Philosophical and Legal Interpretations of the Deformations of Legal Awareness in the XX - Early XXI Century

  • M. V. Melnyk Zolochiv Central District Hospital (Zolochiv city, Lviv region)
Keywords: legal awareness, deformations of legal awareness, legal nihilism, legal idealism, totalitarian legal awareness.


It has been stressed that the topic of philosophical and legal interpretations of the deformations of legal awareness in the XX – early XXI century is actively developed by scholars of the countries of the post-Soviet space. Emphasis has been placed on the development of the doctrine on legal nihilism that has been developed in Western European philosophical and legal thought, as well as on the problem of totalitarian legal awareness that has emerged in Soviet society.

It has been revealed that the foundation of the concept of the deformations of legal awareness in Ukrainian philosophical and legal science was laid by the great household names of the past – P. I. Novgorodtsev, I. A. Il`in, M. M. Alekseev, L. I. Petrazhitskii, B. I. Kistiakivskyi and others. There is not so much in the world scientific thought about the deformations of legal awareness, where the concept of legal nihilism is the exception. The foundations of the doctrine of nihilism were laid by such outstanding thinkers as F. Nietzsche, A. Schopenhauer, M. Heidegger, F. H. Jacobi. Therefore, nowadays the doctrine of legal nihilism is the most developed in relation to the types of the deformations of legal awareness.

It has been determined that the “golden age” of this extremely negative social phenomenon occurred at the beginning of the XX century, after the formation of the USSR. Totalitarian propaganda machines, the Soviet Union in particular, tried to transform society into a governed crowd, brainwashed by a certain ideology that led to a degeneration of legal awareness into a totalitarian consciousness and, as a consequence, to the widespread deformation of legal awareness. However, the deformations of legal awareness were not discussed at theoretical level, because they were considered a vestige of bourgeois times.

Discussion about the deformation of legal awareness was initiated by the prominent Soviet legal scholar E. A. Lukasheva in her work “Socialist Legal Awareness and Legality”, where she characterized that the legal awareness of a particular individual can be defective, limited, and backward from the general level of public consciousness, can contain harmful installations and defective assessments of legal phenomena.


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Author Biography

M. V. Melnyk, Zolochiv Central District Hospital (Zolochiv city, Lviv region)

A lawyer.


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How to Cite
Melnyk, M. V. (2019) “Philosophical and Legal Interpretations of the Deformations of Legal Awareness in the XX - Early XXI Century”, Bulletin of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, 87(4), pp. 23-32. doi: 10.32631/v.2019.4.02.
Theory and Philosophy of Law; Comparative Law; History of Law and State