Sergiy Kurbatov

One of the most famous stories, connected with Diogenes is about his search for honest man―with a lamp during daytime. Perhaps, the light of this lamp is an analogy of philosophy, which is intended to bring a kind of light to our everyday life by opening the new dimensions and senses of it? Maybe, due to this light, the philosopher changes other peoples, societies, states and cultures? These are just a few from a long chain of possible questions regarding the miraculous presence of the true philosopher―and philosophy per se. Since Socrates’s time philosophy has traditionally provided more questions than answers―and this is a kind of destiny for this area of knowledge with its specific texts.

During the millenniums of the history of philosophical thought, we could identify hundreds of such texts. They allow us to open the paradoxical trajectories of wisdom both in internal and external worlds, but, as the texts, they are stable, closed, self-identical. So, for everybody, who likes to think, a real existential luxury is a meeting with a real philosopher. Later, such a meeting could be transformed into an open space for the mutual search for the nature of good and evil, sense of life and death and discussions regarding other eternal, philosophical questions. If we try to explain this experience metaphorically, it is like a difference between reading about beautiful seacoast and the direct observation of it.

I was lucky to meet such a philosopher and remember very well my first meeting with Professor Serhiy Krymskiy, his shining eyes and a charismatic dialogue. Maybe, such passionate dialogue represents an essence of philosophy as the kingdom of “cogito” in its pure manifestation? Perhaps those, who attended the lectures of Professor Krymskiy remember this situation as a particular moment of philosophical truth. Serhiy Krymskiy was always ready to open to external observers an “internal kitchen” of philosophy. And it was so exciting “to read” this person and to compare these readings with impressions from his texts. It is important that these texts usually are not only rational and logical, but also poetical and mystical, and such specific cultural “spices” make the academic texts of Serhiy Krymskiy multi-dimensional and alive.

Serhiy Krymskiy liked to travel through time and space in his philosophical meditations. In a spatial sense the main destination and point of eternal returning for him was Kyiv as a material representation of Ukrainian culture and Eastern Slavonic spirituality. His life was like a symbolic travelling through Kyiv with the special stops at different “places of memory”, like St Sophia Cathedral or Volodymyrska Hill. In temporal sense Professor Krymskiy was looking for the roots and spiritual sources of our culture and preferred to turn his mind to the times of Kievan Rus’ and his favorite Baroque period of Ukrainian history. Serhiy Krymskiy was an excellent guide and profound writer of texts. The philosophical light of these texts continues to remain resonate with us, creating bright Ukrainian future.

The author expresses his gratitude for support with editing of this text to David Schmidt (Fairfield University, USA) and Greg Simons (Uppsala University, Sweden).

Photo: Serhiy Krymskiy (source: