The purpose of this paper is to show how the thought and speech of people holding and defending directly opposite positions affect the change in the thought and speech of people of their own and subsequent generations, with different life orientations, and to find ways of this influence. The author describes the situation that arose at the end of the sixties of the twentieth century, known as the ideological dispersal of philosophical, historical and sociological trends that ran counter to the policy of the CPSU, which became especially fierce in the fight against opponents after the USSR’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August, 1968. One of the results of such an ideological battle was the defeat of the sector of the methodology of history of the Institute of General History of the USSR Academy of Sciences, headed by M. Ya. Gefter, who published a series of books in which the so-called laws of historical development (formational approach) were questioned and the fundamental provisions of the classics of Marxism-Leninism were criticized. The subject of analysis is Gefter’s article “A Page from the History of Marxism in the Early 20th Century”, published in the book “Historical Science and Some Problems of the Modernity”, dedicated to the analysis of Lenin’s tactics and strategy development which changed the views of many, especially young, historians on the historical process, and most importantly - on the methods of seeking and expressing the truth. The differences were expressed primarily in the fact that the proponents and defenders of the Soviet regime, which was based on their own established norms of Marxism-Leninism, fearlessly used all means of pressure on unwanted opponents. Professionals, however, who tried to understand the true sense of the historical process, the sense of judgments about it, especially the sense of the revolutionary struggle against the autocracy, unfolding at the beginning of the twentieth century, were forced to use the Aesopian language, which also provoked a distortion of this sense in many ways: due to the nebulous and veiled expressions, which give the impression of theoretical blackmail, causing such consequences as speech irresponsibility.
Polemics on Concepts of Evil and Divine Providence in Jewish Medieval Philosophy: Cases of Gersonides and CrescasValeriya Sleptsova
This paper is devoted to the analysis and to the comparison of concepts on theodicy and on the nature of evil that was developed by two medieval Jewish philosophers. They are Levi ben Gershom (Gersonides or Ralbag, 1288-1344) and Hasdai Crescas (1340-1410/12). The sources of the analysis are the third chapter of the fourth book of the “Wars of the Lord” (1329) by Gersonides and the second chapter of the second book of the “Light of the Lord” (1410) by Crescas. Both philosophers assert that evil essentially cannot come from God. The causes of evil are the sinfulness of human beings, or the celestial bodies, or the breaking of the connection between human and God. The problem of evil and injustice in this world are closely related for Gersonides and Crescas to other problems, such as divine knowledge of future events, free will, reasons for reward and punishment. Gersonides and Crescas differ considerably on these issues. Gersonides demonstrates that God is not an essential source of evil. He proceeded to build on this statement with the fallacy of the opinion that divine providence extends to individuals. After all, said Gersonides, retribution would make God a source of evil. And in this case, righteous men would always be rewarded, and sinners would always be punished for their sins. But obviously this is not the case. Crescas, in contrast to Gersonides, claims that God knows individuals. This does not prevent him from agreeing with Ralbagh that God is not the source of evil. According to Сresсas, any punishment or suffering (even for the righteous) always leads to good. It is obvious therefore that Crescas adheres to a more traditional position, trying, inter alia, to bring his thoughts as close as possible to the ideas expressed in the Torah. Gersonides adheres to a position close to the ideas of Maimonides. Gersonides, in the author’s opinion, created a philosophical concept that is more consistent in comparison with Crescas’ conception, however more distant from the Jewish teaching.
The article examines the paradoxical nature of G. W. F. Hegel’s biography and philosophical ideology. The essence of paradoxicality is substantiated by several factors – biographical, historical-philosophical, hermeneutical, and concrete-historical. The purpose of the work is to identify insufficiently known aspects of the personality and philosophical ideology of the thinker. Methodologically, the study is constructed using dialectical and historical-logical methods. The results of the study are to reveal the voluminous inconsistency of Hegel’s biography and thought; to clarify both the positive and negative aspects of his philosophical ideology.
The author shows a number of paradoxes of Hegel’s philosophy: first, the understanding of development as a ‘hard’ war against itself and inattention to the multifactorial and non-linear nature of many processes; secondly, focusing on a logical idea belittles or denies the value of everything else, including living and human beings; thirdly, the desire to raise a person to ‘the highest’ position and at the same time enslave him as a universal creature and a state citizen; fourth, Hegel’s essentialism is frankly anti-existential and merciless to everything private and subjective; fifth, Hegel’s seemingly flawless scientific system suffers from inattention to the complexity and unpredictability of reality; sixth, the Lutheran religiosity of the philosopher turns out to be almost anti-Christian – with the non-recognition of the Most Holy Trinity, without the desire to become a ‘servant’ of another, etc.; seventh, Hegel’s decency and philistine ‘kindness’ are radically different from his pejorative attitude towards the female sex, other peoples, races, and civilizations. Colonialism is justified. Hence, it was quite natural for the German Nazis to turn to Hegel’s ideas. Eighth, the great dialectic has too much belittled the reality of static things, unambiguity and invariance.
The novelty of the research lies in the recognition of the true causes and tasks of the thinker’s life and work; in the explanation of his main values, including his understanding of Christianity; in the clarification of the Hegel-German and Hegel-citizen positions.
The conclusions of the study are related to the antithetical comparison of the ideology and philosophy of Hegel and Hesse, Hegel and Shestov. The author highlights anti-existential and racial-nationalist motives of the philosopher’s work.
Scientists and teachers have been discussing the peculiarities of dissemination of postmodernism in different areas of society, usually ignoring universities and scientific organizations. During the dominance period of the rationally-oriented intellectual culture, the communication methods among specialists have been developed, assisting to describe any phenomena. Postmodernism, factually revolutionizing communication and discourses, radically changes the communities producing them. Without understanding the essence of these changes, it becomes almost impossible to comprehend what, how and why they are engaged in universities and scientific organizations, and what is happening in economy and in politics? The mentioned transformations have been identified in the article as a phenomenon of the onset of narcissistic culture. Accepting the concept of high culture and a multitude of local cultures, it is reasonable to note the increasing processes of the cultural patterns, which transfer between different areas of private and public life, which more and more complicate being of an individual in culture, when, in particular, the expansion of human freedom is accompanied by enhancing the control over him. Imagine a carnival unfolding in a space arranged like a rhizome (fractal). In this way, from the deconstruction of concepts we move on to the deconstruction of slogans, which, presumably, served as a source for a new type of public perturbation from the end of the 80s of the 20th century till the present time. In modern universities, research institutes, entrepreneurship, politics along with liberal values a large-scale dissemination of narcissistic culture took place. The slogan Science Must Serve the People is being deconstructed. Thus, narcissistic culture unfolds beyond the boundaries of this slogan. At the same time, the carriers of narcissistic culture belonging to different generations, educational and academic statuses become not only carriers of new patterns of behavior, but pose themselves in a very special way in society. Individualization beats the standards, including professional ones. Recognizing that culture is an external factor to subjects, mainly predetermining collective memory, as well as collective thinking and imagination (expectations), and the transition from mass to narcissistic culture changes the social roles and transforms the society. Even in elite universities professionalism is squeezed out in order to achieve the needs for convenience and comfort. The loss of the importance of professionalism in the environment causes a response - self-isolation (absenteeism) of specialists. In the field of entrepreneurship, replacing mass culture with a narcissistic one required new artistic models, a change in behavior style, and legitimization of hedonism and egocentrism. Perhaps this is the reason for the decline in the world economic growth rates. Under the prevailing conditions a healthy lifestyle becomes a necessary setting for meeting certain social and political indicators. There has been a dramatic cultural shift in electoral democracy. It is no longer important to ‘enrapture the hearts and souls’, but to be in admiration of yourself and your close environment. Absenteeism is an immanent feature of narcissistic culture, leading the individual to alienation from the political life of the society. Narcissistic culture has always existed, but postmodernism served as a unique medium for its dissemination. Despite numerous criticisms of narcissistic culture, it brings a high diversity to all areas where it penetrates, and this diversity can act as a trigger mechanism to the beginning of a new round for the development of mankind. Narcissistic culture in the 20th century is an external factor changing the flow of all social processes, including economic, political, and social ones. A project ignoring the peculiarities of cultural narcissism discussed above is doomed to failure.
The article discusses the problems of the professional ethos of science genesis and its transformation in the context of modern realities. There is a brief description of the classical norms of the scientific ethos (universalism, communalism, disinterestedness and organized skepticism), formulated by R. Merton in the late 1930s and early 1940s, in response to the sharp exacerbation of the problem of science’s autonomy in the conditions of totalitarian regimes. The key idea of Merton is especially emphasized: compliance with the norms is aimed primarily at optimizing the process of scientific production and, thereby, the most effective solution to the main goal of science – the increasing of certified knowledge volume. The concept of the ethical imperatives of a scientific profession was almost immediately criticized for being ‘idealistic’ and ‘disconnected from real life’, and by the end of the 1960s it intensified many times over. You can find the examples of critical attitude to the concept of Merton, also we described the alternative versions of the norms of scientific ethos (in the interpretation of Mitroff and Fuller). It has been established that under the conditions of academic capitalism, which implies the incorporation of market culture into the system of scientific research, a negative deformation of classical norms occurs, in practice creating barriers to the production of knowledge and disrupting the practice of communication within the scientific community. The result of this deformation is the system of relationships between scientists, described by Ziman in the framework of the concept of ‘post-academic science’. Evidence is presented that the process of degradation of norms is further intensified in the conditions of cognitive capitalism and neoliberal science. Using the example of modern Russian science, the author shows that the result of such degradation is, for example, the exacerbation of the problem of plagiarism. Methods of counteracting such practice are briefly described using the example of modern Russian science, such as the creation of a Dissernet community or a special commission to counteract falsification of scientific research within the framework of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In a theoretical sense, in the context of the philosophy and sociology of science, the concept of ‘two ethics’ proposed by B. Pruzhinin, looks productive. B. Pruzhinin singles out the specific ethos of fundamental and applied science.
The article focuses on the mission humanitarianism of a university as a social institution from the perspective of social ontology. The mission is viewed as a perfect benchmark (supreme goal and purpose) necessary for university existence as well as for maintenance and authorization of its institutional identity. It is shown that despite the changes in functionality of universities under the conditions of knowledge-intensive economy development (use of business models in interaction with the society), the humanitarian orientation has not lost its significance since it is necessary for the existence of a university as an institutionally organized specific educational activity, including knowledge generation, storage and transmission. Key institutional characteristics are considered that reveal the importance of humanitarianism for preserving the university as a unique social phenomenon. The authors are guided by the methodology of moderate constructivism – the study of value and meaning of human mentality, ideas and ideals in forming the institutional design of social reality. The role of the ideal and the intentionality of human actions in the construction and function of an educational social institution, which is expressed in the university corporation’s drive to be orientated at values, which give positive social significance to its activities and are aimed at achieving good, are explored. The university produces and conveys knowledge through establishing a knowledge subject, in other words, it forms the very intention to achieve a socially significant result not only in an objectified form of knowledge, but also in the form of evolution (development) of an individual who can produce and use knowledge for the good of society and for their personal advancement. In this context, the mission is understood to be a supreme goal and an ideal benchmark in the concrete historic practices of university education in forming a knowledge subject who must master the fundamental values necessary for society’s existence. The university mission is based on the concrete historic interpretation of the key socially significant goal of education: the development of a “human being” who acts for the good and benefit of society and its members via conveying the thesaurus of universal human values in their concrete historic theoretical and ideological formats.
The article analyzes two approaches to explaining the American Revolution. The first belongs to Irina Zhezhko-Braun, who in her works examines the features and formation of social technologies created by the left in the United States, their application in the struggle for power, the transformation of the consciousness and behavior of social subjects, the emasculation of the original democratic principles and other social processes. Vadim Rozin, being not only a methodologist, but also a culturologist, outlines another explanation - culturological. At the same time, he puts forward a hypothesis according to which modernity is a complex double process of a parallel crisis of the culture of modernity and the emergence of “postculture”, which for the time being is manifested for researchers in the trends of sociality. The author of the article considers it necessary to consider the American Revolution by combining both approaches (from the point of view of social sciences and cultural studies), that is, to implement a sociocultural approach and discourse. For this, he first characterizes the social and cultural approaches separately. If the selection and characterization of culture presupposes procedures for comparing different cultures, analysis of the integrity of culture and an invariant vision of the world, then sociality is set by the processes of directed social change, management and power. Then, relying on the material of the reconstruction of the modern American revolution, which was proposed by I. Zhezhko-Braun, the author outlines a sociocultural explanation. In particular, he claims that the successes of the quiet and invisible for many “step-by-step American revolution” can be explained not only by effective social technology and the connivance of the ruling class, but also by the fact that guided social changes are taking place against the background of parallel processes of the completion of modernity and the formation of post-culture
Will the USA Face the Fate of the Roman Empire? (Reflections on Irina Zhezhko-Brown’s Articles about the Minority Elite in the USA)Grigory Khanin
The starting point of the paper is the three articles in the journal Ideas and Ideals by Irina Zhezhko-Brown who analyzes the formation of a new ruling class in the USA, which rests on racial and gender minorities. The values proclaimed by the elite are fundamentally different from traditional American values.
The paper shows that any attempt to bring them into life can have devastating consequences for American society and, ultimately, lead to its downfall. Considering the huge role of the USA in the world system, this can be compared to the fall of the Roman Empire.
The author shows that it is possible to escape such an outcome. The obstacle to this escape is the entire social and economic system that has developed in the USA. In the field of economics, the priority in recruiting personnel is given to quotas based on race and gender instead of qualification and business qualities, which will lead to a significant decrease in the financial performance of companies and the wages of employees.
The author analyzes such long-term macroeconomic defects of the American economy as the budget deficit, trade and balance of payments deficit, and the growth of government debt. In the near future, these defects may lead to a deep economic crisis, a stock market crisis, and the US dollar can lose its position as the key currency.
The paper considers economic and political premises and prevention methods of these destructive processes.
Pandemic COVID-19 affected the crisis in many areas of public life – in the economy, politics, family, consumer relations, and culture. It has become a challenge for social sciences, especially for sociology. If in other areas of social research, the meaningful gaps can still be compensated by speculations, the increase in sociological knowledge without empirical research is simply impossible. But in the face of restriction of full-time communications, the use of a number of methods and techniques is either completely impracticable or requires significant procedural correction. In addition, the need to correct the content of sociological representation of the total and local objects becomes obvious. The way, the society as a whole, its subsystems, institutes and cohorts, face the pandemic, requires reformulating the axiomatics, and hypothesis of sociological research. Within the frames of this article, the author focuses on several themes, which relevance is aggravated with shifts in social life caused by the pandemic. The first theoretical and methodological “lesson” is the need to rethink the paradigmatic ratio of illusion / objectivity of social law, since there is no secret that the objective contamination of the population is in close connection with the intensity of generating the spread of various prejudices in the public consciousness. The second “lesson” affects the disciplinary status of sociology of medicine, the significance of which in the regulation of social functioning has immeasurably increased. In this regard, the perception of people as a population is a kind of demand for the paradigm status in terms of the sociology of medicine. The third “lesson” is associated with the problem of the rationality of social behavior of a person, because the social design of the pandemic stroke seriously shakes confidence in the sanity of a man. The fourth “lesson” is an attempt to bring in methodological character into the suspicion of the scenario nature of the unfolding global pandemic. Any scenario has its own scriptwriter who has something to say about social laws in general and about the nature of human capital in particular
The article explores the idea of social progress in the context of the history of human society. The author considers the concept of progress in interrelation with the three revolutions. The first revolution was an agrarian one, which established the dominant religious consciousness and dependence on the divine intervention. Accordingly, the idea of progress as opposed to the perfection of God was not dominant. The world of nature is born, develops, and dies. This approach prevailed for about seven thousand years: from the first civilizations to the XV - XVIII centuries. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, after the fall, the world fell away from God. This understanding corresponds to the primordial approach and is also opposite to the idea of progress. In the Renaissance, the secularization of consciousness and culture begins. Culture and values are formed on the basis of religious Judeo-Christian values, but a man becomes the bearer and guarantor of these values. The ideas of humanism and worshipping of a human being as the main creator are reflected in philosophy, art, and painting. In accordance with this approach, the idea of progress is born. The idea of progress is fully formed and takes possession of the masses in the age of Enlightenment. During this period, the industrial revolution is taking place. In European culture, the primacy of rationality, machine labor and equality is asserted. But at the same time, the industrial revolution entailed many social crises that are still relevant today. The United States and Europe were gradually able to overcome the challenges of the industrial revolution and create a system of “capitalism with a human face”, while partially imposing their system on other countries where production is cheaper. Therefore, the problems of the so-called “wild capitalism” still take place in the third world countries.
By the middle of the XX century, science became the leading factor in manufacturing. Society is changing from industrial to post-industrial. The article focuses on the problems and opportunities of the modern post-industrial society with all the accumulated baggage of the previous stages of development. Humanity has achieved great technological success, and the scientific and technological revolution has brought material benefits to society. But at the same time, the consumer society creates many problems. What is progress in the context of modern discourse? The answer to this question is the purpose of this article.
The article presents a philosophical and psychological analysis of the psychodynamics of deceit, as a specific phenomenon determined by personal qualities. The results of the study are presented on the basis of a questionnaire developed by the authors to self-evaluate the admissibility of a lie. Students of both sexes participated (156 people between the age of 17-25). Three groups of subjects were identified, 30 people in each: group 1, with a negative attitude to lies; group 2: people who admit to lying in some cases, and group 3: people who admit to lying in all its manifestations. Personality factors in these groups were compared using the Kattel 16 PF questionnaire. People with different permissibility of lying and falsehood have different psychotypes. People who categorically deny and do not tolerate lies and deceit have high self-control of their behavior, severity and rigidity, while they are internally timid, aloof, tense, overly careful, avoid stress, and have a narrow life perspective. A person who admits falsehood in some cases and situations is conformal, dependent, not always confident in himself, often preoccupied with problems, emotionally unstable, often tense. There is a struggle between conscientiousness and falsehood; provoked by emotional instability and the lack of a “moral core” that does not allow the expression of one’s own opinion. Respondents representing the openly deceitful type reveal emotional balance, flexible intelligence, sociability, good memory and variable creative thinking. In the selected groups, there are different ways of resisting stress. It is shown that the adaptability of people from group 3 is higher than that of people from 1 and 2. The permissibility of lying is positively correlated with resilience to stress, and the inadmissibility of lying is associated with low stress tolerance. It follows from this that falsehood is embedded in the structure of the personality as an adaptive strategy. The authors state that falsehood is an adaptive phenomenon that facilitates survival in society.
The article analyzes the emergence of the so-called red funeral ritual in the 1920s in Soviet Russia as an important component of political everyday life. The first part of the article examines the funeral rituals of representatives of the Bolshevik elite. The second part attempts to characterize the transformation of funeral rites among the “common” population. The analysis undertaken clearly shows the undoubted political and public nature of funeral rituals in early Soviet Russia. Initially, Soviet funeral rituals were powerfully influenced by radical utilitarianism and total nihilistic denial of the religious worldview, intensified by the excesses of the World War, Revolution and Civil War. Nevertheless, nihilism and utilitarianism, the highest expression of which was the idea of cremation, were quickly pushed out by a new funeral ritual, the key elements of which were demonstration and “theatrical ritual” with its music, processions, pretentious speeches and fireworks, in many respects borrowed from military funerals. The main role in the emergence of the red funeral ritual was played by the cult of fallen heroes, which in turn was a guarantee of political immortality of the Bolshevik leaders. As a result, the red funeral became an important element of the alternative Bolshevik culture. The concept of Vladimir Buldakov, who characterized revolutionary funeral rituals as “neo-pagan”, is at least controversial. The attempt to make funerals of the Bolshevik elites a model for mass funerals collided with conservative rituals, especially in the countryside. With regard to the 1920s, at best, we can talk about the emergence of a kind of “the effect of dual faith", a specific symbiosis of red and religious funeral rites. Thus, in the 1920s, the process of a new Soviet ritualism development was far from complete, including the Soviet party and state elites, as evidenced by the fluctuations between party asceticism with its utilitarian attitude to ashes and splendid funerals of leaders.