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Wissen, Denken und Gewissheit: Mentale Verben im russischen philosophischen Diskurs

Holger Kuße, Dimitri Dobrovol'skij


Pages 1 - 33

DOI https://doi.org/10.13173/WS.67.1.001




Knowledge, thinking and certainty: Mental verbs in Russian philosophical discourse

In philosophical texts, the use of verbs of thought and knowledge demonstrates special forms of thought and argumentation. The paper deals with features of philosophical and especially Russian philosophical discourse. General characteristics are subject-relatedness, concept formation, self-referentiality and meta-discursivity. Special features of Russian philosophical discourse are dialogicity and the contrast between the relative and the universal. How these features are realized by the mental verbs dumat? ‘to think’, s?itat? ‘to assume’ and znat? ‘to know’ is investigated in major works by Vladimir Solov?ev, Lev Šestov, Nikolaj Berdjaev, Semen Frank, Gustav Špet and Aleksej Losev. The epistemic function (subject-relatedness) can be seen in the differing use of znat? by Gustav Špet, Lev Šestov and Nikolaj Berdjaev. Špet uses the verb primarily in a factive function. Šestov and Berdjaev impute supposed knowledge to philosophical opponents and contextually suspend factivity. Dumat? is used in a philosophical self-referential or even a metadiscursive function by Šestov, Berdjaev, Frank and Losev to denote the (wrong) thinking of others - often with evaluative adverbs like naprasno ‘in vain’ or obyknovenno ‘usually’. But in many examples the substitution of dumat? by s?itat? and vice versa is possible. This probably has to do with the polemic use of this word, which is particularly pronounced in the writings of Šestov, Berdjaev and Losev. In polemical texts, the fine distinctions between the mental verbs, which signify differences in mental effort and the justifiability of judgments are marginalized.

This article is written in German.



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