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Ivan Ivanovich Ivanovich Lapshin

musicologist , philosopher

Ivan Ivanovich Lapshin, Russian Neo-Kantian.


Lapshin, Ivan Ivanovich was born in 1870 in Moscow.


Studied under Vvedensky at University of St Petersburg.


Professor of philosophy at Petersburg University. Emigrated. Professor at Prague University from 1923. A. Rimskii-Korsakov. Dva Ocherka, Petersburg, 1922, Zavetnye Dumy Skriabina, Petersburg, 1922, and Khudozhestvennoe Tvorchestvo, 1922.

Other works in Czech.


Religion is bad because it forces people to rely on outside authority, rather than becoming self-reliant.


Lapshin's principal work on the laws of thought (1906), was partly the result of study at the British Museum and other European locations after his graduation from the University of St Petersburg. He was among the Russian philosophers expelled from the Soviet Union in 1922, and spent the rest of his life in Prague. He was a scholar of notable breadth, and wrote extensively on artistic, and especially musical, creativity. Lapshin followed Vvedensky in giving prominence to the ‘laws of thought’, especially the law of contradiction, in his version of Kant's critical philosophy.

Unlike Vvedensky, Lapshin minimized the distinction between space and time and the categories of the understanding: they are all conditions of experience. And since the law of contradiction applies within spatial and temporal limits, it is necessarily restricted to phenomena. Lapshin was starkly opposed to Vvedensky in his vehement renunciation of metaphysics: things in themselves are unknowable.

In particular, he insisted on the subjective character of mystical experience. He gave considerable attention to the problem of other minds and its history, concluding that although the immediate perception of other selves is an illusion, they have an ‘immanent reality’ for the epistemological subject: they are a hypothetical construct of the same order as the atomic theory.