Author: Fyodor A. Gayda
Information about the author:

Doctor of Historical Sciences, Assistant professor, History Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow); Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (Kaliningrad).

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For citation:

Gayda F.A. The Concept of “Personality” in the Era of Dostoevsky: Self-Awareness or Self-Sacrifice? Dostoevsky and World Culture, 2019, No 2(6), pp. 45–71.

Issue: 2019 № 2(6)
Pages: 45-71
UDK: 82+821.161.1+2-1
BBK: 83+83.3(2=411.2)+86.2
Keywords: F.M. Dostoevsky, M.M. Speransky, I.V. Kireyevsky, st. Theophan the Recluse, Philokalia, G.V.F. Hegel, personality

Abstract: The article discusses the various understandings of the human person formulated in Russia in the first half – middle of the XIX century. The author traces the evolution of the meaning of the word “personality”, the range of which became extremely wide during this period. The author comes to the conclusion about the appearance of two polar points of view, relying on the tradition of German classical philosophy (V.G. Belinsky, K.D. Kavelin, Y.F. Samarin, K.S. Aksakov, P.L. Lavrov) and the Holy Fathers Heritage (M.M. Speransky, I.V. Kireyevsky, St. Theophan the Recluse). The first point of view was related to the individual with self-awareness and to the experience of his own “I”, which ultimately led to the realization of the need to serve the “saving idea”. The second point of view assumed the self-realization of man in spirit and love, and the final task of the individual was identified in his deification. This tradition was formed under the direct influence of Philokalia – a collection of Patristic texts translated into Church Slavonic, and later into Russian. In accordance with the two opposite approaches, the disclosure of personality became possible in itself and through itself or in God and through God. F.M. Dostoevsky actively used the word “personality” in his work in all the meanings that were then available, depending on the specific artistic task. Along with this, the writer also created his theological teaching about the person, which was in line with the Patristic heritage. The central concept of this teaching was self-sacrifice, through which the personality received its revelation. Dostoevsky followed a certain tradition, meanwhile speaking to the reader in the language of his time and using modern concepts.



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