Author: Adriano Dell’Asta
Information about the author:

Associate Professor, Catholic UniversityAssociate Professor, Catholic Universityof the Sacred Heart (Milan-Brescia, Italy).

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For citation:

Dell’Asta A. Between Aestheticism and Utilitarianism. The PrinciplesDell’Asta A. Between Aestheticism and Utilitarianism. The Principlesof a New Logic in Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philologicaljournal, 2019, № 4, pp. 140-159

Issue: 2019 №4 (8)
Pages: 140-159
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-4-140-159
UDK: 82+821.161.1+2-1
BBK: 83+83.3(2=411.2)+86.2
Keywords: Dostoevsky, aestheticism, utilitarianism, Dostoevsky’s philosophy, Dostoevsky’s Theology.


Abstract: The article expresses Dostoevsky’s aesthetic conception through theAbstract: The article expresses Dostoevsky’s aesthetic conception through thefamous question in his novel, The Idiot, ‘Will beauty save the world?’ The author wantsto show how the figure of Christ plays a central role in Dostoevsky’s artistic-literaryconception because it is the key to conciliation between the aesthetic position, whichthinks that art finds its justification in its own essence, and the utilitarian one, whichadvocates that art should have a direct and immediate utility to the service of society.Throughout the article it will be shown that for Dostoevsky, by virtue of the figureof Christ, reconciliation is possible without the two positions having to give up someof their specificities, but keeping both together with all the richness and peculiaritiesof each one.



1. Dostoyevskiy F.M. Poln. sobr. soch.: v 30 t. [Complete works: in 30 vols.]. Leningrad, NaukaPubl., 1972-1990. (In Russ.)

2. Isaac Syrus. Slova podvizhnicheskie [Ascetic words]. Available at: URL: (access date: 15.11.2019) (In Russ.)

3. Lambrekhts A. Khristos chi istina? Do vitokіv Simvolu vіri F.M. Dostoevs'kogo [Christ ortrith?]. Dovіra. Gіdnіst'. Miloserdia. Uspens'kі chitannia [Trust. Dignity. Mercy. Uspensky readings],ed. by K. Sіgov. Kiev, Dukh і Lіtera Publ., 2017, pp. 196-203. (In Ukr.)

4. Povest’ vremennykh let [Tale of bygone years]. Pamyatniki literaturi Drevniej Rusi [Literarymonuments of Ancient Rus]. Beginning of the Russian Literature. XI – beginning of the XIIth century, ed. by L.A. Dmitriev, D.S. Likhachev. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaya literatura Publ., 1978,century, ed. by L.A. Dmitriev, D.S. Likhachev. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaya literatura Publ., 1978,pp. 23-279. (In Russ.)

5. Solov'ev V.S. Tri rechi v pamiat' Dostoevskogo. [Three speeches in memory of Dostoevsky].Sobranie sochinenii: v 10 t. [Complete works: in 10 vols.]. Bruxelles, Zhizn' s Bogom Publ., 1966-1969, vol. 3, pp. 186-226. (In Russ.)

6. Sochinenya svyatogo Dimitrija mitropolita Rostovskago: v 2 ch. [Works of saint Dimitry, Metropolitanof Rostov: in 2 parts]. Part 2. St. Petersburg, PP. Sojkin Publ., [s. a.]. 478 p. (In Russ.)

7. Tarasova N.A. Ustanovleniye teksta na osnovanii grafologicheskogo analiza (na primerechernovykh rukopisey romana Dostoyevskogo «Besy») [Critical Study of the Text on the Basis ofGraphological Analysis (On the Material of Draft Manuscripts of Dostoevsky’s Novel Demons)] //Dostoyevskiy i mirovaya kul'tura. Filologicheskiy zhurnal [Dostoevsky and World Culture. PhilologicalJournal], 2019, No 2(6), pp. 191–215.

8. Dell’Asta A. Una parola all’estremità del silenzio. IlCristo teologico di Dostoevskij. Strumento internazionale per un lavoro teologico, Communio, 1981,№ 55, pp. 71-90. (In Italian)

9. Dell’Asta A. La terribile bellezza di Dostoevskij. Dostoevskij. Milano, Electa, 1997, pp. 19-30.(In Italian)

10. Dell’Asta A. Dostoevskij e l’al di là della legge e della trasgressione della legge. Forti G. –Mazzucato C. – Visconti A. Giustizia e Letteratura. Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 2012, pp. 70-83. (In Italian)

11. Givone S. Dostoevskij e la filosofia. Bari, Laterza, 1984. 169 p. (In Italian)

12. Miłosz Cz. Dostoevskij e Swedenborg. Dostoevskij e la crisi dell’uomo. Firenze, Vallecchi,1991, pp. 307-329. (In Italian)13. Scanlan J.P. Dostoevsky the Thinker. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2002. 272 p. (In Eng.)