Philosophy: Tradition and Modernity

Returning to the Philosophical Comprehension of the Phenomenon of Post-Truth
Svetlana Khmelevskaya,  Nataliya Yablokova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-11-27

The subject of the study is the phenomenon of post-truth (reflective post-truth and valuative post-truth), considered from the perspective of philosophical methodology, for which the authors turn to the definition of this phenomenon and the analysis of its essence. The article indicates the difficulties that the very construction of this term causes. In addition, the indistinguishability of the notions ‘reflective truth’ and ‘valuative truth’ leads to incorrect translations of the term ‘post-truth’ into Russian. The authors of the article believe that the term ‘post-truth’ can be translated as ‘reflective post-truth’ and applied to reflective knowledge, revealing objects in their own logic of development, and as ‘valuative post-truth’ – in relation to value knowledge, revealing an axiological approach to the world. The analysis of the use of the term ‘post-truth’ has shown that there are at least three approaches: in a negative connotation, as a state of society in which the universally valid truth (objective truth) has ‘disappeared’, everyone interprets it in their own way, although ‘their’ interpretation is, in fact, an imposed interpretation; in a positive connotation, when in a state of post-truth, the truth is not denied, but it is stated that it has changed the form of its existence, dissolving into partial truths expressed by numerous subjects; in a neutral connotation, proceeding from the fact that the post-truth has always been, now, due to new information and communication technologies, it has simply become more noticeable. In conclusion, it is concluded that the situation of post-truth has created new conditions for the development of reflective knowledge, primarily due to the ‘democratization of science’, as well as value knowledge – including through the processes of self-communication. But the results obtained must be critically rethought. This means that it is necessary to return once again to the established rules of the game, analyze them from the perspective of possible risks, and take measures to prevent them. To this should be added the need to develop critical thinking, including among a wide audience of social networks.

Francis Bacon Against Alchemy: Sociopolitical and Philosophical Aspects
Vasily Markhinin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-28-48

The paper brings the analysis of the evolution of Bacons’ views on alchemy. The polemics against alchemy has become a central subject of his early writings (1584-1595) on the scientific knowledge. Bacon criticized occult traditions, an integral part of intellectual culture of early modern English establishment. Bacon argued that till his time all serious intellectual efforts of mankind had been directed to futile goals like alchemical transmutations, etc. or endless disputations of natural philosophers; at the same time all the greatest inventions (e.g., nautical needle, gunpowder and printing) had been made only by chance. Bacon believed government should have support of scientific & technological research and suppress alchemical fraud. Doing that a government would gain a most effective tool for increasing its power and wealth.

To support his views Bacon launched an intense propaganda campaign that culminated in the series of masques performed at Elizabethan court in 1592-1595. Baconian efforts caused counter actions of the court members who believed in the efficiency of alchemical enterprises.

During late 1590’s Bacon revised his attitude towards alchemy as well as towards the government, which was able in his opinion to support the development of sciences. The basis of his views is the ethical-theological concept of the values of scientific knowledge, which excludes previous ideas about the role of government in the development of sciences. Another area of research that changed his assessment of alchemy is the work on the problems of the scientific method. In the light of new political-philosophical, axiological and epistemological concepts, criticism of alchemy loses its former degree of relevance for Bacon. The developments made by Bacon in the 1580s-1590s during the polemic against alchemy become a kind of foundation on which he relies in the further development of his philosophical ideas.

Naturalistic Turn in Modern Philosophy: Philosophy and Neuroscience
Pavel Opolev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-49-71

The development of biology stimulates a naturalistic turn within the framework of philosophy, actualizes the problem of the dialogue between philosophical and scientific knowledge. In modern philosophy there is a tendency to imitate the empirical sciences. An attempt to conceptualize the empirical knowledge accumulated in modern brain sciences finds its expression within the neurophilosophy project. In classical philosophy, there was a skeptical assessment of the idea of a total reduction of the life of consciousness to the forms of motion of matter, which contributed to the preservation of dualism. The basis of modern neurobiology is the idea of the identity of physical and mental processes, the statement according to which information in our brain is encoded by the activity of neurons, neural networks. As a result, on the border of philosophy and science, corresponding ontological and epistemological programs are formed, designed to comprehend the classical philosophies of the opposition on naturalistic grounds. The author proposes an understanding of the naturalistic trend in modern epistemology, a reflection of the problem of the relationship between physical and mental processes on the example of the conceptualization of the achievements of modern neurosciences within the framework of the neurophilosophy project. The paper notes the diversity of interpretations of the concept of “neurophilosophy”, fixes the prerequisites for its occurrence, development problems and features of interpretation. In the definitions of the concept of “neurophilosophy” one can see a specific form of being of philosophy, the philosophy of neurosciences, a variant of biophilosophy, a form of the philosophy of consciousness. The paper highlights the problems that complicate the implementation of the neurophilosophy project: constant rethinking and supplementing the baggage of scientific knowledge about the brain, the lack of a unified theory of neurosciences, an interdisciplinary language, one-sided reductionism. To build neurophilosophy in the language of neuroscience means to liken it to a special scientific discipline. The project of neurophilosophy initiates, but does not offer models of a constructive dialogue between philosophy and neurosciences, reducing philosophical problems to the achievements of special scientific knowledge, which allows us to consider neurophilosophy, at this stage of its development, as a ‘scientific manifesto’, another attempt of science to do without philosophy. Against the background of the active appeal of philosophy to the special sciences, there is a need to build an empirical-ontological approach, which is based on the current achievements of the sciences, and makes it possible to bring empirical knowledge to the level of philosophical generalizations.

Problem of Computational Objectivation of Rationality in Artificial Intellectual Agents
Anton Zhelnin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-72-96

The subject of the article is objectification of rationality in artificial intelligent agents (AIA). The author considers two complementary trends in its context. The first ‘bottom-up’ trend is associated with attempts to artify rational reasoning and action in AIA, the second ‘top-down’ one is associated with attempts to interpret human thinking and behavior in machine terms. The first one is limited by the lack of semantic content, personal coloring and full-fledged psychosomatic embodiment of computational processes in AIA. Hypertrophy of logical normative components in them leads to mechanistic rigidity. The second is generated by the expansion of digital technologies into real life, their active fusion, which gives rise to the ideology of computationalism, according to which people are computing agents. At the same time, the convergence of the ‘intellectualization’ of AIA and the ‘machinization’ of human is a false appearance, since there are fundamental ontological and epistemological limits. The main ontological limit: human rationality is based on socio-cultural and bio-adaptive layers of the existence of a human subject, and therefore cannot be principally reproduced in ontologically simple, techno-physical AIA. The main epistemological limit: human thinking cannot be formalized and computationally objectified, since a meaningful semantic core is primary in it, which bears the stamp of subjectivity, and is also strongly linked to layers of implicit personal knowledge and other components of consciousness. Among them a number of sub- and non-rational phenomena stand out (emotions, values, common sense, morality), which are maximally distanced from algorithmic averaging, but without interaction with them rationality remains essentially reduced. It is concluded that the computational representation and objectification of definite components of rationality in AIA is possible, but is not rational itself, since their artificial separation from the larger, human-sized part of rationality initiates a split in it.

On the Structuring of the Spatio-Temporal Relationship. Infra, Ultra and Meta Levels in Human Chronotopology
Andrei Politov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-97-111

The subject of the study is the structuring of the spatiotemporal (chronotopological) relationship that characterizes human being. The article considers the totality of time and space (a chronotope) as a dynamic dialectical organization, immanent to all that existence (especially human), developing together with it and being an integral part and a way of its evolution. The theoretical and methodological basis of the work is the original concept of the chronotope of the Russian philosophers of the first half of the twentieth century (A.A. Ukhtomsky and M.M. Bakhtin), as well as the approaches to chronotopological research that have been developed to date in modern science, such as the Samara Philosophical and Cultural school, the Ekaterinburg Sociological and Philosophical school and the Saransk Philological and Cultural school. The study develops the model of basic structural elements of chronotope, which includes principles, modes and forms (levels), that are introduced to deepen and further develop the idea of the structuring of the chronotopology of the world and a human. The principles of the chronotopological structure are fundamental dialectical and logical schemes that define the basic foundations of its functioning and development, setting the general vector of its evolution. Chronotopological forms are steadily formed levels of the spatiotemporal structure that arise and function in the process of its formation and development. The modes of chronotopological organization are the ways of its functioning and progress that are specifically historically and individually determined for each person. The paper suggests the presence in the chronotopological organization of a secondary number of structural elements, which are in addition to the basic integral forms. There are infra, ultra and meta levels, which complement and complicate basic chronotopological forms. The infra level of the spatiotemporal structure consists of such temporal and topological phenomena as the material bodily bottom, alienated unsettled social space and alienated historical time. The ultra level is represented by the personal world and the microchronotope of consciousness, equipped with public and private space and existentially authentic time. The meta level of time and space is the final generalization of the evolutionary path of the chronotopological structure, from the life of a particular person to the historical path of culture, society and civilization.

Philosophy or the History of Philosophy: An Analysis of Inversive Relations
Dmitry Sevostyanov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-112-126

The article examines the current situation related to the prospects for further development of philosophical knowledge. It is pointed out that in the interpretation of a number of authors, philosophy is now actually reduced to the history of philosophy, turning into a purely historical discipline. Philosophical thought boils down to the analysis and systematization of what was created before, but not to the free search and creation directed to the future.

The current situation has been created due to the practice in which every thought does not arise by itself, but is necessarily based on previously expressed thoughts. Philosophy deals mainly not with the actual, but with the previously described and interpreted reality. Therefore, it is almost impossible for modern philosophers to create on virgin soil. In addition, the amount of philosophical knowledge has reached such a volume that it is almost impossible to keep it within individual human memory. A significant part of philosophical research at present is actually aimed at studying the history of philosophy, while such works sometimes do not contain their own thoughts at all. This situation is considered in philosophy as a systemic inversion: the service, subordinate element of the system acquires a dominant meaning in it.

Of course, the role of the history of philosophy in this discipline itself cannot be disputed. Philosophy is a kind of cumulative knowledge in which the past is inseparable from the present and the future. However, it is impossible to identify the history of philosophy with philosophy itself, because this approach closes any path leading to the future for philosophical thought. It is implied that philosophers from now on should be engaged exclusively in rethinking what was created earlier. The further development of philosophical thought with this approach is actually denied. However, Aristotle pointed out that even the complete denial of philosophy implies the use of philosophical argumentation, and therefore, willingly or unwittingly forces one to accept the existence of a philosophical discipline.

The most important point is that philosophy is a discipline of interest not only for philosophers themselves. Philosophy is not a ‘toy for philosophers’, it is a cognitive tool that is in demand in all other areas of human knowledge. And since science and practice as a whole continue to develop, philosophy will remain in demand precisely as a living, developing discipline, and not as a frozen collection of accumulated thoughts.

How the Existent and the Deontic Meet
Alexey Timoshhuk
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-127-146

The English empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711–1776) formulated the logical problem of the interaction of essence and deontic: moral imperatives, norms, laws, values, goals, policies, etc. are not derived from facts. The existence quantor does not apply to statements with ‘should’, ‘must’. Similarly, artificial intelligence can operate with temporal, epistemic, and even aletic modalities, but cannot analyze deontic and axiological operators, etc. Hume’s guillotine forces a distinction between the normative and the descriptive and the deductive.

Law is the most normative and precise human science, where the present and the ideal are correlated. The desire to define its essence gives rise to fundamental questions about its location. Is it worthwhile to equate norm and being? Is it possible to derive law from social rationing? Can we see it in the psychological need for order and stability, in the subjective experience of duty? How can we bring together the being and the proper in the contradictory category of ‘law’, which means both the objective and the present, and, on the other hand, the valuable and the concrete. The social avatar of the dilemma of the ontic and the deontic is the gap between normative and sociological jurisprudence. The methodological purity of normativism collides with a fluid social reality. Special-legal means and procedures can create a police regime, but they cannot create a system of social justice. Law from the point of view of the proper is the recognition of the dependence of the legal on the social, the political, the economic. Without the proper, however, law loses its instrumentalism. Therefore, the state is like a mangrove biome, uniting heterogeneous environments of the essential and the proper. This article develops models of legal metatheory, or such a descriptor of law, which would explain the forms of the union of the existent and the deontic.

Philosophy of science and education

Effective Methodology and Its Place in Intellectual Culture
Vladimir Razumov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-147-159

Profound changes have taken place in the society of the XXI century. In culture and civilization, the determining role (dominance) passes from science and education to technology and technic. Against the background of the decline in the authority of science and education in society, the situation with the status of philosophy, as well as methodology, has worsened. This provision is due to the fact that the subject of philosophy is knowledge, and for methodology it is scientific knowledge. It is proposed to consider knowledge according to K. Popper’s concept of three worlds. With the giving of a substantial status to knowledge, its origin should no longer be represented as the result of a reflection of reality. Let us define knowledge as an addition to the physical and mental beginnings of a three-component being. In order to show the productivity of the proposed change, a system-cybernetic model of contradiction is given. In the interests of developing an effective methodology, we turn to the concepts of mono- and multi-aspect approaches to any creative work. The situations of ‘not meaningful incompleteness’ are shown, when the researcher does not even think about the varieties of aspects that open up to the specialist when he starts working with the name of the study, and ‘meaningful incompleteness’, when knowing that it is impossible to consider all the variants of the topic, he justifies why he preferred this trajectory. The technologies of the formation of the names of creative works are presented, taking into account the installation on a single-aspect or multi-aspect study. In the course of solving the task of improving the effectiveness of the methodology, the issues of ontological and epistemic characteristics of the subject are touched upon, which is supplemented by direct indications of the division of knowledge into those that form a controlled subsystem – concepts, and those that form a controlling subsystem – categories. Methods for working with categories are formed – categorical system methodology (CSM), theory of dynamic information systems (TDIS, DIS), DIS-technology. CSM and TDIS are not only bases for the development of effective methodological projects, but they are focused on solving the problems of knowledge synthesis, which, in turn, should focus not only on interdisciplinarity, but also on the multi-aspect of the studied. The proposals outlined here are implemented in practice and in the educational process.

Social philosophy

Religion and Its Significance in the Socio-Cultural Life of a Person: Spiritual and Practical Meanings of Family-Patrimonial Memory
Larisa Logunova,  Olga Zhuсova,  Tatiana Gritskevich
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-160-176

The connecting elements of the spirituality and religiosity of the individual are social meanings. The human mind rests on them in moments of truth. The authors analyze the basic foundation of spirituality of an individual - the family-patrimonial memory of the Siberian community. This is an element of spiritual life, capable of constructing social and cultural ethical meanings, determining the fate of people, comprehending one’s existence. Meaning is an epistemological value. It acts as a reference point for the need for a person’s religious choice. Family and tribal memory has a stabilizing cultural-creative function necessary for the reproduction and maintenance of the social order, enshrined in spiritual practices.

Family and tribal memory is defined by the authors as a system of ideas, stereotypes, united by a value-semantic core (family solidarity in understanding one’s historical identity) with the spiritual and activity bases of mental structures for assessing the dynamics of historical events, filled with a variety of personal meanings at the level of semantic functions and variability of semantic interpretations. Family-patrimonial memory is narrative. The study of family mnemonic narratives allowed the authors to determine the significance of sociocultural trauma in the evolution of understanding of their religiosity by members of the Siberian territorial community. The array of interviews with the older generation of Siberians was divided into thematic clusters containing the semantic positions of performing spiritual practices or refusing them. These meanings are passed on by older generations to their grandchildren as a symbolic spiritual capital that influences the behavior of young members of the community. The unity of religiosity and the inconsistency of the content of social memory is devoted to the author’s study of the attitude towards religion of the multi-confessional Siberian community.

The Everyday Life of the Neoliberal Subject: The Interplay of Macro and Micro Ideological Structures
Pavel Gordok
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-177-192

Neoliberalism can be understood both as a practice of governance organized around economic norms of competition, flexibility and risk calculation, and as a technique of shaping and transforming modes of subjectivation. These two interpretations are closely intertwined: the institutions that capture neoliberal discourses become the starting point for the formation of a particular subjectivity known as human capital. At the same time, labour is understood very broadly: even pre-reflexive behavioural practices (e.g., sleep) are included in the idea of human capital. The purpose of this article is to analyse and criticise the neoliberal subject’s image of the life-world. The life-world is understood as an area of everyday human activity within which the pre-predicative resources of “common sense” are at work. The author takes an integrative approach, combining ideological theory and the study of everyday life. M. Foucault’s series of lectures, ‘The Birth of Biopolitics’, is used as the main source of content for the theory of neoliberalism. The critique of the neoliberal subject’s life-world is carried out through the ontological argumentation of the Ljubljana School of Psychoanalysis. The imperative of neoliberal ethics calling for unlimited pleasure is clearly evident in the mode of existence of consumer products. A certain commodity exists as a negation of its own idea: non-alcoholic wine, for example, is a negation of the idea of wine itself. In this sense, pleasure is stripped of any barriers, but just as importantly, the process of its reception becomes a meaning-in-itself that is institutionally supported. Pleasure is linked to the structurally constitutive absence of the object of desire. Thus, a critical analysis of ideology actualises the category of alienation. The overcoming of neoliberal subjectivity is only possible through the acceptance of a fundamental rupture (alienation) as the ontological basis of identity, a position that has been called an object-disoriented ontology.

Dialectical View on Disturbed Harmony in the First World War Letters of German Students in 1914-1918
Tim Trendelkamp
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-193-208

In this article the collection of letters written by voluntary students during the First World War is analyzed from a philosophical point of view. The collection was assembled by Philipp Witkop during the years of the First World War and after it. The author of the article analyzes two philosophical tendencies of materialism and idealism, which appear in the letters. These two philosophical tendencies are considered as phenomena of well-ordered life in peaceful times. The main material of this research is the original text of the collection of letters, as compiled by Philipp Witkop. Then, the texts of Clausewitz, Scheler, Heidegger and Ernst Jünger were added to further enrich the scope of the study. To assess the genuinity and political meaning of the compilation of letters, the author consulted with the contemporary researchers and their results. The main method of this study is the method of reading the text, conducting conceptual analysis and then attempting to develop a philosophical scheme in order to create a senseful context of what was read. Finally, the attempt is made to reunify the contradictions which were discovered as a result of the textual analysis. This attempt of reunification of the discovered contradictions is called the dialectical synthesis. Thus, the dialectical method is one of the important methods employed during the course of this study. The phenomenon of war could be successfully defined as a phenomenon of the destruction of the harmony of usual, peaceful order of life in a state.  The author comes to the conclusion that the content of the letters can be mainly divided in two subgroups. The first subgroup is the subgroup of Idealism. Roughly speaking, these are the students who are enthusiastic about the participation in the war. They have an intellectual tendency towards collectivism. The second subgroup is the subgroup of materialism. This is the subgroup of those students who do not approve of the war. The mindset of these students can be called individualistic. Finally, some letters which attempt to create a dialectical synthesis of these two tendencies could be identified. This dialectical synthesis overcomes the fear of death. But it does not abandon the value of the individual conciousness and the individual personality. The discovery of the dialectical syntheses gives the prove that there can be a more complex attitude towards the historical phenomenon of war as a destructor of well-ordered harmony. It is possible not only to be afraid of death and miss the peaceful times, but also to radically welcome the new times of war. The author highlights the complexity of the human being.

But at the same time, the author offers an argument for the possibility to create a senseful philosophical scheme to make sense of the complex properties of the human experience.

Geography of Rationality

Kirik the Novgorodian and Cosmological Riddles in Old Rus
Irina Gerasimova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-209-222

The text of the “Teaching on Numbers” by the monk and mathematician Kirik the Novgorodian (the first half of the 12th century) was introduced into scientific circulation in the 1820s. Initially, this text was assessed as exclusively mathematical-calendar content. As the research unfolded, questions of a textual, historical-mathematical, philosophical, cultural and socio-psychological nature arose. Compared with similar writings of Kirik’s era, his calculations are recognized as accurate, and in methods of calculation on the abacus, he was 400 years ahead of his time. In addition to the “Teaching on Numbers”, the theological treatise penned by Kirik, “The Questions of Kirik”, has come down to our times, written in the form of a dialogue between a pastor and a bishop about the vital problems of service practice. Despite numerous articles and solid monographs on Kirik’s legacy, some postulates of the “Teaching”, as well as vocabulary features, remain undisclosed and mysterious. The first riddle concerns the scientific research and peculiarities of the reconstruction of the lists of Kirik’s treatises, which have come down to us only from the 16th century. A mere mystery concerns the fragment about circuits in the renewal of the elements, which, at first glance, has a natural philosophical content. The question arises: could Kirik, as a thoughtful scientist, simply rewrite these calculations from the prototype text familiar to him, the so-called “seven-thousanders”? Hypotheses are put forward of Platonic, Pythagorean, Gnostic influences on the essence of the fragment, but no supporting texts have been found. The article presents arguments in favor of the hypothesis of the influence of the mathematical teachings of the Pythagoreans on the prototype of the fragment about the renewal of the elements. The Pythagorean thesis about the structure of the corporeal cosmos according to the laws of beauty and harmony, which are based on the principle of commensurability, is clearly reflected in the mathematical calculations of the fragment. Kirik addressed his “Teaching” to lovers of numbers and he himself belonged to the circle of intellectuals. Modern studies of the Pythagorean tradition confirm the intercultural nature of the influence of the Pythagorean tradition on other ideological directions of thought. In Old Rus the tradition was supported by chroniclers and chronologists.

Luoshu Magic Square: Register of Truth
Andrey Krushinskiy
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.2.1-223-244

The world’s oldest 3x3 magic square, discovered/invented in Ancient China and now known as Luoshu 洛書/ ‘Document [from the River] Luo’, was endowed by Chinese tradition with unprecedented dignity and placed at the very heart of Chinese thought. The bewitching geometric-numerical imagery of Luoshu, open to a great many different visions, when reading-interpretation becomes the final moment of the very act of perception, turns this Chinese mandala into a real eye trap. With its disturbing persistence, it resembles the magically attractive ‘Zahir’ from Borges’ short story of the same name.

   Among the most diverse ritual and ideological instrumentalizations of the Luoshu magic square (from the sacred emblem of cosmic harmony to the requisite of a geomancer), the mobilization of this esoteric figure for the arithmetization of the cornerstone of all Chinese philosophy, the fundamentally non-verbalizable Tao, is dominant. The coding of the dao by the number 15 is reinforced by its spatialization, so that the entire “Document [from the river] Lo” appears as a map of the various trajectories of the Tao within this nine-field square. Moreover, the coincidence (in number 15) of differently composed sums appears as an inscrutable variety of paths leading to the same goal - the final implementation of Tao.

     By virtue of the validity of the equality 15 =mod10 5 the magic sum of the Luoshu square (Const15) immutably, although covertly (in the form of a number 5), centers the entire Luoshu configuration. This secrecy of the magical constant (the latter is absent in the entire observable space of the “Document [from the river] Lo”) refers to the hidden “back-side” of Luoshu numbers, represented by the number 10 (in its role as a modulus of comparison in the arithmetic of residues modulo 10).

      Judging by the directly visible, so to speak, ‘front’ part of the magic square of order 3, it is allowed to count only up to nine in it. But the already absent-present magic sum (number 15), breaking the seemingly inescapable circle of arithmetic of residues, brings to light the comparison module (number 10) as Luosh’s hidden ‘truth’, which alone gives meaning to the entire nine-cell construction. Awareness of this truth is the first step in the transition to the ‘register of truth’ of this extraordinary gestalt. The subsequent connection to it of problems focused by the Pythagorean theorem radically expands Luoshu’s ‘register of truth’.

      The geometrized arithmetic of the Luoshu magic square, which is a unique spatial-numerical fixation of the seemingly fundamentally non-objectivable Tao (i.e., combining the apparently incompatible) marks the possibility of a paradoxical union of Heraclitus with Pythagoras, successfully realized by the Chinese tradition.