"Critical positivism" versus "new idealism" in Russia at the beginning of 20th century
The struggle of the traditional paradigm of philosophical thinking with a new type of philosophizing oriented towards natural sciences. The essence of the program of "critical positivism". Bogdanov's "empirio-monism" and Yushkevich's "empirio-symbolism".
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Đ˛ˇńňÝ˛ű, Ó˝´ŔÓÝ˛ű, ýţŰţńűň ˇ¸ňÝűň, Ŕ˝´ţŰŘšˇ■¨Ŕň ßÓšˇ šÝÓÝŔÚ Ô ˝ÔţňÚ ˇ¸ňßň Ŕ Óßţ˛ň, ßˇńˇ˛ ÔÓý ţ¸ňÝŘ ßŰÓŃţńÓÝű.
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Philipps University of Marburg
ôCritical positivismö versus ônew idealismö in Russia at the beginning of 20th century
The paper focuses on the situation in Russian philosophy at the beginning of the 20th century. Of special interest is the discussion between the so called ôcritical positivismö and the ônew idealismö. The former is represented by A. A. Bogdanov, P. S. Juskevic, V. A. Bazarov and Ja.A. Berman; the latter is represented by N. A. Berdjaev, S. N. Bulgakov, P. A. Florenskij and others. In a first step, I reconstruct this discussion on the basis of the collected works ôProblems of idealismö (1902) and ôLandmarksö (1909) from the side of the idealists, and ôEssays of realist world viewö (1904), ôEssays on Marxist Philosophyö (1908), and ôEssays on philosophy of collectivismö (1909) published by the positivists. I argue that this discussion took on the character of the struggle of worldviews: it was a struggle of the traditional Russian paradigm of philosophical thinking against the new type of philosophizing which was oriented towards the natural sciences. After that, I briefly characterize the theoretical and practical programs of ôcritical positivismö. Its main theoretical principle is ôrealismö, and its core practical principle is ôidealismö. However, both the concept of ôrealismö and the concept of ôidealismö received a completely new interpretation. Bogdanov's ôempiriomonismö, Juskevic's ôempiriosymbol- ismö and Bazarov's philosophy, which developed the ideas of empiriocritiscism, can be seen as different modifications of the realizing these key principles. I promote the view that we can consider the so called ôthirdö wave of Russian positivism (Bogdanov, Juskevic, Bazarov) as ôneopositivismö, because, within this currency, the transformation from scientific philosophy to theory of science took place. The vivid illustration of this transformation can be seen in Bogdanov's general theory of organization or ôTectologyö.
Keywords: idealism, positivism, critical realism, ineopositivism, empiriomonism, empiriosymbolism.
ź╩Ŕ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕŔÚ ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšý╗ ´ţ˛ŔÔ źÝţÔţŃţ ŔńňÓŰŔšýÓ╗ Ô đţ˝˝ŔŔ ÝÓ¸ÓŰÓ XX ÔňŕÓ
╠. ┼. ĐţßţŰňÔÓ ╠ÓßˇŃ˝ŕŔÚ ˇÝŔÔň˝Ŕ˛ň˛,
├ňýÓÝŔ , 35032, ╠ÓßˇŃ, ┬ŔŰŘ§ňŰŘý-đŞ´ŕň-°˛Ó˝˝ň, 6┬
Đ˛Ó˛Ř ´ţ˝Ô ¨ňÝÓ ˝Ŕ˛ˇÓ÷ŔŔ, ˝ŰţŠŔÔ°ňÚ˝ Ô ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘ŔŔ Ô đţ˝˝ŔŔ ÝÓ¸ÓŰÓ XX Ô. ╬˝ÝţÔÝţň ÔÝŔýÓÝŔň ˇńňŰ ň˛˝ ńŔ˝ŕˇ˝˝ŔŔ ýňŠńˇ ´ňń˝˛ÓÔŔ˛ňŰ ýŔ ˛Óŕ ÝÓšÔÓňýţŃţ ŕŔ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕţŃţ ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšýÓ Ŕ ÝţÔţŃţ ŔńňÓŰŔšýÓ. ¤ňÔűÚ ˝Ô šÓÝ ˝ ŔýňÝÓýŔ └. └. ┴ţŃńÓÝţÔÓ, ┬. └. ┴ÓšÓţÔÓ, ¤. Đ. Ů°ŕňÔŔ¸Ó Ŕ ▀. └. ┴ňýÓÝÓ, Ô˛ţţÚ -- ˝ ŔýňÝÓýŔ ═. └. ┴ňń ňÔÓ, ┬.═. ┴ˇŰŃÓŕţÔÓ, ¤. └. ďŰţňÝ˝ŕţŃţ Ŕ ń. ┬ ˝˛Ó˛Řň ˝ÝÓ¸ÓŰÓ ňŕţÝ˝˛ˇŔˇň˛˝ ńŔ˝ŕˇ˝˝Ŕ ÝÓ ţ˝ÝţÔÓÝŔŔ ˝ßţÝŔŕţÔ ź¤ţßŰňýű ŔńňÓŰŔšýÓ╗ (1902) Ŕ ź┬ň§Ŕ╗ ˝ţ ˝˛ţţÝű ŔńňÓŰŔ˝˛ţÔ, Ŕ ˝ßţÝŔŕţÔ ź╬¸ňŕŔ ňÓŰŔ˝˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕţŃţ ýŔţÔţššňÝŔ ╗ (1904), ź╬¸ňŕŔ ´ţ ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘ŔŔ ýÓŕ˝ŔšýÓ╗ (1908) Ŕ ź╬¸ňŕŔ ´ţ ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘ŔŔ ŕţŰŰňŕ˛ŔÔŔšýÓ╗ (1909) ˝ţ ˝˛ţţÝű ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔ˝˛ţÔ. ¤ţŕÓšűÔÓň˛˝ , ¸˛ţ ńŔ˝ŕˇ˝˝Ŕ ř˛Ó ŔýňŰÓ §ÓÓŕ˛ň ßţŘßű ýŔţÔţššňÝŔÚ, ßţŘßű ˛ÓńŔ÷ŔţÝÝţÚ ńŰ đţ˝˝ŔŔ ´ÓÓńŔŃýű ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘˝ŕţŃţ ýű°ŰňÝŔ ˝ ÝţÔűý, ţŔňÝ˛ŔţÔÓÝÝűý ÝÓ ň˝˛ň˝˛ÔňÝÝűň ÝÓˇŕŔ ˛Ŕ´ţý ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘˝˛ÔţÔÓÝŔ . ăÓ˛ňý ŕţţ˛ŕţ ńÓň˛˝ §ÓÓŕ˛ňŔ˝˛ŔŕÓ ˛ňţň˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕţÚ Ŕ ´Óŕ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕţÚ ´ţŃÓýýű źŕŔ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕţŃţ ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšýÓ╗. ╬˝ÝţÔÝţÚ ňŃţ ˛ňţň˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕŔÚ ´ŔÝ÷Ŕ´ -- ř˛ţ źňÓŰŔšý╗, Ó ţ˝ÝţÔÝţÚ ´Óŕ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕŔÚ ´ŔÝ÷Ŕ´ -- źŔńňÓŰŔšý╗. ¤Ŕ¸ňý ŕÓŕ ´ţÝ ˛Ŕň źňÓŰŔšý╗, ˛Óŕ Ŕ ´ţÝ ˛Ŕň źŔńňÓŰŔšý╗ ´ţŰˇ¸Ó■˛ šńň˝Ř ˝ţÔň°ňÝÝţ ÝţÔˇ■ ˛Óŕ˛ţÔŕˇ.
źŢý´ŔŔţýţÝŔšý╗ ┴ţŃńÓÝţÔÓ, źřý´ŔŔţ˝ŔýÔţŰŔšý╗ Ů°ŕňÔŔ¸Ó Ŕ ÓšÔŔÔÓ■¨Ó ŔńňŔ řý´ŔŔţŕŔ˛Ŕ÷ŔšýÓ ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘Ŕ ┴ÓšÓţÔÓ ´ňńŰÓŃÓ■˛ ÓšŰŔ¸Ýűň ÔÓŔÓÝ˛ű ňÓŰŔšÓ÷ŔŔ ř˛Ŕ§ ŕŰ■¸ňÔű§ ´ŔÝ÷Ŕ´ţÔ. ┬ ˝˛Ó˛Řň ´ňńŰÓŃÓň˛˝ Ó˝˝ýÓ˛ŔÔÓ˛Ř ˛Óŕ ÝÓšűÔÓňýˇ■ ˛ň˛Ř■ ÔţŰÝˇ ţ˝˝ŔÚ˝ŕţŃţ ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšýÓ (└. └. ┴ţŃńÓÝţÔ, ┬. └. ┴ÓšÓţÔ, ¤. Đ. Ů°ŕňÔŔ¸) Ô ŕÓ¸ň˝˛Ôň źÝňţ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšýÓ╗, ´ţ˝ŕţŰŘŕˇ Ô ÝňÚ ţ˝ˇ¨ň˝˛ÔŰňÝ ´ňň§ţń ţ˛ ÝÓˇ¸ÝţÚ ˘ŔŰţ˝ţ˘ŔŔ ŕ ˛ňţŔŔ ÝÓˇŕŔ. ▀ŕŔý ´Ŕýňţý ř˛ţŃţ ÔŰ ň˛˝ ź┬˝ňţß¨Ó ţŃÓÝŔšÓ÷ŔţÝÝÓ ÝÓˇŕÓ╗ -- źĎňŕ˛ţŰţŃŔ ╗ -- ┴ţŃńÓÝţÔÓ.
╩Ű■¸ňÔűň ˝ŰţÔÓ: ŔńňÓŰŔšý, ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšý, ŕŔ˛Ŕ¸ň˝ŕŔÚ ňÓŰŔšý, Ýňţ´ţšŔ˛ŔÔŔšý, řý´ŔŔţýţÝŔšý, řý´ŔŔţ˝ŔýÔţŰŔšý.
Two idioms characterize the spiritual situation in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, namely the ôRussian Religious-Philosophical Renaissanceö and the ôSilver Ageö. In spite of recent attempts to question these concepts, they still seem relevant since the epoch they mark was an outstanding time for Russian art and science. Nevertheless, these names appear to be irrelevant in the sense that they give a dissemblance to the conflicting nature of this period, and give the illusion of a harmonic cultural development. In reality, ôthe hitherto unprecedented pluralism of thoughtö was accompanied by a struggle of different cultural currents. Thus, the situation in philosophy was distinguished by the debates between G. V. Plechanov's ômaterialismus militansö, A. A. Bogdanov's (1873-1928), Ja. A. Berman's (1868-1933), P. S. Juskevic's (1873-1945) and V. A. Bazarov's (1874-1939) ôcritical positivismö as much as ôidealismus militansö This notion belongs to V. A. Bazarov [2, p. 152]. of different kinds Juskevic characterizes the situation as follows: ôWe have already Vjac. Ivanov's and G. Culkov's mystical anarchism, N. Losskij's mystical empiricism, N. Berdjaev's mystical realism, Mr. Merezkovskij's and Fi- losofov's special `mystical' syndicalism -- not to mention the other forms of `mysticism' not obliged to create a sonorous name for themselvesö [3, p. 1]..
The cardinal conflict in philosophy is that between positivism and idealism where the former is an orientation towards scientific knowledge and methodology, and the latter is an approach to the facts and their description and appreciation proceeding from ôtranscendental and transcendentö This notion belongs to Ivanov-Razumnik: [4, p. 187]. assumptions. Jakov Berman represents the typical point of view claiming (1911) that ôthe struggle between intellectualism and anti-intellectualism, positivism and idealism forms the principal content of the universal evolution of philosophyö [5, p. 3]. The contemporaries estimated this contest depending on what intellectual party they belonged to. Idealist Nikolai Berdiaev was convinced that ôamong the Russian intelligentsia, the exceptional predominance of materialism and positivism has ended. A cruel struggle was waged to make this metaphysical and religious turn possibleö [6, p. 8]. Positivist Pavel Juskevic argued the opposite: ôHumankind is going toward positivism -- this is the line of development which is clear to any observerö [3, p. 208]. Neo-kantianist Boris Jakovenko took a neutral position declaring: ôRussian Philosophy of the last 50 years can be described with the words: a positivist world view. Meanwhile, along with the contemporary awakening of philosophical thought among us, in Russia, a religious motive also rose with new strength. So there is a danger that we will fall from the hands of positivism into the hands of a religious-metaphysical world viewö [7, p. 653-655].
The debates between positivists and idealists are documented in many collections of papers. ôProblems of idealismö (1902) and ôLandmarksö (1909) were followed with ôEssays on the realist world viewö (1904), ôEssays on Marxist Philosophyö (1908), and ôEssays on the philosophy of collectivismö (1909) published by Alexander Bogdanov and his adherents. Careful analysis of these publications permits one to reconstruct the most important topics, the peculiarities of their formulation and the possible resolutions to the complex problems that were touched upon. Until now there has been no objective analysis of these positions. While the new idealism of the 20th century has traditionally been evaluated as an outstanding achievement of Russian culture, ôMarxist positivismö is negatively judged. In contrast to the ôsignificant and developing Roleö of idealism, Russian positivism is seen as its antidote, as a ôpositivist deadlockö [4, p. 187, 190]. This perception should be corrected regarding the role of critical positivism in the history of ideas in Russia. I'll be focusing on some positive aspects of this positivism in my paper. critical positivism empirio symbolism
ôProblems of idealismö versus ôEssays of a realist world viewö
Russian historiography has already connected these two publications with each other. Ivanov-Razumnik noted: ôThe epigones of Marxism answered the collection of papers `Problems of idealism' with their book `Essays of a realist world view'ö (1903) [4, p. 192-193] Compare [8, p. 202].. If not bearing in mind the disparaging tone of this sentence concerning the positivists, it points out the basic fact constituting the polemic spirit of the new philosophical epoch: publishing works of two very different, opposite philosophical currents. The introductions to both books confirm the emergence of two discursive parties in confrontation. The editor of ôProblems of idealismö, P. I. Novgorodcev, validated positivism as a system that ôis not only too narrow in its perspectives but, moreover, it is dogmatic as well, and it lacks firm foundations and critical cautionö [9, p. 235]. He proclaimed the ôrise of the contemporary idealist movementö [9, p. 236]. From their side, the editors of ôEssays of realist world viewö reproached the new idealists for their ômetaphysically sick thinkingö and opposed it with their own ôtheoretical realismö based on a wide positivist platform [10, p. v].
The problem of justifying theoretical and practical judgments was central in the polemics between the representatives of this two opposing positions. The idealists strived to understand the ôabsolute truthö about nature as well as morality, law, state, and progress. They sought for an ideal scale to measure social reality. The positivists aspired to justify the temporary content of life and looked for immanent but probably meager relative laws and norms. These general presuppositions determined their mutual criticism.
The idealists attacked the positivist approach in the human and social sciences including sociology, jurisprudence, history, and ethics. They confronted the established histori- cism of these disciplines with a normative-formal methodology that rejected the positivist ideals of a ôpure description of factsö and a genetic casual explanation, and returned to the traditional metaphysical question of the nature of things, i.e. to a speculative understanding of being. Thus, P. I. Novgorodcev saw the goal of jurisprudence not in an ôexplaining the origins of a legal theory through the natural development of legal institutions, but in establishing moral requirements that prescribe the ideal paths of development. The aim consists not in an explanation, but in an appraisal of the independent phenomena, and how these phenomena evolved in the past and will evolve in future.ö [11, p. 526-527] According to him, ôa utopian theory can be more far-seeing than a sober practiceö [11, p. 535]. B. A. Kistjakovskij criticized the positivist ôRussian Sociological Schoolö represented by N. K. Mihajlovskij und N. I. Kareev. Like Novgorodcev, he contrasted empirical investigations of this school with a ônecessity and dutyö, claiming that ôwe are striving to achieve our ideals not because they are possible, but because our conscious of duty imperatively demands from us and our associates their realizationö [12, p. 684].
The main issue of ôProblems of idealismö is an ethical problem. The criticism of hedonist and utilitarian conceptions of ethics is accompanied here with the working out of a normative scale for analysis of a social reality. Three articles should be noted. S. Bulgakov advanced his theory of progress, which was understood not ôas a law of historic development, but as a moral task <...>, not being, but an absolute dutyö. According to him, progress is a ôrealization of goodnessö [13, p. 279]. N. A. Berdjaev's article examined the ôethical problem underlying philosophical idealismö [14, p. 341]. He advocated the ideal person in opposition to an empirical human being. His definition of a person is not a description of a real individual, but a set of normative standards that cannot be, in fact, realized. S. L. Frank synthesized Kantianism and Nietzscheanism in his ethical theory. The architectonic of his theory is a controversy between altruism -- ôlove of neighborsö -- and egoism -- ôlove of the farthestö, namely of the absolute ethical ideal. His dialectics implies that a ôlove of neighborsö offers a moral ideal, while a ôlove of the farthestö is a form of realization of this ideal. He defined the ethics of a ôlove of the farthestö as an ôethics of active heroismö [15, p. 411].
The antipositivist background of this collection of papers is unequivocally expressed in the editors' letter to A. S. Lappo-Danilevskij: ôWe need a paper which would disclose the discontent regarding Comte's sociological outlook. <...> If you find the opportunity, in addition, at least in two words, to refer to impossibility for positivism to raise and solve a moral problem, we will be thankful for supporting the leitmotiv of our publicationö [16, p. 264-265] Here cited [8, p. 171].. Needless to say, Lappo-Danilevskij fulfilled this request.
ôProblems of idealismö found, in general, a positive response among the contemporary public. Ivanov-Rasumnik proclaimed optimistically that the publication of this book was an ôevent in the history of development of Russian thought ôas much as it opened ôa new period in the evolution of Russian intelligentsiaö [4, p. 187, 190]. In my view, the importance of the idealists' manifest did not advance philosophy at whole, but it merely formed a public consciousness, which had been looking for new landmarks Compare: P. B. Struve wrote on this collection of papers that it ôdoesn't drive an absolutely new channel of thoughtö [17, p. 340]. Ivanov-Razumnik admitted that in this book ôthe old ideals received a new fulcrum, they received slightly different form and changed their centre of gravityö [4, p.190].. The authors constructed an ideal, a self-defining individual as a criterion for social practice. ôThe twelve apostlesö See Ivanov-Razumnik, [4, p.193]. There are twelve authors in ôProblems of idealismö. of this new philosophical current offered the ômetaphysical individualismö to those members of society who were experiencing a so-called ômetaphysical needö. This expression belongs to Struve [17, p. 332, 338]. Compare: Ivanov-Razumnik: ôthis return to `utopianism' is one of the achievements of `idealism' and a reaction to the fatalist world view of a son of the 1890s'ö [4, p. 200]. For example, L. Axel'rod, ôO problemah idealismaô. St. Petersburg. 1905 and ôNa rubezeö. St. Petersburg. 1905. This ômetaphysical individualismö tried to solve the problems of intercourse between being and what should be, historical reality and an absolute ideal from the perspective of a noumenal, autonomous and orthodox Christian subject. It tried to connect religion, metaphysics and positive science while attempting to place a permanently changing reality into ahistorically ideal moulds. This approach can be described as a utopia of romantic idealism10. In my view, the positive aspect of this philosophical program appears to be the fact that a necessary consequence of the ethical individualism is political liberalism. According to the latter, the antagonism between individual and society can be removed by enhancing the conditio humana, i.e. establishing social conditions for the free development of the person.
The ôorthodox Marxistsö11 and the positivists See reviews in the newspapers for 1903 in particular Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii. Vol. 67 and Novyj put'. Vol. 10, vol. 12. sharply criticized the idealists' attempt to give a religious-metaphysical basis to ethics and politics. Struggling to influence the debate, Bogdanov and his adherents published ôEssays of realist world viewö that embraced a wide spectrum of problems including the theory of knowledge (S. Suvorov, V. Bazarov), ethics (V. Bazarov), aesthetics (A. Lunacarsky) as well as agrarian questions (P. Maslov, P. Rumjancev) and theory of literature (V. Suljatikov, B. Frice). M. A. Kolerov characterized this book as ôan original encyclopedia of orthodoxyö [8, p. 202]. Indeed, it is an encyclopedia not of the ôorthodoxyö but rather of a position identified by its representatives as a ôcritical positivismö.
Three different variants of the Russian ôcritical positivismö are represented in ôEssays of realist world viewö: Bogdanov's empiriomonism, Jushkevich's empiriosymbolism, and Bazarov's empiriocriticism. These theories shared a common origin in Comte's as well as R. Avenarius' and E. Mach's positivism combined with Marxism, Neo-Kantianism, and the achievements of particular sciences. They focus on an epistemology which aspired to develop a ôgeneral theory of beingö in the form of a ôworld order that was homogeneous and conforming to the lawö on the basis of ôunity of the knowableö and ôunity of the ways of cognitionö [18, p. 15]. They orientated themselves toward natural sciences, aspired to work out a ôscientific philosophyö, and to redefine philosophical concepts according to both the experimental character of modern science and its methodological functionalism (or constructivism), as well as its theoretical dynamism. They denied all forms of ontological monism including materialism and idealism, and proposed instead a methodological monism in form of functionalism. According to functionalism, being appears to be a bunch of hypothetical and verifiable laws; it is a mere model of reality corresponding with a current state of knowledge. They opposed the ôauthoritarian metaphysics of the absoluteö [19, p. 188ff] with its idea of one absolute truth. Conversely, they stressed the epistemological relativity of concepts, laws and theories and pointed out the normative character of scientific cognition depending both on ôhabits of thinkingö [19, p. 28] and conditions of a practical and scientific life. They searched for a universal methodology that would allow a complete cognition of the world and a planned control over the totality of elements of the world process. This should be not simply a theoretical formula in Laplace's sense but a practical one as well. The Russian ôcritical positivismö proclaimed the unity of two principles: ôtheoretical realismö and ôpractical idealismö [20, p. vi]. The first describes what is, the second rather what should be. Positivism made epistemology a central discipline since it could explain a logical constitution of the world and substantiate social practice on the basis of science and philosophy during a period of a cardinal social transformation. Thus, Russian ôcritical positivismö demonstrates typical constructivism and pragmatism concerning knowledge: epistemological theory should become an instrument for reorganizing society.
The analysis of ôEssays of realist world viewö shows that, consequently, the Russian ôcritical positivismö tried to apply realistic principles to all areas of culture. It attempted to ground the validity of human knowledge and the correctness of human actions on a metaphysically free basis. According to Juskevic, positivism is capable of overcoming both ôrestrictions of logicism (rationalism)ö and ôrestrictions of mythologismö (religion, metaphysics) [21, p. v]. It provides ôdefetishising and symbolizing of the affective individual and collective life as wellö [3, p. 209]. It is an indicator of a ôworld view of an adult manö [ibid] and the ôEuropeanization of Russian lifeö [ibid, p. 81] in an intellectual sphere.
ôLandmarksö versus ôEssays on philosophy of collectivismö
The defeat of the Revolution of 1905 and the loss of the Russian-Japanese war changed Russia's social atmosphere. Pessimism emerged from political and moral crisis in the form of emigration, suicide, escapism, and political radicalism. Juskevic described the spiritual situation of that time as follows: ôRecently, the ideological axis has shifted noticeably to the `right'. In philosophy, history, biology and in exact natural sciences -- everywhere idealistic and theological conceptions grow and strengthen again. [...] The huge idealistic wave is drawing near to us now. [...] Mysticism has become, to some extent, a universal category of a modern consciousness.ö [Ibid, p. 1] This tendency touched the ônew Russian idealistsö as well. Their ôregressive evolutionö [4, p. 200] can be observed in such newspapers as ôThe new wayö (Novyjput') and ôQuestions of lifeö (Voprosy zizni). Its culmination is a collection of papers ôLandmarksö (Vekhi).
Conscience-stricken by the defeat of the ôrevolution of intelligentsiaö [22, p. 25], the authors of ôVekhiö subjected the intelligentsia to severe criticism. They claimed that it lacked religiosity (Struve, Frank), general education (Berdjaev, Izgoev), and legal consciousness (Kistjakovskij), as well as it retained false rationalist ideals (Berdjaev, Bulgakov, Gersenson, Frank). Its leanings were toward positivism (Berdjaev, Bulgakov, Frank), nihilism, and a revolutionary spirit (Frank).
The Vekhi-authors focused their criticism on postivism. It was reproached for its ôcatholic psychologyö, i.e. for its universalism, and its ôanimosity towards the idealist and religious-mystical currentsö including the ôoriginal Russian philosophyö [23, p. 7]. Additionally, positivism provided theoretical grounds for the ôreligion of an absolute embodiment of folk happinessö and justified the ôrevolutionary socialismö. Positivism was seen as a ômechanical-rationalistic theory of happinessö [24, p. 190-191]. According to Vekhi's authors, the danger of positivism consisted in its relativist temporary ôhumanö ideals, which had replaced the transcendental absolute values.
The idealists' criticism of positivism in ôVekhiö was connected with the fear that a social dynamism would threaten the Orthodox-Christian values and the traditional social structures based on Christian commandments. The ôethical individualismö propagated in ôProblems of individualismö converted by this time into an escapism demanding ôChristian heroismö instead of political activity, self-perfection and ôservice to the ideal valuesö instead of ôservice to the peopleö [24, p. 184-185]. The idealists affirmed the ôreligious nature of the Russian intelligentsiaö [22, p. 68]. They were convinced that ôpositivism as Weltanschauung is impossible in a normal spiritual lifeö [25, p. 82]. V. Bazarov characterized this new state of idealism as a ôshortage of positivist contentö that illustrated the ôobjective impotence of the religious-nationalistic consciousness facing a modern realityö and an ôadvocacy of the religious imperialismö [2, p. 186-187]. It is obvious that the new conservative program of the idealists had Slavophile roots. It reproduced the old mythology about the specific historic path of Russia connected with restructuring Russian culture on basis of Orthodoxy and isolationism. That is why Bazarov defined the position of ôVekhiö as a ôSlavophile tribunal of world cultureö [26, p. 66].
The ôregressive utopiaö of the idealists can be contrasted with the ôprogressive utopiaö of ôcritical positivismö. The ideas of the latter can be reconstructed from the newspapers ôEducationö (Obrazovanie) and ôTruthö (Pravda) (1905-1909) as well as a collection of papers ôEssays on the philosophy of collectivismö. These essays criticize the idealistic position and reflect on possible ways out of the political crisis Lunacarskij described this collection of papers as a reaction ôtowards the spreading of the idealistic infection among the intelligentsiaö [27, p. 274].. It represents the position of those who wanted to live without an authoritarian patriarchal state and who connected Russia's future with integration into the European system of values. Collectivism is named by the editors of this publication as a way of solving social problems. It is defined as a ôphilosophy of work and unity, a theory of social activity and active socialityö [28, p. 6]. From this definition it follows that the solution of all individual human problems depends on the solution of social problems. Collectivism conceived as the essence of socialism, it should, on the one hand, create the conditions for true and adequate knowledge and, on the other hand, it should connect the individual and society, law and economy, as well as national welfare and rational politics. The idealists' tendency to move ôfrom socialism to individualismö can be opposed with the consequent orientation of positivism towards socialist ideals ôcombining the interests of individual development with the interests of development of the species -- humankindö [27, p. 291].
The positivists' social optimism, in contrast to the social pessimism of the idealists, was based on the faith that the developing working class would be a bearer of a collectivist ideology. For the positivists, the proletariat symbolized the tendency toward a rising organization and rationality of a social life. It creates conditions under which the socialist reorganization of society could be possible. The aim of socialism was the establishing of social order making a free personality possible. The achievement of this goal implies, in its turn, the development of a free personality. Thus, not a ôcontemporary man isolated and striving toward isolationö [29, p. 373], but an active member of society is who has the ability to contribute to a social melioration. The positivists tried to advance a new ethics according to the ôprinciple of an active progressö [27, p. 239].
Summing up, the progressive utopia of the ôcritical positivismö is distinguished through the ôpathos of creative workö [30, p. 217] which can be opposed to the ôtroubled depressionö This notion belongs to Gor'kij: [29, p. 364]. of the idealists. This positive attitude toward social reality can be explained with the positivists' hope for the future reconstruction of the contemporary structures of a Russian society caused with its all-sided modernizing.
Comparing these two programs, it is evident that they express absolutely different states of mind. As Gor'kij noticed, ôthe 80s outlined three lines for the self-definition of the intelligentsia. These are nation, cultural enlightenment and personal self-perfection.ö [29, p. 378] Applying these words to the polemics of 1909 between the idealists and positivists, one can say that the former choose ôself-perfectionö and the latter the ônationö.
Diverse tactics were guided by different strategies that could be juxtaposed as a confrontation between the ôMiddle Agesö and ôEnlightenmentö. Referring to statements of the historical actors can legitimate this contraposition. Thus, Bogdanov published the review of ôProblems of idealismö in the newspaper Obrazovanie in 1903 under the title ôThe New Middle Agesö (ôNovoe srednevekovjeö) . Bulgakov claimed that positivism was a direct product of Enlightenment [22, p. 34]. However not these historical facts but, primarily, the analysis of the content of these two programs confirms my claim. In case of the positivism there is its trust in human reason, its social engagement and its active character. The idealistic point of view is skeptical, anti-scientific, anti-rationalist, religious, mystical, and eschatological. Positivism tried to answer to the principle questions about the relationship between industrial and political revolution, social and individual emancipation proceeding from the scientific and experimental platform; idealists held onto familiar ethical-religious models. The positivists were convinced that Russian society needed economical and political modernization; the idealists suggested to return to the old social-cultural identity under the government of the Orthodox Church. The former symbolized the break toward modernity, the latter the restoration of a traditional order of life.
As we know, both ôcritical positivismö and the ônew Russian idealismö have a very short history having been defeated by Plekhanov and Lenin's Marxism. While idealism is now included as part of Russian spiritual legacy, the rehabilitation of the intellectual legacy of Russian ôcritical positivismö is still on the agenda. The importance of this rehabilitation involves several facets: first, it must be shown that, except of the Russian idealism, there was another philosophical current that attempted to prevent the coming Bolshevism. Hence the ideological struggle between idealism and positivism at the beginning of the 20th century can no longer be considered as the only struggle of the Russian religious philosophy against the Russian Marxism as it is widely considered. The expression ôRussian Marxismö must be exactly determined: it was a complex phenomenon within which an ôorthodox Marxismö (Plechanov, Lenin) and a ôcritical positivismö were counteragents. The latter contributed a lot to the struggle against Bolshevism. Second, ôcritical positivismö worked out a progressive philosophical discourse oriented toward a science and correlating with the contemporary philosophical developments in Western Europe. This kind of discourse was unusual and alien for the traditional Russian metaphysical thinking. For this reason, critical positivism can be adequately appreciated not in comparison with the ideas of Russian religious philosophy, but rather in comparison with the modern philosophical theories. On this way, it appears as having a great theoretical potential. Therefore, some words must be said about this way of thinking.
Theoretical program of the ôcriticalö positivism
It is usually considered that Russian positive philosophy went through two periods. They are called the Comtean positivism and ôMachismö (to which the followers of Ernst Mach's and Richard Avenarius's empiriocriticism pertain) [31-32] In principle, Soviet researchers follow Zen'kovskij's classification, which is more detailed: .. I prefer to speak about ôdogmaticö and ôcriticalö This name was proposed by the representatives ofthis kind ofpositivism: Sergey Suvorov: [34, p. 11] and Alexander Bogdanov: [35, p. 12]. positivism in sense of ôfollowing the traditionö and ôinnovativeö. Moreover it is overlooked that one can speak about a third positivist period in Russia -- neopositivism -- represented not with a positive philosophy, but with a scientific theory -- with Bogdanov's ôtheory of organizationö The analogy is, for example, the Vienna Circle's logical positivism that focuses on the semantic analysis of scientific utterances..
The traditional positivist ideology includes theoretical and practical aspects. The theoretical core of positivism is ôrealismö. It is epistemology based upon belief in universal laws, prediction and the legitimating of theories through the process of verification (or falsification). Positivism searches for rigorous, complete explanations of events; it does not differentiate between social and natural reality regarding their cognition; it emphasizes the universal methodology on the model of natural sciences; it tends to materialism or naturalism; it despises ontology; it insists on the absolute separation of facts and values.
The practical core of positivism is ôidealismö. It is a special theory of social action aiming at the working-out of a scientific worldview and accepting all possible forms of public education and propaganda to achieve it. Thus instead of a contemplative approach positivism insists on a social activity.
Russian ôcriticalö positivism in all its variants -- Jushkevich's empiriosymbolism, Bazarov's empiriocriticism, Bogdanov's empiriomonism and others -- shares this general view. The most famous product of Russian positivistic thought is Alexander Bogdanov's ôtheory of the organizationö or ôTectologyö See . First publication is in 1913.. Bogdanov concentrates on systems theory as a universal science that describes the ôorganization of things, humanity, and ideasö. Tectology is primarily concerned with discovering the formal unity of the world, the unity of forms and methods of the organization of inorganic, organic and social levels of life as much as the setting of general laws of the organization. It does not describe and explains details of isolated phenomena, but researches into complex structures taken in their totality and interactions with each other. That is why Bogdanov's new science does not make any sharp division into branches and disciplines. Tectology is interdisciplinary; it embraces not only chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, but also economics, education, cultural building, psychology, medicine, linguistics, sociology, and political science. It is aimed to the organization of social practice.
Tectology is based upon three presumptions:
1) human society, as part of the natural world, can be understood by general scientific methods (the naturalist presumption);
2) a theory of science can contribute to cognition and reconstruction of society as well;
3) pressing social problems result from processes in large social structures rather than from individual characteristics, and their adequate explanation must be macrosociologi- cal. Tectology is an exact science having its own basis -- collective labor -- for verifying the theoretical statements. Its final goal is an instrumental and technical control over nature and society.
Bogdanov's theory of the organization was supposed to become a proletariat's weapon in process of social reconstruction from capitalism to socialism. Thus, methodological rules must turn into instructions for social engineering; the building of a socialist society can be implemented by realization of scientific constructive norms. Hence Tectology might provide a connection between the theoretical and practical activity of humans. It had to be implemented into the real practice of social modernization. Bogdanov's project of tectological reorganization of society was not merely a theoretical vision but a concrete program of action including such spheres as culture, economy, public health, space research. However, the political circumstances made it impossible to realize this program.
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