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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Demin, Ilya

Abstract. The article discusses the motives and foundations of the critique of historism in Leo Strauss’s political philosophy. The major arguments suggested by Strauss against the principle of historicism are identified and put in order. All objections made by Strauss are divided into two groups. The first one includes those arguments, which challenge not the actual content of the principle of historism, but the value attributed to it in the context of philosophical and scientific knowledge. The second group includes the substantive objections to historism. Strauss analyzes and compares different versions
of historicism’ philosophy, identifies its common denominator, traces the genesis of historism as a cultural and historical relativism. The core of any historicism’s concept is the presumption of historical conditions of philosophy, and a statement of impossibility of universal answers to philosophical questions. Strauss regards historism as the main challenge facing modern philosophy. According to Strauss, the key role in the decomposition of the classical philosophical tradition and the formation of historicism concepts belongs to the idea of progress firmly established in modern times. The question of the relationship between philosophy and history, as well as philosophical and historical types of knowledge, is crucial for understanding the essence of historism, which formulates philosophical problems as historical-philosophical and historical ones. In understanding the relationship between philosophy and history, Strauss primarily relies on classical philosophical tradition; however, he also takes into account the experience of critique of historism in non-classical philosophical concepts such as neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, and critical rationalism. Strauss combines all major objections and arguments against historism proposed by representatives of various philosophical trends of the XX century. His own contribution to the critique of historism is the substantiation of the thesis that this principle may not have historical and empirical justification, but it is a self-contradictory philosophical concept. Strauss proves that historism cannot be refuted by historical facts and arguments; only it can be rejected due to another (but not less fundamental than historism itself) philosophical principle.
Keywords: historism, historicism, history, philosophy of history, relativism, classical philosophy, Leo Strauss.

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