History of Jewish Philosophy

Jewishness in Philosophy

Bertolino L., Belov V.N.
RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):321-327
pages 321-327 views

Religious Pluralism Concept of M. Mendelssohn and Its Theoretical Foundation

Kryshtop L.E.


The article consider the concept of religious pluralism by M. Mendelssohn and some aspects of his theory of knowledge and linguistic theory, lying in the foundation of the pluralism concept. The article shows that Mendelssohn expressed views that are far ahead of his time. His theory of knowledge repeats some lines of Hume's philosophy, which he praised highly, what was not characteristic of the German Enlightenment as a whole. By virtue of this, Mendelssohn can be considered as Kant's predecessor in a positive assessment of Hume. Some of Mendelssohn’s ideas are further developed in phenomenology. The author argues that Mendelssohn’s views on the interaction of religions, although they have a number of features that make this thinker related to other thinkers of the Enlightenment, also have a fundamental difference with them. As a result, his religious pluralism concept is close to the modern understanding of religious pluralism. The author also attempts to reveal the reasons why Mendelssohn, despite his great significance for both German philosophy and Jewish culture, was almost forgotten for a long time.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):328-341
pages 328-341 views

Kabbalah and Philosophy in the Early Works of Salomon Maimon

Gershowitz U.


Until recent times, the collection of Salomon Maimon’s early works written in Hebrew, Hesheq Shelomo , was not included into the scientific circulation. An article of professor Gideon Freudenthal on the formation of the young Maimon, filled this lacuna, proving the importance of the analysis of philosopher’s early works for the comprehension of his literary heritage in general. Freudenthal had studied and published Maimon’s introduction to Hesheq Shelomo , and then one of the collection’s treatises, Ma‘аse Livnat ha-Sаppir , consecrated to the ideas and notions of kabbalah (published at the end of 2019). In his analysis Freudenthal had focused on Maimon’s rational interpretation of kabbalah. The present article represents an attempt to expand Freudenthal’s research, adding an analysis of another aspect of young Maimon’s thought. We will try to show that kabbalah, generally understood by early Maimon as ancient Jewish knowledge, had, according to the thinker, to complete philosophy and mitigate arising in it problems. In his early works Maimon was not only criticizing widely occurring “profane” kabbalah, but also Maimonides’ philosophy. According to Maimon, it is not possible to understand the true kabbalah without philosophy, but philosophical knowledge is not complete and often erroneous without kabbalah: the true kabbalah rectifies and adjusts it. The critic of Aristotelianism and its derivate, proposed by Maimon in his early works (probably under the influence of Hasdai Crescas), can add clarity to the understanding of the development of his philosophical thought in the late period.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):342-361
pages 342-361 views

Rosenzweig between East and West: Restoration of India and China in The Star of Redemption

Ben Pazi H.


This article will present Franz Rosenzweig's attitude toward the religions and cultures of East Asia, and his philosophical response to the trend of German Orientalism, and especially to Martin Buber’s Ecstatic Confessions . Rosenzweig's references to India and China appeared systematically in the first book of the Star of Redemption , once for the analysis of metaphysics, second for the account of metalogic, and the third time as part of the discussion of meta-ethics. A close look at Rosenzweig’s treatment of the cultures and religions of India and China in The Star of Redemption might lead a reader, even a careful one, to the conclusion that he did not seriously regard the dialogue between East and West as having any special significance. However, in this article I will ask to reevaluate the place of Indian and Chinese religions in the Star of Redemption , under Buber’s influence. The cultural elements of Indian and Chinese mythologies contribute to the religious development of humanity - and take a significant part in the development of the religions of revelation and the course of redemption.
RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):362-378
pages 362-378 views

Contextualizing Rosenzweig’s and Levinas’ Notions of the Other by Derrida’s Construal of Difference

Pigalev A.I.


The article focuses on juxtaposing the stances of Franz Rosenzweig and Emmanuel Levinas on the notion of the Other based on the metaphysical principles of modernity so as to expose the prerequisites for their attitude to metaphysics in whole. The peculiarity of the proposed approach is the analysis of the notions of the Other in Rosenzweig and Levinas from the perspective of Jacques Derrida’s philosophy. The scrutiny proceeds from the assumption that the national philosophies, having been considered as the specific response to the effects of the encounter of societies to be modernized with the spreading modernity, for that very reason attach great importance to the construal of the Other. It is emphasized that the similarities between the national schools of philosophy indicate correlating the particular with the general as the paradigm for the comprehension of the Other, whereas the Jewish philosophy has previously conceptualized that paradigm by way of the opposition of “Athens and Jerusalem”. In an effort to assess the capabilities of the above-mentioned paradigm the analysis of the relevant range of problems is set into the wider context and they are considered in connection with the transition from essentialism to anti-essentialism that characterizes already the late modernity. It is disclosed that Rosenzweig’s stance was still essentialist, while Levinas tried to abandon the essentialist understanding of the Other, albeit he did not complete the transition to anti-essentialism. Levinas’ break with metaphysics was brought to a close by Derrida whose anti-essentialist stance on identity and difference radically diverges from the thinking that adheres to the “metaphysics of presence”. In the issue, Derrida who does not formally belong to the Jewish philosophy could afford to summarize Rozenzweig’s and Levinas’ approaches to the problem of the Other, and in so doing he makes a contribution to both general and Jewish philosophy.
RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):379-397
pages 379-397 views

Simone Weil’s ‘Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God’: A Comment

Morgan W.J.


The purpose of this article is to provide a comment on Simone Weil’s brief but seminal essay ‘Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God.’ It complements an earlier one on Weil’s Lectures on Philosophy . The essay was sent via a letter to her friend and mentor, the Catholic priest, and Dominican friar, Father Joseph-Marie Perrin O.P. It set out her belief that school studies should provide the individual pupil or student with an education in the value and acquisition of attention. This, Weil believed, would be of fundamental value when reaching out to God through prayer. Such a capacity for attention would also enhance the student’s general academic and social learning providing a basis for authentic dialogue with others, and not only teachers and schoolfellows. The article introduces her as a religious philosopher, explains the origins of the essay, and Weil’s friendship with Father Perrin, who was her Christian religious mentor, examines the text itself, considers some critical commentaries, and assesses its relevance to the philosophy and practice of education today.
RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):398-409
pages 398-409 views


Interdisciplinary Research of Self-Consciousness on the Base of Phenomenology of Karl Jaspers

Strelnik O.N., Strelnik S.N.


The objective of analysis is new opportunities in the study of self-awareness, which became possible through the use of an interdisciplinary approach. This approach allows to solve number of conceptual and methodological problems in psychology and psychiatry. The general development of psychiatry in the 20th and early 21st centuries was to improve diagnosis and therapy based on objectively measured indicators. There is a very superficial development of the phenomenology of self-awareness disorders as a result. The interdisciplinary point of view may be the beginning of new theoretical studies of self-awareness in philosophy, as well as provoke pragmatic conclusions for psychological and psychiatric science. Authors claim that the delimitation of the methodological tools of various sciences in the study of self-awareness is unnecessary in principle. interdisciplinary view should be formed by philosophers. The phenomenology of Karl Jaspers and his concept of self-awareness in this sense are heuristically attractive. The authors propose a working model of self-awareness, based on the phenomenological approach of Jaspers, on the ideas of his followers, and also abandoning the disciplinary view of the subject. In this model self-awareness is described through its specific functions. That may be pragmatically useful for mental health professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists and it may be interesting to philosophers using phenomenological analysis.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):410-418
pages 410-418 views

Strategies of Time Appropriation: Authentic and Inauthentic Historicity of Man

Cherepanova E.S.


The article focuses on those paragraphs of the famous text ‘Spiritual Situation of our Time’ by Karl Jaspers in which he approaches the problem of time from the perspective of philosophical anthropology. This text was published in 1931 and saw multiple editions, including the reprint in 1947, which followed the lecture “The Question of Guilt”. We surmise from this juxtaposition of texts in the new publication that Jaspers believed in the necessity to revisit the problem of the spiritual situation, but he also regarded his conceptualization of temporality viable in the new context and applicable to analyzing this new situation. We corroborate this hypothesis by close reading of the version of the 1947 text. As there exists a wealth of studies of Jaspers’s philosophy, we aim to explicate his interpretation of personal historicity and to find a reply to the question why it seems necessary to emphasize the appropriation of time. We demonstrate that the existentialist approach Jaspers offers is a universal model for living in the spiritual situation and for appropriating time. The need to appropriate time is inherent in human nature but the capacity to make sense of it and unravel the potential for authentic existence is not. Human beings are often unaware of their choice of certain time appropriation; moreover, human beings lack consistency in constructing the context of their own historicity. We elaborate in greater detail on the meaning of such concepts as spiritual situation, knowledge of the totality, philosophical life.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):419-431
pages 419-431 views

Idea of Time in Bergson’s Lectures

Menshikov A.S.


The article focuses on two lecture courses - “The Idea of time” and “The History of the Idea of Time” - delivered by the French philosopher Henri Bergson at Collège de France in 1901-1903. While these courses cannot replace Bergson’s published works for understanding his philosophy, they can shed new light on Bergson’s popularity. Due to the requirements of the genre, Bergson presents his views in a most succinct and convincing manner and showcases his most original ideas. In these lectures Bergson reinterprets traditional philosophical categories such as the absolute and the relative, the infinite and the finite, and explores two major modes of cognition - conceptual and intuitive knowledge. Major thrust of Bergson’s arguments is targeted at conceptual cognition because it is incapable of grasping the duration. Conceptual cognition relies on signs to operate representations of reality. Bergson demonstrates that signs, including concepts, are general, fixating and they appeal to action. Conceptual cognition, therefore, is based on fragmenting continuous processes in reality. However, when discussing intuitive cognition Bergson provides but an outline by referring to “intellectual sympathy”, “plunging into the thing in itself”. Despite this apophatic description of the alternative - intuitive - mode of cognition Bergson insists on fundamental transformation of philosophy. We conclude that already in the early 1900s Bergson has in mind an entire project of reconstituting metaphysics and reorienting it towards the problem of time, what might be described as “temporal turn” in philosophy of the twentieth century.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):432-444
pages 432-444 views

M. Schlick's Existentialism? Moritz Schlick and His Ethics of Youth

Davletshina A.M.


The article analyzes the little-known field of philosophical studies of M. Schlick, who was traditionally considered as a scientist dealing with the problems of epistemology and philosophy of science. In the spotlight of the research is the work “On meaning of Life” (“Vom Sinn des Lebens”, 1927), where the philosopher not only lays the foundation for his future work on ethics but also offers an original approach to the problem of the meaning of life, linking it with the concept of "youth". He notes that most people see the meaning of life in achieving certain goals. As a result, life is filled with activities aimed at preserving existence. The only way to find meaning in life is through an activity that has a purpose and value in itself, so the meaning of life cannot be found in work since it is not an activity for its own sake. The alternative is the game inherent in youth. It fills you with joy and gives value to life. The meaning of life symbolizes youth. You can be “young” at any time if you consider youth as a time of play, activity and creativity. It implies the requirement to change the conventional system of upbringing and conservative ethics. In particular, he insists that it is necessary to abandon the ethics of duty and replace it with new ethics, where the virtue is serene, does not suffer from the pressure of duty and freely unfolds of its own will. It is concluded that Schlick's “ethics of youth” is symptomatic of the first third of the twentieth century since those times were oriented to the “new man”, whose universal traits were health, cheerfulness, fortitude and social activism.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):445-456
pages 445-456 views


From Voluntary Action’s Ontology to Historical Responsibility: Methodology of Philosophical Research

Anikin D.A.


In the article, the author analyzes methodological approaches to the study of the concept of “historical responsibility,” comparing the German tradition of study (H. Arendt, T. Adorno) with the voluntary action’s ontology of M.M. Bakhtin 's. The German tradition, influenced by the thinking of World War II, emphasizes the perception of responsibility in the context of the relationship with guilt, which raises a substantial question about the nature of responsibility and its boundaries. In particular, H. Arendt formulates the concept of “banality of evil,” focusing on the disappearance of internal perception of responsibility, but does not solve the question of the origins of such feeling. The Russian religious tradition, presented by M.M. Bakhtin, allows to propose a way to solve the issues raised due to the identification of ontological grounds of individual responsibility. Nevertheless, M.M. Bakhtin conclusions are also important for solving the problem of collective responsibility. Bakhtin addresses responsibility as an ontological characteristic of human existence, opposing its freedom. Responsibility manifests itself in acts, but ontologically precedes a separate action performed by a person. The role of the act is that it allows the person himself to understand the burden of responsibility and act on these prerequisites. The transfer of the Bakhtin’s methodology from individual to collective responsibility makes it possible to link the moment of its occurrence not to public recognition, but to the very fact of the individual 's entry into a certain community. The ontological integrity of the individual also acquires a social dimension, not only synchronic but also diachronic. According to the author, the application of the Bakhtin’s methodology in the field of social research makes it possible to consider problems of historical responsibility in the context of more fundamental philosophical questions about the relationship between individual and collective identity, the dynamics of identity, the combination of regularity and variability in human behavior.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):457-466
pages 457-466 views

Unilateral Exposure to Mass Media: Non-Communicative Person

Chistyakov D.I.


The article discusses the forms and ways of the impact of modern digital media on people, groups, and society as a whole. The unilateral communication effect on a person is emphasized. The accent is made on the transmission model of information dissemination, taking into account the formation of its ritualized form. The author pays his particular attention to the status and role of an individual in interaction with mass media; provides arguments about the exclusion of a person from the communication dimension. The activity of modern digital media structures is substantiated as social “constructors of reality”. The researcher shows the technological and visual possibilities of mass media in the creation of artificial, illusory simulated models of the world perceived by a person as objective, authentic, and real. Mass media are presented as an integral social institution of modern society, operating autonomously, based on its own rules and norms, technological and content principles, conditions of network communication, digitalization, and mediatization of society. The article presents the concepts of theoretical comprehension of mass media as a self-sufficient autopoietic system of N. Luhmann, and consideration of media communication implementation as a non-communication of J. Baudrillard. The author stresses the role of spectacle and visuality in the process of TV influence on the subjects, in the construction of images and models of the world, comparable with the already available information consumers pictures of the world. The contradictory and ambiguous conceptual assessments of the activity and influence of mass media on the modern man are emphasized.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):467-479
pages 467-479 views


Hermeneutics of Aristotle and Hermeneutics of Sophists in Terms of Dialogue Philosophy. Part 1

Dvorkin I.


The article considers the logical and philosophical doctrine of sophists, which, according to some modern researchers, was more philosophical than their ancient critics recognized. A comparison of the provisions of Aristotle's hermeneutics with preserved fragments of Protagoras and Gorgias shows that the doctrine of sophists was a kind of holistic philosophy, which anticipated the philosophy of dialogue of the XX century. Despite the fact that the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle tried to overcome the relativism and anti-ontologism of the doctrine of sophists, some elements of its dialogueism were preserved in subsequent philosophy in dialectics and rhetoric. The first thing you should pay attention to is the difference between the dialogical form of the presentation of philosophy in Plato and dialogue as the fundamental basis of thinking that we find among sophists. The dialogueism preserved in the dialectic of Plato and the rhetoric of Aristotle is more a technical method of convincing the interlocutor than a hermeneutical basis, which it is in the philosophy of dialogue and in the method of Socratic discussion. The linguistic turn that occurred in the philosophy of the 20th century includes not only an increased interest in language and accuracy of expression. No less important is the new formulation of the question of the nature of the language. Is language a tool for the formulation of thought as Aristotle believed and followed by representatives of modern analytical philosophy, or does it have its own fundamental status, as representatives of the philosophy of dialogue believe? In this context, it is very important for the philosophy of dialogue to find in the thinking of the pre-Socratics those predecessors who already two and a half thousand years ago charted the paths for modern thought. The first part of the article analyzes the relationship between Aristotle’s hermeneutics and hermeneutics of sophists.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):480-501
pages 480-501 views

Synthesis of Cultures of the East and West in the Philosophy of B.D. Dandaron

Ulanov M.S.


The article deals with the phenomenon of synthesis of East and West cultures in the religious philosophy of B.D. Dandaron - one of the most famous representatives of Russian Buddhism in the XX century. The beginning of the spread of Buddhist teachings in Russian society is also connected with his extraordinary personality. Dandaron was engaged in active yoga, tantric practice, and also gave instructions to those who were interested in Buddhism. As a result, a small circle of people began to form around him who tried to study and practice Buddhism. Dandaron was also engaged in Buddhist activities, studied Tibetan history and historiography, and described the Tibetan collection of manuscripts. It is indicated that Dandaron not only made an attempt to consider Buddhism from the perspective of Western philosophy, but also created his own teaching, which was called “neobuddism”. As a result, he was able to conduct a creative synthesis of Buddhist philosophy with the Western philosophical tradition. In fact, he developed a philosophical system that claims to be universal and synthesized Buddhist and Western spiritual achievements. Trying to synthesize the Eastern and Western traditions of philosophical thought, Dandaron turned to the well-known comparative works of the Indian thinker S. Radhakrishnan and the Russian buddhologist F.I. Shcherbatsky. The author also notes the influence on the philosophy of neobuddism of the ideas of V.E. Sesemann, a neo-Kantian philosopher with whom Dandaron was personally acquainted. The idea of non-Buddhism had not only a philosophical and theoretical, but also a practical aspect, since the consideration of Buddhism from the perspective of Western philosophy helped to attract people of Western culture to this religion. In General, Dandaron’s desire to create a universal synthetic philosophical system was in line with the philosophical and spiritual search of Russian philosophy, and was partly related to the traditional problem of “East-West”, which has always been relevant for Russia.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):502-511
pages 502-511 views


Review of the International Scientific Seminar: “German and Russian Neo-Kantianism”

Perepechina A.S.



RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):512-517
pages 512-517 views

New Pages of S.L. Frank's Biography in the Context of the Dialogue between Russian and Western Philosophical Cultures

Berdnikova A.Y.



RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2020;24(3):518-526
pages 518-526 views

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