Slovakia, philosophy in

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N082-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Until as late as 1918, social and national circumstances were not favourable to the development of philosophy in Slovakia. The enforced retardation of the country had an obviously negative impact on intellectual and cultural life, and stood in the way of the possibility of diversity. That is why the first important Slovak philosophers such as Bayer and Caban emerged only as recently as the seventeenth century. Following this, philosophers of the Enlightenment such as Karlovský, Laurentzy, Steigel and Feješ started to criticize the anti-scientific ideas which still survived. In the first phase of the National Revival Movement, Jan Kollár created a new philosophy of history by postulating the cultural unity of the Slavs. A specific contribution to this theory came from L. Štúr and his followers (Hurban, Hodža, Kellner) who applied it to practical conditions and stressed the necessity of national emancipation for the Slovak nation. Their influence is evident in all further developments of the national movement and its philosophy.

The end of the nineteenth century saw the replacement of this idea by the philosophy of Thomas Masaryk. Slovak cultural life and philosophy, however, only began to develop fully in the context of an independent Czechoslovak Republic after 1918. The mainstream philosophy of the time was rationalistic, evident in the thought of such thinkers as Sv. Štúr, Koreň and Osuský. Philosophy after 1945 was marked by the achievements of Hrušovský, his students and colleagues, whose initial form of neopositivism took on a Marxist dialectical structurology. The importance of Marxism has recently been gradually declining and the Slovak philosophic scene is independently evolving in an atmosphere more in line with other European countries, particularly since the formation of the Slovak Republic in 1993.

    Citing this article:
    Zumr, Josef. Slovakia, philosophy in, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N082-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
    Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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