Abstract

The paper summarizes the materials of a round table discussion (June 17, 2014) on the sociological heritage of Alexander Lappo-Danilevsky (1863-1919), one of the outstanding scientists and organizers of science in Russia in the early twentieth century. As a professional historian, he made a great contribution to the development of theoretical questions of historical science. He called his approach the methodology of history, seeing it in a broad sense as a theory of historical knowledge or historical epistemology. On the basis of the methodology of history Lappo-Danilevsky formulated the theory of social sciences, including sociology. His approach to the sociological study of history can be described as historical meta-sociology. The article presents the results of an exploration of Lappo-Danilevsky’s archive, which contains the manuscripts of his sociological works. The archive materials provide new information on the history of Russian sociology of the early twentieth century. Thus, in the course of lectures “Scientific basis of sociology ...” Lappo-Danilevsky, considering the range of approaches of contemporary sociology (Comte’s positivism, biological and psychological approach), deeply analyzed Marxism or materialist explanation of history, which he regarded as a kind of nomothetic approach to history that has long tradition. He saw the prospects for the development of the materialist conception of history in idealistic and epistemological reinterpretation of Marxism. Lappo-Danilevsky traced the prehistory of sociology in philosophical and scientific conceptions of the XVIII century, in the changes that have taken place in the European society under the influence of the French Revolution. His lectures ended with the discussion on the problems of modern sociology, particularly, on the problems of abstract sociology and historical sociology.

Keywords: A. Lappo-Danilevsky, meta-sociology, historical sociology, Marxism, neo-Kantianism