Od „voľnosti“ ke „svobodě“. Vývoj chápání svobody v ruském myšlení od Fonvizina k Čičerinovi

Title in English From ‘voľnost’ to ‘svoboda’. Developing an understanding of freedom in Russian thinking from Fonvizin to Chicherin

ŠAUR Josef VELŠOVÁ Karolína

Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Attached files
Description The chapter observes transformations in the understanding of freedom in Russian thinking from the late-18th to mid-19th centuries using the example of two people. The first is Denis I. Fonvizin, a dramatist, publicist and thinker at the time of Catherine II. His concept of freedom is defined by the old Russian term for freedom “voľnosť”. This also means independence, benefit, or privilege. It thus encompasses an understanding of freedom as independence from someone (usually material), in that such independence is only available to some. This concept therefore combines the enlightened thinking and the reality of Russian society during the Catherine era. Fonvizin’s peak work on state, law, and freedom is Discourse on Fundamental State Laws (1783), which later influenced certain Decembrists. The second person under consideration is Boris N. Chicherin, an eminent lawyer, historian, and one of the most prominent representatives of Russian liberalism at the time Alexander II. Chicherin wrote several articles at the beginning of his reign, including Contemporary Tasks of Russian Life (1856), which he defined as the need to introduce seven fundamental freedoms. Chicherin's concept was influenced by Hegel, the philosophical discussion of the 1830s and 1840s and, above all, by an entirely different concept of the individual. Chicherin's text is generally referred to as the programme statement of the early Russian liberals. Although Fonvizin and Chicherin’s concepts of freedom understandably differ, they also show unquestionable similarities. Both Fonvizin and Chicherin draw on the need for legal order, and thus their reflections are built on the need for fundamental law and the definition of monarchic power. Fonvizin and Chicherin did not speak out against the monarchy - they were not radicals - yet, somewhat tellingly for Russia, the two texts mentioned above spread as copies without the name of the author.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.