Russian Intelligentsia in Search of an Identity

Between Dostoevsky’s Oppositions and Tolstoy’s Holism


Russian Intelligentsia in Search of an Identity considers the problem of the Russian intelligentsia’s self-identification in its historic-philosophical and historic-cultural aspects. The monograph traces the rise of the intelligentsia, from the 18th century to the present day, problematizing its central ideas and themes. In this historical context, it proceeds to investigate the distinctive intellectual, spiritual and biographical opposition of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in relation to the character and fate of the Russian intelligentsia, with its patterns of thought, ideology, fundamental values and behavioral models. Special attention is given to the binary patterns of the intelligentsia’s consciousness, as opposed to dialogical and holistic modes of apprehension.

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Svetlana Klimova, D.Sc., is Professor of Russian Studies at National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. She has published more than 200 articles and 4 monographs about the history of Russian philosophy and culture, including A Phenomenology of Holiness and Passion in Russian Philosophy of Culture (2004).
  Acknowledgments x


1 The Rise of the Russian Intelligentsia
  1.1 The Historic Origins of Binary Consciousness
  1.2 The Eighteenth Century and the Birth of Humanism
  1.3 Pyotr Chaadayev and the Nineteenth Century: from Dialogues with Power to Public Discussion and Binary Consciousness
  1.4 The Third Path of Russian Intellectualism
  1.5 Russian Intelligentsia: history and Fate
  1.6 The ‘Holiness’ of the Russian Intelligent

2 Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Ideology and Mythmaking
  2.1 Dostoevsky’s Authorial Myth
  2.2 Binary Code in Dostoevsky’s Worldview
  2.3 The National Question in the Mirrors of Religion and Existential Philosophy

3 The Rise of the Philosophy of Life:Between Nikolay Strakhov and Lev Tolstoy
  3.1 Nikolay Strakhov’s Mediation between Dostoevsky and Tolstoy
  3.2 The Philosophical Dialogue of Tolstoy and Strakhov
  3.3 Tolstoy the Philosopher

4 Tolstoy’s Social-Religious Teaching: Presentiments of the Twentieth Century
  4.1 Tolstoy through the Prism of the Intelligentsia
  4.2 Evil in Politics and Philosophy: ‘Who Is To Blame?’
  4.3 The Amelioration of Evil: ‘What Are We To Do?’
  4.4 Twentieth-Century Political Philosophy: Tolstoy, Weber, Arendt
  4.5 The National Question in the Mirror of Tolstoy’s Art

For readers interested in the history of Russian culture and philosophy of the 19th-20th centuries, in particular the history of the intellectual traditions of the Russian Intelligentsia.
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