Hryhorii Skovoroda and Lev Shestov: Between Science and Poetry. Setting the Problem
Keywords:Hryhorii Skovoroda, Lev Shestov, philosophy, God, life, science, literature
The aim of this paper is to reveal a typological kinship between two outstanding religious thinkers of different eras – Hryhorii Skovoroda and Lev Shestov, who are rarely addressed in conjunction with each other. Drawing on the scarce existing research on this rich, but heavily under-researched topic, we trace the inner connection between their respective philosophical worldviews, paying a special attention to the gnoseological (epistemological) aspect of their teachings. While staying within the framework of religious faith, fundamental for both thinkers, we scrutinize their relationship with reason, focusing on the attitude of both to the scientific method. At the same time, as a distinctive feature of our analysis, we apply a literary-centred approach rather than purely philosophical one, and draw on the optics of poets and writers, characterised by their own unique philosophical premonitions. As we argue, this is justified at various levels, including the closeness of both thinkers under study to the world of literature, especially poetry, which, arguably, had a profound impact on their philosophical discourse and helped to shape their ideas. Not aiming at providing a comprehensive comparative analysis of Skovoroda and Shestov, we nevertheless hope that this paper will pave the way for future studies, and demonstrate the productiveness of our method, shedding some new light not only on these two exceptional thinkers, but also on the intrinsic proximity between religious philosophy and the world of poetry more generally.
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