Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

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Childhood in A. N. Radishchev’s anthropological theory

Gusakova Olga Ya., Saratov State University

The article studies the diversity of ideas on the role of childhood in human fate in the work On man, his death and immortality (1792-1796) by A. N. Radishchev. The author pays particular attention to the main features of the moral ideal of a human being which, from the point of view of the Enlightenment writer, should be achieved through upbringing. In connection with this set of issues, A. N. Radishchev’s methodological foundations for considering the phenomenon of a human being from his chosen perspective are consistently studied; the characteristics of the laws of personality development specifi ed by the thinker, external and ‘internal’ factors aff ecting its establishment are analyzed; motivations and evaluation criteria of diverse human activity in nature and society are also looked into; the writer’s contribution to the formation of developmental psychology and the reasons of a child’s individual characteristics mentioned by him are being comprehended. The treatise On man, his death and immortality is the most signifi cant element not only in the development of the ideological, philosophical, ethical, but also aesthetic opinions of A. N. Radishchev as well. This predominantly concerns the issue of how the treatise aff ects the development of the childhood topic in the Russian literature. From this perspective the present article is an attempt to consider the writer’s attitude to childhood not on the level of separate quotes which occasionally appear in literary criticism, but in its correlation with the system of his philosophical ideas of man. The article also outlines the prospects of research of A. N. Radishchev’s work from the point of view of his infl uence on the development of the childhood image in the Russian literature.


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