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"In the worse case I may be ... sent to war ..., where I will be forced to kill people of foreign nationalities, who did nothing wrong to me, where I may be mutilated or killed, where I may come to a place like Sewastopol, and where, like in every war, people are sent to death, and most agonizing is the fact, that I can be sent against my own countrymen and will have to kill my brother because of dynastic or governmental interests, which have nothing to do with me."
Lev Tolstoy: Sevastopol Sketches (1855/56)
"We need not try to decide whether this satirical inscription, (once found on a Dutch innkeeper's signboard above the picture of a churchyard) is aimed at mankind in general, or at the rulers of states in particular, unwearying in their love of war, or perhaps only at the philosophers who cherish the sweet dream of perpetual peace."
Immanuel Kant (1795)
"[…] more horrible than the death sown by war in the material world is the life it generates, almost without exception, in the mind of all human beings."
Fedor Stepun (1916)
The relation between Russia and Germany maybe never were completely free of conflicts. Is it astonishing that the second quotation comes from a Russian Neo-Kantian with German roots, who served in the Russian army in the First World War - after he had started the journal "Logos" (Saint Petersburg / Tübingen) together with Max Weber and Georg Simmel in 1910? Maybe. On both sides Kant's 'dream' of perpetual peace was dreamed and confronted with a reality impected by war. The aim of the Russo-German philosophical Research Group is to show that there were positive disputes and cooperation besides political conflicts. The first ones we want to take up. Intellectual relations between Russians and Germans were our starting point and are meant to be a fututre issue, as well. We want to proceed the contacts between Russian and German thinkers and artists and build on a long tradition of intellectual exchange beyond the borders of nations and disciplines. Not least because it were philosophers and poets, like F. W. J. Schelling, F. M. Dostoyevsky, or B. Pasternak, whose real or notional dialogues raise our hopes that dreaming Kant's "sweet dream" is not for vain.
The Russo-German philosophical Research Group (RdpK) was a group of students and graduates at Humboldt-University, Berlin (2011-2018). We met to plan academic collaborative or individual projects, to discuss our own texts and ideas. Though we started as a reader circle of Russian and German students with philosophical interests, we were neither confined to Russo-German topics nor to philosophy.
We also helped you to organize (undergraduate) events and organized symposia, film screenings, lectures and more.
Ivan Boldyrev, Sascha Freyberg, Vera Kolkutina, Carina Pape, Willi Reinecke, Holger Sederström, Alexey Trotsak
230 years of answering the question:
What is enlightenment?