Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
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Eeva Korteniemi
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2015-2016

Daniela Steila, University of Turin, Italy

“Individual Subjectivity and the Collective in Russian Thought (XIX-XX Centuries)”
(September 2015)

Daniela Steila teaches History of Russian Philosophy at the University of Turin (Italy), and is coordinator of local research programmes on Russian philosophy and intellectual history. She studied in Turin, Saint Petersburg, and Paris, and received her PhD at the University of Florence in 1991. She has been V isiting F ellow at the Aleksanteri Institute in 2010. Dr. Steila has worked on Russian culture in XIX and XX centuries, early Russian Marxism, the reception of empiriocriticism in Russia, Russian philosophical historiography, L. S. Vygotsky's thought, philosophy in Soviet era. Among her books are Nauka i revoljucija. Recepcija empiriokriticizma v russkoj kul'ture (1877-1910) (Akademicheskij proekt, Moskva 2013), and Genesis and Development of Plekhanov's Theory of Knowledge (Kluwer, Dordrecht 1991). Some recent essays of hers can be found in the volumes Russkij marksizm I: Lenin – Plekhanov (ROSSPEN, Moskva 2013), and Problemy i diskussii v filosofii Rossii vtoroj poloviny XX v. Sovremennyj vzgljad (ROSSPEN, Moskva 2014).

Short description of ongoing research:
When considering the specific context of Russian culture (before, during and after the Soviet period) Russian intellectuals and western scholars working on Russian intellectual history often ) stress the importance of peculiar relations between Individual Subjectivity and the Collective –  the dimension of personal freedom and responsibility on the one hand, and the higher interests of the society, or the state, or the class on the other . This theme is widely considered as deeply rooted within the Russians’ past and their religious and socio-political traditions—as something very characteristic, running across the whole of Russian history up to the present . The research which I will carry out at the Aleksanteri Institute will focus on the concepts of “individual” and “collective” as they have developed within Russian culture since the 19th century, and on their interlacing. Particularly, I will explore three main fields that are often interwoven: religious-philosophical thought, socio-political thought, natural-scientific thought. In each field, particular attention will be paid to the debates concerning Western European thought, at a time when many relevant works were translated and widely discussed. During my fellowship at the Institute, I will be starting work on a monograph and collecting material for this publication.

Email: ds4659 [at]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Vesa Oittinen and Ira Österberg