Freedom and Sense - A New Shift of Paradigm in the Humanities

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This book by Russian philosopher Grigorii Toulchinsky provides a spiritual summation of the achievements of the twentieth century, and a survey of prospects for further development of the humanities. The author both reviews various philosophical trends and movements, and also engages in discussion and polemics with members of the American, European and Russian philosophical community and also with others standing outside this sphere.
In his chapter on postmodernism, for instance, Toulchinsky not only defines the general features of this movement, summarizing its achievement and pointing out the impasse into which it has led. He also comments on the shift of accent in our interpretation of reality (being) from “intellectuality” to spirituality and physicality. A general emphasis on this quality in modern culture is seen in currently widespread consumerism, the cult of health and fitness, the accentuation of sexuality, the flourishing porno-industry, and the formation and promotion of attractive images in advertising, politics, art, and even in religion and science.


Beginning with Russian imperial culture, the author moves on to deal with Soviet identity and problems of contemporary Russia. He deals with the question of religion not just among Russians, but also among all the various nationalities residing in Russia. Some striking pages are devoted to the philosophy of the Gulag and of people who passed through the Soviet prison camp system. Toulchinsky frankly admits that almost all of Russia’s current ills result from a deep malaise within Russian society which is now virtually bereft of any healthy constructive forces.

Other Russia & Russian (+ Soviet Union): All Subjects Books