Novgorodtsev, Pavel

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Novgorodtsev, Pavel Ivanovich


Born 1886 in Bakhmut; died Apr. 23, 1924, in Prague. Russian lawyer and philosopher.

From 1896 to 1911, Novgorodtsev taught at Moscow University. In 1906 he was appointed director and a professor at the Moscow Higher Commerce Institute. He was a member of the Constitutional Democrats and a deputy to the First State Duma in 1906. He emigrated in 1917.

The philosophical basis of Novgorodtsev’s legal views was neo-Kantianism. Novgorodtsev considered natural law to be the moral criterion in criticizing and improving positive law. In The Crisis of Modern Legal Consciousness (1911), he declared that all ideas for resolving modern social and moral contradictions were Utopian. He criticized the theory of scientific socialism.


Istoricheskaia shkola iuristov: Ee proiskhozhdenie i sud’ba. Moscow, 1896.
Kant i Gegel’ v ikh uchenii o prave i gosudarstve. Moscow, 1901.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.