Russia and America: A Philosophical Comparison: Development and Change of Outlook from the 19th to the 20th Century

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Springer Science & Business Media, 1976 M12 31 - 116 pages
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In this year of bicentennial celebration, there will no doubt take place several cultural analyses of the American tradition. This is only as it should be, for without an extensive, broad-based inquiry into where we have come from, we shall surely not foresee where we might go. Nonetheless, most cultural analyses of the American context suffer from a common fault - the lack of a different context to use for purposes of comparison. True, American values and ideals were partly inherited from the European tradition. But that tradition is in many ways an inadequate mode of comparison. Without going too far afield, let us note two points: first, European culture was the proud inheritor of the Renaissance tradition, and, going back still further, of classical culture; second, the European countries are compact. Their land masses are such that the notion of "frontier" simply would not have arisen in the same way as it did in America. On the other side of the globe, however, there does exist a country capable of serving as a suitable mirror. We speak, of course, of Russia. That country also came relatively late onto the cultural horizon, and was not privy to the Renaissance tradition. Furthermore, her land mass is such as to be "experi mentally infmite" in character - not unlike the American frontier. It is hoped that much can be leamed about the present cultural context by com paring the two countries in their youthful stages.
 

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Contents

THE IMPORTANCE OF AMBIGUITY IN RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN CULTURE
3
The American Context
4
Frontier as Creative Edge
7
The Russian Context
11
History As Messianic
13
The Global Village as Ambiguous
17
CHAADAYEV AND EMERSON TWO MYSTICAL PRAGMATISTS
18
Ralph Waldo Emerson
23
The Importance of Time and History
69
Community as Constraint
71
Conclusion
72
MARXISTLENINIST PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL HISTORY
79
Dialectical Materialism
80
Historical Materialism
82
MarxistLeninist Historiography of Philosophy
83
Problems of Social and National Conditioning
84

Conclusion
27
HERZEN AND JAMES FREEDOM AS RADICAL
29
An Unfinished Uncertain Universe
30
The Efficacy of the Human Person
32
William James
35
The Efficacy of the Human Person in the Stream of Consciousness
36
The Context as Unfinished Uncertain Universe
38
Conclusion
41
ROYCE AND KHOMYAKOV ON COMMUNITY AS PROCESS
44
Alexis Khomyakov
48
ART VS SCIENCE IN DEWEY AND CHERNYSHEVSKY
52
Chernyshevsky on Art and Science
58
Conclusion
63
UNDERLYING THEMES AND THE PRESENT CULTURAL CONTEXT
65
The Human Being as Participator
66
An Unfinished Mysterious Universe
67
The Interpenetration of Thought and Action
68
SOVIET REACTION TO SOME NINETEENTHCENTURY PHILOSOPHERS
86
The General Soviet View on American Philosophy
88
The Soviets on Chaadayev and Emerson
89
The Soviets on Herzen and James
90
The Soviets on Khomyakov and Royce
91
The Soviets on Chernyshevsky and Dewey
92
UNDERLYING THEMES IN CONTEMPORARY MARXISTLENINIST PHILOSOPHY
94
The Human Being as Participator
95
Scientism versus Contextualism
96
Theory and Practice
97
Temporality and Historicism
98
Community
99
FINAL THOUGHTS
101
NOTES
103
INDEX OF NAMES AND TITLES
112
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