Epistemology and Russian Sociology: Interaction in the Development

Epistemology and Russian Sociology:
Interaction in the Development

Mikeshina L.A.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Рrof. Emeritus, Chair of Philosophy, Moscow Pedagogical State University, Moscow, Russia mickeshina.lyudmila@yandex.ru

ID of the Article:

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


Berdyaev N.A. (1901) Subjectivisn and Individlualism in Social Philosophy. A Critical Study of N.K. Mikhailovskiy. St. Petersburg: Izd-vo O.N. Popovoy. (In Russ.)

Cultural Historical Epistemology: Issues and Outlook. To the 70th Anniversary of B.I. Pruzhinin. (2014) Moscow: Politicheskaya entsiklopediya. (In Russ.)

Dancy J. (1996) An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University press.

Kаreev N.I. (1996) Bases of Russian Sociology. St. Petersburg: I. Limbakh. (In Russ.)

Kareev N. (1896) Mihaylovskiy N.K. In: Encyclopedic Dictionary. Vol. XIX. St. Petersburg; Leipzig: F.A. Brokgauz i I.A. Efron: 492–493. (In Russ.)

Kasavin I.T. (2013) Social Epistemology. Fundamental and Applied Issues. Moscow: Alfa–M. (In Russ.).

Landesman Ch. (1997) An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lavrov P.L. (1965a) What is Anthropology). In: Lavrov P.L. Philosophy and Sociology. In 2 vols. Vol. 1. Moscow: Mysl’: 463–492. (In Russ.)

Lavrov P.L. (1965b) The Tasks of Positivism and Their Resolution). In: Lavrov P.L. Philosophy and Sociology. In 2 vols. Vol. 1. Moscow: Mysl’: 576–636. (In Russ.)

Mikeshina L.A. (2012) P.L. Lavrov: a Philosophy of Cognition. Epistemologiya i filosofiya nauki [Epistemology and Philosophy of Science]. Vol. 33. No. 3: 177–192. (In Russ.)

Mikeshina L.A. (2016) G. Ritzer: Polyparadigmatic Phenomenon in Sociology. In: Mikeshina L.A. Contemporary Epistemology of Humanitarian Knowledge: Interdisciplinary Syntheses. Sect. 1. Ch. 2. Moscow: ROSSPEN: 107–112. (In Russ.)

Mokshin G.N. (ed.) (2017) A Collection of Scholarly Texts. N.K. Mikhailovskiy. Person. Thinker. Public Figure. To 175th Anniversary. Voronezh: VGU. (In Russ.)

Rusanov N.A. (no year) Mihaylovskiy N.K. In: Encyclopedic Dictionary «Granat & Co». 7th ed. Vol. 29. Moscow: 114. (In Russ.)

Ryabov P.V. (2019) From Вakunin to Losev. Seven Portraits of Russian Thinkers. Moscow: Nookratiya. (In Russ.)

Shpet G.G. (2009) Lavrov’s Anthropologism in the Light of the History of Philosophy. In: Shpet G.G. Outline of the Development of Russian Philosophy. Part 2. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 439–508. (In Russ.)

Volkov Yu.G., Lubskiy A.V. (2018) Sociology as a Method of Self-cognition of Society. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 7: 3–12. (In Russ.)

Walicki A. (2013) A History of Russian Thought from Enlightenment to Marxism. Moscow: Kanon. (In Russ.)

Walicki A. (1977) Russian Social Thought: An Introduction to the Intellectual History of Nineteenth Century Russia. The Russian Review. Vol. 36. No. 1: 1–45.

Content No 9, 2019