Social Imaginaries

Volume 1, Issue 2, Autumn 2015

Ľubica Učník
Pages 72-91

The Problem of Morality in a Mathematised Universe
Time and Eternity in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and the Concept of ‘Love’ in Patočka’s Last Essay

In this paper, I will use Jan Patočka’s last written essay, ‘Notes on Masaryk’s Theological Philosophy’, to reflect on Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov. According to Patočka, in this novel, Dostoevsky offers an answer to Kant and his notion of immortality as a feature of practical reason only. Kant’s intervention in modern philosophy is well known. It is much less discussed that his influence was to reformulate not only metaphysics, but also theology. Dostoevsky takes up the challenge of the Kantian solution and plays it out in his novels. His critique of science and utilitarian morality and his treatment of children, immortality and love will be the focus of this paper. I will suggest that the problem of a duality between rationality and divinity limits Dostoevsky’s critique of Kant.