Gregory Kiselev: Monographs & Articles

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Man, Culture and Civilization
at the Brink of Third Millennium

Summary

G.S.Kiselev’s manuscript discusses contemporary man and society from the viewpoint of philosophical anthropology. For the author, the world of man appears to be a constant interaction of two spheres: civilization, understood as the way of life of social man in his local indigenous forms, and culture as the objectified forms of the spirit. History is thus seen as a gradual transformation of society by culture, expressed in the overcoming of various historical form of alienation, i.e. the self-destructive results of man's own actions.

Kiselev pays close attention to the achievements in Western countries associated with the comprehensive liberation of man, which were not seen earlier in history. (These achievements, in the first place civil society and the legal state, represent a significant degree of society's "acculturation".)

The author examines contemporary mass society in the West, which he sees as a particularly sharp form of the contradiction between society and culture. He advances the notion that the necessity for further (spiritual) liberation presupposes the overcoming of non-social types of alienation. Now the problem of overcoming of his own social nature through the strength of his spirit stands before man in all its magnitude.

In Kiselev's opinion, religious consciousness plays a decisive role in this problem; however, by this he means not the traditional consciousness which was suppressed by historical forms of faith, but rather a renewed consciousness which forms the content of the so-called "anthropological revolution". Proceeding from man's need for continuous self-perfection and self-creation, the author suggests the presence of historical and meta-historical content to human existence.

In the last section the discussion focuses on the state of and perspectives for spirituality in society under the conditions of post-Soviet Russia.