Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of Science in the Soviet Times: Some Remarks on the Example of Estonia, 1960-1990

  • Rein Vihalemm Department of Philosophy, University of Tartu
Keywords: dialectical materialism, dialectics, Soviet philosophy, Fundamental Question of Philosophy, practice, 'epistemologists', 'ontologists', 'Foreword Marxism'

Abstract

This part of the Soviet philosophy that corresponds approximately to theoretical philosophy and philosophy of science on the example of Estonia and proceeding from the University of Tartu is discussed. The author concentrates on the period of approximately 1960–1990, when he himself was engaged in the field, i.e. the time before 1960 is not included. The aim of this paper is not to provide an overview of the individual philosophers in Estonia at the time and their works, but to give a more general description of the philosophy of the Soviet era. The Soviet and the East European philosophy of the time have received rather little critical treatment in literature in English. However, a few general overviews trying to prove that this Soviet and East European philosophical legacy is worth studying have still been published. This paper is focused on the question what kind of philosophical researches it was possible to engage oneself in under the abnormal conditions at the time and whether some starting points and problem issues in theseresearches might be viable also today. Estonian experience confirms the general conclusion of these authors who, analyzing the legacy of Marxism, have found that although Marxism is nowadays—not to mention how it existed in the Soviet totalitarian regime—mainly not considered a serious philosophy but rather an ideological basis of a failed political doctrine, it has nevertheless quite something to offer when treated in a more depoliticized manner, in the general context of philosophical quests.

 

Teoreetiline ja teadusfilosoofia Nõukogude ajal: mõned märkused Eesti näitel 1960-1990 (Resümee)

Vaatluse all on Eesti näitel ja lähtudes Tartu ülikoolist see osa Nõukogudeaegsest filosoofiast, mis vastab umbes teoreetilisele filosoofiale ja teadusfilosoofiale. Autor peatub ajavahemikul umbes 1960–1990, mil ta ka ise tegev oli, st 1960-ndate aastate eelset aega ei käsitleta. Artikli eesmärgiks ei ole ülevaate andmine Eestis sel ajal tegutsenud filosoofidest ja nende töödest, vaid Nõukogudeaegse filosoofia üldisem iseloomustamine. Nõukogude ja selleagset Ida-Euroopa filosoofiat on ingliskeelses kirjanduses üsna vähe kriitiliselt uuritud. Üksikuid ülevaateteoseid, milles on püütud näidata, etsee Nõukogude ja Ida-Euroopa filosoofiline pärand väärib uurimist, on siiski ilmunud. Käesolevas artiklis on keskendutud eelkõige küsimusele, mis laadi filosoofilise uurimistööga sai tolle aja ebanormaalsetes tingimustes tegelda ja kas mõned lähtekohad ja probleemipüstitused selles on elujõulised ka veel nüüd. Eesti kogemus kinnitab nende autorite üldist järeldust, kes marksismi pärandit uurides on leidnud, et kuigi marksismi tänapäeval — rääkimata sellest, missugune see oli Nõukogude totalitaarses režiimis — enamasti ei peeta tõsiseltvõetavaks filosoofiaks, vaid pigem läbikukkunud poliitilise õpetuse ideoloogiliseks aluseks, on tal siiski nii mõndagi öelda, kui teda käsitleda depolitiseeritumalt, filosoofiliste otsingute üldises kontekstis. 

 

Märksõnad: dialektiline materialism, dialektika, ‘eessõna-marksism’, filosoofia põhiküsimus, Nõukogude filosoofia, ‘ontologistid’ ja ‘epistemologistid’, praktika

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Published
2016-03-11
How to Cite
Vihalemm, R. (2016). Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy of Science in the Soviet Times: Some Remarks on the Example of Estonia, 1960-1990. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 8(2), 195-227. https://doi.org/10.12697/spe.2015.8.2.10