Title of the article:



Aleksandr V. Antoshchenko

Information about the author/authors

Aleksandr V. Antoshchenko — Professor, Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences, Petrozavodsk State University, Lenina St. 33, 185910 Petrozavodsk, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2366-3750

E-mail: antoshchenko@yandex.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 70


pp. 70–85


January 25, 2022

Approved after reviewing

August 22, 2023

Date of publication

December 25, 2023



Index UDK


Index BBK



The author examines the relationship between P. M. Bitsilli and the leading representatives of the emerging Eurasianism in the first half of the 1920s, when their sense of the catastrophic changes caused by the First World War and the revolution in Russia morphed into integral worldviews. The methodological basis of the study is a communicative approach to their intellectual contacts, which generates the meanings of their perception of cultural changes in the past and present. At the same time, the paper notes the difference in the understanding of these meanings by each of the participants in communication, depending on his intellectual position or the so-called “point of view”. The sources for the research were not only their published works, but also the epistolary heritage of the studied intellectuals. The participation of P. M. Bitsilli in the early Eurasian compendia became possible thanks to G. V. Florovsky, with whom he shared a common idea of the free creativity of the individual as the basis for changing culture, which made the historical process unpredictable. However, the leader of the Eurasianists N. S. Trubetskoy believed that the activities of the cultural “upper” strata of society should be rooted in the culture of the “lower” classes, which deprived it of a creative character. Thus, the individualization of the achievements of culture and the understanding of their creators, on which P. M. Bitsilli insisted, came into conflict with the system-structural consideration of culture by N. S. Trubetskoy. Disagreements intensified even more when the Eurasianists had been joined by L. P. Karsavin, who considered it possible to construct an “average representative” of the cultural era. P. M. Bitsilli could not agree with such an approach, since it made possible only the explanation of the external manifestations of culture, but did not allow understanding the creators of cultural values. As a result, it was the difference in the vision of the subject and methods of cultural research that led P. M. Bitsilli to diverge from the Eurasianists, but not their political contradictions, as some researchers believe.


P. М. Bitsilli, L. P. Karsavin, P. N. Savitsky, N. S. Trubetzkoy, G. V. Florovsky, Eurasianism, Culture, Civilization, Understanding in Historical Knowledge.


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