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Aristotelian Theory of Sense Percepcion: Conflict of Interpretations

by Svetlana Messiats

PhD in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia; Associate Professor at the Russian State University of Humanities, 6 Miusskaya sq., Moscow, 125993, Russia. E-mail: messiats@mail.ru.


According to Aristotle, sense perception is the ability of a living being to be affected and changed by some external object. When the sense-faculty is acted upon it becomes like the perceptible object and receives its form without matter. There are two ways of interpreting Aristotle’s theory of sense-perception. According to the ‘physical’ or ‘literal’ one (R. Sorabji, S. Everson, M. Nussbaum and H. Putnam), perception is a mental process realized by some material change in the body, so that eye’s becoming aware of red requires its going red etc. The proponents of the ‘intentional’ interpretation (M. Burnyeat, T. Johanson) argue that in perception sense-organ changes insofar as it becomes aware of a sense-object of which it was previously unaware. So sense-perception is a pure mental or ‘intentional’ change. Yet we believe that neither of these approaches is correct. We offer another explanation of Aristotle’s theory of perception. In our opinion it is necessary to separate the material change in the sense-organ from the formal one, so that perception can be considered as that type of incomplete change that Aristotle calls κίνησις and simultaneously as an actualization of some potentiality or ἐντελέχεια.


Ancient Greek philosophy, Aristotle, Aristotle’s psychology, soul, body, theory of sense perception, intentionality, hylomorphism.

Laboratory of Ontological Concepts. Antonius Syrectus and Antonio Trombetta: 15th century Scotists

by Galina Vdovina

DSc in Philosophy, Leading Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia; Professor at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies, 4/2 bld. 1, Pyatnitskaya Str., Moscow, 115035 Russia. E-mail: galvd1@yandex.ru.


The article examines the main ontological concepts presented in the Treatise on formalities written by a Parisian Franciscan Antonius Syrectus, and a commentary on that text, composed by an Italian Franciscan Antonius Trombetta. Both authors belong to the so-called formalist tradition of the 15th century, representing one of the directions in which philosophy and theology of Duns Scotus was developing. The texts of Syrectus and Trombetta, as well as a formalist tradition as a whole, pertain to a vary poorly studied phenomena in the history of Western philosophy. The article discusses the concepts of res (thing), realitas obiectiva, aliquid rei and internal modus. It is shown that scotistic ontology is characterized by a noetical-noematical isomorphism, that is to say, a strict structural correspondence between the concepts of our intellect and rationes obiectivae. The latter represent objective conceptual contents and are the fruits of the eternal creative activity of the divine intelligence. The study of formalist terminology becomes increasingly important, because it was in it where researchers recently try to detect the origin of the Cartesian doctrine of realitas obiectiva.


15th century Scotism, Antonius Syrectus, Antonio Trombetta, formalist tradition, res, realitas, internal modus, scotistic ontology.


Bendova: a Separate Text or an Introduction to Shōbōgenzō?

by Maya Babkova

PhD in Philosophy, Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12 Rozhdestvenka Str., Moscow, 107031 Russia. E-mail: maymayl@yandex.ru.


The treatise that now opens Dōgen’s opus magnum “Shōbōgenzō” – it’s “Bendōwa” chapter, composed in 1231. This was not so though till the end of the 17th cent. Comparative analisys of three “Shōbōgenzō” chapters – “Bendōwa”, “Zenki” (1243) and “Hachi dainin gaku” (1253) – allows to see the changes in Dogen’s position: from dealing with his own Self to the complete dissipation and unity with the world at nirvana stage (“stages of Dogen’s enlightenment”). First, “Bendōwa” shouldn’t be considered only as an introduction to “Shōbōgenzō”, because it reflexes 25-30 years old Dogen’s mindset, which is far away from his further view of the world. Second, the article deals with Chinese origins of Dogen’s creed and philosophy in the light of “sudden/gradual enlightenment” polemics.


Buddism, Dōgen, “Shōbōgenzō”, enlightenment, Chan, Zen, suddent/ gradual enlightenment.


Warriorʼs World View in Kamakura Setsuwa Collections

by Nadezhda Trubnikova and Maria Kolyada

Nadezhda Trubnikova - DSc in Philosophy, Deputy Chief Redactor, Voprosy Filosofii Journal, Russia, Moscow, 117997, Profsoyuznaya Str., 90; Senior Researcher, School of Actual Studies in Humanities RANEPA, Moscow, 119571, Prospect Vernadskogo, 82; Professor, The Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosow Moscow State University, Moscow, 125009, Mokhovaya Str., 11. E-mail: trubnikovann@yandex.ru.

Maria Kolyada - Postgraduate, Philosophical Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27 Lomonosovsky prospect, Training and Research Corps “Shuvalov”, MSU, Lenin Hills, Moscow, GSP-1, 119991 Russia; redactor, Voprosy Filosofii Journal, 90 Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997. E-mail: warriormary@yandex.ru.


Collections of Setsuwa tales give a rich material for exploring the worldviews of various layers of the Japanese medieval society, including warriors. Warrior tales appear already in the 11th–12th c. collections, but of special interest are the collections of the Kamakura era. Of these, two texts can be distinguished, where the military view of the world can be traced to the narrator, and not only to his warrior heroes. Such are Jikkinshō (1252) and Shasekisū (1279–1283). Stories about warriors in these two collections solve two problems. 1) to show what a person should be on the “Way of bow and arrow”, discuss the relationship in the military environment, the role of bushi in the state, etc. 2) on examples from the life of famous warriors and from the history of wars, explain common-law patterns (one cannot underestimate other people, act incorrectly based on general considerations without taking into account the concrete situation, etc.).


Japanese philosophy, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shinto, philo-sophy and everyday life.


"Jikkinshō". Warrior Tales

Translated from Classical Japanese into Russian by Maria Kolyada, edited by Nadezhda Trubnikova.


Irrelativeness and Independence. On the Difference Between Terms and Words in Kantʼs Critique of Pure Reason

by Victor Molchanov

DSc in Philosophy, Professor, Center for Phenomenological Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Russian State University for the Humanities; 6 Miusskaya square, Moscow, 125993 Russia. E-mail: phenomenology@rggu.ru.


The difference between analysis and interpretation is the basis for studying the contexts in which the Kantian term Ding an sich operates, as well as other terms that include the structure an sich. Based on the difference between irrelativeness and independence, translations of these terms in five editions of the Critique of Pure Reason in Russian are analyzed. The difference between terms and similar language expressions that are not terms is considered. Particular attention is paid to the distinction between the competing terms «Ding an sich selbst» and «Sache an sich selbst», as well as to the term “Affizierung”, which does not exist in Kant’s language but is used by Russian translators and researchers. The tautological character of the definitions of things in themselves and of phenomena in Kant is clarified. The basis for the variety of interpretations of the “thing-in-itself” is revealed. In any discussion of any objects, there is always an explicit or implicit, reference to experience. No exception is any argument about things in themselves. When trying to describe them, they acquire, in the final analysis, the characteristics of cognizable and identifiable things that function in different spaces of the human world.


Kant, Ding an sich, thing in itself, thing per se (vestsch sama po sebe), subject in itself, tautology, appearance, irrelativeness, independence, transcendental, empirical.


The All-Unity Reason, or The Birth of Schelling’s Speculative Idealism

by Vsevolod Zolotukhin

PhD in Philosophy, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy and Social and Political Studies, Southern Fe-deral University; 116 Dneprovsky Lane, Rostov-on-Don, 344065 Russia. E-mail: vakis2011@gmail.com.


The paper is devoted to the explication of main concepts and ideas of Schelling’s first speculative theology i. e. philosophy of identity (1801‒1806). As a main source the author analyzes Schelling’s Presentation Of My System Of Philosophy and the I. Troxler’s summary of Schelling’s lectures delivered in Summer semester 1801. The latter text is important because it contains (1) an outline of general principles of Schelling’s world-outlook, (2) a comprehensive explication for the paragraphs of Presentation. The author presents reconstruction of the whole Schelling’s all-unity doctrine with accent to the concept of “intellectual contemplation” without which the doctrine loses its inner logic. The paper also deals with the criticism of Schelling’s absolute identity doctrine by his contemporaries. C.A. Eschenmayer poses sharp and uncomfortable questions which make Schelling modify his theory with an idea of the so-called Abfall. Serious objections to the Schelling’s doctrine come also from J.G. Fichte and J. Fries. This intra-traditional criticism gives us possibility to mark out specific traits of the early form of Schelling’s philosophy of identity. The mains of them are (a) the interpretation of intellectual contemplation as the exit from the subjectivity and (b) the conception of the indissoluble dialectical connection between the finite world and the Ab-solute however without detailed basis.


F.W.J. Schelling, speculative Idealism, the Absolute, absolute identity, intellectual contemplation, reason, the infinite, C.A. Eschenmayer, J.G. Fichte, J. Fries, I.P.V. Troxler.

I.P.V. Troxler’s Summary of Schelling’s Lectures Delivered in Summer Semester 1801

translated into Russian by Vsevolod Zolotukhin

The original title of Schelling's work in German: Hauptmomente aus Schellings Vortrage nach der Stunde aufgezeichnet 1801 (nachgeschrieben von Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler).


An artist with a religious feeling of life (Simon Frank about Ivan Bunin)

by Alexey Gaponenkov and Alexander Tsygankov

Alexey Gaponenkov - Doctor of Philology, Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature at the Saratov State University, 83 Astrakhanskaya Str., Saratov, 410012, Russia. E-mail: gaponenkovaa@ info.sgu.ru.

Alexander Tsygankov - PhD in Philosophy, Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia. E-mail: m1dian@yandex.ru.


Readers are invited to become familiar with a previously unknown German-language article written by S.L. Frank about I. A. Bunin as well as its Russian translation accompanied by comments. The article belongs to S.L. Frank’s fund stored at the Bakhmeteff Archive of Columbia University (USA). A certain points is emphasized in foreword of article. The philosopherʼs interest in Russian literature generally is due to the fact that in art creativity according to Frank man is able to comprehend the true reality, the self-revelation of absolute being. This is “living knowledge”. The reason of Frankʼs appeal to the Russian literary tradition as well as in particular to Buninʼs work is firstly due to his educational position stand by philosopher in emigration. He tried to remind the Europeans that Russia is not only the State in which the revolution took place and the Bolshevik’s power was governed, but primarily a country with a rich spiritual past. Frank comprehends the religiosity of Russian literature, the works of Bunin, tracing the spiritual path of the Russian people, rise and fall, which occurred with Russia in the 19th and early 20th century. The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Bunin in late 1933 gave Frank an excellent opportunity to once again point out the significance and depth of Russian spiritual culture, as well as to outline its main features and those social and ideological contradictions that found its expression in it.


Russian religious philosophy, S. Frank, philosophical criticism of Russian literature, I.A. Bunin, Nobel Prize to Bunin, the theme of the people, the motives of love and death.

Iwan Bunin – ein moderner Klassiker der russischen Literatur

by Simon Frank

Ivan Bunin a modern classic of Russian literature

by Simon Frank

Publication by Аlexey Gaponenkov and Аlexander Tsygankov. Τranslated from German into Russian by Аlexander Tsygankov, edited by Nelly Motroshilova; comments by Аlexey Gaponenkov and Аlexander Tsygankov.


Alexander Stoliarov: "I’ll be perfectly honest with you"

Interview with Alexander A. Stoliarov conducted by Olga Kusenko

Stoliarov Alexander Arnoldovich - DSc in Philosophy, Leading Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia. E-mail: a.stoliarov@mail.ru.

Kusenko Olga - PhD in Philosophy, Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia. E-mail: isafi137@gmail.com.


This conversation with Alexander Arnoldovich Stoliarov ‒ an eminent scholar, the leading expert in the Stoic philosophy and Patristic tradition ‒ took place in the summer 2017 as a part of RAS Institute of Philosophy project “Pages of History”. In the interview Prof. Stoliarov talks about his student years in Lomonosov Moscow State University, the faculty of history and its professors, the department of Ancient History, bookstores and samizdat, perception of classical music, “Okhotnik” [Hunter] cafe menu, a tour to Solovki, his working as a secretary in A.F. Losevʼs (an outstanding Russian philosopher of the 20th century) home-office, the “blank spot” in Stoicism, his thesis defense, Volkhonka 14, weird soviet “traditions”, friends of his youth, colleagues and many other things. People and situations mentioned here comprise the collective intellectual biography of the 1970s‒1980s generation of young Soviet scholars and introduce the reader to this interesting period of the Soviet history. Interview conducted by Olga Kusenko.


Russian philosophy, philosophy in the USSR, Moscow State University in the 1970s, RAS Institute of Philosophy, intellectual biography, A.F. Losev.


Ancient Greek philosophy and the East. Selected Bibliography

Part I. The Eastern world through the eyes of Ancient philosophers. Part II. Classical Greek philosophy in the mirror of the Syrian and Armenian traditions

by Maria Solopova

PhD in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia. E-mail: msolopova@yandex.ru.


This entry is a fragment of the thematic bibliography on Ancient Greek and Eastern philosophy. The goal of this bibliography is to systematize scholarly publications in Russian and European languages focusing on such topics as (1) testimonies about the acquaintance of Greek philosophers with Eastern wisdom and personal contacts with Eastern sages; 2) evidence about educational trips of philosophers to the East (Egypt, Persia, India); 3) sources in which the question of the eastern origin of philosophy is discussed; 4) the transformation of the Classic philosophical heritage in the process of its translation into the Syrian, Armenian, and Arabic languages; 5) ancient and medieval pseudepigrapha. The “East” within this project is represented by Egypt, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, India, Syria, Judea, the Sasanian Empire, Armenia, the Umayyad Arab Caliphate, and the Abbasid Caliphate. With a few exceptions, the bibliography does not include works devoted to Patristics and Christian literature. An important scholarly goal of the bibliography is to clarify the available amount of information about the ancient philosophical texts lost in the original. The complete bibliography consists of three parts. This issue includes only the first two of them: “The Eastern world through the eyes of Ancient philosophers” and “Classical Greek philosophy in the mirror of the Syrian and Armenian traditions”. The third part “Classical philosophy in the medieval Islamic world” will be published in the consecutive issue.


Ancient Greek philosophy, barbarian philosophy, Eastern wisdom, Egypt, Persia, Hellenism, India, Syria, Armenia, Classical heritage, transmission of Greek Philosophy, reception, translation, bibliographies.

30 Years Later: History of Philosophy Yearbook 19862016. A Bibliographical List (Part I)

compiled by Maria Solopova

PhD in Philosophy, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russia. E-mail: msolopova@yandex.ru.


This entry is a first part of the list of publications that have appeared in the History of Philosophy Yearbook since its launch in 1986 and up to 2016. Compiled by Maria Solopova, this bibliography includes original essays, first Russian translations of classical and non-classical texts, archival materials, interviews, and reviews published in the venue. The first part covers the works on the Ancient and Medieval philosophy as well as on the Oriental philosophical thought. The second (and the final) part of the bibliography, which covers works on the Modern philosophy, Contemporary Western philosophy, and Russian philosophy will be published in the next volume of the Yearbook.


History of philosophy in Russia, bibliographies, History of Philosophy Yearbook, Ancient Greek philosophy, Roman philosophy, Patristics, Medieval philosophy, Oriental philosophy, Islamic philosophy.