This article is a continuation of the article "Russian Universities and the Russian Intelligentsia" Part 1, published in this journal, №3, 2016. The author discusses the problem of the Russian intelligentsia formation and the role, which the Russian university community played in the process. He also demonstrated the origins of the "groundlessness", which has always distinguished the Russian intelligentsia, and analyzed the reasons for its invariable opposition to any authority. The author proves the thesis that the revolutionaries of all stripes represented a semi-intelligentsia: instead of thick books, these people read the brochures, and they replaced the philosophy with the party ideology. Semi-intelligentsia played a leading role in all French Revolutions, and later in the Russian one. The article analyzes the destiny of Russian universities during the years of Soviet power. The years of "stagnation" meant already the agony of Russian universities, which had lost all the impulses to scientific activities. The experimenters were without instruments, theorists were without books ─ they were isolated from the world; they were under a bureaucratic ban. The author gives a brilliant analysis of the role and significance of the Russian intelligentsia in the Russian and world history. In his opinion, the main distinctive characteristic of the Russian intelligentsia was unselfishness. In the West, “freedom” and “equality” meant protecting group and class interests; in Russia, however, these words were understood as “brotherhood” with all oppressed people without any self-interest.
The article "Russian Universities and the Russian Intelligentsia" was written at the request of Inna Kizhner to work with students. According to Inna, it was in 1996, when she was working with a group of economists. She might be wrong. I remember that year very well: A.I. Fet was in America for a long time and returned to Russia only in December. Apparently, he started writing this article not earlier than in 1997. He wrote about half of the text at once up to the chapter "Russian Universities before the Revolution and the Emergence of the Russian Intelligentsia," and then he gave it up for a few years. At some moment, Inna reminded him of her request. A.I. Fet half-heartedly returned to the writing of his manuscript, having marked in it that it is necessary to insert a certain section from "Instinct." At that time, he was absorbed in the work on the book, but, yielding to Inna’s insistence he wrote the last half, ending it with the words "Russian universities, Russian science and science education will have to be rebuilt. We need to overcome this tragedy quietly. You cannot be angry with these swindlers: they do not know what they do". As such, the article was ready in 2001; then A. I. Fet added the chapter "The Russian Intelligentsia" from "Instinct", prefacing it with a small foreword.
The subject of this article is the role of philosophy in the history from Antiquity till nowadays. Namely in Ancient Greece the idea of the omnipotence of speculative knowledge appears, which has found its particularly strong expression in Pythagorean doctrine. The idea of omnipotence belongs is common to great researchers who are prone to unjustified extension of the scope of their methods. In particular the harm caused to the scientific knowledge of Plato is analyzed. The success of science has brought to life the fantastic philosophy of rationalism, and this science was undoubtedly the Greek geometry. Under the influence of Plato and of Euclidean geometry theology arises in the Middle ages. Only in the eighteenth century science in our sense has become the catalyst of progress. The crucial role was played by Newton, who, by establishing differential and integral calculus, had substantiated the philosophy of empiricism, and had secure its historic victory. Communism as well as fascism grew out of the so-called "German classical philosophy", which was the continuation of the medieval philosophy of rationalism. Yet scientists, unlike priests of the past, do not undertake the attempt to build the unified worldview. The appearance of the objective science was a rejection of important types of previous knowledge. At the same time the humanistic weltanschauung of the New age stands in accordance with science and ready to take her new discoveries. It opens up the creative freedom to shape the future of humankind.