Russian Philosophy

While the rest of Europe was advancing culturally as a direct result of the Renaissance, Russia did not reap the same benefits of cultural development. The Mongol occupation in Russia was responsible for the disproportionate growth; because of the ongoing Mongol supression, Russians were not able to prosper culturally to the extent other European countries experienced.
Russia did experience their own “renaissance” of sorts in the mid to late 19th century and on into the 20th century. This was characterized by a new way of thinking and viewing the world around them, mostly the Western civilizations. This was known as the “Russian Cultural Renaissance”. Nikolai Bernyaev was one of the most prominant figures of the time and was later a leading philosopher of the Russian emmigration. Proffessioanl philosophers appeared in Russia in the 19th century, but it was thanks to Bernyaev and his existentialist attitude that Russia was able to contribute new ideas to world philosophy.
Philosophical ideas in Russia rarely matured into well-balanced, self-sufficient systems, because it was the privilege of the State to consummate and elaborate them in a systematic way. The fate of Russian thinkers was to dissolve these ideocratic systems in a stream of capricious, spontaneous, prophetic, existential thinking which attempted to go beyond the systems, to undermine them rather than to consolidate them. Since the official philosophy functioned as a tool of power, it was the task and merit of non-official philosophy to advance anti-totalitarian modes of thinking, deconstructing any possible principle of systematization.
In effect, Russia was overpowered by free thinkers once the hold of the czars loosened and communism paved the way for some to view Western society and what it had and was continuing to accomplish. Russia has made up for lost time very quickly, in the time from the Bolshevik Revolution and World War I. Russia continues to develope …


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