The concept of society’s organic unity and its representation in the historiosophy of Vladimir Soloviev and the early Slavophiles

  • A. A. Meleschuk Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk national university
Keywords: history, West, East, Europe, Russia, Slavophilism


The meaning of the concept of society’s organic unity has been investigated. This concept was an important part of Russian religious philosophy in the middle of the XIX century. It has been found that Schelling and Hegel idealistic philosophy and orthodox theology were the main sources of the concept of organic unity. The character and forms of the presentation of the organic unity’s concept in Vladimir Soloviev and the main representatives of early Slavophilism’s social philosophy and philosophy of history has been analyzed. By Solovyov, the subject of the historical development is mankind as holistic, organic phenomenon which tries to overcome the formal unity and to reach its spiritual level in the form of «God-manhood». Economic and legal unity is called the lowest form of unity by Solovyov, and the highest one, which reaches the organic and conscious level, is the spiritual unity. In the philosophy of Ivan Kireyevski, society’s organic unity is opposed to the formal, rational unity. The formal unity was inherited by Europe from ancient Rome. Cultural traditions of Greece and Orthodoxy were inherited by Slavs and saved the spiritual unity of society. According to Alexey Khomyakov, there are two contrasting models of culture: Iranian and Cushitic ones. Iranian model is based on freedom and conscious action. Iranian model creates a spiritual unity without suppression of individuals in society. Cushitic model creates a formal unity, it coercions and suppress individuals. The formality of the state association and the spiritual unity of the community have been opposed by Konstantin Aksakov. In tsarist Russia, all power was given to the monarch to protect the community. Therefore, Russia maintained an organic, internal unity of the people unlike Europe. In Europe, the state became stronger then the communities and state there suppressed communities. Rights and economy became to be more important than morality. European society became formal, pragmatic association. The similarity of early Slavophiles and Vladimir Solovyov’s philosophy has been proven; it has happen due to the use of concept of society’s organic unity. However, Solovyov paid attention to the unity of all mankind, Slavophiles allocated only the Slavs and Russia. Therefore, the Slavophiles were patriots, and Solovyov was a genius philosopher who created the idea of the universal unity. When Slavophiles abandoned the idea of the oneness of mankind and stated to develop nationalistic values, Solovyov criticized them.


Aksakov, I., 2002. Protiv natsional’nogo samootrecheniya i panteisticheskikh tendentsiy, vyskazyvavshikhsya v stat’yakh V. S. Solov’yeva [Against the national self-denial and pantheistic tendencies, expressed in V.S. Solovyov’s articles]. Otchego tak nelegko zhivetsya v Rossii? Moskva: Mysl’, 816–848 (in Russian).

Zen’kovskiy, V., 1997. Russkiye mysliteli i Yevropa [Russian Thinkers and Europe]. Moskva: Respublika (in Russian).

Kireyevskiy, I., 1984. V otvet A. S. Khomyakovu [Responding to A.S. Khomyakov]. Izbrannyye stat’i. Moskva: Mysl’, 117–127 (in Russian).

Lazarev, V., 2003. O zaimstvovaniyakh. K sopostavleniyu filosofii V.S. Solov’yeva i Shellinga [About borrowing. Comparing Solovyov and Schelling’s philosophies]. Materialy mezhdunarodnoy konferentsii «Minuvsheye i neprekhodyashcheye v zhizni i tvorchestve V.S. Solov’yova». Sankt-Peterburg: Sankt-Peterburgskoye filosofskoye obshchestvo, 288–293 (in Russian).

French, M., 2002. Lik Sofii [Face of Sophia]. Voprosy filosofii. 1. 117–139 (in Russian).

Solov’yev, V., 1966. Krizis zapadnoy filosofii [Crisis of Western Philosophy]. Sobraniye sochineniy. Bryussel’. 1. 4–93 (in Russian).

Solov’yev, V., 1966. Opravdaniye dobra [Justification of Goodness]. Sobraniye sochineniy. Bryussel’. 8. 1–516 (in Russian).

Solov’yev, V., 1966. Tri sily [Three forces]. Sobraniye sochineniy. Bryussel’. 1. 227–240 (in Russian).

Solov’yev, V., 1966. Filosofskiye nachala tsel’nogo znaniya [Philosophical Grounds of Integral Knowledge]. Sobraniye sochineniy. Bryussel’. 1. 250–406 (in Russian).

Solov’yev, V., 1966. Chteniya o Bogochelovechestve [Readings on God-manhood]. Sobraniye sochineniy. Bryussel’. 1. 3–181 (in Russian).

Khomyakov, A., 1904. Zapiski o vsemirnoy istorii [Notes on the World History]. Polnoye sobraniye sochineniy. Moskva. 5. 411–553 (in Russian).

Ern, V., 2000. Bor’ba za Logos. G. Skovoroda. Zhizn’ i ucheniye [The struggle for the Logos. G.Skovoroda. The life and teachings]. Minsk: Kharvest, Moskva: AST (in Russian).

How to Cite
Meleschuk, A. A. (2016). The concept of society’s organic unity and its representation in the historiosophy of Vladimir Soloviev and the early Slavophiles. Grani, 19(12), 82-87.