Crisis of Western Philosophy: Against Positivism
This is one of Solovyov's early work.
(todo: locate German translation in Deutsche Gesamtausgabe: "Die Krise der abendländischen Philosophie" (1874, Magisterarbeit) and also "Kritik der abstrakten Prinzipien" (1880, Dissertation))
Solovyov's understanding of consciousness corresponds to some extent to Rudolf Steiner's.
This book is the seminal work in which Solovyov developed his religious philosophy. In it, he undertakes a stunning critique of positivism, by which he understands the entire philosophy of Western rationalism, which he sees as setting up a conflict between reason and faith, and reason and nature. In the modern period, he finds abundant evidence for reason's war against nature in Western philosophy from Descartes to Hegel. 'Positivism', the leading philosophy in his time, Solovyov also finds repugnant. In its place, he proposes his great theme of total unity -- which was to become the dominant theme in Russian philosophy. This is the work that launched Russian religious philosophy and is a must for anyone interested in the subject.
Der Verlag über das Buch
What are the roots of our Western crisis of materialism?
Beginning in the 1840s, a vital tradition of philosophy entered the world stage, a tradition filled with as-yet unthought of possibilities and implications, not only for Russia but for the new multicultural, global reality humanity as a whole is now entering. These Russian philosophers sought a theory of the world as a whole, one that includes its own transformation.
Russian philosophy is both religious and psychological, ontological and cosmological. It is filled with remarkably imaginative thinking about our global future. It joins speculative metaphysics, depth psychology, ethics, esthetics, mysticism, and science - always with a profound appreciation for the world's movement toward a greater state. Vladimir Solovyov was a part of this line of thinkers, which included, to name a few, Aleksei Khomiakov, Ivan Kireevsky, and Pavel Florensky ("On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader"); Sergei Bulgakov ("Sophia: The Wisdom of God"); Nikolai Berdyaev ("The Russian Idea"); and, more recently, Daniel Andreev ("The Rose of the World").
With the reemergence of Russia onto the modern world stage, Solovyov, the founder of Modern Russian religious philosophy, is becoming recognized as one of the seminal thinkers of our time. In "The Crisis of Western Philosophy," Solovyov undertakes a stunning critique of positivism - the whole tradition of Western rationalism. This tradition, according to Solovyov, sets up irreconcilable conflicts between reason and faith (or revelation), and between reason and nature.
Considering the modern era, Solovyov finds abundant evidence for this war that takes place not only in the human soul, but in the world itself. And Solovyov finds "positivism," the dominant philosophy of his own time, equally repugnant and bankrupt. In its place, he proposes his great overriding theme of an evolving total unity, a worldwide sobornost.
Other books by Solovyov available in English include one of his most accessible, "The Meaning of Love," as well as "War, Progress, and the End of History" and "Lectures on Divine Humanity."
See also: "Impersonalismus" und die "Werdende Vernunft der Wahrheit" in Solov'evs Spätphilosophie, by Peter Ehlen, in Studies in East European Thought, p155-175, 1999.