Russian philosophy

Russian philosophy

Philosophers by Mikhail Nesterov, depicting Pavel Florensky and Sergei Bulgakov, 1917

Russian philosophy includes a variety of philosophical movements. Authors who developed them are listed below sorted by movement.

While most authors listed below are primarily philosophers, also included here are some Russian fiction writers, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, who are also known as philosophers.

Russian philosophy as a separate entity started its development in the 19th century, defined initially by the opposition of Westernizers, advocating Russia's following the Western political and economical models, and Slavophiles, insisting on developing Russia as a unique civilization. The latter group included Nikolai Danilevsky and Konstantin Leontiev, the early founders of eurasianism. The discussion of Russia's place in the world has since become the most characteristic feature of Russian philosophy.

In its further development, Russian philosophy was also marked by deep connection to literature and interest in creativity, society, politics and nationalism; cosmos and religion were other notable subjects.

Notable philosophers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries include Vladimir Solovyev, Vasily Rozanov, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky, Nikolai Berdyaev, Pitirim Sorokin and Vladimir Vernadsky.

Since the early 1920s to late 1980s Russian philosophy was dominated by Marxism presented as dogma and not grounds for discussion. Stalin's purges, culminating in 1937, delivered a deadly blow to the development of philosophy.

A handful of dissident philosophers survived through the Soviet period, among them Aleksei Losev. Stalin's death in 1953 gave way for new schools of thought to spring up, among them Moscow Logic Circle, and Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School.

Major Thinkers

Russian Enlightenment

Slavophiles and Pochvennichestvo

Russian Symbolists


Russian Positivists

Russian cosmists

The cover of the book "The Will of the Universe. Intellect Unknown. Mind and Passions" by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1928


Epistemologists, Logicians and Metaphysicians


Materialists, Nihilists

Socialists and Marxists

Christian philosophers

Pre- Solovyov

Orthodox Christian Theologians






See also


  1. ^ History of Russian Philosophy pg 59. N.O. Lossky
  2. ^ History of Russian Philosophy pg 81. N.O. Lossky

Russian Philosophy. English-Russian Dictionary (ed. Vasily Vanchugov). Moscow, People's Friendship University of Russia, 2005.


External links

  • Books on Russian philosophy at
  • Brief overview of Russian philosophy
  • PHILTAR—Comprehensive web site with links to texts and resources
  • Gallery of Russian Thinkers edited by Dmitry Olshansky
  • Russian philosophy—entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Directory of links to Russian philosophers, mostly in Russian
  • Routledge entry
  • Konstantin Leontiev
  • Sergius Bulgakov Society at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2009)—Extensive collection of links to Bulgakov resources
  • Bulgakov LiveJournal—Collected materials of particular relevance to Russian religious philosophy