Is there a universal human mind? The Western European philosophizing paradigm with well-developed methodological tools provides an affirmative answer to this question. It is generally accepted that rationality is the same, and scientific and technological progress that transformed the planet is the fruit of Western European culture. It would be very strange to talk about the “atlas of rationality,” or “the geography of rationality”, about European, Arab, Chinese, or African rationality within the framework of the Western European conceptual philosophizing system. However, with the entry into the socio-political and economic arena of non-Western civilizations, and, accordingly, worldviews and traditions of philosophizing, the question arose of alternative understandings of rationality. The eternal philosophical problem of the universal and the concrete-unique has received a new sound in the context of globalization and the growing complex interaction of cultures. A new planetary world order is being created along with a rethinking of the fundamental problem of nature and the possibilities of the human mind.
Is there a universal human mind in general?
The demands of life and the future world order brought to life the project of the Round Table “Geography of Rationality”, which is annually held at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Project Manager – Director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician A.V. Smirnov. Moderators: Professor I.A. Gerasimova (Institute of Philosophy, RAS), Professor A.A. Krushinskiy (Institute of the Far East, RAS). You can get acquainted with the heated discussions through the videos of March 20, 2018, April 25 and June 13, 2019.
The meeting of East and West at the Round Table was an attempt to expand the dialogue to professional interdisciplinary cooperation. The discussion was attended, on the one hand, by experts with knowledge of oriental languages and philosophical teachings: Indologists, Arabists, Sinologists, Japanese historians, researchers of the Persian language and culture of Iran. The ancient Russian rational culture, as well as the first geopolitical situation that arose when Europeans appeared in the New World, were not forgotten. The “Westerners” were represented by epistemologists, methodologists of science, logicians, cognitive scientists, and synergetics. With each regular meeting, new specialists join the dialogue.
If at the first meeting the question of the “geography of rationality” arose in general terms, then in the subsequent meetings more specific problems were discussed. Each culture is unique, the system of thinking is directly linked to the realities of the language. There was and remains the problem of the adequacy of translation from one language to another language, and, accordingly, the problem of the transfer of meaning and understanding. At the same time, the exchange of knowledge and practices between cultures has always existed. Historically, people have found opportunities to understand the Other and learn from valuable experience. European philosophy in all its many directions and doctrines has developed a filigree language for discussing the diversity of the problems of cognition of nature, society and man. But the meeting of East and West showed that not everything is embraced by a positively directed philosophical thought. There can be disparate pictures of the world, different linguistic pictures of the world, diametrically opposite value orientations.
How to learn to understand each other? In western and domestic universities, philosophy courses are taught in the Western European paradigm and within the framework of the Western European conceptual system. The attitude to conceptual Eurocentrism is twofold: on the one hand, we understand something in our native language, which is constantly evolving, incorporating the concepts of a different system, and on the other hand, the orientation exclusively on conceptual Eurocentrism often simplifies and distorts real situations. Apparently, mutual understanding of cultures can only be achieved through joint efforts.
Turning to a specifically different one not only leads to a deeper understanding of one's own culture, but also conceals new possibilities of creativity, expanding the horizons of thought. For example, the problem of the procedural ontology of the Arabic language has exacerbated the question of ontologies of Indo-European languages and models of logic that are “supportive” for Western European rationality (Round table from June 13, 2019).
The fourth Round Table “Geography of Rationality” was held in the context of the coronovirus pandemic, but this did not become an obstacle for the project participants. The remote access discussion focused around A.A. Krushinskiy “Subject, space, time: how to read the ancient Chinese text” (Round table on March 31, 2020). If philosophical systems based on Indo-European languages can be considered on the principle of family similarity, then the situation with the Chinese language and mentality is more complicated. Translations of classical ancient texts from Chinese into Russian vary to such an extent that one can doubt the professional qualifications of specialists. But what then should the philosophical community do? How to avoid profanity when introducing eastern philosophies into the general philosophical space? The controversy between the Sinologists touched upon problems that went beyond exclusively historical and philosophical research: the relationship between historical and philosophical studies and philosophical methodologies (S.Yu. Rykov); polysemy of languages, including the Chinese language (M.V. Rubets), the problem of protosubject in the Chinese text (N.V. Pushkarskaya), the question of multilevel meaning generation and specific trajectories of cognitive evolution in the "atlas of rationality" (I.A. Gerasimova), about the values of old texts in the context of modern realities on the example of a pandemic (M.R. Burget Ayala). Through centuries, the dialogue on behalf of Kant, Hegel, and the Sufi sages was conducted in a dispute on the problem of time by two orientalists – R.V. Pskhu and A.V. Paribok whose preferences have diverged.
Philosophical discussions are traditionally famous for posing questions and unexpected coverage of problems. The participants in the discussions on the project “Geography of Rationality” hope for the fruitfulness of their undertakings. The concept of the journal “Ideas and Ideals” contains a call for the development of broad public philosophical discussions on pressing problems of modern life and the future world order. The participants in the discussions of the Round table “The Geography of Rationality” hope for mutual understanding and active participation of readers of the journal “Ideas and Ideals”. The unity of the cultural centers of Moscow and Novosibirsk can be regarded as a landmark event.
The epoch-making discovery of the phenomenon of non-linear organization of the ancient Chinese text by the remarkable Leningrad sinologist-philosopher V.S. Spirin (1929–2002) radically expanded the horizons of our perception of the written heritage of Ancient China, outlining the way to overcome the prejudice about linear reading of the ancient Chinese classics as supposedly the only acceptable. At the same time, Spirin’s discovery of the multidimensionality of the ancient Chinese text seriously challenges the concept of the subject in the context of ancient Chinese discourse. After all, a break with the linear ordering of the text is tantamount to destroying the unity of the speech intention and the subjectivity of the speaker corresponding to it, constituted by his speaking. Accordingly, the figure of a storyteller telling a story should either disappear, leaving behind a void of subjectlessness, or give way to a completely different subjectivity. The proposed article raises the question of the nature and character of this subjectivity, which is fundamentally different from the narrator’s figure. It is shown that the synchronous integrity of the multidimensional image (Xiang 象), which distinguishes the Chinese hieroglyphic writing, has its own temporality, which allows it to be an alternative to the diachronic unity of the narrative. It is argued that the temporality of the image-xiang extends to gestaltic multidimensionality of hexagram graphics, endowing the latter with the corresponding multidimensional temporal structure. It is the hexagram time (guashi卦時) that assumes the functions of a narrative for the temporal unification of the past and the future, thereby providing the necessary prerequisites for the emergence of a special kind of subjectivity. The guashi-hexagram time is determined by the graphic structure of the hexagram. This is the most general characteristic of the meaning of a particular hexagram as an era, providing space for the game between the era and the individual. As a result, we have a two-person game, constituting a game subjectivity, consisting of the game interaction of an individual and a hexagram time. It is argued that it is precisely the subordination of the line of discourse to the course of the game that sometimes makes it loop, and then the text lining up along this line requires its reader to read it backward, so to speak.
This article presents a philosophical and methodological remark on the paper of A. Krushinskiy “Subject, Space, Time: How to Read Ancient Chinese Text” at the Round Table on the project “Geography of Rationality” (Moscow, RAS Institute of Philosophy, March 31, 2020), which gives an alternative explanation for the appearance of translations and studies of unsatisfactory quality in modern Russian sinology.
A. Krushinskiy attributes this to the fact that authors of these unsatisfactory works do not take into account the specifics of reading ancient Chinese texts, namely, ignoring the methodological theory of V. Spirin according to which ancient Chinese texts reveal additional semantic content, if read nonlinearly. The present article points that this is not due to ignoring the particular methodological achievements of V. Spirin, but because of the general methodological attitudes of authors writing about ancient Chinese philosophy.
The article distinguishes three types of general methodological attitudes: “sophistic” (when material from the history of philosophy is used for the author’s self-realization), “philosophical” (when material from the history of philosophy is used to solve a particular philosophical problem) and “historical” (when the description of material from the history of philosophy is the end in itself). It also shows methodological differences between these types that affect the style and methodology of scholars. The article pays special attention to the description of the general regulatory principles of the historian of philosophy, i.e. 1) accuracy in ‘modernization’, ‘actualization’ and ‘comparative method’; 2) moderation in ‘universalizations’ and ‘author’s interpretations’; 3) distinction between ‘subjects’ of historical philosophical material (author/s, text, tradition); 4) special attention to contradictions and uncertainties in it; and 4) understanding that for a historian of philosophy ‘true” is ‘admissible’.
It is concluded that problems with translations and studies of unsatisfactory quality arise mainly when authors consciously or unconsciously confuse these three general methodological attitudes in their texts and thereby mislead readers.
The article develops a methodological conception. It is based on the principles of the philosophy of complexity. The author believes that the discussion of the problems of rationality in the space of cultural diversity will be futile if we do not take into account the cognitive and socio-cultural aspects of meaning generation. The author draws attention to the communicative nature of meaning formation, which is increasing in the context of globalization. Such forms of organization of collective thinking as an interdisciplinary and transdiciplinary dialogue spread to the philosophical community. A distinctive feature of historical and philosophical research remains a special attention to textual artifacts, but modern methodologies must also contribute to the understanding of ancient knowledge and mentality.
The author offers a methodological model of meaning generation. The coordinate grid of axes is its basis. As bearing axes, the author introduces: conscious-unconscious, explicit-implicit (hidden), external-internal, linear-nonlinear, order-chaos, simple-complex, reflexive-pre-reflexive, discrete-continuum. The Genesis of ethno-cultural mentalities took place in unique natural, cultural, historical and linguistic conditions. As a result, cultures can differ in the types of perception of space-time relations. This is reflected in the variety of space-time models. The problem of pairing the personal, environmental and social worlds of time by A.A. Krushinskiy. He presented the hexagram model of time as a game of player-personality and player-society.
In the complex process of meaning formation, the author identifies the conscious layer of language and speech, the semi-conscious layer of images, the unconscious layer of states and pre-reflexive understanding. In the course of global cognitive evolution, there were revolutionary turns towards the development of conscious speech from the depths of the unconscious. At the same time, different cultures had their own trajectories of rationality development, developing specific languages and mental models. Ideographic language such as Chinese stimulated the development of spatial-imaginative thinking based on visual algorithms. In alphabetic languages of Indo-European type, the linearity of speech is only the external plan of expression, while the nonlinear spatiality (geometric style) of meaning formation works in internal dimensions.
Discussing the noumenal sources of meaning formation, the author addresses the understanding of the nature of thought in spiritual philosophies and modern cognitive research. Scientific research of deep, pre-reflexive layers of understanding in the general structure and dynamics of meaning formation can bring a new dimension to the discussion on the «geography of rationality». In the global world, when unique cultures interact, new harmonics of the general planetary consciousness are formed.
This article raises the problem of the constancy of philosophy, science, art, religion, and politics as forms of worldview that characterize the state of post-mythological consciousness. In this regard, two tasks are solved. First, we trace the genesis of worldview forms in German classical thought in the context of substantiating the idea of the historicity of the absolute (G. Hegel and F. Schelling). Second, the question is raised about the specifics of philosophy as a form of thinking. The authors compare classical and nonclassical approaches (A. Badiou) to solving problems, the conclusions, they have made, are the following. In modern theories, there is a blurring and loss of objectivity of philosophical knowledge. Despite this, philosophy is invariably given the role of a way of thinking about its time. The classical claims of philosophy to the universal content of truth are canceled. Based on the analysis of the concept of A. Badiou, the specificity of philosophy is revealed in the ability to quickly arrange science, art, religion and politics – as a way to create an ideal space in which access to the event of truth is provided. In this connection, it is proposed to define this concept as “operational” in relation to the nature of philosophical knowledge. Philosophy as a reflexive ability uses the operative time of our consciousness, which constitutes subjectivity. Destroying the mytho-ritual scheme of the unity of consciousness, philosophy sets the spiritual topos in which a person lives after leaving the myth.
The purpose of this article is to analyze the content of Plotinus’s apophatic theology. The problem of the limit of human cognition has always been topical in the history of the human thought. The absolute reality acted as such a limit in Platonism. The apophatic aspect was the final step of its cognition. The founder of Neoplatonism systematized the Plato’s teaching about hypostases of the being and by doing so he transferred the center of the philosophical speculations in the sphere of the Unity of Oneness. Thus, his apophatics is more consequent than the Plato’s one. Narrating about the Unity of Oneness, Plotinus is sort of synthesizing certain peculiarities of the apophatic theology of his two great predecessors: Aristotle and Plato. One can say, Plotinus’s apophatic theology “vanished” in the description of the mystical blending to the Unity of Oneness of the first cause of being. However for a philosopher intuitive aspects of its cognition are as important in a certain context as logical ones. Plotinus’s philosophy is the way of antinomies, the way of upper-and-non-predicative apophatic darings. The first Unity of Oneness in his philosophy is uncertain and formless because the Unity of Oneness causes all things but doesn’t need them. The latter ones are incidental to It. In their incidental nature is the lack of Good what one can’t say about the Unity of Oneness Itself. It is neither anything qualitative nor quantitative, neither in the rest nor in the movement, neither in any place nor in any time. It is neither Intelligence nor Soul. Thus, the Unity of Oneness according to Plotinus is the energy without essence. Because it creates being transcendental to all things in existence. At the same time Plotinus has in the first place the proper experience of the ecstatic ascents to the exorbitant limit of all things in existence. Staying in It is for a thinker a happiness of the Soul, life of the gods and of the godlike happy people, “escape of the unity to the Unity of Oneness”. As a matter of fact apophatic for Plotinus is the first step taking aside from that experience to a random thought. However in the teaching of the founder of Neoplatonism the thought and the mystical life are so connected to each other that it is practically impossible to separate them—they are the unified whole of existence.
The idea of reorganizing a German university was revealed in the correspondence of the young Martin Heidegger and his friend Karl Jaspers. Prominent thinkers critically analyze the contribution of contemporaries and representatives of the previous generation of scientists and philosophers. Ambitious and confident in their abilities, they hatched a plan, as it seemed to them, for the most important mission: the revival of the spirit of genuine philosophy within the walls of German universities. Repeatedly emphasized in their correspondence in the 1920s - such a high goal will require the reduction of professors of philosophy and "cleansing" of universities from the prospering mediocrity. Despite spiritual aspirations, these philosophers were aware of the need for career growth. Without a proper position, it was impossible to, at least, make any changes in the current system of higher German education and academic philosophy. The author of this article believes that the same thoughts of Heidegger lay at the basis of the ideas expressed in correspondence with Jaspers and in the decision to accept the post of the rector of the University of Freiburg, which played a fatal role in his biography. The period of the duties of the rector Martin Heidegger is covered by the so-called «Black Notebooks». The author of the article departs from the widely used biographical approach in favor of a historical and philosophical analysis of passages of that creation time. The main objective of this work is to identify the basic categories of the being-historical concept of M. Heidegger, manifested in criticism of the academic university philosophy of German universities at the beginning of the 20th century. The philosophy of being history is first touched upon in the aforementioned Black Notebooks. In the volumes of the collected works “Beiträge zur Philosophie”, “Das Ereignis”, “Die Geschichte des Seyns”, addressed by the author of the article, the main part of the being-historical concept is revealed. The leading research method is historical philosophical, which determines the relationship between the fundamental ontological intuitions of the German master and his analysis of factuality, in particular, criticism of German university philosophy. In the framework of this article, the historical philosophical method includes the hermeneutical method, which is necessary when working with the specific language of Heidegger's works, which requires a thorough interpretation.
The subject of the research is the philosophical (ontological, epistemological, philosophical-anthropological and social-philosophical) foundations of personalized medicine, the biomedical foundations of which are methods of therapy and prevention of diseases based on the individual characteristics of the patient. The authors highlight the preventive nature of personalized medicine - to prevent the patient's diseases based on certain diagnostic methods and using a system of preventive measures, as well as its focus on improving the effectiveness of treatment for a specific patient. The value of personalized medicine is that it allows to determine precisely the causes of a particular disease or to assess a person's predisposition to certain diseases, to apply preventive measures to minimize the risks of diseases; to use personalized methods of treatment and correction of the conditions of a particular patient, as well as biomarkers for monitoring the effectiveness of therapy.
The philosophical foundations of personalized medicine, on the one hand, contain certain philosophical attitudes related to medicine in general, and on the other hand, reflect specific features determined by new technologies that modern medicine possesses. In particular, the article points to a change in the concept of personalization in connection with the disclosure of its content at the genomic level. The authors emphasize that personalized medicine raises a number of new problems of a philosophical nature: the approach to a person as a set of data about his or her body, the possible increase in social inequality due to the lack of general availability of the results of personalized medicine, and so on. The article substantiates the idea that improving and reducing the cost of sequencing technologies will help make new methods of treating diseases more accessible to the general population. Further personification of medicine will occur due to obtaining more and more objective information about patients, increasing the number of subgroups in the typology of patients, offering them variable methods of treatment, as well as due to the increasing involvement of a patient in the treatment processes, based on a better understanding of his/her “existential presence analytics”.
In the article the author describes the transformations provoked by the transition from politics and economics to biopolitics and bioeconomics. The author notes the impact of these changes on the development of modern scientific knowledge (commercialization of science, commodification of the results of scientific research, dehumanization of knowledge in general). One of the article points concerns the ambivalence of the consequences caused by modern trends in the production and use of scientific knowledge. The key contradictions are: the contradiction between the price and value of the human body and life of the individual as such; the contradictions related to the attitude to human and non-human entities. The possibilities of a positive response to new challenges in the development of science and the application of its results are in the field of humanization of scientific knowledge, which is interpreted as strengthening the axiological and ethical components of modern science, overcoming the technocratic and highly professional style of thinking of scientists and specialists. The article gives the assessment of difficulties in solving the problem of humanization of scientific knowledge from the standpoint of classical humanism. The author provides the overview of concepts that are based on criticism of traditional humanism and that let develop ethical answers to modern challenges in the field of humanization of knowledge and practice of its use in conditions of biocapitalism and growing progress in the field of biotechnological development. In particular, the principles of approaches methodologically proceeding from the following orientations, are analyzed: first, based on the denial or preservation of the key pathos of humanism and its principles; second, bringing out the “new” humanism from theistic or secular foundations. Theistic and non-theistic versions of “renewed” humanism, posthumanism and transhumanism are analyzed. The author describes essential difference between posthumanistic and transhumanistic orientation. The author draws a conclusion about the prospects of using these approaches to solve the problem of humanization of scientific knowledge.
Development of Patients’ Subject-Oriented Approach Through Practices of Their Participation in Ethical Expertise of Medical CasesSinyukova Natalia
The development of new biomedical technologies has contributed to changing, blurring the boundaries between the norm and pathology of a human being. It is about a gap in the notions of norm and pathology, illness and treatment that are accepted in scientific communities. As a framework of the emerging humanistic scientific paradigm the principles of a subject-oriented approach to the patient are being developed, aimed at maintaining the patient's control over the recovery process, at developing his/her subject position, which implies his/her active and responsible participation in the treatment process and in medical decision-making. Formation of the considered approach in medical institutions is connected with the development of new institutions and practices.
The author shows that the procedural model of the institute of medical cases ethical expertise is aimed at developing a subject-oriented approach in clinical practice. At the same time, the patient, as a participant of ethical expertise, acquires the experience of reflexive reasoning and, thus, enabling the possibility and capability for a patient to be involved in the process of treatment management on a new basis. The article presents some results of the author's study of the procedural model of ethical expertise in German medical settings in the context of describing the main gaps and problems associated with the implementation of the subject-oriented approach. The research was conducted using the methods of semi- formalized interview, substantial analysis of research and methodological literature. As the study has shown, the main problems of the subject-oriented approach implementation in the practice of ethical expertise are related to the trends of bureaucratization and commercialization of this practice in the hospital environment. It seems that the issue of developing an appropriate language ensuring equal participation of the subjects of the expertise is important. Prospects for humanization of this practice are seen to be connected with the inclusion of representatives of patient communities and self-help groups of patients in this practice.
Diasporas have gained currency as a productive frame for re-imagining locations, movements identities and linkages that have been flattened by the effect of globalization on world politics. This article examines how diasporas re-orient conventional cartographies and spatial configurations by identifying historically located networks that often escape the attention of scholars and policy makers working within the framework of individual nations. The foregrounding of such networks brings into focus global flows that predates the age of globalization and creates the possibilities of exploring and strengthening collaborations across regions. All of these issues come into play when one examines what is identified as the “Indian” diasporic community in Central Asia and the temptation to think of them as stable bounded communities or transcendent homogeneous groups. This creates the possibilities of rethinking spatial and temporal categories, where not only the nation and its borders are subject to scrutiny but also categories like regions and areas come under interrogation.