The article focuses on the methods we can use in analyzing post-imperial situation in Europe of the interwar period. Within the framework of philosophical anthropology and philosophy of culture, the concept of “cultural topos” is considered to explore its methodological potential. Relying on Jaspers’ conceptualization of the limit and spiritual situation, the author argues for topological approach to the post-imperial situation of the interwar period. Events and historical situation are, then, conceived as a spiritual situation that reveals itself to an individual in his reflection on his actual circumstance. It must be kept in mind that any text of intellectual reflection is, on the one hand, embedded in its own cultural-historical context and, on the other hand, seeks to transcend it and to rise to a trans-historical point of view. The scope of this notion, it is suggested, does not include only meanings, values and practices that were acknowledged and explicitly interpreted during the period, but also the underlying axioms, the layer of the given that sedimented reflection and identity formation in the course of that. The notion of cultural topos developed on the basis of the idea of spiritual situation can be instrumental in uncovering the influence of the theories and approaches emerged in the interwar period on the current strategies of describing and explaining war(s) and intellectual’s role in making sense of violence.
Key words: post-imperial situation, interwar period, limit situation, spiritual situation, intellectual reflection.