In the conclusion, the author focuses on the characteristics of Vvedensky’s oeuvre and its role in the development of Russian critical philosophy. It is postulated that an analysis of the discussion not only is interesting as a fact in the history of Russian philosophical though but it also gives a new perspective on the problems arising with attempts to create a means for attaining objective and reliable knowledge in philosophy and science, which potentially unites them within research. It is proven that Vvedensky’s philosophical ideas can be classed as Neo-Kantian, which emphasises their unique features and relevance for further historical and philosophical analysis.

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Around the “social pedagogy” of Paul Natorp: Vladimir Dinze in the debates on national upbringing. Part 2

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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