Theory and history of culture

Historical and Social Memory: Paradoxes and Implications
Larisa Logunova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-227-253

This paper is written on the basis of many years of research. The author studied the specifics of social memory functioning. Historical memory is an element of social memory. In times of stability of social processes all elements of social memory operate in complementary mode. But historical memory contains latent paradoxes in its structure. In crisis situations, the historical memory begins to interfere with the social memory. Crises are times of a contradictory policy of memory. In times of crisis, historical memory attacks public consciousness with ambiguous interpretations of events. This generates pseudo patriotism, ideological excesses, distortion of traditions, prohibitions to remember “inconvenient” events. Social memory becomes a “field of stabilization” of the structures of social consciousness. The field and layers of social memory retain the experience of their ancestors in their structures, as well as the stock of knowledge, the necessary community for survival. Although the interpretation of information stored in memory structures is socially differentiated, it is cleared of politics and ideology. The methodology of investigating the interaction of contradictions between social and historical memory is interdisciplinary, sociocultural. It also applies cultural centrism, multilevel approaches, methods of qualitative analysis (narrative interviews with representatives of different ethnic groups, restoration of family histories, content analysis of memoirs, journalism). The result of the analysis is the systematization of the contradictions of social and historical memory in crisis conditions.

Isaac Newton: Mathematico-Hermeneutic Methodology of Prophetic Exegesis
Konstantin Sharov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-254-273

In this paper, the main techniques as well as the heuristic and cognitive possibilities of the exegetical theology of Isaac Newton, are analysed. The Newtonian method of hermeneutic interpretation of the prophetic texts of the Old and New Testaments, is studied. The main constituents of this method are as follows: 1) in prophecy, a literal meaning of physical, historical, social and political reality, is hidden; 2) the interpretation of prophecy must be systematic, and not sketchy; 3) the interpretation must be complete and inclusive; 4) in the interpretation, a clear structure of events should be elaborated; 5) in prophecy there are no superfluous, unnecessary and just poetic details; 6) to determine the correct chronological sequence of historical events (sometimes specially confused in the original prophetic text), it is necessary to create a system of synchronisms - chronological reference points; 7) on reconstructing the full picture of encrypted events, one must use the whole range of available sources: biblical, near biblical, non-biblical (pagan, Sumerian, Arabic, etc.), textual and non-textual, historical, archaeological, geographical, anthropological, architectural sources; 8) it is necessary to establish the hierarchy (priority) of sources; 9) the basic logical method for interpreting prophecies is induction; in our conclusions, it is obligatory to have a necessary and sufficient condition for understanding the text – and this will be complete exegesis; 10) ultimately it is necessary to achieve both external and internal consistency of the hermeneutic interpretation of a prophetic text; 11) it is compulsory to have test points in historical chronology so that it should be possible to trace the correctness or incorrectness of any exegetical conclusion; 12) the constant self-control and discipline of the exegete, the Bible researcher is required; 13) exegesis should not be carried out on translations, if there is such an opportunity, but on original, native textual sources; 14) a system of deciphering images in the form of hieroglyphics is needed. It is shown that Newton developed a dictionary of historical, political and ecclesiastical equivalents for images and symbols in the prophetic literature. In the interpretation of prophecy, he applied the principle of constancy: throughout the prophecy, it is necessary to use the same hieroglyphic dictionary – this will ensure the consistency and continuity of exegesis. It is demonstrated that Newton was able to obtain a systematic picture of the Apocalyptic events on the basis of the interpretation of many prophetic books (Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Zechariah, Amos, Revelation of John the Theologian), the main of which are the Book of Daniel and the Apocalypse.


The Discrimination Issue in the Context of Neuroethics
Lyudmila Sandakova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-274-295

The development of bio- and neurotechnology is significantly changing human reality and perceptions of humans themselves. This results not only in the new opportunities, but threats as well. In such conditions, the problem of discrimination gains topicality, and specialized legal or psychological considerations of this issue are no longer sufficient. This article discusses the potential of neuroethics in research and prevention of discrimination associated with the development of neuroscience and neurotechnology. In the scientific sources, there are various interpretations of neuroethics. Therefore, the problem of discrimination is considered in the scope of different understanding of the subject and methods of neuro-ethics. The research methodology is based on two key principles. 1) Transdisciplinarity is understood as the realization of the philosophical methodology of thinking in post-scientific reality. 2) Any issues of the moral and legal field should have a humanitarian dimension. At the same time, a human is viewed as a specific creature uniquely combining in his being opposite characteristics: biological and social, natural vs. artificial, individual vs. collective, and subjective vs. objective. Therefore, the dialectic methodology of thinking seems to be effective. The empirical basis of the study comprises domestic and foreign publications that raise issues of discrimination in connection with the development of neuroscience and neurotechnology. The author suggests that the complex nature of the phenomenon of discrimination is due to 1) the heterogeneity of social reality; 2) the contradictory biosocial nature of a human, suggesting interaction in terms of "competition vs. cooperation"; 3) ideological attitudes and ideas that justify and reinforce in culture the significance of certain differences and the specific attitude towards them. Our regulatory capabilities are connected with the outlook and cultural mechanisms of the regulation of social life. Therefore, it becomes important how the problem of discrimination is raised and solved. The article analyzes the prospects of political, ideological, ethical, scientific and bioethical statement of the problem. It is shown that the bioethical statement of the problem is most consistent with the current socio-cultural processes. The transdisciplinary nature of bioethics helps to maintain a multidimensional vision of the problem, and preserves and reproduces the contradictory human nature in the conditions of modern technological culture. Neuroethics, interpreted as a new ethic of the neurofuture, generates high risks of discrimination. This is due to the loss of the basis of ethical regulation, i.e. a human with his/her specific nature. Serious risks also arise when ethical phenomena are reduced to neurophysiological processes. Neuroethics, understood as the ethics of neuroscience and neuro-interference, has a low potential for preventing discrimination. It can be found in the accumulation of precedents and problematic situations, which are caused by new opportunities and new needs for the development of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Neuroethics as a part of bioethical discourse on the problem field of neuroscience provides a theoretical and methodological opportunity to estimate and prevent possible risks of discrimination.

International Scientific Conference in Memory of B. G. Yudin “Living in the World of Neurotechnologies: Social and Ethical Problems”
Tatyana Sidorova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-296-306

The paper presents an overview of the international scientific conference “Living in the World of Neurotechnologies: Social and Ethical Problems”. This is one of the first interdisciplinary forums where the issues arising in the context of the development of neuroscience were discussed by philosophers, ethics and medical specialists. The conference opened a research area for humanitarian studies. Conference participants often recalled the name of B. G. Yudin, because his ideas have been recently in great demand in developing new approaches. B.G. Yudin is considered to be one of the founders of bioethics in Russia. This conference laid the foundation for the study of ethical, anthropological and social problems in neuroscience and neurotechnology - an area that goes beyond biomedicine and declares itself as the most current trend of modern research. The tasks of neuroethics include defining, assessing and managing the social and humanitarian risks of various scientific fields with the prefix of neuro- arising in the light of the latest brain research. Neuroethics has already established the status of an interdisciplinary direction abroad, but in our country it is taking the first steps. The international scientific conference held in Moscow was one of the first significant events in its formation. The author presents the main theses of the most significant speeches of the participants of this conference.

Religion in modern culture

Theology and Theory of Evolution: the Conflict which did not Exist
Aleksandr Khramov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-307-326

The present paper critically examines the conflict thesis, which can be traced to the authors of the second half of the 19th century, like Thomas Huxley, John Draper and Andrew White, and which was actively exploited during the Soviet time. This thesis, which states that there is an inevitable conflict between religion and science, is shown to be inapplicable to the history of biology and evolution theory in the 19th century. Instead of conflicting with contemporary science, in that time religious leaders often sought ways of reconciling scientific discoveries and the Christian faith, and sometimes they were even personally engaged in geological and paleontological researches. In this respect the case of William Backland, an Anglican priest and geologist, is of a special interest, because at the beginning of his career he followed the biblical deluge narrative in his geological pursuits, but later abandoned this idea in the face of new facts. Because of the professionalization of science the role, which clergy had played in performing researches, gradually diminished. Nevertheless, religious ideas continued to have a considerable influence on the scientific activity of professional paleontologists and evolutionary biologists. In particular, the concept of creation through evolution, aimed at reconciling scientific worldview and the Christian belief, had been formulated before Darwin published his evolutionary theory, and afterwards it was endorsed by determined Darwinists like American botanist Asa Gray and British naturalist Alfred Wallace. Therefore, it would be a mistake to draw a conclusion about the incompatibility of science and religion in general from the isolated cases of religiously motivated hostility toward the theory of evolution and other scientific ideas.

Problems of national discourse

“It wasn’t like That”: Discussions about Terror in the Socialist Revolutionary Party during the Civil War
Konstantin Morozov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-327-355

This article, written to a large extent on archival material (mainly from the Central Office of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation), is devoted to the topic of discussions about terror and the attitude of the Socialist Revolutionary Party to it during the Civil War. The studies conducted in the previous year allow us to draw a conclusion that the assassination attempt on Vladimir Volodarsky on June 20, 1918 and on Lenin on January 1 and August 30, 1918 cannot be considered out of the context of the Socialist Revolutionary Party attitude to terror (though they were not the acts of the Socialist Revolutionary Party). If we consider the emergence of terrorist sentiments in the SR and the SR terror itself after October 1917, without violating the principle of historicism, it becomes obvious that these sentiments were a response to the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in October 1917 and the dispersal of the legitimately elected All-Russian Constituent Assembly, accompanied by the shooting of peaceful demonstrations in its defense in Petrograd and Moscow. At the same time, a considerable part of the Socialist Revolutionaries, including leaders, was plunged into a great deal of confusion by the impossibility to use weapons (including terror acts) against the socialists, and also in a situation when the Bolsheviks enjoyed the support of a part of the capital city proletariat (and not only in the capital city).

Problems of Preservation of the National Self-Consciousness of the Russian People
Viktor Chernoskutov,  Oleg Romannikov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-356-365

The problems of preserving Russian national identity at the present stage are considered in the article. The authors analyze the sources, the main stages and ways of forming the self-consciousness of the Russian people. They note that its formation is inextricably linked with the process of the formation of the Russian national culture and national self-consciousness. The views about the features of the Russian character, the peculiarities of the Russian soul, embodying the spiritual essence of the people of Russian thinkers such as F.M. Dostoevsky, V.S. Solovyov, N.A. Berdyaev etc. are investigated in a socio-philosophical context. The article emphasizes that with the collapse of the USSR, a one-time surrender of the positions of a great country took place: there appeared an ideological vacuum, there was no consolidating idea or ideals. The authors show the differences in the principles of the existence of Russian and Western civilizations, the current increasing pressure on the Russian state and citizens literally in all spheres of life, the authors note as well that the economic and information wars against our country threaten the unity of Russia as a multi-national state. Russophobia and the socio-economic anomie of Russian society are considered among them. The authors come to the conclusion that in order to develop the self-consciousness of the Russian people, it is necessary to preserve Russian culture and the Russian language, strengthen inter-ethnic ties, educate young people on the examples of the historical past, folk traditions and customs, enhance the role of the Russian Orthodox Church as the traditional moral authority of society.

Analytics of Spiritual Culture

The Music Content and the Craft of Piano Playing
Mikhail Karpychev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-366-377

The article is devoted to the relationship of the content of music with the craft of piano playing. The projection of the categories of musical content on the piano playing requires clarification of the essence of the musical image, which represents the logic of a set of several intonations, and intonation is most often perceived as a musical interval, although intonation can be expressed by a single sound (one musical vertical), isolated in a musical context. A musical pause, disconnected in a musical context, is also perceived as intonation. Intonation can also be represented by a motor or spatial category, namely, a gesture, a movement - swing, fingers position, postures etc. There is a special kind of pithiness of intonation - a smile (jokes, mockery, irony). These very intonations most often occur in Haydn’s opuses, but they are also very expressive in a number of opuses by Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann, and Scarlatti. Piano actualization of this intonation often requires very skillful fingertip playing. The right musical intonation has to be understood as an example of producing speech via the piano. The musical categories themselves, such as musical language, musical text, sentence, accent, reading from a sheet are indicative in this respect. The obligatory conditions for the craft of piano playing, which reflects the music content, are the following: the pianist's awareness of the monolithic nature and at the same time the synthetic nature of the methodological triad “subtext – text – context”; constant auditory control over his/her playing; internal freedom from the fear of public performance, which is the result of absolute confidence in technical capabilities and musical memory of the pianist; as well as the necessity to reveal the composer’s logic of intonations interlinking.

“Picturesque Japan” and “the Yellow Hazard”: on Perception of the Japanese Culture in Russian Symbolism (Fedor Sologub vs. Valery Bryusov)
Elena Tyryshkina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-378-394

The study deals with the mechanisms of perception of the Japanese culture in the works of Russian symbolists, Valery Bryusov and Fyodor Sologub. The Japanese culture came to Russia at the turn of the 20th century not directly but by mediation of the European culture; the visual code and the modeled image of Japan were formed as a paradise lost/found, as a country populated by the “artist folk” due to fusion of arts and crafts and to the idea of artistic skills acquired not as an elitist but mass phenomenon. This mythological model was built basing on the mechanism of substitution, when the Japanese culture was compared to the culture of ancient Greece, to the medieval and Renaissance art. In Russian symbolism, creating the image of Japan as new Hellas became the main principle, including transformation of the concept of Dionysism. In their works and in critique as well, Valery Bryusov and Fyodor Sologub included Japan into the framework of the symbolist myth. In this regard, materials from “Vesy” (the Scales) literary magazine, the “Contemporaneity” cycle of poems by Bryusov, letters, essays, and articles by Sologub, and a fragment from his novel “The Petty Demon” are considered. For Sologub, the concept of the “natural man” raised in the spirit of antiquity and the cult of the beautiful human body were dominant. His attitude was integral and did not change during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, which was a rare phenomenon in the society. The attitude of Bryusov was ambivalent, and the aesthetic and political realia generated a certain antithesis in his thinking: the nation of “sophisticated aesthetes” turned into a nation of barbarians threatening the European civilization. According to Bryusov, Russia had a messianic role, and it was destined to rescue Europe from the “yellow hazard”. In his understanding, Russia itself was like a new Roman Empire. It is evident that in the early 20th century the Japanese culture assimilated with the existing mythological models in the symbolist milieu, and the yearning for an ideal became embodied in the creation of an existent /non-existent topos of a miraculous country according to the images of the past cultures. The alien was perceived as the beautiful, to be soon replaced by the contraposition of the dangerous/demonic. This antithesis is archetypal. At that time in Russia, the Japanese studies were in the initial phase of knowledge, and comprehensive cultural dialogue, not implying ready-made answers and clichés, was unfathomable.

Impressionism in V. V. Rozanov’s Philosophical Prose (Exemplified by “The Solitary” and “Fallen Leaves”)
Marina Grushitckaya
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-395-405

In Russian culture impressionism is not an isolated genre, instead, it possesses clear individual manifestations. In this paper the author considers specific changes impressionism faces in V. V. Rozanov’s philosophical prose. The article pays special attention to the trilogy “The Solitary”, “Fallen Leaves, Basket One” and “Fallen Leaves, Basket Two”, where he employed impressionist techniques in the form of capturing the dynamics of the moment, impressionist metaphors, the absence of a clear plot, the motives where attention is drawn to the feelings and personal impressions, where the tiniest details are fixed, etc. The author points out three most significant characteristics demonstrating some modifications in impressionism in V. V. Rozanov’s creative work. The first specific characteristic reveals itself in the style synthesis of philosophical and conceptual, emotional and visual expressive techniques demonstrating the reality from the point of view of a person and his/her personal perception of the actual reality. The second specific characteristic is V.V. Rozanov’s attitude to the creation of literary works, which would be impossible without “music in the soul”. The author defines it as harmony in depicting reality, and this definition coincides with the approach of French impressionists to creative work. The third feature is an “impressionist metaphor” running through V. V. Rozanov’s works and defining individuality of this great Russian philosopher’s creative process. The discovered data give a comprehensive understanding of the Russian impressionism uniqueness in the late 19th – early 20th century.

A. Burganov’s Plastic Modifications: on the Exhibition of the Sculpture Theatre in the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum
Tatyana Portnova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-406-418

The article analyzes the figurative language of A. Burganov's plastic art exhibited at the exhibition “Sculpture Theater” in the inner courtyard of the A. Bakhrushin Theater Museum. The author considers the trends that, despite a lot of difficulties of their existence, are still developing in accordance with the best characteristic feature of Russian culture such as openness, which is directed straight to the viewer. The compositions presented at the exhibition are considered from the point of view of the plastic synthesis of theater and sculpture, the combination of which in A. Burganov compositions has a strictly individual solution in the wide spectrum of the space-plastic tendencies of the XX-XXI centuries. Considering the space-plastic tendencies in the sculptural work of A. Burganov, the author applies the following methods: a method of artistic and stylistic analysis with the purpose of revealing and theoretical substantiation of the main plastic tendencies in the sculptural works presented at the exhibition; typological method in order to identify and analyze the main modifications of the theater and sculpture in spatially-shaped solutions; method of artistic and psychological analysis of works of art in order to understand the perception of the plastic language of the exhibition in the Theater Museum Courtyard. A. Bakhrushin theatrical art, conceived by the master as a special kind of sculpture, is considered in three modes of interpretation of his works and organization of the exhibition. The author distinguishes the following aspects of the analysis: sculpture and theater as a new plastic experience, the semantic symbolism of creations, a sculptural theatrical portrait and a sculpture theater in the exhibition space of the A. Bakhrushin Courtyard Museum. The author analyzes the methods, with the help of which A. Burganov draws special attention to image-bearing means of theatrical art. In conclusion, the author shows that the sculpture, by its theme, content, rhythm, deepens and expands the architectural image of the museum as the guardian of the theatrical heritage. In their turn, the creators of the exhibition reveal the profile of the museum, which can develop in different directions, including popularization of modern landscape sculpture. The author notes that the exhibition environment allows to create a specific, individual atmosphere for each sculpture. This is the place, where a viewer can spend enough time alone to understand the plastic expression of the sculptor's idea better.

Between Actor-Networks and Virtual Worlds: Save Option in Videogames from the Point of View of Social Topology
Semen Ilin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-419-436

The article aims to analyze save game option in videogames using findings from the field of social topology. The author highlights two main questions. First, what qualities of social space provide players with the possibility to save their game sessions? Second, what consequences for the players’ understanding of videogame space follow from the existence of such possibility? The article proposes answers to the aforementioned questions through the use of topological insights of actor-network theory. Being one of the most important sources for the material turn in social sciences, the actor-network theory emphasizes social meaning of interactions between humans and non-humans. In order to study these interactions the proponents of the actor-network theory have created new, network topology that represents social space as a rhizome of mutable associations between heterogeneous actors. Mobilization of the network topology when discussing save game option in videogames points toward following conclusions. An option, or possibility, of saving the game session in videogames is largely a spatial phenomenon. In order to understand its nature researchers need to follow configurations of network relations that connect varied social actors. There are two main directions to follow. One direction is toward actors and relations that provide the possibility of saving the game session. Another direction is toward actors and relations within the game session that might be actually saved. Following the first direction reveals networks of material conditions of the save game option in videogames. The possibility of saving the results of game session turns out to be an effect of spatial relations between countless material actors. Following the second direction allows to complete the picture by describing the save game option as a node, or an actor, within the videogame actor-network. As such, save game option mediates interactions between players and the aspects of the game session that are meant to be saved. Providing limited means for affecting the game session, the save game option influences on how players comprehend the power of the game rules and the margins of the videogame space.

History of the scientific life in USSR-Russia in the memoirs of contemporaries

Wise Senior Friend Vladimir Shlapentokh
Grigory Khanin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-437-451

The author tells about his acquaintance with an outstanding Soviet, and later American economist, sociologist V. E. Shlapentokh. The paper also describes his work in scientific institutes of Novosibirsk Academgorodok, as well as his political and economic views. The author draws attention to the estimates given by V. E. Shlapentokh to prominent Novosibirsk economists and sociologists of the 1960s, his attitude to political events in Russia and in the world. The paper analyzes the attitude of Shlapentokh to the political process of Sinyavsky-Daniel and to the case of signing the “protest letter” by scientists of Academgorodok. The author gives evaluations to his books: “Sociology for All”, “Fear and Friendship in Our Totalitarian Past”, “A Normal Totalitarian Society”, “Contemporary Russia as a Feudal Society: A New Perspective on the Post-Soviet Era.” The author describes the attitude of Shlapentokh to Jewry and Judaism. And he also recollects his meetings and conversations with V. E. Shlapentokh after his moving to Moscow, and then to the USA.