The Orthodox Nationalist: The Metaphysics of Alexei Losev
This is a lecture from Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson on the metaphysics of Alexei Losev, a Russian Orthodox philosopher who was able to carve out a very delicate life in the USSR.
Losev is significant in that he brought Plato to the Russian world in a very new way. His focus was entirely on classical philosophy and aesthetics, which he held could bring many to the Orthodox Faith if it was rightly understood.
His central theme was "myth." This is the most foundational, basic aspect of all social life. It is the narrative that a society takes as normative and "natural." Few are aware that a myth exists, but these are necessary for any thought to take place at all.
"Myth" is never something false, just something presented in a poetic way that personifies a deeper truth. The myth is the constitution of a society. It is deeper than the actual stories of gods and goddesses, rather, it is what make those stories intelligible at all.
These are not random ideas, but are the very basis for all social action. Communities alone exist, never individuals, and they are creations of God. The individual self is a falsehood. No one could function as an isolated ego for long. English, after all, is a communal product, as is science and the very arguments an egotist needs to justify his position.
Ultimately, dialectics is the method that makes our view of the world cleaner. No one is free unless they are fully aware of all aspects of their motivation. No one acts freely unless the mythos is understood as the backdrop for our ideas. It is a product of the race, the ethnic group, that requires these meta-narratives to survive. Nation is communication and language. Therefore, shared meanings are the most important possession they have.
Almost nothing on Losev exists in English. The few things we have are translations from secondary sources that are often poorly expressed. Translators often don't know the technical philosophical terms in English, so they use conversational meanings rather than philosophical ones.
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Presented by Matt Johnson
The Orthodox Nationalist: The Metaphysics of Alexei Losev – TON 020117
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