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An Image of the East in the Philosophy of V. Solovyov and L. Tolstoy

Student: Irina Anikina

Supervisor: Svetlana Klimova

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Philosophy (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2017

The present work is devoted to an image of the East in the philosophy of V. Solovyov and L. Tolstoy. The aim of the research is to analyze doctrines of the aforementioned philosophers and compare them. The objectives of the study are: • analysis of the image of the East in the doctrine of V. Solovyov, • analysis of the image of the East in the doctrine of Leo Tolstoy, • identification of the specific historical context of formation of the Solovyov’s and Tolstoy’s image of East; • comparative analysis of the image of the East in the doctrines of two thinkers. In the paper there are used such methods as analytical method, comparative method, descriptive method and diachronic method. The results of the study show, that Solovyov and Tolstoy radically differently understand the East, eastern philosophy and eastern way of life. Despite the fact that both philosophers are contemporaries, they proceed from different positions in the formation of their images of the East: Solovyov relies on the dispute between Westernizers and Slavophiles and builds his own unique concept that combines both doctrines; Tolstoy relies on ideas obtained from communication with representatives of eastern cultures, on the image of the social situation in the eastern countries as well as on the image of the peasants’ way of life. The key similarity of the images of the East represented by Solovyov and Tolstoy is the priority of the spiritual over the material, striving to peaceful existence of countries with each other. The key difference is rooted in the attitude towards the East: Solovyov considers the eastern countries as stick-in-the-mud, they must be synthesized with the western countries; Tolstoy, on the contrary, considers Western countries to be stick-in-the-mud in questions of morality, the West should borrow eastern wisdom. Both doctrines face contradictions, but nevertheless, they influenced the development of the political thought in Russia in 20th century a lot.

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