Statuary group, moulded in loam, discovered in a grave from the Neolithic necropole Cernavoda (Romania) belonging to the Hamangia civilization, approximately 5000-3000 BC. Masterpiece with a world-wide value of the Neolithic art. Anticipates by at least five thousand years the thinker of Auguste Rodin, 1880, symbolizing the creative force of human thinking.

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InteLnet was recently included in the register of very best academic resources

InteLnet (intellectual network) is a virtual community devoted to the discussion and promotion of interdisciplinary ideas in the humanities. The InteLnet is an experimental site for the communication of creative minds, and an intellectual response to the challenge of the expanding electronic universe.




InteLnet was created by Mikhail Epstein and opened on July of 1995. (Read about why Mikhail Epstein decided to create InteLnet ). Mikhail Epstein is the author of the project and of all InteLnet branches and sites and introductory and explanatory texts except for those indicated otherwise.

In 1995, InteLnet received the Social Innovations Award from the Institute for Social Inventions in London, in the category of "creativity," as one of "the most imaginative, feasable and potentially transformative schemes."

Mikhail Epstein later developed InteLnet into two languages, English and Russian. Up to June 1996, Emory student Daniel Abrams provided technical assistance. See the original -- and now archival -- Intelnet site as it existed for almost 4 years.

In April of 1999 Filipp Sapienza redesigned the graphical interface of InteLnet and rewrote the PERL scripts for the interactive portions of the site. InteLnet was also expanded to include his Transcultural Rhetoric web site, created in June of 1996 and featured in an issue of Kairos, an Online Journal for Writing Teachers in Webbed Environments. Because we are both interested in innovative, multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary ways of thinking, we believed that our collaboration could strengthen the possibilities for further engagement, dialogue, and development of novel ideas, theories, and practices. Our approach toward humanistic endeavors is inspired by Russian cultural theory, in particular what Mikhail Epstein has articulated as transculture. The InteLnet is in part an attempt to realize and implement the dynamic possibilities of a transcultural universe that are permitted with the rich and robust nature of Internet communication (Sapienza).

Not only does the title "InteLnet" sound like "Internet," but the former is an intellectual replica of the latter. InteLnet is an attempt to connect on intellectual and spiritual levels those cyberspaces that can be connected electronically. The Internet can electronically link everything to everything: ideas, disciplines, professions, nations, civilizations. Our capacity to understand and interpret these potentially infinite digital links and lexias is only limited by traditional divisions of intellectual labor. For the time being, the Internet, as a creation of technical minds, far exceeds the conceptual capacities of the humanistic mind. The InteLnet is an attempt to bring the humanistic "message" of the Internet in line with electronic media, to elaborate intuitions, disocurses, methodologies, spaces and styles of thinking fitting to the multi-dimensionality and inter-connectedness of cyberspace. InteLnet is a response of human intellect to the Internet's challenge, a response of the creative mind to the challenge of the expanding electronic universe.


At this stage, English and Russian sites of InteLnet do not mirror one another. In the menu bar at right, you can see which language dominates on the page by noting the first title listed. Where Russian is used, the Cyrillic letters conform to CP-1251 (WIN) format. (For more detailed explanation on using Cyrillic on the World Wide Web, visit Dazhdbog's Grandchildren). At present, we are constructing a searchable index for InteLnet planned to be operational early in 2001. (Visit the FAQ for more detailed explanations on the technical and theoretical developments of InteLnet).

InteLnet has several branches, beginning with the Bank of New Ideas. Though there are no legal forms for the patenting of non-technological ideas, the Bank suggests the approximation of this procedure by recording the date of submission. The submissions should be limited to 2-4 pages, with possible references to more detailed sources. What is expected are unexpected ideas capable of creating their own field of knowledge and becoming foundations for new theories and/or practices. Such thinking can be called "paradigmatic" since it does not add a new element to the existing paradigm of thinking but instead creates the paradigm itself. The ideas of new disciplines, research methods, artistic styles, behavorial practices, social organizations, philosophical systems, spiritual movements, ultimate truths and possible worlds are especially encouraged. (Visit the repository of ideas, or see an example kenotype.)

There is also a space for aphorisms where you can submit short sentences and witticisms of your own invention.

ThinkLinks has been designed to establish intellectual links among the remote and seemingly unrelated spheres of knowledge. ThinkLinks is a meta-space on the Internet where all other cyberspaces (subjects, areas, disciplines) penetrate each other.

InteLnetics has been established to formulate methodologies that interrogate and rework the contemporary status of disciplines claiming universality (philosophy, theology, semiotics, etc).

Book of Books (Kniga-Knig): Interactive Anthology of Alternative Ideas provides fragments from many books serving as illustrations for ideas that challenge established theories and concepts in the humanities. The site provides free selection of texts for all manner of creative uses, open to intellectual appropriations. A paradise for thinkers and scholars: a collection of new ideas, never signed and cited before. Fragments of unpublished texts. Drafts for numerous books that await authors.

Transcultural rhetoric (formerly Filipp Sapienza's Culture and Rhetoric site) is an attempt to apply transcultural theory to the growing interest in culture and rhetorical practice. (Sapienza).

The InteLnet Journals in the Humanities comprise ten electronic journals (all introduced and edited by Mikhail Epstein) in the experimental and fuzzy fields of the humanities (all issues in Russian):

  • Quiet Life (The Metaphysics of Passive Leisure: what are we doing when we do nothing?).
  • Imaginable Disciplines (Scientiae Desiderata, or How to Construct New Disciplines).
  • Theory of Voids (Metaphysics of Empty Forms, Holes, Cavities, Grids).
  • Philosophical Discourse.
  • Erotic Discourse.
  • Northern Web (WWW and Russian intellectual traditions and posthistorical visions).
  • Russian Spleen (Studies of Melancholy).
  • Hyperauthorship (Theory and Practice of Fictional or Transbiological Authorship).
  • New Movements and Sects.
  • Genius (Random Geniality in Various Spheres, including everyday life, love, parenthood, friendship, etc).

Russian Philosophy: Ideas and Images comprise tracts and overviews of main trends, ideas and portraits of major thinkers.

Symposion was the first journal published in English devoted to the rich traditions and new developments in Russian philosophy and religious thought. It has been published annually since 1996.

Collective Improvisations is Mikhail Epstein's transcultural practice begun in Moscow in 1982 and then implemented in American universities. Collective improvisations are spontaneous interactive thinking and writing sessions.

Praxis is a website by Filipp Sapienza dedicated to expanding the role of transcultural theory into the sphere of practical everyday work (Sapienza).

The virtual library contains Mikhail Epstein's works on philosophy, religion, cultural and literary theory, manifestoes, essays, non-traditional genres such as catalogs, and excerpts from his "The Comedy of Ideas." These libraries exist in both English and Russian.

This site contains a fair number of citations of published scholarly work on Russian cultural theory, culture and rhetorical study, and Russian philosophy.Many of these works are by Mikhail Bakhtin and Mikhail Epstein, the creator of InteLnet. The list also contains references to works on intercultural communication (particularly within electronic environments) and several articles connecting anthropological studies to rhetoric and composition. Other resources on the web can be visited by going to the links page (forthcoming). Filipp Sapienza is also actively involved in the development of Virtual Russia, a virtual community dedicated to discussion contemporary Russian culture and politics (Sapienza).


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Dar slova. Proektivnyi leksikon Mikhail Epshteina.