Nikolai Onufrijewitsch Lossky

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Nikolai Onufrijewitsch Losski (around 1900)

Nikolay Lossky ( Russian Николай Онуфриевич Лосский ; born November 24, jul. / 6. December  1870 greg. Krāslava , Vitebsk ; † 24. January 1965 in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois in Paris ) was a Russian philosopher, theologian and Logician. He was a proponent of an intuitionist epistemology and was strongly influenced by the Russian Orthodox Church.


Losski was in the German Empire from 1901 to 1905 and carried out philosophical studies with Wilhelm Windelband in Strasbourg, Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig and Georg Elias Müller in Göttingen. He received a doctorate in philosophy in 1907. After his return to the Russian Empire he became a private lecturer and soon afterwards assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Saint Petersburg . In 1916 he became a full professor.

After the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, he began to campaign for a religious and spiritual awakening in Soviet Russia, while at the same time criticizing the excesses of violence in the Russian Civil War . With luck, he survived an elevator accident that prompted him to profess his Russian Orthodox faith and openly support the church under the direction of Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky . Thereupon Losski lost his professorship and was expelled from Soviet Russia in November 1922 on the Philosophership .

He was invited by Tomáš Masaryk to the Russian University in Prague, where he became part of a group of expatriated Russian philosophers that included Nikolai Berdjajew , Sergei Bulgakow and Peter Struve . From 1942 to 1945 Losski taught at the University of Bratislava.

Losski fled to Paris in 1945 and gave lectures at the Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge . In 1947 he accepted a professorship in Russian Orthodox theology at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. In 1961 he returned to France after the death of his son Vladimir Lossky . He died there in 1965 after a long illness.


  • The Foundation of Intuitivism ; (German) 1908
  • Manual of logic ; (German translation by W. Sesemann) BG Teubner Verlag Berlin Leipzig 1927
  • Istorija russkoi filossofii История русской философии; 1951 (History of Russian Philosophy, online )
    • (Engl.) History of Russian Philosophy. George Allen and Unwin, London 1952 ( online )

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