Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
1837Russia's Quiet Revolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul W. Werth

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826354.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Philosophical Madness

Philosophical Madness

(p.43) 3 Philosophical Madness

Paul W. Werth

Oxford University Press

Among the stranger literary products of 1837 was an essay called Apology of a Madman. Together with companion Philosophical Letters, this text represents a fundamental moment in the history of Russian thought and makes its author, Peter Chaadaev, a central figure in Russian intellectual history. For these texts not only played a major role in precipitating a grand debate between Westernizers and Slavophiles about Russia’s place in the world, but also laid the foundations for all subsequent philosophies of history in Russia. And by positing that Russia constituted a blank slate on which virtually anything could be inscribed, the Apology exerted a powerful influence on anyone contemplating Russia’s future. Chaadaev’s interventions in 1836–7 thus gave birth to a particular way of thinking about Russia’s past and future, and the country would not be the same without them.

Keywords:   Peter Chaadaev, backwardness, censorship, Nicholas I, Europe, Catholicism, civilization, Marquis de Custine

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .