Omad ja võõrad "Eesti mõtteloo" taustal


  • Ülo Matjus



Our own and alien in the context
of the Estonian history of thought

In order to introduce the wider context of the article, the author firstly
refers back to his text Uitamisi Eesti mõtteloos (Wanderings in the
Estonian history of thought) that was published in the 2014 collection
Rahvusvahelised rahvusteadused (International ethno-national
sciences). The dilemma of our own and alien that arose quite early in
the Estonian history of thought can be noted already in the title of
the essay collection Omad ja võõrad (1927) (Our own and alien) by
Bernhard Linde; a possible solution to the issue was also offered in
the collection. In 1921 when Eino Leino first visited Estonia, he said
“It seems as if I have arrived home.” The alien is our own. The author
describes an aspect of his personal “history”—he approached this
problem in a new context and found quite the opposite solution when
he wrote under the pen name of I. Ronicus. On the basis of the Explanatory
Dictionary of Written Estonian, which includes material both
from spoken language and literature in its widest sense, the author
will analyse and explore the issue of belonging and being alien also
from the philosophical perspective, first and foremost phenomenologically
according to E. Husserl’s views.
The author also analyses the dilemma of our own and alien in the
context of the book series History of Estonian Thought in the form of
several sub-dilemmas. For example, the series features several authors
who could be considered alien in the conventional meaning—i.e.,
they were not Estonian or did not speak Estonian or at least did not
write all works that are included in the volumes of the series or a large
part of them in Estonian. If one claims that even though all authors
are one’s own in the solipsistic sense of E. Husserl’s transcendental
phenomenology, the emerging question is rather how we approach
the relationship of our own and alien from the perspective of the list
that was mentioned before. The external practical and pragmatic solution
is that all authors and their works have a “biographical” connection
to Estonia. Through this, they belong to our Estonian world,
albeit some have stronger and some weaker connections to it. The“internal”, essential problem related to some authors not mentioned
here is, however, more complicated. The author offers a solution to
this as well based on the example of the conflict between Jaan Tõnisson
and Ado Grenzstein—according to him, both undoubtedly belonged
to the historical discourse of the Estonian history of thought.


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