Multiple Types of "The Good" in Hryhorii Skovoroda's Philosophical Discourse: Dobro vs Blaho : [book chapter]

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Dovga, Larysa
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This chapter is dedicated to the formation of philosophical terminology in the history of Early-Modern Ukrainian culture. Two philosophical concepts - dobro and blaho (добро and благо) - are the focus here. Both are related to notions of good and wellbeing, but contextual nuances may affect their discrete meanings rather significantly. My main goal is to track the differences between them and discover the rationale behind them. I consider the manner in which these two words functioned in the works by the prominent 18th century Ukrainian philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda. My study is based on a close reading of thirteen of his colloquies. In the process, I have also tackled the problem of translation posed by these complicated terms. My study has led to the following conclusions: 1) Skovoroda uses the word blaho when discoursing about the Creator, the Sacral World, and reflections of the sacral in profane human life. In such contexts he uses blaho as a philosophical concept. 2) Skovoroda reserves the term dobro for the profane sphere, while describing things that are positive from a moral point of view. In such cases, the semantic field of the word is clearly defined, though it can hardly be called a philosophical term. 3) The common, conversational application of dobro does not have clearly defined boundaries and as such it does not represent a discrete concept. 4) When translating Skovoroda’s works into other languages, it is desirable to select the closest equivalents of each term. For example, the Greek κάλλος (τὸ κάλλον) or τὸ εὐ and the English Everyday Good are good analogs for dobro. On the other hand, the Greek τὸ ἀγαθόν and the English The Highest Good or The Ultimate Good closely render blaho.
dobro, blaho, lexeme, terms, philosophical concept, early-modern Ukrainian language, Hryhorii Skovoroda, book chapter
Dovga L. M. Multiple Types of "The Good" in Hryhorii Skovoroda's Philosophical Discourse: Dobro vs Blaho / [Larysa M. Dovga] // The Linguistics of Vocabulary / ed. Christine Hansen. - New York: Nova Science Publisher, 2018. - Chapter 1. - P. 1-44.