Russian Philosophical

Society (RFO)

Voluntary public scientific organization uniting the citizens of Russia, who lead scientific, pedagogical and educational work in the sphere of philosophy. Society is open to all interested in philosophy, as well as for those who do not have Russian citizenship, regardless of their place of residence.

RPhS was established in 1992 as a successor to the Philosophical Society of the USSR, created in 1971. It has an extensive network of primary organizations and offices (more than 150) in almost all regions of Russia, includes as eight associate members of Philosophical Societies (Moscow, Saint- Petersburg, Ural, Don, Yakutsk, etc.) and has about 6 thousand members.

The main directions of the RPhS include organizing and conducting research activities, publishing activities, establishment and development of scientific communication, both within Russia and abroad. Every year, on the initiative of the Company or its direct involvement in the whole country held about 150 conferences, seminars, round tables, meetings, etc., much of which is devoted to global issues.

RPhS is a full member of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and its members invariably participate in World Congress of Philosophy. The most important form of creative communication philosophers are Russian Congress of Philosophy, held under the auspices of the RPhS once in 3-4 years in different regions of Russia. At congresses there always work some sections, round table discussions, seminars in the field of philosophical and socio-political issues and globalization. Thus, at the First Russian Congress of Philosophy «Man — Philosophy — Humanism», held in 1997 in St. Petersburg, deep concern was expressed over the state of the spiritual health of society and its basic values. Members of Congress supported the retention of priority values to revive Russian culture, which would be able to without loss of identity and tradition to meet the challenges of globalization, information civilization and market relations.

Second Russian Congress on Philosophy «The XXI century: Russia’s future in the philosophical dimension» was held in Yekaterinburg (1999) and became the largest event in the philosophical life of our country in the late twentieth century, as the prospects of development of Russia were considered through the prism of holistic peace and global relations.

The following Russian Congress of Philosophy were held: in Rostov-on-Don, «Rationalism and culture on the brink of the Millennium III» (2002), in Moscow, «Philosophy and the Future of Civilization» (2005), in Novosibirsk, «Science. Philosophy. Society» (2009) and in Nizhny Novgorod, «Philosophy in the modern world: the dialogue of worldviews» (2012). These congresses consistently considered the topic of globalization and its impact as one of the major issues.

World Congress of Philosophy are also of great importance for the development of globalistics. The congresses are held since 1900, once in 5 years and the members of the RPhS always take an active part in them.

So, at the XVIII Congress of «philosophical understanding of man», held in 1988 in Brighton (England), though still not too common, but it is a clear concern of the world community of philosophical global challenges and future of humanity was considered.

The following XIX Congress held in 1993 in Moscow was called «Humanity is at a turning point: philosophical perspectives». A clearly anxiety about the future of life on Earth and growing concern over the widening gap in socio-economic development of various countries and regions of the world appeared there. It is important to emphasize that until 1993 in the world philosophical thought there had not yet been used the term «globalization», and focus was made only on the global challenges of current times, besides with a clear emphasis on the environment.


XX Congress on «Philosophy in the education of mankind», which took place in 1998 in Boston (USA) increased attention to global issues on quite a wide range of issues appeared — from environmental issues to education, ethics and global consciousness. In addition, for the first time in the scientific program the term used «globalization» was officially used. The reparticipated about 60 Russian philosophers. They actively participated in all sections and round tables, and discussed global issues, as well as organized a meeting with the American philosophy, where, together with colleagues from different countries were engaged into a dialogue on the responsibility for maintaining the security of philosophers in the modern world.

However, the philosophers of the world started to talk about globalization in the next — XXI World Congress of Philosophy called «Philosophy Facing global challenges», which was held in Istanbul (Turkey) in 2003, i.e. 35 years later after the Club of Rome called on the international community to unite to confront global threats. Since the main theme of the congress was devoted entirely to the world’s problems, it was directly or indirectly reflected in most of the presentations and discussions. It is noteworthy that along with the active use of the term «globalization», the set of sessions was devoted to topics in the title which used such terms as «global system», «global responsibility», «world problems», «global institutions», «global justice», «global capitalism», «global age», etc. However, the philosophical analysis (compared to previous congresses), although shifted in the humanitarian sphere, nevertheless still was largely based on data of natural science and science. Philosophers also actively (although to a lesser extent than before) used empirical material operated with facts and figures, reinforcing the more convincing for their theoretical positions and conclusions.

Keeping in mind the main issue of the Congress, the Russian scientists who have reached at that time significant results in the study of global issues and globalization processes, were thoroughly prepared for it. In particular, the Russian delegation of 150 people arrived at Istanbul from Novorossiysk on specially chartered for this purpose ship «Maria Ermolova» and then in memory of the expulsion in 1922 of the largest Russian philosophers, held a symbolic return of the «philosophical steamer» at home. Even two years before the Congress, they began active work on the preparation and publication of an international multidisciplinary encyclopedia «Global Studies» in Russian and English languages. This project, which combined efforts of ultimately 445 scientists and experts from 28 countries, was successfully implemented and appreciated by the world philosophical community (see: www.globalistika.ru ). The discussion of encyclopedia was included in the main program of the congress, which had a great success during the presentation. This fact, together with arriving of the «philosophical steamer» to Istanbul with an unusual mission, made the participation of the Russian delegation at the World Congress of Philosophy not just notable international event, but it also significantly adjusted the attitude of the international community to the philosophical achievements of Russian science and global studies in particular. The statements of prominent scientists of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and reviews received by the Bureau of the Congress after the RPhS (see Bulletin of the RPhS. 2003. No. 3, 4) prove this fact.

XXII World Congress of Philosophy «Rethinking Philosophy Today» (Seoul, South Korea, 2008), was not an exception in understanding of the global world. Opening the Congress the president of the Korean Organizing Committee Prof. Myung-Hyun Lee focused his speech on global issues: «Today mankind faces grandiose changes. That’s why Congress is called «Rethinking Philosophy Today» in order to reflect on the philosophical level the state of philosophical thought, facing global challenges and threats to the future of civilization. A new era requires a new philosophy, a new grammar of thinking. «The speech of General Director of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura to the Congress was filled with global thematics. In particular, he said that «global issues approached closely to mankind and require an immediate solution. Like no one else philosophers are able to see these issues and they should try to develop a methodology to solve them. This task is not easy. Philosophers and scientists of certain states are unable to solve it separately». Matsuura expressed hope that the World Congress of Philosophy will help to determine the development of human civilization for the next five years.

These speeches set the appropriate tone for the work of the Congress, which was different from previous ones, because here a conversation about contemporary issues of mankind was associated primarily not with concrete figures, facts and graphs, borrowed from the natural sciences and exact sciences, but with philosophical understanding of them, when themes of globalization and cosmopolitanism, civil society and world civilization, national identity and global outlook came to the forefront. The issue of cosmopolitanism was firstly formulated with the utmost clarity and the discussion was versatile and thorough. We can say that philosophy turns to issues of worldview and ethical plan in understanding of global issues of world. It is quite natural, that a modern world came to such a level of development that it cannot be developed in the future without a proper regulation (control). But morality and law underlies the control of public life. In other words, there is no control of society beyond moral and legal regulation. That is why human values, a global outlook, planetary ethics are more actively discussed and debated also at international forums.

Mentioned activity of the Russian Philosophic Society (RPhS) is fully reflected in the pages of its main magazine — «Herald of the Russian Philosophical Society».

Besides the regular column «Globalistics», where new ideas and discussion materials on this topic are published, materials are printed periodically, considering various aspects of contemporary global issues, ecology, etc.

Many offices and organizations of RPhS are also engaged in an active publishing activity, which is closely related to globalistics.

As already mentioned the work on the preparation and publication of interdisciplinary encyclopedia «Globalistics» in Russian and English languages (Moscow: Raduga, 2003) was performed under the auspices of the RPhS and on its basis from the end of the 1990s, In 2003, it was titled «Book of the Year», according to the results of the annual contest of publishers of Russia in the nomination «Encyclopedist», and in 2004 it received the International Prize named after N.K. Baybakova.

The work on the preparation and publication of the International Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Global Studies (Moscow, St. Petersburg, 2006 — in Russian lang.) was held under the auspices of the RPhS and on its basis.

A scientific section «Globalistics» works under the Presidium of the RPhS (Chairman — Prof. A. N. Chumakov, Academic Secretary — Assoc. A. D. Korolev), which provides methodological guidance to an ongoing seminar «Philosophical and Methodological studies of globalistics».