A Past of One’s Own: The Post-Soviet Historiography of Russian Philosophy

This article analyzes the historiography of Russian philosophy as it appears in post-Soviet Russian university textbooks. How is a Russian national tradition in philosophy – a discipline that otherwise operates with a universal truth-claim not bound by its cultural settings – created and defended in these texts? Particular emphasis is placed on their rejection of the alleged Eurocentrism of Western historiography, their dependence (nevertheless) on Western notions of philosophy, and their idea of Russian philosophy as “native philosophy” (otechestvennaia filosofiia) with an independent “integral history.” The article concludes that this material presents us with an example of cultural nationalism in academic writing.