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Author: Ksana Blank
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PhD in Russian literature, Senior Lecturer, Department of Slavic Languages and literatures, Princeton University (Princeton, USA).

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For citation:

Blank K. The Principle of Contradiction in Dostoevsky’s Philosophy and Russian Religious Thought of the Silver Age. Dostoevsky and World Culture, 2019, No 2(6), pp. 109–123

Issue: 2019 № 2(6)
Department: POETICS. CONTEXT
Pages: 109-123
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-2-109-123
UDK: 8.82
BBK: 83.3(2)
Keywords: contradiction, antinomy, Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, Florensky, religious thought of the Silver Age

Abstract: Modern scientific philosophy and natural science are based on the “law of non-contradiction” formulated by Aristotle: “opposite assertions cannot be true at the same time”. Dostoevsky’s religious philosophy refutes this principle. As an example, the article considers Ivan Karamazov’s and the elder Zosima’s views on the problem of the existence of evil in the world created by God. While presenting two opposite points of view, Dostoevsky justifies the validity of both. these points of view are interrelated and interdependent (without Ivan’s painful question about the innocent children suffering, the elder’s teachings remain abstract and idealistic), thus creating a contradictory whole. Dostoevsky’s consideration of pros and contras in their unity and interplay is an essential feature of the writer’s Christian dialectics. Dostoevsky’s attention to various antinomies connects his philosophy with the religious thought of the early 20th century. The principle of contradiction substantiated in the works of Pavel Florensky, Nikolai Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Semen Frank, and Vladimir Lossky, has its roots in the Patristic tradition. It is significant that this principle was accentuated in Dostoevsky’s novels, which prepared fertile ground for the Russian religious renaissance of the Silver Age.

 

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