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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-N108-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2004
Retrieved December 04, 2021, from

Article Summary

The origins of Romanian philosophical thinking can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. The first attempts were made in monasteries and princely courts; the language used was Church Slavonic or Latin. The first original philosophical work in Romanian dates from 1698 and was written by Dimitrie Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia. The first Romanian philosophical school, the Transylvanian School, formed in Transylvania at the end of the eighteenth century, was an expression of Enlightenment ideas. Romanian philosophical thinking in the nineteenth century was imbued with the ideas of the Enlightenment and Kantianism.

Romanian modern culture and, implicitly, modern Romanian philosophy were born in the second half of the nineteenth century, under the influence of Titu Maiorescu, a major cultural personality. At the peak of its evolution between the two world wars, Romanian philosophy had the following characteristic features: it was closely related to literature, in the sense that most Romanian philosophers were also important writers; it showed excessive preoccupation with the issue of Romanian identity; it was involved in Romania’s historical, political and ideological debates, fuelling attitudes in favour of or against Westernization and modernization; it synchronized quickly with Western philosophical thinking; and it was (and still is) lacking in ethical thought.

During the first half of the twentieth century, Romanian philosophers focused mainly on discussing the status of metaphysics and its right to existence, followed by any individual efforts to set up an original philosophical system; secondly, they were interested in the issue of identity, the theme of Romanian-ness, which led to the development of the philosophy of culture and history, and to the involvement of philosophers in politics. The most important original philosophical constructions were those of Lucian Blaga and Constantin Noica.

During the communist regime, an initial period of complete stagnation of independent thinking was followed, at the beginning of the 1960s, by a relative liberalization that favoured research in logic, the philosophy of science, and the writing of literary-philosophical essays.

Romanian philosophy since 1989 has made efforts to restructure its institutional framework, reclaim the formerly forbidden fields, and synchronize - through translations and studies - with contemporary world philosophy.

Citing this article:
Petreu, Marta et al. Romania, philosophy in, 2004, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N108-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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