Fin de Siècle in the Trajectories of Russian Modernity: Novelty and Repetition


The article is devoted to the discussion on fin de siècle in the context of the trajectory the modernity took in the twentieth century Russia. The author follows C. Castoriadis’ definition of modernity through double imaginary of autonomy and rational mastery as well as P. Wagner’s characterisation of modernity as experience and interpretation. He demonstrates how in Russian constellation of modernity autonomy came to be understood as a secondary to rational mastery and how collective autonomy started to dominate over individual one. For this purpose, he discusses details of N. Federov’s “Philosophy of the Common Task” as well as peculiarities of the development of Russian society of the beginning of the last century. Then M. Khomyakov turns to the contemporary fin de siècle and discusses what he sees as a major crisis of modernity in general and democracy, in particular. Thus, the article interprets fin de siècles as inherent to the modernity crises, the main elements of which are revising, reinterpretation, reformulation and renegotiation of the modernity’s fundamentals.

Author Biography

Maxim Khomyakov, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia and Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Maksim Khomyakov is a Vice-Director of the Higher School of Economics (Saint Petersburg), and a Head of the BRICS Studies Centre at the Ural Federal University. His research interests comprise various issues of political philosophy, history of philosophy and social theory as well as theory of Education. He was a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University, USA; the University of Bologna, Italy and The University of York, UK. He also spent two years as a Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. In 2002–2015 he organized a number of projects in political philosophy for the young faculty from Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. Now he is also a head of national coordinating committee of the BRICS network University.


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How to Cite
Khomyakov, M. (2017). Fin de Siècle in the Trajectories of Russian Modernity: Novelty and Repetition. Changing Societies & Personalities, 1(3), 220-236. doi:10.15826/csp.2017.1.3.016