Abstract

Abstract:

This article discusses Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata as a case study of faulty emotional connections. Analysis centers on the story’s unsympathetic hero, the ideologically motivated wife-murderer Pozdnyshev, whose relationships with others are examined in the context of Max Scheler’s phenomenology of emotions. The article intends to demonstrate that the key moral problem in the tale is not that the hero fails to realize the ideal of neighborly love and compassion, which he preaches, but that this very ideal is deeply flawed. Scheler’s theory of empathy, with its distinction between active, productive empathy and the passive, merely reproductive kind, is highly relevant to Tolstoy’s problematics and is used as a tool of both psychological and philosophical analysis.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 147-170
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-04
Open Access
No
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