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Publication Details

Czechoslovak Philosophy of History

(Original title: Československá filozofia dejín)
Filozofia, 24 (1969), 1, 26-35.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The progressive parts of the philosophy of the 18th and 19th century struggle with the church and state absolutism of the 17th century for the new age of reason and morals which become fundamental pillars of modern Europe: reason as the highest knowing capacity, morals as the highest structure of our doing with all democratizing, economic and social consequences. This general relaxation enabled also the Czechoslovak national revival at the end of the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century, which takes place on those philosophical historical bases. In the middle of this clearer conception of life, however, negative powers begin growing; they receive strong stimuli both from irrationalistic theses of the young Rousseau which greatly influenced further developments, particularly the German philosophy of history and its sophistic revaluation of all values, and from moral dualism of German idealistic philosophy in the conception of state (Hegel) and, finally, from paralelly existing economic dualism. Instinct, primary drive, rude roughness is placed against and above reason, law of the strong hand against morals. This ^insurmountable contradiction of the two diametrically different conceptions of life gradually grew stronger until it tragically culminated in the two world wars. With all our modern endeavor, we gave support to the positive, progressive and humanistic powers, and therefore Czechoslovakia could have been considered again, in 1918, as a free and well-developed nation. Consequently, Czechoslovakia did not arise as some artificial state (Kunststaat, as it was named by Golo Mann), but as a philosophically and historically conscious counterbalance against monarchistic, autocratic and totalitarian conceptions. In the last period, decreases took place also with us, but the Slovak national insurrection in 1944 and the postJanuary development in 1968 reconfirm our positive and progressive philosophy of history. Even today, in the federal arrangement of the state, the national question in Czechoslovakia cannot be understood isolationistically and separatisticaliy, but as a mutual completion and enrichment. Since our national revival the national problem was always solved in harmony with international needs, an we take for the highest criterion cultural, moral, social and universal values, to which we subordinate — in contradistinction to other, even big nations — every nationalism. Czechoslovak philosophy of history will continue following these ideals.
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