Volokhova N.V. The Philosophy of Contradictions in the Life and Work of L.N. Tolstoy

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu7.2015.4.1

Natalya Vladimirovna Volokhova

Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Sociology,

Southwest State University

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50 let Oktyabrya St., 94, 305040 Kursk, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article contains the analysis of anthropological ideas in the works of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. According to him, the source of the establishment on Earth of the kingdom of goodness and justice lies in the moral initiative of selfless individuals. He believed that the path of spiritual and moral perfection is implemented throughout the life. In the pursuit of perfection people have the ideal that is unattainable but to which one must constantly go – thus he understood the meaning of human life. Ahuman in the view of Leo Tolstoy is a dual being, having a “reasonable mind” (“consciousness of life”), directed toward the spiritual, and mind, comprehending the patterns of the outside world – natural and social. The unity of the spiritual and the carnal is the unity of opposites. This approach is fully illustrative and very heavy, with a uniquely ambivalent psyche and the life of the soul which has left its imprint on all the vital spheres of the thinker’s life. L. Tolstoy’s sophisticated psychologism is a consequence of the continuous stalking himself, hunting for his personality. It is well known that in his “Confessions” the writer reconstructed and described his life as a desperate struggle in search of meaning. The life is similar to climbing stairs, step by step, in search of the answers to “burning painful questions that hinder life”. We, today’s descendants of the writer, differently perceive his legacy, and we can consider his views to be neutral with real life, but the fact that his philosophy can result in the movement of our thoughts, to awaken doubt and get to choose the position –we must recognize this fact.

Key words: L.N. Tolstoy, ethics, aesthetics, anthropology, mind, consciousness, freedom, self-improvement.

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