Kantian Journal

2015 Special Issue

Hermann Cohens Konzept der Anthropodizee in der Sicht Jacob Gordins


The paper focuses on the problem of anthropodicy in the philosophical system of Hermann Cohen and its interpretation by Jacob Gordin (1896—1947). Gordin was one of the last followers of Cohen in Russia. He developes his interpretation in the lecture “Anthropodicy”, which was given in the Philosophical Circle at the Petrograd University in December 1921. For the study of the problem of anthropodicy he was apparently inspired by the discussions at the Free Philosophical Association in 1919—1921. Gordin places Cohen’s concept of man in the wide intellectual context given by the ideas of the Russian religious philosophy, German classical philosophy, Neo-Kantianism, and the West European and Jewish mysticism (cabbala). Gordin compares Cohen’s anthropodicy with Vladimir Soloviev’s one and shows that there is a similarity in their approaches. Both philosophers point out that the justification of man is possible only in form of the justification of humanity and not as for Berdyaiev in form of the justification of personality. But Gordin uses Soloviev’s concept of all-unity and Berdyaiev’s concept of creativity in order to “improve” Cohen’s conception and to reveal the contribution of a person to the justification of humanity. Stronger as Cohen Gordin connects the programm of anthropodicy with individuality and underlines the participation of the individual in creating culture.

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