Kozelsky, Yakiv

Kozelsky, Yakiv [Козельський, Яків; Kozel's'kyj, Jakiv], b ca 1729 in Keleberda, Kaniv county, Kyiv gubernia, d after 1795 in Krutyi Bereh, Lubny county, Poltava gubernia. Enlightenment thinker. Having studied at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy (1744–50) and the Academic University of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1751–7), he taught at the Saint Petersburg artillery and engineering schools and then served as a secretary of the Senate (1767–70). From 1770 to 1778 he sat on the Little Russian Collegium in Hlukhiv. Kozelsky wrote handbooks on mathematics, mechanics, military science, and economics. Influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas of the social contract and natural law, he criticized the existing system of serfdom. In his major work Filosoficheskie predlozheniia (Philosophical Propositions, 1768) he rejected religious dogma and stressed the practical, moral function of philosophy. A book about his social-political views, by V. Dmytrychko, appeared in 1957.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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