Transformation Of The Concept Of “Freedom – Responsibility – Law” In Dostoevsky’s Work


The paper attempts to consider the transformation of the concept of ‘freedom – responsibility – law’ in European and Russian traditions. In European cultural tradition this concept has an ancient origin. The legal system has linked the concepts of freedom and responsibility by drawing a red line with regard to the limits of the possible and permissible. The same is not true of the culture of Russia. The interpretation of the concepts of ‘will’ and ‘justice’ from the subject-oriented perspective, non-single-valued nature of interpretation of the role and significance of the law in human life make this construct not universal enough. It is stressed that in the culture of Russia the object-oriented concept of ‘law’ is replaced with the subject-oriented concept of ‘conscience’. The paper analyzes the works by Dostoevsky as a clear proof of such replacement. The Russian writer showed that in human nature, the ideas of freedom and the inner moral component of personality are organically combined, wherein responsibility acts as a mediator. The criterion of both freedom and responsibility of a man is his conscience. Based on the analysis of Dostoevsky’s works, three types of conscience are distinguished by the authors: ‘psychological’, ‘social’ and ‘metaphysical (religious)’. Characteristic features of each type of conscience are given. It is reported that these types of conscience can be observed in the modern cultural and historical realities of Russian society. This fact indicates the transformation of the concept of ‘freedom – responsibility – law’ with the subjective conscience being relevant.

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31 March 2022

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Prokopyeva, M. Y., Tishkina, Y. I., & Shikhardina, L. N. (2022). Transformation Of The Concept Of “Freedom – Responsibility – Law” In Dostoevsky’s Work. In & I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 112-122). European Publisher.