Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
LITERATUROVEDCHESKII
ZHURNAL
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal

“DETERMINE THE MEANING OF WORDS…”: ON THE SOURCES OF PUSHKIN’S MAXIM

Dushenko Konstantin V.

Konstantin V. Dushenko – PhD in History, Senior Researcher, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimovsky Prospekt 51/21, 117997, Moscow, Russia. E-mail: kdushenko@nln.ru

Abstract

The maxim “Determine the meaning of words, and you will save the world from half of its delusions” is given in the draft of Pushkin’s article “Review of Reviews” (1831) with a reference to Descartes. However, in this form it belongs to Pushkin himself. Somewhat similar ideas can be found in Descartes’ “Rules for the Guidance of the Mind” (c. 1628–1629), a letter to M. Mersenne (1629) and “Discourse on Method” (1637). However, Pushkin apparently used a secondary source. Such a source could be Helvetius’ treatise “On the Mind” (1758).

Keywords

linguistics; scientific terminology; A.S. Pushkin; R. Descartes; C.-A. Helvetius.

Recieved

07.07.2022

Accepted

04.08.2022

For citation

Dushenko, K.V. “‘Determine the meaning of words…’: on the sources of Pushkin’s maxim”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 4(58), 2022, pp. 169–175.

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.58.09

References

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