Russian cosmism appeared as sort of antithesis to the classical physicalist paradigm of thinking that was based on strict a differentiation of man and nature. It made an attempt to revive the ontology of an integral vision that organically unites man and cosmos. These problems were discussed both in the scientific and the religious form of cosmism. In the religious form N. Fedorov’s conception was the most significant one. Like other cosmists, he was not satisfied with the split of the Universe into man and nature as opposed entities. Such an opposition, in his opinion, condemned nature to thoughtlessness and destructiveness, and man to submission to the existing “evil world”. Fedorov maintained the ideas of a unity of man and nature, a connection between “soul” and cosmos in terms of regulation and resurrection. He offered a project of resurrection that was not understood only as a resurrection of ancestors, but contained at least two aspects: raising from the dead in a narrow, direct sense, and in a wider, metaphoric sense that includes nature’s ability of self-reconstruction. Fedorov’s resurrection project was connected with the idea of the human mind’s going to outer space. For him, “the Earth is not bound”, and “human activity cannot be restricted by the limits of the terrestrial planet”, which is only the starting point of this activity. One should critically look at the Utopian and fantastic elements of N. Fedorov’s views, which contain a considerable grain of mysticism, but nevertheless there are important rational moments of his conception: the quite clearly expressed idea of interconnection, the unity of man and cosmos, the idea of the correlation of the rational and moral elements of man, the ideal of the unity of humanity as planetary community of people.
But while religious cosmism was more notable for the fantastic and speculative character of its discourses, the natural scientific trend, solving the problem of interconnection between man and cosmos, paid special attention to the comprehension of scientific achievements that confirmed that interconnection. N. G. Kholodny developed these ideas in terms of anthropocosmism, opposing it to anthropocentrism. He wrote: “Having put himself in the place of God, man destroyed his natural connections with nature and condemned himself to a long solitary existence”. In Kholodny ́s opinion, anthropocentrism passed through several stages in its development: at the first stage man did not oppose himself to nature and did not oppose it, he rather “humanized” the natural forces. At the second stage man, extracting himself from nature, man looks at it as the object for research, the base of his well-being. At the next stage man uplifts himself over nature, basing himself in this activity on spiritual forces he studies the Universe. And, lastly, the next stage is characterized by a crisis of the anthropocentric worldview, which starts to collapse under the influence of the achievements of science and philosophy. N. G. Kholodny was right noting that in the past anthropocentrism had played a positive role; it freed man from his fright at nature by means of uplifting him over the latter. But gradually, beside anthropocentrism there appeared sprouts of the new vision – anthropocosmism. Kholodny regarded anthropocosmism as a certain line of development of the human intellect, will and feelings, which led people to their aims. An essential element in anthropocosmism was the attempt to reconsider the question of man ́s place in nature and of his interrelations with cosmos on the foundation of natural scientific knowledge.