Shumskoy A.V. Critical Marxism of Nikolay Berdyaev (1890s – Early 1900s)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu7.2016.1.12

Andrey Viktorovich Shumskoy

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Social Humanities,

Ural State University of Physical Culture

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Ordzhonikidze St., 1, 454091 Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation


Abstract. In the article the early period of creative activity of N.A. Berdyaev, the beginning of his philosophical way is considered. In the first publication devoted to the German neokantian philosopher F.A. Lange, Nikolay Berdyaev acted as the critical marxist, trying to synthesize the marxist doctrine with transcendental philosophy of Kant and neokantians. In the spirit of critical marxism the first book under the name “Subjectivity and individualism in public philosophy” was published. The critical essay about N.K. Mikhaylovsky was also written by him. N.A. Berdyaev made an attempt to oppose the basic principles of critical marxism to philosophical outlook of N.K. Mikhaylovsky. Being guided by basic provisions of a transcendental normativizm, N.A. Berdyaev considered necessary to add three a priori to the philosophical theory of marxism: cognitive, psychological and ethical. In the work he formulated the theory of messianizm of the proletariat, put forward the principle of a teleologizm and progress in a world history. By means of the appeal to critical philosophy and a neokantianism N.A. Berdyaev tried to strengthen gnoseologically the philosophical theory of marxism, keeping its sociological doctrine. On the basis of critical philosophy he gradually evolved towards idealism. The period of critical marxism became for Berdyaev an important stage of independent philosophical creativity in which he for the first time constituted the philosophical outlook.

Key words: N.A. Berdyaev, critical marxism, neokantianism, transcendental consciousness, teleology, progress, ethics.

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