S.L. Frank (1877–1950) was a leading figure in the fascinating flowering of Russian philosophical thought that spanned roughly the first five decades of this century. Frank was expelled from Russia in 1922 and worked in European exile until his death in London. His most important works are The Object of Knowledge (1915), an examination of the limits of abstract knowledge; The Soul of Man (1917), a work of philosophical psychology; The Foundations of Social Being (1930), a work of social philosophy; The Unknowable (1939); The Light Shineth in Darkness (1949), an exploration of the nature of evil in the world; and Reality and Man (published posthumously in 1956), a metaphysics of human being.
—From the translator’s preface
“Seymon Lyudvigovich Frank, the author of the volume here made available for the first time in English translation, was one of the leading Russian philosophers of this century; some authorities consider him the most outstanding Russian philosopher of any age….”Man’s Soul is a book which perfectly exemplifies the generous conception of the mission and competence of philosophy characteristic of Frank and the other members of the Russian metaphysical movement.
Russian philosopher S. L. Frank here examines the unceasing struggle between good and evil within the limits of this world. Frank combines an interpretation of his life-experience in the light of his Christian faith with his overall philosophical intuition of metaphysical realism.
The Unknowable is Frank’s most mature work and possibly the greatest work of Russian philosophy of the 20th century. It is a work in which epistemology, ontology, and religious philosophy are intertwined: the soul transcends outward to knowledge of other souls and thereby gains knowledge of itself, becomes itself for the first time; and the soul transcends inward to gain knowledge of God and acquires stable, certain being for the first time in this knowledge of God.Frank’s