Maja Soboleva

Abstract

The paper is focused on the reception of Bakhtin’s philosophy in Soviet Russia in the 1970s. I argue that the application of Bakhtin’s ideas promoted the transformation of Soviet philosophy and the overcoming of Marxist-Leninist dialectical and historical materialism, which had been the official doctrine over 50 years. To prove my claim, I analyse the theories of Vladimir S. Bibler, Genrich S. Batishchev and Yurij M. Lotman. The case studies of theories of Bibler and Batishchev demonstrate that the reference to Bakhtin’s works propelled the transformation of Marxist-Leninist historical materialism towards a general theory of culture. With reference to Yurij Lotman’s works, it is also possible to show that Bakhtin’s ideas promoted the development of structural semiotics in the ussr.

Maja Soboleva

The concept of the New Soviet Man remains a topic of on-going scholarly interest for a number of reasons: it reflects a vital part of Russian history, it remains associated with positive and negative connotations that still need to be explored, and it functions as a crossroads for different scholarly perspectives. It remains a topic of interest also because there are still a number of unexplored questions about the concept from the perspective of the history of ideas and philosophy. This article focuses on the reconstruction of the ethical concept of a New Soviet Man over time. It argues that there were three periods in the history of this concept: The first period – between the 1900s and 1930s – can be called the period of theoretical reflection on the nature of a New Man. The second period – from the 1930s to the 1950s – can be characterized as the period of the development of norms of Soviet morality. The third period – since the 1960s – is marked by the transition of ethical thought from the ideology propagating socialist morality to moral theory and Marxist scientific ethics. This article argues that the process of forming a new type of man was not a continuous and unilineal process of change throughout the entire period of socialism. On the contrary, this dramatic process can be successfully analyzed with the help of the ethical concept of the New Soviet Man.

Maja Soboleva

In this volume, scholars in the human sciences from different countries examine the meaning of philosophical knowledge today. The answer to the question of what is philosophical knowledge is not self-evident because of different cultural traditions in which national philosophies are situated. Thus philosophical knowledge can be understood as knowledge of history of philosophy, or of philosophical systems, schools and methodologies; or it can be seen as the ability to solve philosophical problems. Sometimes philosophical investigations affect not philosophy alone, but extend to other disciplines. One significant fact is that the problem of philosophical knowledge is not restricted to the theory of philosophy, but reflects the situation in philosophy itself, as well as the status of philosophy among other human sciences and its social prestige in general. Whether we still need philosophy today, in the period of total austerity, will depend upon what criteria we use to define the image of philosophy and its knowledge. On the other hand, the concerns about philosophy today – diagnosed in the present volume – are not merely intra-disciplinary; they are decisive for social outcomes in the world of today. These social outcomes – for educational curricula, for the position of women and minorities, for the political process and the formation of civil society – are the focus of the papers in this issue. In its totality, the issue offers an overview of the contemporary situation in philosophy in different countries in the ‘new’ Europe, which allows reflection about the differences and general tendencies in its development.