Eschatological Optimism


SKU: Eschatological


By Daria Platonova Dugina

Translated by Jafe Arnold

Edited by John Stachelski

356 pages / Released August 2023 / Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook.


In the Myth of the Cave as told in Plato’s Republic, a prisoner of the cave of illusions escapes and comes to know the true reality of the outside world and the heavens above, only to realize that he must make a return descent to enlighten his fellow humans — at the risk of sorrow and even death. Socrates insists that the true philosopher and just statesman does not rest content in the bliss of ascended knowledge and harmony, but dares to live, think, teach, and struggle in the world of illusions, here and now. Eschatological Optimism, the posthumous philosophical testimony of Daria Platonova Dugina, explores and develops this ancient idea amidst the overwhelming kaleidoscope of the cave of the modern world. Engaging a vast spectrum of philosophical, theological, sociological, and literary perspectives, Dugina shows that the decision to decipher and face the illusions of our “reality” is only the beginning of an intellectual, existential, spiritual, and political journey which diverse thinkers, ancient and modern, have dared to undertake. At once a philosophical theory, a hermeneutic lens, and a way of life, “Eschatological Optimism” is a watchword, orientation, and mission that inspires one to dare to know, live and die for the higher principles that forever shine through and beyond the cave.


Table of Contents

From the Translator and Publisher

From the Editor: On and For Dasha

Foreword – The Maiden Slain by the Ray of the Logos


Part I: Eschatological Optimism

Eschatological Optimism: Sources, Development, and Main Directions 

Eschatological Optimism and the Metaphysics of War  

Athos, the Feminine Principle, Apophaticism, and Eschatological Optimism

Part II: The Feminine Principle and the Problem of the Subject 

Woman and Tradition

The War of the Sexes 

Homo Hierarchicus: Tripartite Anthropology and the Experience of Hierarchical Society

The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism 

The Sublime and the Aesthetics of Great Pan 

The Poor Subject 

The Russian Kitezhian, Oleg Fomin-Shakhov

Andrei Bely’s Petersburg and Infernal Russia 

The Political Subject of Populism and the Problem of “Unhappy Consciousness”

Part III: Neoplatonism and the Ideal Polis

The Political Philosophy of Proclus Diadochus  

The Political Platonism of Emperor Julian 


Emperor Julian, Empire and Neoplatonism

The Apophatic Moment 

Apophatic Tradition in the Theology of Dionysius the Areopagite

Part IV: Philosophical Fragments and the Involution of Modernity 

The Voluptuous Universe of Lucretius Carus  

Wolffian Theology and Gogol’s Insight into Decay

Bergson and Popper’s “Open Society”: A Traditionalist View

Dark Deleuze: A Postmodern Reading of Leibniz’s Monadology

Afterword – Daria Dugina: Philosophy as Destiny


Daria Platonova Dugina (1992-2022) was a Russian philosopher, journalist, political analyst, and artist. Dugina studied philosophy at Moscow State University and Bordeaux Montaigne University, specializing in Neoplatonism, and was an active member of the International Eurasian Movement. Her life was tragically cut short by a car bomb on the night of 20 August 2022. Eschatological Optimism is the first volume of Dugina’s posthumously collected works to appear in English.