Gregory Kiselev: Monographs & Articles



"Crisis of Our Time" as a Problem of Man // Voprosy filosofii. 1999, № 1.

The Contemporary World and the "New" Religious Consciousness // Voprosy filosofii. 2000, № 6.

Postmodern and Christianity // Voprosy filosofii. 2001, № 12.

New Religiousness as a Problem of Consciousness // Voprosy filosofii. 2002, № 5.

What is the Idea and Importance of Liberal Reforms in Russia? // Vestnik. № 17 (354). August 18. 2004.

The Chance for Freedom (Perspectives of an Open Society) // Voprosy filosofii. 2004, № 9.

Freedom and Evolution // Voprosy filosofii.2005, № 10.

Ideas and Values of a New Era // Voprosy filosofii. 2006, № 4.

The Human World: Deadlock of Evolution? // Voprosy filosofii. 2007, № 4.

"In God’s Image and Likeness" // Voprosy filosofii. 2008, № 1.

"Mystery of Progress" and the Possibility of History // Voprosy filosofii. 2009, № 2.

"The Second Universe": Drama of Freedom // Voprosy filosofii. 2010, № 2.

In his article G.S. Kiselev suggests we consider history as a process of "humanizing" the natural world, of creating the "human world" or the "Second Universe". This process is conditioned by an esoteric dichotomy, the soul-body essence of an individual and its corollary the constant metamorphosis, the fashioning of self from a "possible man" to the "man realized". One can fashion self through a concerted application of will, i.e, through a holistic, conscious moral and intellectual effort. This effort enables the individual to enter a specifically human realm of consciousness, which also remains by definition supra-natural. That's how one reaches the state of being, which is an artificial condition, brought about by the man through a mediation of symbols, primarily of a religious kind. An objectification of the constituent elements of being creates culture, which, in its turn, serves to "humanize" the civilization. The author pays particular attention to the range of possibilities underlying the "human world" and resulting from the fact that the man stays free and thus liable to reject the fashioning of self, denying his being and consciousness for the sake of existence "outside of history". This circumstance, in his opinion, accounts for the relative nature of social progress as experienced in the past as well as in our own day.

Religious Meanings of the Human World // Voprosy filosofii. 2011, № 5.

G. Kiselev's article is an attempt to extend his research in the field that could be called "man and his world as a supernatural phenomenon". The author has already published several works on this subject in "Voprosy filosofii". In this article G.Kiselev examins Christianity. While reminding of its complexity and paradoxicality, he advocates the proposition that Christianity is much broader than the traditional church beliefs. Since it is Christ's moral teaching that is the center of Christianity, it should not be examined without regard to the socalled "Christian anthropocentrism". In order to substantiate this propostion G. Kiselev not only interprets the Trinitarian doctrine as an evidence, but also draws a concept of consciousness as a paradoxical sphere where the real man is being created by means of self-creation with the help of supernatural symbols.

History and It’s Similarity // Voprosy filosofii. 2012, № 3.

In this article G.S. Kiselev raises and substantiates the idea of history's dual nature. He argues for the dual character of humans: their life reflects both natural and supernatural at the same time. History may be regarded as the emergence of human world, which is built over nature and which repudiates some of its laws. The process by which this world is formed is characterized by intermittence, unevenness, periods of stagnation and even regression. During such periods the human world is not reproduced: life is deprived of truly human content. The author refers to these periods as "quasihistory" i.e. something like history. The conclusion is that it is this "quasihistory" that gives us a chance to elaborate an adequate approach to the Christian eschatological idea of progress.

Mysterious Homeland // Voprosy filosofii. 2013, № 4.

G.S. Kiselev's article describes the possibilities that emerge in the modern world for the certain convergence of philosophy and Christianity. These possibilities are conditioned by the objective necessity of a socalled "anthropocentric turnaround". Without this turnaround it is difficult for Christianity to reveal its verity for a person in of the Twentyfirst century. On the other hand, this convergence is also conditioned by the trend of modem philosophy which admits the existence of the supernatural side of man, a philosophy that develops the theory of mind as a sphere, or a continuous space, where a "probable man" is turning into an "actual man". (For other works of the author see

History as Being // Voprosy filosofii. 2014, № 4.

This article by Gregory S. Kiselev deals with the philosophical approach to the concept of history. It is argued here that the philosophical approach is possible only when consciousness is regarded as an individual's extreme volitional moral and intellectual effort. The result of this effort is the formation of a trans-subject interpersonal sphere that gives birth to what philosophy determines as existence. It is in this state of existence that an individual is creating history, and through this state of existence the individual brings sense into life. Without consciousness there is no existence and thus no history, and only senseless movement in a circle is possible.

The Illusion of Progress // Voprosy filosofii. 2015, № 4.

In this article Gregory S. Kiselev examines the validity of the idea of social progress, as well as perspectives on the future of humankind. The author argues that this idea demands a serious reconsideration: in some spheres progress does exist, but in the others there is clear regression and even archaism. The modem world is full of conflicts social, sociocultural and civilizational, and the means of their resolution are still not apparent. At the same time there is a new anthropological reality that provides witness to significant changes in the nature of the human being. In author's view this points to the extreme uncertainty of mankind's perspectives.

Where Did We Finally Bring Ourselves To? (unpublished manuscript)

The Way to Talk About the Meaning of History // Voprosy filosofii. 2016, № 5.

The conceptualization of "history" in the sphere of philosophy may differ from that prevailing in the other humanities. The difference arises from the assumption, common among philosophers, that Homo sapiens has both natural and supernatural aspects. An individual becomes a true human being only to the extent that his supernatural aspect orders and defines his life and that of the surrounding world, thereby endowing existence with meanings. The term history can be properly applied only to those brief periods in the story of humankind that have been marked by the emergence of such meanings in the evident humanization (ensoulment) of the world. Because the continuum of meaningless existence has been only intermittently disrupted by such periods, the author rejects the notion of social progress as the objective advancement of society toward some superior state. The philosophical conceptualization of history leads inevitably to recognition of its probabilistic nature and, consequently, the uncertainty of its demise.

Christianity as a Problem // Voprosy filosofii, 2018

The author suggests that Christianity is essentially a problem – inasmuch as it is present in the life of any person because individual life represents a state of being. This view is rooted in Christianity’s unique Trinitarian nature. On the one hand, this peculiarity allows to de-mythologize the fundamental Christian ideas and thus enable a dialogue between Christianity and the modern man. On the other hand, the Trinitarian nature of Christianity provides for a possibility of its historical transformation into the Kantian "religion of reason" – a religious phenomenon that defies the traditional understanding of "religion." Philosophy of consciousness, as articulated by the philosopher M. Mamardashvili, may explain this change. G. S. Kiselev embraces the view of probabilistic historical development, which questions the feasibility of issuing unequivocal judgements about the future. That is why the transformation of the historical forms of Christianity appears to be problematic – as it ultimately depends on the person’s free will. Philosophy of consciousness envisions а realization of the tautological basis of being, which could become a foundation for the creation of a humanistic social reality. However, according to G. S. Kiselev, our modern civilization is defined by such phenomena as the appearance of the "mass man," who exists entirely outside of consciousness, as well as the deepening divisions between the "rich North" and the "impoverished South" – one of the causes, for example, of the emergence of Islamic terrorism. As such this civilization is moving further away from the historical being and does not generate the necessary precondition for the creation of a humanistic civilization.

On the «End of History» // Philosophical Letters. Russian and European Dialogue. Vol 2. № 4 (2019)

Based on the assumption that a human being is first and foremost a free agent, that he is capable of either committing or abstaining from conscious acts, thus reaching real being or fall out of it, the author proposes that human existence represents not progress as an ascendant development, but sequenced and interspersed periods of history — some of them as if «illuminated» by consciousness and others remaining «hollow» and devoid of being. Hence, the idea of multiple scenarios for the future, in which there is no way of judging what constitutes «the end of history».

One possible scenario is the realization of given assumptions of existence, as envisioned in the philosophy of consciousness. Such scenario can eventually lead to humanistic social reality for humanity.

However, according to Gregory S. Kiselev, modern civilization, Western in particular, moves further away from historical existence, and thus does not create conditions for such outcome. It is witnessed by spiritual ill-being of the civilization: moral imperfection of mass society as well as reluctance and inability of most individuals to comprehend and outlive this imperfection — which is the most important; problematic consequences of globalization, failure of civilizations’ dialog, pending ecological crisis.

An alternative scenario is a vicious circle of constant return to the un-lived, unconquered, senseless movement. Bad infinity of this kind will be an anthropological catastrophe: a mass society individual, unable to a conscious life, eventually will be incapable to overcome entropy. This, in turn, puts a question of the role and destiny of humanity in the process of evolution.

A “Delicate Flower’ of Civilization

In his study, Gregory Kiselev argues that social norms do not rest on laws of nature. Hence, the author proposes to rethink the term “civilization.” He is specifically interested in the concept that defines “civilization” as a process that brings in the notion of evolution as a specifically human, supra-natural quality, which is inherently tied to ethics and eventually the state of law founded on it. The author emphasizes the fact that in this particular meaning, the term “civilization” acquires a probabilistic character, and, as such, unfolds as a paradoxical historical discontinuity (or discreteness); as human beings are weaved of twofold existence: that of the nature and that of the spirit. An individual is capable of either rising above the mundane and can overcome its immanent evil character or can simply decide to ignore it. The “outbreaks' ' of self-imaginings of humanity and formation of civilization, when world evil is controlled or overcome, shifts between the periods of degradation of humanity and those that have an elemental semblance of forms of sociability. This is why, argues Kiselev, historical processes do not guarantee an all-encompassing, overarching progression. The result of such “outbreaks”, the author claims, was the emergence of Western civilization that brought the notions of political and civil freedoms into play. All the same, one observes the signs of degradation in the contemporary world with its “mass-communities” and “mass-humans” and the prevalence of “mass-cultures” together with manipulation of the individual. Undervaluing the notion of freedom is aided by other mundane, local socio-cultural communities, in which the freedom principle never got a chance to overtake.

Problems of Historiosophy in the Light of Merab Mamardashvili’s Philosophy

The article deals with the possibilities that open up for historiosophy when getting acquainted with the ideas on consciousness, being and civilization of M. K. Mamardashvili. The phylosopher believed that social forms cannot rest on the laws of nature, on natural foundations. According to his ideas, a person as a dual natural-spiritual being is able to rise above the world and overcome its evil, but he may not do it. Since eventually everything depends on the goodwill of the person, the future is uncertain and probabilistic. Therefore, the life of an individual and society can be viewed as alternating moments of historical being, when evil is overcome, and periods of only a semblance of history, when it is preserved or multiplied. The idea of the paradoxical discontinuity (discreteness) of history thus testifies against the idea of the predetermination of all-encompassing progress, but rather in favor of its probabilistic nature. Concretizing Mamardashvili’s ideas, one can clarify that we will not be able to understand sociality, its laws and destinies, if we do not consider it in the light of such concepts as self-creating humanity. Therefore, let's try to look at history from the point of view of whether it is the process of the birth of the “second Universe” - “man-made” space, opposing natural chaos, a process that introduces a specifically human quality into evolution. G.S. Kiselev proposes to consider the emergence of Western civilization as a "flash" of historical existence, which largely determined the appearance of the modern world. At the same time, he draws attention to the signs of its degradation.


Trinitarian Core of Christianity in the light of the Philosophy of Consciousness

G. S. Kiselev’s article draws attention to the fact that the profound idea of ​​the inseparable unity of God, or the supernatural entity, and man, namely the trinitarian idea, in historical Christianity came to be obscured by the external attributes of this religion, primarily the so-called “liturgical religion”. In the foreground there was observance and the cult of an otherworldly distant Deity. Thus, the role of a free individual, the idea of ​​his personal responsibility in the destinies of the world, was diminished. The author believes that it is the philosophy of consciousness that could facilitate the return of trinitarianism to its central place in Christianity. This paradoxical philosophy presupposes the idea of ​​some supernatural reality that arises in the course of performing acts of consciousness and is formed by mental and moral structures. In the philosophical language such a reality is described as Being and is a kind of integrity, a vertical "cut" penetrating the historical life of mankind. Since man is an unconditioned being, his ability to join the sphere of Being really depends on his free will. The one who succeeds, who freely recognizes God as the only moral legislator, might be considered a real Man and, therefore, a genuine Christian in contrast to the “possible man”. Only man of this kind is able to limit the dominance of evil in the world.


Civilization at the Сrossroads

A part of humanity has managed to create a sociality that has significantly limited social evil. Civilization as something artificial was born in the Euro-Atlantic world.  Christian ideas of value and dignity of every life crystallized in it’s main social institutions. In the other part of humanity, however, sociality has a different nature - legal consciousness is not developed, there is no state of low; violence and lack of rights are far from being eliminated. Sometimes the old concept of "barbarism" is used in relation to this social order. Hence the question: why did some nations created a civilization, while others preserved and reproduced its antipodes? The author is looking for an answer based on the philosophy of Consciousness with its ideas with its ideas about Cas a priori knowledge of the “forever present”. The concept of "history" is considered in this article in the light of the idea of Consciousness-Being.  In other words the  criterion is the humanization of the world. This is a process that brings a specifically human dimension to evolution. To what extent does today's “West” manage to maintain the status of civilization? In a globalizing world, the basic foundations of civilization seem to be degrading. The emergence of a mass society as well as the secularization were an epoch-making shift in the realm of spirit. Western civilization, built on a foundation of Christian values, but neglecting them now, has largely come to moral relativism. Mass society is characterized primarily by deindividuation and the dominance of illusory consciousness. As a result, the legal order is distorted and the individual is suppressed. Will Western civilization be able to endure in the new century, or will it succumb to the onslaught of the "new barbarism"? This question remains open.