Slavophilism was one of the most original and important intellectual currents in Russia in the 19th century. In the great philosophical debate in the 1840s and 1850s, however, the Slavophiles were on the losing side: their direct influence on the next generation of Russians was far less than that of their opponents, the Westernizers or Zapadniks. The increasingly radicalized Russian intelligenty in the second half the 19th century were, as Ivan Turgenev expressed it, the spiritual children of the Westernizers, not of the Slavophiles.
This is not to say that the Slavophiles left the historical scene leaving no trace. Nothing could be further from the truth. Slavophilism has continued to inspire Russian thinking to this very day. This claim can be argued in different ways. Firstly, one may point out that several thinkers in the late 19th century as well as in the 20th century regarded themselves as neo-Slavophiles. Alternatively, one may claim that certain Russian intellectuals are spiritual heirs to the Slavophiles even if they do not use this designation about themselves. This is the approach of Judith Devlin who divides the enemies of democracy in modern Russia into two camps, Neo-Slavophiles and Neo-Stalinists. The term 'Neo-Slavophiles' in her book is used to designate all Russian nationalists who are more concerned about the preservation of Russian culture and spirituality than about the might of the Russian state.
A third approach would be to generalize the concept of Slavophilism to include many more intellectual currents than the one represented by the Slavophile kruzhok of the 1840s and ‘50s. This is the approach used by S.S. Khoruzhii when he claims that 'the Slavophile idea in the broad sense, as an idea about a self-defined Russian culture, is certainly older than the historical Slavophilism. It has always been an immanent, constituent part of the spiritual world and spiritual development of Russia, and only took its name from Slavophilism'.