The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 12, 2001

Intercultural Philosophy

Edward M. Swiderski
Pages 105-119

Philosophy in Russia Today and the Legacy of Soviet Philosophy

In a comment to Richard Rorty, Andrzej Walicki underscored the contextual difference between philosophy in a society like the USA and in post-communist countries. Citizens of democratic societies live best with a sense of contingency, situational embeddedness, plural rationalities, and relative truth. In East/Central Europe (ECE), the demand is for epistemological and moral certainty. Walicki did not say how philosophers in ECE are meeting this demand. How do philosophers in post-communist societies respond to the demand for ‘objective and universal standards’ when the prevailing sense is that they have as great a need for clear horizons as the cultures to which they are called on to contribute foundations? In this setting, many philosophers seek to go beyond reflection to ‘reflexivity’—to ascertain the socio-cultural and moral prerequisites of “philosophizing.”