Vladimir Odoevsky as a possible source for the technological hopes of Fyodorov
Fyodorov’s philosophy is mainly devoted to ethical problems. It is a response to the moral philosophies of Kant and Nietzsche from Fyodorov’s particular brand of orthodox christianity. It now seems to me that some of the ideas in the “Philosophy of the Common Task” have their origins in a piece of early science fiction writing of Vladimir Odoevsky produced in the 1830s. Perhaps Fyodorov took his interest in technical progress from that, and also his concern for the organisation of scientific activity.
Odoevsky was the director of the Rumyantsev museum in the period when it was still located in Saint Petersburg, and he died in 1869 – before Fyodorov began to work there. The museum, together with the library was transferred to Moscow in 1861. Odoevsky’s story “4338″ exists only in fragments and has only partly been published. Among other things, it contains the idea of planet-wide climate control and a proposal of how to organise a hierarchy for the management of scientific research. (In Odoevsky’s 4338 it is the poets and philosophers who direct the process and other scientists support them).
I think the problem of the organisation and classification of science was relevant to Fyodorov in his work as a librarian. He created the first catalogue of the library (which would eventually become the Russian National Library). However, it is logical to think that in fact Odoevsky might also have contributed to this as Fyodorov’s predecessor in the library.Previous post in this section