Vvedenskii, Aleksandr Ivanovich
Born 1856, in Tambov; died Mar. 7, 1925, in Leningrad. Russian idealist philosopher and psychologist; a major representative of Russian neo-Kantianism.
Vvedenskii became a professor at St. Petersburg University in 1890 and president of the St. Petersburg Philosophical Society in 1899. In On the Limits and Characteristics of Animate Matter (1892) and Psychology Without Metaphysics (1914), he posed the question of the need to take the study of the spirit and of the essence of the psychic beyond the borders of psychology. According to Vvedenskii, all spiritual life is subject to the law of the absence of objective characteristics of animate matter; only through his moral sense does man recognize spirituality in others. This moral sense is connected to the idea of moral duty, which postulates the principles of free will, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of god. Assuming that scientific psychology can only be a descriptive science, Vvedenskii considered its basic method to be introspection (self-observation). In this regard, he was skeptical about the possibilities of experimental psychology, which was being developed at the time. Vvedenskii’s understanding of logic was tied to his gnoseology; in his view, the function of logic is to verify what is known and not to reveal the unknown. During the 1920’s he was an active participant in philosophical disputes in which he opposed materialism and Marxism.
WORKS“Spor o svobode voli pered sudom kriticheskoi filosofii.” Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, October, 1901, part 337.
“Sud’by filosofii v Rossii.” In Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii, 1898, book 2 (42).
Logika kak chast’ teorii poznaniia, 3rd ed. Petrograd, 1917.