Dostoevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Metaphysics and Epistemology

Dostoevsky's conception of the human situation is rooted most fundamentally in a traditional Christian dualism: Reality is divided into material and spiritual realms, at the intersection of which stands humanity. Matter and spirit are binary opposites for Dostoevsky, mutually exclusive in essence and attributes. And yet humans partake of both—a situation that generates metaphysical and epistemological puzzles.

As physical inhabitants of the material world, human beings are perishable entities, subject to laws of causal determination of the kind discovered by natural scientists. But as spiritual persons they are eternal and not fully determinable by natural causes. Dostoevsky's sympathies lay on the spiritual side, and accordingly the major part of his philosophizing was devoted to defending such idealist theses as the immortality of the soul (which he considered the basic tenet of Christian belief) and the doctrine of free will (the philosophical...

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This section contains 2,286 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Dostoevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881) Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Dostoevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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