Critiques of the Critique

  • Thomas Nemeth
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 212)


Although his doctoral defense was a far more tranquil affair than his earlier magister’s defense, Solov’ëv did address issues concerning the difference between philosophy and religion in his opening remarks. Here, we explore his positions not only to assess their tenability but also to compare them with his earlier stances. However, the path to a university position, for which he had hoped, again evaporated. Instead, he confronted in print a host of lesser known but highly caustic critics and one towering figure from an earlier generation, the neo-Hegelian Boris Chicherin, whose meticulous points have been sadly neglected by Western scholars. Particularly noteworthy, though, is that none of the critics probed the epistemological realm, let alone the structures of consciousness with its sense-bestowing function, that Solov’ëv had hesitantly explored. And while his Critique of Abstract Principles is indisputably his most comprehensive philosophical statement, Solov’ëv did publish in the early 1880s several articles that further elaborated his positions only to see him forsake academic philosophy for the rest of the decade in favor of engagement in church and social issues.


Material World French Revolution Greek Philosophy Abstract Principle Spiritual Leader 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Nemeth
    • 1
  1. 1.Old BridgeUSA

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