DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-1-43-50

Charles Darwin’s theory IN THE critical reflection
OF Nikolay Danilevskiy and Nikolay sTrakhov

Snetova Nina Vasil’evna
Ph.D. in Philosophy, Docent, Associate Professor
of the Department of the History of Philosophy

Perm State University,
15, Bukirev str., Perm, 614990, Russia;
ORCID: 0000-0001-5935-7168

The article examines the nature of criticism of Darwin’s theory of the origin by the Russian philosophers neoslavophiles Nikolay Danilevskiy and Nikolay Strakhov. The first Social Darwinism criticism in the history of Russian philosophical thought is analyzed. Strakhov correctly estimates that using biological principles in the analysis of social relations points on the crisis of humanism. It is shown that social, political and philosophical views of the Russian critics have an impact on their analysis of the causes of the evolutionary theory spread among scientists and in public consciousness.

There is shown Strakhov’s attempt to find non-scientific, socio-cultural determinants of development, dissemination of scientific knowledge. Trying to find them, he explains quick spread of Darwin’s theory by the fact that scientists guided by faith in authorities, but not by scientific foundations. Author criticizes Strakhov’s idea that science is made by changes in the sphere of morality.

The author focuses on criticism of philosophical reasons of Darwin’s theory by Danilevskiy and Strakhov. In most cases Strakhov develops the argument proposed by Danilevsky. Danilevsky distinguishes idealism and materialism as two types of the worldview. Materialism is understood in its mechanistic form, which can be characterized as the mechanistic determinism. It is noted that Danilevsky and Strakhov do not agree with the interpretation of Darwin’s theory as the mechanistic worldview. They argued that Darwin replaced the principle of the absolute necessity by the mechanistic principle of an accident. It is underlined that Russian critics groped real weaknesses in Darwinian doctrine. However, they incorrectly interpreted the relationship of necessity and chance.

Keywords: Nikolay Danilevskiy, Nikolay Strakhov, Darwinism, Darwin, social Darwinism, the development of science, sociocultural factors, accident.


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The date of the manuscript receipt 14.11.2016

Please cite this article in English as:

Snetova N.V. Charles Darwin’s theory in the critical reflection of Nikolay Danilevskiy and Nikolay Strakhov (from the history of darwinism in Russia) // Perm University Herald. Series «Philosophy. Psychology. Sociology». 2017. Iss.1. P.43–50. DOI: 10.17072/2078-7898/2017-1-43-50

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