Hobsbawm’s modern world originated in the big bang of the eighteenth century, and it was extinguished in an implosion almost exactly two centuries later. To him these two hundred years were defined by the project of the Enlightenment which imagined a world that was equally good for all of humanity and not for just some part of it. More than revolution, the Enlightenment drove this world onward until it seems to have exhausted itself by the end of the twentieth century: the Marxist Hobsbawm is inspired more by the Enlightenment than by one of its consequences, the millenarian dream of revolution. Deriving from the Enlightenment, the conjoined industrial and French revolutions, known as the dual revolution in his work, generated all subsequent events. The industrial revolution assumed both capitalist and socialist forms, and the political revolution inaugurated by the French species spawned a series of bourgeois and socialist revolutions, attempts at revolution of both types, and revolutions against revolution, or counter-revolutions. They permeated not only the politics and the economy of the continent, but as much its social and cultural processes and the sciences and the arts. His magnificent oeuvre celebrates this universe bounded by the two revolutionary waves of the late eighteenth and the late twentieth centuries; but it is a celebration that broods on its dark side as much as on its stupendous achievements. His grand theme is the hope held out by the Enlightenment, the revolutions that sustained it, and the counter-revolutions that negated it. As this modern world drew to its close in the 1990s, a gloomy uncertainty hangs over the world, and his musings on the post-Cold War world reflect this unease.
The problem of the reliability of history, assessments of events and facts puts the researcher before the necessity of analyzing the very concept of history and its understanding as a bearer of the metaphysical. In the course of the analysis, a figure of the historian (Histor) - an elected arbitrator or an authoritative person, necessary for the initial court-judgment in a certain case was identified. Analysis of the Platonic dialogue "Sophist" allows us to discover the metaphysics of history through pairs of concepts such as: being and nothingness, movement and rest, identical and different, treating it as the art of creating images and as a myth caught and realized at the time of its appearance. Change of the image of history is facilitated by a speech that can change meanings. Historian (Histor) and sophist are two terms that have shown the limits of our understanding of being, which is atomic and which constantly forces us to make choices.
"PUBLIC OPINION" IN THE FRENCH ENCYCLOPEDIAS OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE XVIII CENTURY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONCEPTI.A. Valdman, T.V. Anosova
The work provides insight into the formation and development of the “public opinion” concept in the latter half of 18th century. A comparative analysis of the articles ‘opinion’ and ‘public opinion’ in the “Encyclopedia” of Diderot & d'Alembert and in the “Encyclopédie Méthodique” provides an opportunity to trace evolution and the distance between the perceptions of two notions during the various periods of time. The article considers ‘opinion’ as “doubtful and uncertain judgment” and ‘opinions’ as points of view of judges underlying the judgement, which the French Encyclopaedists referred to legal and logical spheres, and their impact on the formation of the “public opinion” concept. The work provides an analysis of ideas of public opinion as a mechanism of public control of social and political realm, which peculiarity is independence from the sphere of state regulation and the lack of institutionalized means of influencing the institutions.
Philosophy in the traditional society was based on other principles than in the modern one. As a part of the traditional culture, it created unity, because it originated from the single principle. It was linked with traditional Sciences, among which there was alchemy. Alchemy became prosperous in the Alexandrian epoch, in Greco-Roman Egypt. It was synthetic metaphysical cognition and at the same time practice of a man and cosmos transformation. Its aim was "healing" the world; it had to deal with qualities, not quantities. With the advent of Christianity, alchemy became persecuted. As a result, it degenerated into the practice of “metals transformation”. Alchemists were rightfully called philosophers. The subject of our study, therefore, is to extend the understanding of philosophy. The applied method consists in the disclosure of the metaphysical status of alchemy as a different type of thinking, not reducible to the categories of modern science. The same analysis has been made in relation to contemporary philosophy. The modern state of humanity is anti-traditional. This is the realm of quantity. There is neither a tradition of initiation, nor the intellectual elite, which put it into practice. Therefore, philosophy ceases to follow its calling, becoming a shell of individual opinions and judgments of non-universal nature. The result of this research is different understanding of philosophy and its role in the unity of culture, it differs from the understanding widely spread today. Nowadays it is understood as generalization of scientific knowledge. But philosophy cannot be subordinated to science as it was once subordinated to religion. Its mission is to find the truth. Modern philosophy bears the imprint of all negative aspects of culture: individualism, “the realm of quantity", the lack of unity, crisis in every direction, anti-traditionalism. Alchemy was the historical experience of transforming knowledge. It sought to overcome the limitations of individual existence.
The current state of academic life is characterized by the disintegration (counteraction) of acts of cognition as a sphere of spiritual being, on the one hand, and scientific research, which belongs primarily to the sphere of technogenic civilization, on the other. The absence of axiological foundations of scientific activities, which determine the goals and vectors of philosophical knowledge, is the reason for the exceptional technologicalism of research projects and the whole university culture. The observed today dehumanization of science reveals itself in the fact, that the ideal of truth, which is transcendental for academic institutions, is lost, in which the university, as a cognising subject, builds its own integrity. In such a situation, the spiritual foundations of knowledge are found only in the ethical regulation of scientific activity, which manifests itself in the form of external regulatory prescriptions. However, the real humanitarian (cultural) mission of the university is to transform the rational knowledge of the world into the ontology of values. Without the university as a special institution (in its various manifestations and historical modifications), the ideal of science, divided into innumerable information fields, loses its teleological completeness. In modern science, the potential of technology as an essence of "dynamic matter" is increasingly being realized, but the Spirit is not deployed in the system of cognitive practices, which fundamentally contradicts the very foundations of the University Idea, as it was in the classical period of its history.
The article is devoted to formation of the problem of violence in Western European humanitarian cognition. In the early philosophical texts, violence is treated as a form of human interaction which came into existence with the emergence of the first human communities. The main purpose of violence is security provision. In the Renaissance and modern times, violence is studied as a special political mechanism, which has become the most vivid expression of power. Over time, violence has widened the horizons of its action, and state violence received support in the law and ideology. The rationale for the use of state violence in particular, was provided by the philosophers of the Enlightenment (I. Kant, J. Locke, Ch.-L. Montesquieu, J. J. Rousseau, etc.). Subsequently, the original thesis about the total necessity of violence in social life has undergone a gradual transformation in the direction of justifying the need to mitigate them. The beginning of the revision the relationship to violence was the refusal of torture and demonstration executions, and the rejection of the significance of violence to maintain social order. Gradually, the discussion of the problem of violence acquired an ontological sense and was reflected in the question: what is the nature of this phenomenon? The authors believe that the answer is possible on the basis of application of the dialectical method having examined the phenomenon in development, highlighting the ambiguity and inconsistency of violence in every epoch, correlating it with the present and, especially, denoting the interdisciplinary nature of the problem.
The article presents a systematic analysis of Aristotle’s views on the nature and qualities of time and human opportunities of its researching. This analysis is based on three treatises of the philosopher – "Physics", "Metaphysics" and "Categories". Aristotle’s concept of time is a synthesis of metaphysical (speculative) and scientific (instrumental) approaches to the study of time. The specific character of Aristotle's epistemological strategy includes also acceptance of the pre-theoretical, everyday knowledge that Aristotle recognizes as reliable because of the accordance of man to the world. The article is focused on the following aspects of time according to Aristotle: time and eternity; origin of time; reality of time, time and movement; continuity/discontinuity of time; interrelation of time’s parts; ontological essence of the moment of time (or point “now”); time as border. Some questions are considered in the context of Aristotle’s polemics with the Eleatics and Plato; some of them including the problem of “inner time” of things are raised for the first time. There is given a solution of the well-known Aristotle’s paradox on absence of time, because past no longer exists, future doesn’t exist yet and present is only a moment without duration. According to Aristotle, the point "now" doesn’t deprive the present reality, but, on the contrary, confirms this reality. In addition, if the point "now" is a reference point (boundary) for other modes of time that's why it is the ontological condition for the being of time as a whole.
This article discusses several key concepts of the research strategy of the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon, who put forward the concept of technical, biological, psychological and collective individuation, directly related to the problem of self-developing systems. This review is focused on finding the ways to understand the philosophy of Simondon and justification of its relevance today. The author proposes the interpretation of the origin of individualized sensible beings in the light of such important concepts for Simondon as the transduction and allagmatic, involving also other related presentation. The organization according to Simondon is neither a thing nor an object, nor a ready idea; its purpose is reconciliation of the different facilities in order to obtain sustainable effects. There are no constant organizations, but there are only processes of organization. Organization is the link between people and non-people, ideas and beliefs. It is of "pre-individuated" facilities that compiled assembly and action network. Organization is individuated and becomes metastable. But there are no established regimes of organization. Mechanisms of transduction permanently affect the organization and cause significant changes in it. The thinking about individuation by Simondon relating to organized structures (non-living, living and social) is very important and contemporary. The process of transduktivity suggests epistemology that Heidegger and Derrida, in different terms, called the metaphysics of presence. The author shows that the allagmatic project goes further than the cybernetic project in various philosophical strategies, as well as in the natural sciences and the humanities research, that again points to its interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary character.
INTERCOURSE AS “DEATH CONFRONTATION” : THE EXPERIENCE OF EXISTENTIAL AND HERMENEUTICAL INTERPRETATIONA.Yu. Baiborodov
The article in question deals with the problem of coexistential intercourse in close connection with the opportunity of death. The author defines coexistential intercourse as the universal mode of subjects’ coexistence in their fundamental existential opportunity. The subject of the author’s research is coexistential intercourse in relation with the opportunity of death. Death tends to be a negative opportunity of unique coexistential meaning and its positive opportunity either. The author of the article sets a goal to investigate the existential meaning of death as a fundamental opportunity of coexistence. According to the goal the author puts the following problem: is it possible to express the irrational contents of coexistential experience by means of rational thinking? Thus, the unique coexistential experience may be expressed by logical means, but we cannot totally avoid contradiction and opposition between coexistential experience and theoretic discourse. Besides, the author of the article uses existential thinking in close connection with hermeneutical approach which makes possible more profound comprehension of the essence of death. Due to the author’s approach death utters itself through a solitary act of negation. The latter bears ultimate overmeaning of non-existence. Moreover, an act of negation represents a specific “challenge” proposed by death. The subject of coexistence is free to accept a challenge of death and to suggest his own response to the opportunity of negation. The subject of coexistential intercourse brings forward and “utters” his conscious and responsible position, opposed to total negation. This makes possible specific “communication” with death which becomes a “subject” of intercourse. Besides, death appears to be a positive opportunity of coexistential intercourse.
The paper investigates contradictory character of the concept ‘freedom’ in the modern society. The author aims to create new principles of structure in this field. The essence of ‘freedom’ is defined by the notion ‘subject-ness’. The heuristic potential of this concept is determined by its capability of synthesizing ideas of self-causality and self-determination, which constitute essential semantic kernel of freedom. The author considers the main tendencies of personalization / depersonalization and subjectivation / objectivation in social-individual human life as the main aspects and contradictions of ‘freedom’. With respect to the understanding of freedom the objectified impersonal principles of social life are accentuated, which are usually referred to as social system. The problem concerning the relationship of an individual and a system is presented as one of the key socio-philosophical and humanitarian themes in discourses forming the basis of all modern philosophy of freedom. The main idea of the paper is to substantiate new structuring of freedom concept. In contemporary culture it includes three main elements: self-determination, self-identity and self-realization.
The central idea of this article is that the problem of representation of cyborg experience for us, non-modified humans, becomes solvable by the composition of two semiotic approaches: biosemiotics and actant semiotics. First, since "cyborg" implies cybernetic organism, we may consider technomodified humans to the сertain extent equivalent with animals. Therefore we can use the method of Umwelt-analysis: it was created by J.von Uexkull to reconstruct how the world is given to a living organism with particular bodily structure in "action-perception" functional circles. Within Umwelt-analysis, biosemiotics exposes the way in which perceived world appears to an organism as consisting of "material signs" where an organism itself is a sort of "communicative structure". The very possibility to describe Umwelt obtains because an environment and an organism stand in sign-relations with each other (which is also true for cyborgs). On the next step, we use tools of actant semiotics from works of B. Latour to clarify how Umwelt-descriptions produce immersive effects upon us, representing the experience of an organism. Latour claims that, once the flow of transformations from material actants to textual ones is done, the realism of scientific texts comes from a composition of characters, or, in semiotician terms, "inner frame of reference". Revealing of semiotic operations (shifting out, shifting in and figuration) in Umwelt-descriptions then displays how viewpoint of an organism on the world appears inside world-text and takes readers attention. We test proposed the approach on the example of people with magnetic implants, concluding with further perspectives of its application.
The article considers the problem of moral ideal formation in the philosophy of personalism. It shows the relationship of religious and social views on moral development. In modern society, due to the simplification of the social communication process, it is necessary to universalize the moral category in order to adopt the norms of behavior and ethical views of society, which, in fact, differ greatly from each other. The article considers the issue of moral self-development in the limelight of aspiration for inner freedom of an individual taking into consideration the growth of communication and travel freedom. The key thesis is the need for the moral ideal formation with setting of goals, values, paradigms, which will serve the aspirations of a modern, harmoniously developed person to the moral growth and the ideal, which embodies the best moral qualities and can become a model. The author compares religious and philosophical points of view on the formation of the moral ideal, which appear to be united in the philosophy of personalism. According to the author the existence of a moral ideal is a prerequisite of moral self-development of a person. The result of the analysis is the conclusion that the unity of goals, values and paradigms of moral self-development, in the context of religious and philosophical direction of personalism contributes to the moral ideal. Reaching the moral ideal requires setting goals in the moral education of the society.
During all their history people have always been striving for acquiring the integrated worldview. In the Christian part of the world theology and science have traditionally been of great importance in the formation of the worldview. First, theology dominated in gnoseological respect, but then, in the last half-thousand years the leading role was given to science. What is the relationship between Christianity and science nowadays? This article is devoted to consideration of positions of some well-known Christian thinkers specializing in this field. Rejecting the division of spheres of competence between Christianity and science, and their autonomous development, they consider an integrative approach as the most perspective, constructive and productive. The author analyses some flaws in attempts to integrate theology and science, which have been done within the frames of natural theology. Unlike natural theology, which stresses natural sciences component, the suggested approach highlights the idea, that in Christianity theories of creation and salvation are inseparable as well as spiritual life development. Modern integration stipulated by specific and similar features of Christianity and science suggests the formation of integrated worldview on the basis of common philosophical schemes and categories. As one of the most accurate philosophical basis for such integrated worldview the author puts forward «philosophy of process» which considers the world as the dynamic, complex but at the same time the interconnected single whole.
The article is devoted to religion as one of the forms of comprehension of being. To denote the processes of getting various kinds of knowledge in different types of activities in the society the term «comprehension» is used (which is wider than the concept «cognition»). Methodologically «comprehension» is closer to Hegelian interpretation of knowledge acquisition as a cultural and historical process. As a result of comprehension different types of knowledge are formed: the reflective knowledge presenting the world in its own logic and the evaluative knowledge connected with trying to understand this world. The comprehension of being proceeds in stable forms which occupy their own places in general comprehension system (mythology, philosophy, science, religion, art, occultism, trivial and practical knowledge). Depending on the created images of objective reality, methods of its acquisition, methods of obtaining knowledge and their specificity, realistic, imaginative and ambivalent forms of comprehension of objective reality are distinguished. Along with mythology and art, religion can be attributed to imaginative forms of comprehension in which images of the world are created: on the one hand, realistic, and on the other hand, imaginative (in religion, moreover, sacred), built according to the laws of imagination. As any form of comprehension of being, religion has a structure which is represented in the social, epistemological and psychological blocks. The social bloc reveals the process of forming beliefs in the course of religious activity. The epistemological block reflects the specificity of religious knowledge and the methods of obtaining it. The psychological block is dedicated to the peculiarities of religious faith as a gnoseo-psychological mechanism of consciousness, and it also includes other psychological aspects related to the process of obtaining religious knowledge.
On August 6, 2017 Boris G. Yudin (Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chief Research Fellow of the Humanitarian Expertise and Bioethics Sector of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, editor-in-chief of the journal "Man", member of the “Ideas and Ideals” editorial board) died after a prolonged critical illness.