Philosophy Index

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian novelist, essayist and playwright, most famous for his works War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

Tolstoy was a Christian and a strong believer in literal interpretations of Jesus' teachings. His interpretations, however, focused on an internal devotion to God, and a personal struggle for perfection, rather than a following of the Church or a quest for guidance elsewhere.

Tolstoy strongly believed in nonviolence, and promoted nonviolent resistance to political opression.

Tolstoy also contributed to disccusions of aesthetics. Tolstoy believed that the purpose of art was to convey the emotions felt by the artist. Artistic expressions that fail to inspire similar feelings in their audience fails to truly be a work of art.


  • Anna Karenina
  • War and Peace
  • What Is Art?


Name: Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
Born: September 9, 1828, Tula, Russia
Died: November 20, 1910, Astapovo, Russia