Meeting the philosophical “other”. -- Today, at the “Fifth Congress of Slovakian Philosophy” I doubled up as keynote speaker with a Russian colleague, Professor Vladimir Vladimirovich Varava. I had planned to rehearse my own talk during his, but he quickly and completely captured my attention. Here are my notes: different national (natural) languages each come with their own “axiology and metaphysics”; Herder has shown that each national tradition contributes something unique and unrepeatable to universal philosophy; philosophy is eternal but always and necessarily expressed in and through the vision of specific languages; only philosophy knows that the mystery of existence has no answer; the fate of philosophy is tragic; the “rationalism of the West” is exhausted and stumbles from one crisis to the next; Russian thinkers show the way forward; Russian language is particularly able to express the irrationality of existence, that is, “diseases of Being”; the heart of Russian philosophy is the non-academic literature of Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy and others (including Russian Marxist writers); Russian philosophy has proven able to express moral philosophy much more deeply than anything in the academic moral philosophy of the West.-- I asked him how he would explain that Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, Frege and Wittgenstein all wrote in German. His reply was: “Language is a spiritual mystery.” -- I rest my case. Now I am doubly curious what views I will encounter in Moscow in November.