Andrei Briantsev

Briantsev, Andrei Mikhailovich


(also, A. M. Briantsov). Born 1749; died Jan. 26, 1821, in Moscow. Russian philosopher; an objective idealist. In 1795 he became a professor at the department of logic and metaphysics of Moscow University. In the Treatise on the Relations of the Things of the Universe (1790), Briantsev interpreted the laws of nature on the level of teleological causal parallelism: on the one hand, there is nature, the physical whole that is subject to the law of causality, and on the other hand, “the ethical whole” that is governed by the expediency established by god. According to Briantsev, at the basis of the creation of the world there lies some “inscrutable activity” that gives life to its parts. In the Treatise on the Universal and Main Laws of Nature (1799), Briantsev classified among such laws the law of continuity of G. W. von Leibniz, the law of “thrift,” and the law of conservation of the quantity of substance and force in nature, which he formulated on the basis of the views of R. Descartes, G. B. Bilfinger, and M. Mendelssohn. Briantsev was one of the earliest writers to acquaint Russian readers with I. Kant’s philosophy.


In Izbr. proizv. russkikh myslitelei vtoroi poloviny XVIII veka, vol. 1. Moscow, 1952. Pages 363-83.


Russkii biograficheskii slovar’, vol. 3. St. Petersburg, 1908.