• Possibility
    1.1k
    Speaking of Dostoevsky, the "abstract system" that claims to have an exact answer for "everything in this world" is science. What abstract systems that create the illusion of knowledge were you referring to?David Mo

    My apologies, I haven’t read Dostoevsky, so I’m probably out of my depth - just responding to the quote out of context.

    Interesting that the ‘systems and abstract deductions’ is what he refers to as science. Science could just as easily be ‘the evidence of his senses’, depending on how you approach it.

    Many ideologies create the illusion of knowledge through systems and abstract deductions, including religion, logic and philosophy, as well as science. It is science, of these four, at least, which values the evidence of the senses in a process of checks and balances - although I will concede that many areas of science are somewhat removed from the senses these days. But these other three ‘illusions of knowledge’ inspire a readiness to deny the evidence of the senses in order to justify logic, more so than science.

    It’s often when we apply scientific method to them that these systems either fail or transform into a more dynamic search for an answer to ‘how to deal with the world’ without expecting to close the knowledge gap completely. that’s my experience, anyway.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    327


    My question remains: How can you enjoy with the repulsive passages of a great writer?

    Because he's a really good writer. I'll tell you what I enjoy most about him: He's able to flush out different ideologies/viewpoints through certain characters in a thoroughly honest sense. Other writers try to do this but it just ends up being propaganda. What I really like about D is that I never felt like he came in with a set conclusion in mind and he wasn't trying to push an ideology on the viewer; instead he just lets the characters interact with the world in their own unique, but honest way (in that it's true to their nature/beliefs.) I'm talking about the Brothers Karamazov here.

    Speaking of Dostoevsky, the "abstract system" that claims to have an exact answer for "everything in this world" is science.

    In Notes from Underground the main character - who is not Dostoyevsky, it is kind of a crazy existentialist shut-in - rants against this type of thing and I generally took it to be rationalism - not science. He also certainly has in mind certain utopian political systems.

    Do not confuse Dostoyevsky with the narrator in Notes from Underground. He is, again, flushing out a viewpoint like he does with his other characters.
  • David Mo
    326
    Interesting that the ‘systems and abstract deductions’ is what he refers to as science. Science could just as easily be ‘the evidence of his senses’, depending on how you approach it.Possibility

    At the time when Dostoevsky wrote Notes from the Underground (1864) - and for the rest of his life too - he opposed Nikolay Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky, a "radical" intellectual. Chernyshevsky is also radical in his positivism. He identifies reason and science. Therefore, Dostoevsky thinks he is criticizing science when in fact he is attacking Chernishevsky's positivism.

    Both of them carelessly handle a concept of science that sometimes includes philosophy, logic or morality with pretensions of absolute objectivity. Therefore, Dostoevsky may think that some facts contradict "science" or "logic".
  • David Mo
    326
    In Notes from Underground the main character - who is not Dostoyevsky, it is kind of a crazy existentialistBitconnectCarlos

    No. He was parodying Chernishevsky, a positivist. (See my previous comment). He was not crazy. Dostoevsky himself speaks of him as a kind and quiet man.

    He's able to flush out different ideologies/viewpoints through certain characters in a thoroughly honest sense.BitconnectCarlos
    This is the usual myth about Dostoevsky propagated by Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin -a Soviet disident critic- and himself. In reality Dostoevsky declares himself to be careful in arranging the things in his novels in order to put a voice above all other: Jesus Crhist's voice, of course.

    The Man of the Underground is the Chernishevsky's caricature. It is not respectful with the true Chernishevsky's ideas. Dostoevsky's made the Man of the Undergroud said things that Chernishevsky never said. His contradictions were the contradictions that Dostoevsky believed to be those of positivism and atheism. Some of them were his own contradictions.

    Honesty, my foot! Dostoevsky was a fanatic. Intelligent, but fanatical.

    I did not get Dostoevsky's idea of science from Notes from the Underground alone, but from his Diary of a Writer and from the controversy with A. D. Gradovsky as well.
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