Shushakov Egor

Genesis of the term noosphere and its use by P. Teilhard de Chardin and V. I. Vernadsky

Shushakov Egor (2020) "Genesis of the term noosphere and its use by P. Teilhard de Chardin and V. I. Vernadsky ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2020, vol. 87, pp. 87-105 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202087.87-105


This article reconstructs the genesis of the term noosphere and its understanding by P. Teilhard de Chardin and V. I. Vernadsky. The article demonstrates that the main difference in the concepts of noosphere of V. I. Vernadsky and P. Teilhard de Chardin initially originates from their diff erent interpretations of the concept biosphere and their opposing opinions about the fi nal stage of historical process. The author of this article disagrees with the point of view according to which V. I. Vernadsky was very little infl uenced by Teilhard de Chardin. Besides, the article identifi es their similar and dissimilar points as to the idea of noosphere. It shows the continuity of views of E. Leroy and Teilhard de Chardin on the phenomenon of noosphere. Besides, it pays attention to the infl uence of Revd. P. Florensky on Vernadsky. The former proposed the term pneumatosphere which is similar to the term noosphere. The article claims that the opinion of F. T. Yanshina about the independence of Vernadsky from the infl uence of philosophical views of Teilhard de Chardin is wrong, though this opinion is popular in Russian studies of Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky. The article shows that Teilhard de Chardin develops the conception of noosphere independently of Vernadsky. It argues that it was he who authored the term noosphere and not E. Leroy, as many Russian authors think. The article concludes that Vernadsky’s reception of the idea of noosphere and pneumatosphere demonstrates this scholar’s openness to ideas that are explicitly or implicitly religion-related. However, it does not seem possible to correlate Vernadsky’s world outlook with taking this fact into account. In conclusion, the article proposes a possibility of correlating the two theories of noosphere for creating a holistic conception which would describe the impact of human mind on biosphere.


V. I. Vernadsky, P. Teilhard de Chardin, E. Leroy, P. Florensky, noosphere, biosphere, pneumatosphere, antroposphere, theosphere, hominisation


  1. Aksenov G. (2010) Vernadskii [Vernadsky]. Moscow (in Russian).
  2. Babosov E. (1970) Teiiardizm: popytka sinteza nauki i khristianstva [Teilhardism: an Attempt of Synthesis of Science and Christianity]. Minsk (in Russian).
  3. Barthélemy-Madaule M. (1963) Bergson et Teilhard de Chardin. Paris.
  4. Florenskii P. (1993) “Pis‘mo V. I. Vernadskomu” [Letter to V. I. Vernadsky], in Russkii kosmizm: antologiia fi losofskoi mysli [Russian Cosmism: Anthology of Philosophical Thought]. Moscow, pp. 162–165 (in Russian).
  5. Gacheva A. (2016) “L’idée de noosphère et le cosmisme des années 1920‒1930”, in M. Dennes (ed.) Vernadsky, la France et l’Europe. Bordeaux, pp. 141–160.
  6. Gavriushin N. (2019) “O predystorii poniatiia «noosfera»” [On the Background of the Notion “Noosphere”], in U kolybeli smyslov: stat’i raznykh let [At the Cradle of she Sense: Articles of Diff erent Times]. Moscow, pp. 643–645 (in Russian).
  7. Girenok F. (1987) Ekologiia. Tsivilizatsiia. Noosfera [Ecology. Civilisation. Noosphere]. Moscow (in Russian).
  8. Grinevald J. (2016) “Clarifi cation des conceptions de la biosphère et de la noosphère chez Teilhard de Chardin et Vernadsky”, in M. Dennes (ed.) Vernadsky, la France et l’Europe. Bordeaux, pp. 87–102.
  9. Gutner G. (2010) “Noosfera” [Noosphere], in Novaia filosofskaia entsiklopediia [New Encyclopaedia of Philosophy]. Moscow, pp. 107–108 (in Russian)
  10. Ianshin A. (1994) “Zhivoe veshchestvo i biosfera v trudakh V. I. Vernadskogo” [Living Matter and Biosphere in Works of V. I. Vernadsky], in Zhivoe veshchestvo i biosfera [Living Matter and Biosphere]. Moscow, pp. 3–15 (in Russian).
  11. Ianshina F. (1994) “O poiavlenii i pervonachal’nom tolkovanii termina «noosfera»” [On the Emergence and the First Interpretation of the Notion Noosphere]. Vestnik Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 64 (11), pp. 1016–1022 (in Russian).
  12. Le Roy E. (1927) L’exigence idealiste et le fait d’evolution. Paris.
  13. Le Roy E. (1928) Les origines humaines et l’evolution de l’intelligence. Paris.
  14. Levit G. S. (2000) “The Biosphere and the Noosphere Theories of V. I. Vernadsky and P. Teilhard de Chardin: A Methodological Essay”. Archives internationales d’histoire des sciences, 50 (144), pp. 160–177.
  15. Moiseev N. (1990) Chelovek i noosfera [Man and Noosphere]. Moscow (in Russian).
  16. Novikov Yu., Rezhabek B. (2018) Vklad E. Le Roy i P. Teilharda de Chardena v razvitie konzepzii noosfery [Contribution of E. Le Roy and P. Teilhard de Charden in Development of the Concept of Noosphere], available at: http://www.nff edorov.ru/w/images/3/36/Lerua.pdf (09.08.2018) (in Russian).
  17. Semenova S. (2009) Palomnik v budushchee. P’er Teiiar de Sharden [A Pilgrim to the Future. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin]. St Petersburg (in Russian).
  18. Semenova S. (2016) “V. I. Vernadsky, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin et l’idée de noosphère”, in M. Dennes (ed.) Vernadsky, la France et l’Europe. Bordeaux, p. 49–70.
  19. Shushakov E. (2017) “Evolutsionnaia antropologiia i ponimanie pervorodnogo grekha v tvorchestve P. Teiara de Shardena” [Evolutional Anthropology and Understanding of Original Sin in Works of P. Teilhard de Charden]. Religiovedenie, 2, p. 58–63 (in Russian).
  20. Shushakov E. (2018) “Kontseptsiia tvoreniia mira i eskhatologicheskie predstavleniia v tvorchestve P. Teiara de Shardena” [The Concept of Creation of the World and Eschatological Ideas in Works of P. Teilhard de Charden]. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Serija 7: Filosofia, 3, p. 100–112 (in Russian).
  21. Sorokina M. (2016) “Mythes et archives. La France et les chercheurs français dans la vie et l’oeuvre scientifi que de l’académicien V.I. Vernadsky” in M. Dennes, (ed.) Vernadsky, la France et l’Europe. Bordeaux, pp. 31–48.
  22. Startsev E. (2008) “Teoantropokosmizm P. A. Florenskogo” [Theoantropocosmism of P. A. Florensky]. Izvestiia Irkutskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. «Politologiia. Religiovedenie», 1, pp. 332–344 (in Russian).
  23. Strugovshchikov E. (2004) P’er Teiiar de Sharden i pravoslavnoe bogoslovie [Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Orthodox Theology]. Moscow (in Russian).
  24. Teilhard de Charden P. (2012) Le Phénomène humaine. Moscow (Russian translation).
  25. Teilhard de Chardin P. (1958) “La Place de l’Homme dans la Nature”, in La vision du passé. Paris, pp. 245–256.
  26. Teilhard de Chardin P. (1962) “L’Esprit de la Terre”, in L’Energie humaine. Paris, pp. 23–57.
  27. Teilhard de Chardin, P. (1958) “L’Histoire Naturelle du Monde”, in La vision du passé. Paris, pp. 143–157.
  28. Teilhard de Chardin, P. (1958) “L’Hominisation”, in La vision du passé. Paris, pp. 75–111.
  29. Teilhard de Chardin, P. (1958) “Sur l’Apparence nécessairement discontinue de toute série evolutive”, in La vision du passé. Paris, p. 159–162.
  30. Teilhard de Chardin, P. (1962) “L’Energie humaine”, in L’Energie humain. Paris: Edition du Seuil, p. 141–200.
  31. Teilhard de Chardin, P. (2016) “Annexes 5: La lettre de Teilhard de Chardin à Vernadsky”, in M. Dennes (ed.) Vernadsky, la France et l’Europe. Bordeaux, pp. 344.
  32. Vernadsky V. (1988) “Neskol’ko slov o noosfere” [Some Words about the Noosphere], in Filosofskie mysli naturalista [Philosophical Thoughts of the Naturalist]. Moscow, pp. 19–209 (in Russian).
  33. Vernadsky V. (1991) Nauchnaia mysl’ kak planetnoe iavlenie [Scientifi c Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon]. Moscow (in Russian).
  34. Vernadsky V. (1993) “L’autotrophie de l’humanité”, in Russkii kosmizm: antologia filosofskoi mysli [Russian Cosmism: Antology of Philosophical Thought]. Moscow, pp. 288–302 (Russian translation).

Information about the author

Shushakov Egor

Place of work: Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27 building 4 Lomonosovsky prospekt, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation;
Post: Postgraduate student;
ORCID: 0000-0003-0007-0888;
Email: heliografos@mail.ru.