Title in original language: Filozofia a svetonázor v recepcii členov slovenského spolku „Detvan“ v Prahe do roku 1900
Author: Blažena Pavlovkinová
Title in English: Philosophy and worldview in the interpretations of the members of the Detvan association of Slovaks in Prague until 1900
Journal: Česko-slovenská historická ročenka 24, 1, 2022, pp. 11-29
Abstract: At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, ideological differences began to emerge in the Slovak national movement under the influence of intellectual stimuli to which the younger generation of the Slovak intelligentsia was exposed during their university studies. The Detvan association, which brought together Slovak students in Prague, created opportunities for ideological transfer, including the fields of philosophy and worldview. This paper’s aim is to identify the ideas developed by European intellectuals and the ideological currents that became the subject of discussions at the association’s meetings, influencing the thinking of Detvan’s members. In addition to publications aimed at the public at large, important sources documenting the ideological inspirations and the formation of opinions by the Detvan members, this paper includes the minutes of the internal meetings of the association, kept at the archives of Charles University in Prague. The analysis of these minutes has shown that, until 1900 and especially in the 1890s, the self-education of the members was to a significant extent also aimed at expanding their knowledge of philosophy, expected to serve as a springboard for the formation of political thinking and perception of the world. Themes of the papers the members presented and discussions held in the association included the work and thought of Charles Darwin, Immanuel Kant, Ernest Renan, 1 Štúdia bola vypracovaná v rámci projektov UK/341/2021 Ideové transfery a formovanie spoločenského myslenia slovenských študentov v Prahe a vo Viedni na prelome 19. a 20. storočia a VEGA 1/0139/21 Slovenský intelektuál na križovatke tradície a moderny, riešených na Filozofickej fakulte UK v Bratislave. STUDIE 12 Tomáš G. Masaryk, Arthur Schopenhauer as well as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The members also discussed ideas expressed in the fiction of writers Leo Tolstoy, Émile Zola, Henrik Ibsen and H. G. Wells. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the younger generation of the Slovak intelligentsia was thus exposed to the ideas of the labour movement and socialism, female emancipation, Darwinism, positivism, naturalism and secularisation. The association offered a platform for the transfer of ideas whose freedom contrasted with the formal and predominantly conservative character of the official university milieu in Prague. Among the most active Detvan members in the 1890s, who contributed their own lectures, papers and reflections, were Ján Smetanay, Vavro Šrobár and Jozef Ruman. After their departure, the focus of the association’s self-education began to shift to national history and literature, lectures on Slovak grammar and literary criticism.
Keywords: Detvan, transfer of ideas, philosophy, worldview, Slovak national movement, students in Prague