Franklin

The discovery of chance : the life and thought of Alexander Herzen / Aileen M. Kelly.

Author/Creator:
Kelly, Aileen, M., author.
Publication:
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, [2016]
Format/Description:
Book
x, 592 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Status/Location:
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Details

Subjects:
Herzen, Aleksandr, 1812-1870.
Intellectuals -- Russia -- Biography.
Russia -- Intellectual life -- 1801-1917.
Intellectual life.
Intellectuals.
Russia.
Form/Genre:
Biography.
Summary:
"Alexander Herzen--philosopher, novelist, essayist, political agitator, and one of the leading Russian intellectuals of the nineteenth century--was as famous in his day as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. While he is remembered for his masterpiece "My Past and Thoughts" and as the father of Russian socialism, his contributions to the history of ideas defy easy categorization because they are so numerous. Aileen M. Kelly presents the first fully rounded study of the farsighted genius whom Isaiah Berlin called "the forerunner of much twentieth-century thought." In an era dominated by ideologies of human progress, Herzen resisted them because they conflicted with his sense of reality, a sense honed by his unusually comprehensive understanding of history, philosophy, and the natural sciences. Following his unconventional decision to study science at university, he came to recognize the implications of early evolutionary theory, not just for the natural world but for human history. In this respect, he was a Darwinian even before Darwin. Socialism for Russia, as Herzen conceived it, was not an ideology--least of all Marxian "scientific socialism"--but a concrete means of grappling with unique historical circumstances, a way for Russians to combine the best of Western achievements with the possibilities of their own cultural milieu in order to move forward. In the same year that Marx declared communism to be the "solution to the riddle of history," Herzen denied that any such solution could exist. History, like nature, was contingent--an improvisation both constrained and encouraged by chance."--Provided by publisher.
Contents:
Who was Herzen?
Russia and the romantic revolution
A romantic youth
A revolution in science
Science and history
An education in method
Science and Saint-Simonism
Prison and exile
Awakening
The discovery of chance
Nature and time
Man in the middle
A conservative revolution
Herzen and Proudhon
Toward another shore
View from the other shore
The living truth
In defence of inconsistency
What is history?
The Polish rising
True nihilism
Last years.
Notes:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:
9780674737112 (alk. paper)
0674737113 (alk. paper)
OCLC:
926050449