The article examines the origin of two partially related, partly
opposing concepts: «the aristocracy of the spirit» and «the order of the intelligentsia». The first arose in Germany at the beginning of the 19 th century; by different authors it was understood unequally. For its creator Saul Ascher the «aristocrats of the spirit» are the intellectual elite of the nation, free from national narrow-mindedness. The second concept was introduced by circulation by the Russian religious philosophers of the 20 th century for polemical purposes.
сultural and political elite; cosmopolitanism; Russian intelligentsia; «Russian Silver Age»; S. Ascher; L. Börne; J. Gorres; F. Nietzsche; F.A. Stepun; G.P. Fedotov; S.L. Frank; H. Steffens.