Epistemology and Russian Sociology:
Interaction in the Development

Mikeshina L.A.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.) Prof., the Department of Philosophy of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia mickeshina.lyudmila@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250006662-1
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For citation:

Mikeshina L.A. Epistemology and Russian Sociology: Interaction in the Development. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 9. P. 19-27


The notion of ‘epistemology’ in many countries had been already fully accepted and mastered, it had come to replace ‘gnoseology’ and ‘theory of cognition’ to expand the sphere of research of components and regularities in natural, social sciences and the humanities. In our country this shift happened later and became significant for its understanding and evaluation not from the positivistic view of ‘the single scientific method’, but as valuable and the most important forms of knowledge today. Epistemological ideas for social sciences did not just come to us from Europe, but had deep roots in the development of Russian social and historical knowledge. This is confirmed in the history of Russian philosophy and sociology, in particular, by P.L. Lavrov’s and N.K. Mikhailovsky’s ideas that are coming back to us now for today’s understanding of their ideas’ role in the development of social sciences and philosophy. G.G. Shpet had understood and explained the character of Lavrov’s anthropologism, its role in overcoming abstract gnoseologism and positivism. Epistemology of social cognition turns towards integral cognizing human being, and this is guided by deep traditions of Russian philosophy and sociology that come from Herzen, Lavrov, Shpet, Kareev. Research in Mikhailovsky’s ideas and works in the twenty-first century also confirms that, along with Lavrov, he saw many real problems of the social development, of Russian society in particular, and thus he contributed to modern social sciences and Russian social epistemology.

social sciences; epistemology; abstract gnoseologism; Shpet; Lavrov; Mikhailovsky; Kareev; Russian sociology


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