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Yugoslav philosophy

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Title: Yugoslav philosophy  
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Subject: LGBT history in Yugoslavia, Kosovo War, Creation of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia, Breakup of Yugoslavia
Collection: Western Philosophy by Country
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Yugoslav philosophy

Yugoslav philosophy parallels the evolution of philosophy in Europe in general. Yugoslav philosophy drew upon the broader currents of European philosophy, and in turn contributed to their growth.


Modern philosophy in the yugoslav territories started with the formation of Belgrade Higher School in early 19th century as a liberal court philosophy, replicating theories of John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and other western philosophers. They wrote mostly textbook theories about broader subjects such as logics, psychology and pedagogy and most prominent figure of this period was Alimpije Vasiljević. At the end of 19th century this school was transgressed by Branislav Petronijević, leading philospher of Royal Yugoslavia. His idealist racionalist theory was known as the hypermetaphysics, with his three principal philosophical works being Principi Metafizike (Principles of Metaphysics), O Vrednosti života (About Value of Life) and Istorija novije filozofije (History of a Newer Philosophy). Petronijević had many scholars and followers, among others Ksenija Atanasijević, first major female yugoslav philosopher, who slid into more mystic theories of new scolastics. After 6 January Dictatorship Yugoslav philosophy as a whole moved towards political right, with the thinkers such as Vladimir Dvorniković obtaing positions in the government. Dvorniković was a prominent advocate of yugoslav integral nationalism and his most famous work was "Characterology of the Yugoslavs". There was also a strong irrationalist current with Albert Bazala, who became rector of University of Zagreb in 1932. At the time universities were under the strong religious infuence and the most prominent thinker of this scool was Slovenian Aleš Ušeničnik, philosopher of neo-Thomism.

On the other side social-democratic movement had its own prominent theoriticians such as Dimitrije Tucović and Sima Marković, who was killed in the Stalin Purges. After the World War II socialists took over the power and rejected all former philosophy as idealistic and burgeois. Marxism-leninism was introduced with revolutionary philosophers such as Boris Ziherl or Dušan Nedeljković. This theory later evolved towards humanistic marxism with Praxis School, which originated in Zagreb and Belgrade during the 1960s. Prominent figures among the school's founders include Gajo Petrović, Milan Kangrga, Mihailo Marković and Predrag Vranicki. From 1964 to 1974 they published the journal Praxis, which was renowned as one of the leading international journals in marxist theory. Apart from Praxis yugoslav phylosophy production was strong specially in SR Slovenia with marxist Božidar Debenjak and phenomenoly school of Tine Hribar. In the seventies Ljubljana Lacanian School with the journal Problemi was founded by young followers of the theories of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. A specific feature of the Ljubljana School was to connect the Marxist and Hegelian traditions with Lacanian psychoanalysis and structuralism, with its most famous philosopher being Slavoj Žižek. After the breakup of Yugoslavia newly formed countries continued philosophical tradition in varios directions, but mostly abandoning the principles of marxism.

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