Losskii, Nikolai Onufrievich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Losskii, Nikolai Onufrievich


Born Nov. 24 (Dec. 6), 1870, in Kreslovka (near Vitebsk); died Jan. 24, 1965, in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. Russian idealist philosopher; an intuitionist and personalist. Assistant professor (1900) and professor (1916) at St. Petersburg University.

In 1922, Losskii was exiled abroad. He lived in Czechoslovakia until 1945. He was a professor of philosophy at the Russian Orthodox seminary in New York from 1947 to 1950. According to Losskii, the main task of philosophy is to construct a theory of the world as an integral whole based primarily on religious experience. The central element of the world is the mystically understood individual as a supratemporal agent of creativity. Cognition begins when a series of intentional (purposive) acts (recognition, attention) is directed toward an object. Depending on the nature of the object, the object is known through various forms of intuition—intellectual, sensory, or mystical. According to Losskii, the fundamental traits of Russian philosophy are its ethical nature, religious reality, and synthetic structure. Losskii minimized the role of materialist thinkers in the development of Russian philosophy (History of Russian Philosophy, 1951; Russian edition, 1954).


Osnovnye ucheniia psikhologii s tochkoi zreniia voliuntarizma. St. Petersburg, 1903.
Mir kak organicheskoe tseloe. Moscow, 1917.
Osnovnye voprosy gnoseologii. Petrograd, 1919. (Collection of articles).
Intuitivnaia filosofiia Bergsona, 3rd ed. Petrograd, 1922.
Obosnovanie intuitivizma, 3rd ed. Berlin, 1924.
Svoboda voli. Paris, 1927.
Tipy mirovozzrenii. Paris, 1931.
Usloviia absoliutnogo dobra (osnovy etiki). Paris, 1931.
Chuvstvennaia, intellektual’naia i misticheskaia intuitsiia. Paris, 1938.
Dostoevskii i ego khristianskoe miroponimanie. New York, 1953.
“Personalistischer Idealismus.” Kant-Studien, 1959-60, vol. 51, fasc. 4.


Chueva, I. P. Kritika idei intuitivizma v Rossii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Istoriia filosofii v SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.