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Soloviev_war Progress and the End of History_including a Short Story of the Anti-christ

Soloviev_war Progress and the End of History_including a Short Story of the Anti-christ

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Published by: BrianMChampion on Aug 27, 2009
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WAR, PROGRESS, AND THE END OF HISTORY
Including a Short Story of the Anti-ChristTHREE DISCUSSIONSBY
VLADIMIR SOLOVIEV
Translated from the Russian byALEXANDER BAKSHYWith a Biographical Notice byDR. HAGBERG WRIGHTPUBLISHED FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON PRESS, LTD. BY HODDER &STOUGHTON, WARWICK SQUARE, LONDON, B.C.1915CONTENTS.BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE viiTRANSLATOR'S PREFACE xiiiAUTHOR'S PREFACE xixFIRST DISCUSSION 1
 
 SECOND DISCUSSION 51THIRD DISCUSSION 121A SHORT STORY OF THE ANTI-CHRIST . 178BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE.BY the early death of Vladimir Soloviev in 1900 Russia lost her most original andessentially Slavonic thinker. A deep sympathy with mysticism, united to the power of fearlessly probing human consciousness, gave him eminence not only among thephilosophers of Russia, but of Europe.Born in 1853, Soloviev entered upon life in an atmosphere charged with the elements of change. The emancipation of the serfs opened an era of political experiments, and theordeal of the Crimean War braced and stimulated the national spirit. It was a time of highaspirations struggling against an undercurrent of philosophic doubt, which exercised anabiding influence upon the sensitive and inquiring mind of Soloviev.He was happy in his parentage; his father, Serge Soloviev, being a historian of highreputation, and his mother a woman of character and mental attainments. She belonged to anoble family of Little Russia, and numbered among her ancestors a greatuncle who hadwon consideration as a philosophic writer; from this source possibly Soloviev derived thebent of his intellect.viii SOLOVIEVThe period of his education in a school at Moscow was marked by a series of brilliantsuccesses, and at its conclusion he was presented with the rare distinction of a gold medal.His university career was no less remarkable.The faculty of Natural Sciences soon proving less congenial than the study of history andphilosophy, he devoted himself to the latter, and passed his candidate's examination(practically equivalent to our B.A.) in 1873.The tendency of Soloviev's mind now became apparent. At the age of twenty he abandonedhis secular studies and entered upon a twelve months' course in the theological college of Moscow. After a year chiefly devoted to the consideration of religious questions, he went upto the University of St. Petersburg and took out his degree of M.A., f or which he wrote thethesis: The Crisis in Western Philosophy." Very shortly afterwards he was appointed
 
assistant professor (Privaldocent) in the University of Moscow, a position which he did nothold for long, being of a character to which freedom of action was essential.Two subsequent years were spent in foreign travel, when he visited England. Upon hisreturn he was appointed a member of the committee of popular education.His activity as a lecturer dates from that appointment, and for the next four or five yearsSoloviev was engaged in lecturing on various philosophicalBIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE ixand literary topics, such as "the Science of Religion" and "the Literary Movement of theNineteenth Century." His most notable work, "The Criticism of Abstract Ideas," and hismemorable address in condemnation of capital punishment both belong to this period.In 1882, however, Soloviev relinquished the burden of a public career and gave up lecturingin order to devote himself wholly to literature and science. His restless and moodydisposition, aggravated by habits of personal negligence and asceticism, made fixity of allkinds irksome, and he became a wanderer, residing sometimes in Moscow, sometimes in St.Petersburg, roaming from one country estate to another seeking by change of scene andcompanionship to keep despondency at bay.Monasticism appealed strongly to Soloviev. The physical aspects of human existencearoused his contempt and aversion, and material comforts and pleasures were at all timesmatters of indifference to him. For months together he would lead the life of a recluse,cutting himself off entirely from the outside world. At such times he spent whole nights inwriting and meditation, depriving himself of sleep and nourishment. Unhappily, his bodywas not slow to retaliate and assert its right to consideration. The greatest of Russianphilosophers died on the thirty-first of July, 1900, at the premature age of forty-seven.x SOLOVIEVThe full scope of Soloviev's philosophy cannot be traced within the limits of a prefatorynote, but his life-work may be summed up in his own words as "a free inquiry into thefoundations of human knowledge, life, and activity." At the same time, a close study of hiswritings reveals him as an idealist, a theologian, and a mystic. His ideal was the Christianone of love and self-denial, of universal brotherhood as against Slavophilism. Of patriotismin the narrow sense he became the violent opponent, attacking the Slavophil writer,Danilevsky, with impassioned eloquence, though, on the other hand, he felt unable toaccept the doctrine of Tolstoy, which preaches the non-resistance of evil. To refute thatdoctrine, and emphasise the imminence of the struggle which he foresaw between East andWest, Soloviev wrote the " Three Discussions," which were published in 1899 and 1903.

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