Problems of science and education

Institutional Erosion of Science and Education: Postmodern Grimaces
Radiy Ibragimov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-11-23

The article is a reaction to the article written by P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov ‘Carnival Time: Russian Higher School and Science in the Postmodern Era’. The author agrees with the analytical diagnosis of the state and situation in the Russian science and higher education, shares the concern expressed by colleagues about the fate of the most important social institutions for our civilization. The author proposes a number of considerations that develop the topics raised in the reference article. The author draws attention to the historical inversion of the positivist social project, which appears to be at the forefront of the emerging social architecture of a new scientific-technocratic elite; another thing is that its social configuration does not coincide with institutional boundaries of academic and University science. The author speculates upon the analogy of science with prostitution, which is currently undergoing a noticeable institutionalization. The author considers its phasing to be universal. It is suggested that prostitution can be extrapolated to other social institutions, including science and education. The potential of their resistance and survival is determined by how effectively passionarity accumulates in the structure of these social institutions. This indicator is directly proportional to the efficiency of the formation of human capital in the system. According to the author, problems, voiced by P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov, are explained by the passion drift, the overcoming of which is not an automatic macro-social act, but the craft of each scientific and pedagogical worker.

On Professional Self-Determination of Philosophy Teachers in Russia
Mikhail Nemtsev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-24-41

In the beginning of this paper, the author presents a critical analysis of “The Carnival Time: Russian High School and Science in the Postmodern Era” by P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov who scrutinize ongoing degradation in Russian science and education. This crisis is a local variation of deep global crisis (described among others by B. Readings (1996)). Their article represents such a particular feature of humanities in Russian higher educational institutions, as systematic lack of attention to personal educational interests of students that unavoidably leads to certain monologicity. Before now, there has been gnoseological inequality between teachers and students. Thereby, objectives and content of education were predetermined. Global crisis of education is grounded by factual disappearance of this inequality. However, one can appreciate new possibilities for philosophy teachers to live on according to their professional self-determination. In the second part of the article, it is proposed to evaluate the situation from the standpoint of dedicated philosophers for whom teaching is the most appropriate way to fulfill their professional self-determination. Philosophy is a unique profession, where it is barely impossible to separate professional thinking of a philosopher from the practice of teaching Philosophy. To teach philosophy is to philosophize. In this paper, the author considers the term self-determination as creation of general value grounds of the philosophy teachers practical (everyday) activity, which provides every professional activity with justification as reasonably necessary to establish these values. Self-determination establishes a bridge between personal ethics and everyday practical life decisions. In order to implement their self-determination, philosophers need educational situations. Therefore the main proposition of this paper is that philosophy teachers have a chance to take advantage of the ongoing situation if they develop self-determination and explore educational interests of prospective students.

Art Education as a Model for Overcoming the Crisis in Higher Education
Vasily Kuzin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-42-51

The article is devoted to the analysis of the existential crisis of the higher school teacher in modern Russia, diagnosed by professors P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov in the article ‘Carnival Time: Russian Higher School and Science in the Postmodern Era’. Various aspects of the activity of a higher school teacher are considered: economic, social, and psychological. The author diagnoses the inflation of higher education in modern Russia. Due to inflation, there comes its obvious devaluation. At the same time, the development of digital technologies radically simplifies access to information and thereby deprives a teacher of the traditional status of a unique carrier of knowledge. Therefore, in modern conditions, a university teacher can not only be a polymath, transmitting knowledge. It is noted that the most important professional quality of a teacher is to be an expert in their field, to possess inalienable skills that cannot be translated into an objectified form. The presence of inalienable, non-objectifiable skills is the main condition for overcoming (or mitigating) the existential crisis of a higher school teacher.

One of the main tasks of the teacher is to give a personal expert assessment of the student’s activities. Personal, non-formalized interaction between the teacher and the student is the basis of education in the art field, and it could be a model for higher education in general, become one of the possible ways out of the current crisis of higher education.

Postmodernism in Education and System Inversions
Dmitry Sevostyanov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-52-68

This paper is a detailed review of the article by P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov ‘The Carnival Time: Russian Higher School and Science in the Postmodern Era’. The author considers the main problems shown in this article.

            In order to study these problems the author uses a method of analysis of inverse relations in hierarchical systems as a theoretical basis. System inversion is a form of relations in hierarchical systems, in which the lowest element receives the dominant value in the system, formally remaining in the same subordinate position. This situation can occur both in the social hierarchy and, for example, in the hierarchy of values. As a result of the developed inversion, contradictions accumulate in the system, which can lead to the collapse of this system or to a radical transformation. Such processes can be observed in modern education. This is why there is a priority of the visible over the existent, as it happens in the situation of ‘carnival’.

            The article by P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov examines the postmodern cultural context in which modern education functions. In this regard, the author presents an interpretation of the postmodern situation from the point of view of analyzing system inversions. The current state of the educational sector is determined by the resolution of inversion in the system of human activity. This inversion covers the instrumental and symbolic aspects of human activity. Due to this, there are features of educational activities related to the introduction of digital technologies, which P. A. Orekhovsky and V. I. Razumov pay special attention to.

            The authors of the article describe the status of the modern teacher’s activity as ‘spiritual prostitution’. Indeed, the activities of some teachers can be described by this term. However, this happens when both the teacher and the student experience a value inversion (as is the case with ordinary prostitution). Instead of this model of behavior, the author suggests another one, more worthy, – a ‘soldier of culture’. ‘Soldiers of culture’ do not ‘provide educational services’, they have a mission to broadcast and enrich culture, which is the highest, terminal value.

The Potential of a Museum in the Conditions of Crisis and Transformation of Modern Education
Alina Kildyusheva
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-69-79

The article by P. Orekhovsky and V. Razumov ‘Carnival Time: Russian Higher Education and Science in the Postmodern Era’ focuses on the acute problem of the crisis state of modern science and higher education in the Russian Federation. The current situation is considered by the authors ‘from the inside’, since they are representatives of the university and academic environment, they see many ‘weak points’ in the system more clearly. Using the metaphor of carnival (according to M.M. Bakhtin), the authors analyzed the postmodern state of intellectual activity, paying special attention to the ‘new’ roles of teachers and scientists, viewing their spheres rather ‘pessimistically’. In addition, the authors also considered other problem areas of the post-industrial society: economics, HR, engineering, technology. Moreover, the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov provides an impetus for reflection not only on the topic of the crisis in education as such, but also allows us to look at the transformation of education from the inside. The processes of globalization, technicism, scientism, intellectualization, digitalization, informatization, automation, communication, unification, service, consumerism and at the same time, the observed crisis phenomena in the economy, science, education have covered all spheres of life, including they penetrated into the value - the cultural component of our being. In the proposed work, the main attention is paid to the consideration of the museum's potential (primarily its educational activities) in the context of the crisis of modern culture. In general, the idea of cultural heritage has changed, the discourse about the meaning and prospects of the museum in the ‘era when Google is just one click away’ (according to D. Scevers) has been updated. Reflections on the status of the museum in the culture of the information society are associated with its economic and social significance, as well as with the modernization of museum work methods. Why do people need a museum and what role can it play in the new educational paradigm? Shall we interpret formal and non-formal education as partners or competitors?

Social philosophy

"Project 1619" as an alternative to "American project"
Irina Zhezhko-Braun
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-80-111

Тhis article is the second in a series on the birth of a new elite in the United States, called ‘the minority elite’. The previous article hypothesized that what is happening is not so much the replenishment or evolution of the old elite, but the emergence of a new one, grown on the basis of the Affirmative Action Program, the culture of ‘woke capitalism’ and decades of the minority protest. The process of elite change intensified on the wave of protest activity of black minority, primarily ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, in the summer of 2020, which coincided with elections to all branches of government. The new elite need to create their own version of American history and their liberation mission. The ideological paradigm of the black movement includes several social doctrines: ‘The 1619 Project’, critical race theory, Black liberation, theories of white privilege, white supremacy and anti-racism. ‘The 1619 Project’ clearly demonstrates how the new elite understand the past, present and future of the United States and their place in the social structure. This article analyzes the theses of ‘1619’, and also contains the main conclusions of the professional criticism of this project. The goal of the project, according to its authors, is to reframe American history. It places slavery and systematic racism at the very center of US history and thereby denies the foundations on which the ‘American project’ is based. ‘1619’ is considered in the article as a socio-engineering project that includes various programs: curricula for colleges and schools, podcasts for radio, TV shows and films, interviews and speeches in universities, exhibitions, press publications, ideological themes for elections and trainings for organizations and social movements. The unprecedented speed of implementation and the scale of financing of the new version of American history in all spheres of society without its professional assessment indicate that this large-scale action was prepared in advance. The article deals with the fundamental factual errors in the presentation of history, analysis and interpretation of economic data in ‘1619’, including those that were uncritically borrowed from the school ‘New History of Capitalism’. It also addresses the doctrine of anti-racism. The analysis of the project showed a low level of evidence of the revision of history conceived in it. The author shows by the example of ‘1619’ that scientific research is not combined with ideological tasks, since the latter inevitably lead to adjustment to the given answer, a decrease in the level of the applied scientific apparatus and simplification of the conclusions drawn. Criticism of the project was heard only in the academic sphere, but did not get into the media. One of the most serious consequences of the project is the creation of a new mythology, supplanting from the public consciousness a version of American history based on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and proven historical facts. The black movement, albeit temporarily, managed to impose its own narrative on public opinion and create a rationale for moving into power and receiving new privileges.

Abuse of Right: Historical and Theoretical Research
Egor Usoltsev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-112-129

Abuse of right is one of the most complex phenomena in legal science, the study of which requires the use of a wide range of methods of cognition, both general scientific and private law. The author of the article makes a generic analysis of the concept “abuse of right”, disclosing the history of its appearance and development. However, special attention is paid to the discussion of scientists about the essence of abuse of right, in which, as in a “multi-layered cake”, more and more narrow subjects of the discussion are layered, but at the same time, they are all permeated with a common goal – to determine the place and role of the phenomenon in the modern legal order. Historically, the first debate arose on the validity of the very concept of abuse of right, caused by a combination of two words that were opposite in meaning: “right” and “abuse”. This discussion has been going on for more than a century and takes place both in Russian civil law and in foreign legal doctrine. There is also no consensus among supporters of the concept of abuse of right: some attribute abuse of right to a variety of lawful behavior, others call it an offense. This problem is currently urgent and complex. Finally, there are disagreements about the branch of abuse of law: is this concept inter-branch in nature or is it exclusively inherent in the civil law branch? As a result of comparing all points of view, the author in each of the above discussions reasonably takes this or that position. As a result, a complete understanding of the phenomenon under study is formed.

The Man of the Future and the Future of Man

Problem of the Techno-subject: On the Subjectivity of “Entity-Constructors”
Vladimir Ignatyev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-130-150

The article is devoted to the analysis of one of the most critical points of our time - the crisis of human subjectivity caused by the emergence of an alternative form of agent of social life in society - a techno-object with artificial intelligence and signs of subjectivity. The author’s goal is to justify the possibility of interpreting the nature of these devices as subject-like objects. The study is based on the explication of the concepts of the subject and subjectivity contained in both classical theories and the actor-network theory and related approaches (B. Latour, J. Law, A. Mol), in the object-oriented ontology of G. Harman, ‘onticology’ of Levi R. Bryant, theories of assemblage of M. DeLanda and complexity of E.Morin, in the concepts of the machine unconscious N. Land and techno-subject V. Mazin. An integrated characterization of a person as a subject is used: an individual being with active beginning, physicality, physicality and length, consciousness, personality characteristics and self-awareness. The criteria for categorizing some techno-objects as a type of techno-subject: autonomy and intelligence are introduced. Such techno-objects are artificial entities, assemblies, ready for transformation into techno-subjects. The difference between ‘weak’ techno-subjects (without artificial intelligence) and techno-subjects themselves (with artificial intelligence) is discussed. It is claimed that techno-subjects, genetically remaining technical entities, are in the transitional zone from one entity – ‘entity-constructor’ to another - organic techno-matter, similar to man. Accumulating components and functions of an active artificial system, techno-objects acquire the quality of subjectivity. It has been established that the artificial entity-subject manifests itself (a) in passive entity-actants; (b) in active proto-subject entities; and (c) actually in ‘entity-constructor’ - techno-subjects with the ability to integrate data, analyze it in a situation of uncertainty, reprogramming themselves and creating new algorithms.

Homo Ludens, Machine Ludens: The Way to Ideal Neural Network and Background of Posthumanism
Maria Ivanchenko,  Pavel Arkhipov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-151-165

The article consists of an introduction, a main part with three sections and a conclusion. The purpose of the study is to disclose the content of the concepts of “A Man Playing”, “A Machine Playing”, “Posthumanism” and “Essentiocognitivism”; review current advances in artificial intelligence and neural networks. The article focuses on the philosophy of posthumanism in the context of its application in machine learning, as well as a new philosophical concept called “essentiocognitivism” in its relation to artificial intelligence. The object of the study is the philosophical concept of essentiosocognitivism. The subject of the article is the consideration of certain aspects of this concept related to artificial intelligence as a “playing machine” and the positioning of a human being in the world of posthumanism. In the course of the work, critical methodology was used, on the basis of which the strengths and weaknesses of artificial neural networks were highlighted, the current state of the most famous playing neural networks, such as OpenAI and Alpha series from DeepMind, was analyzed, and the upcoming development of AI is considered in the context of a technological singularity. A philosophical comprehension has been made of certain aspects of essentiocognitivism, which play an important role in the history of the development of posthumanism. It is noted that the future of neural networks is largely determined by the gaming industry and moves towards the creation of a strong artificial intelligence, like the Playing Machine. Scientific novelty consists in examining a fundamentally new concept in the history of philosophy and substantiating the place and role of AI in the evolution of intelligent man. In the course of work, it was revealed that AI and, in particular, promising neural networks allow us to predict the probable future of mankind. As a basic thesis, we use the position derived from biological sciences that the evolution of the species Homo sapiens is not over, and will continue in a technological manner. As a result of the study, a working concept of essentiocognitivism was introduced, and the conclusion was made that trans- and posthumanism can solve many global problems of mankind. It is emphasized that the future lies in the creation of a strong AI.

On Humanism and Transhumanism
Sergey Piletsky
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-166-180

The paper raises the problem, quite widely discussed not only in the frame of modern philosophizing, but in the whole complex of socio-humanitarian knowledge – the problem of the perspectives of the formation of the epoch of transhumanism. What is it - the epoch of transhumanism? What are the peculiar properties of it? And what are the specifics of that technological bias which would allow put it into practice? Is there a genetic bond between transhumanism and the sources of the traditional humanism? And why the majority of not only  philosophers, but all humanitarians speak out against ‘the unprecedented advantages’ and ‘the good’ of transhumanism, considering its realization as the era of ‘dehumanization’ of a human being? These and similar questions worry millions of intellectuals all over the world. The author of this paper tries to give his answers. He analyses the definitions of humanism, given in two authoritative philosophical dictionaries. Then he reinforces his analysis with not only his own reasonings and extrapolations, but with the positions of three outstanding thinkers and famous humanists of Renaissance – Lorenzo Valla, Pico della Mirandola and Erasmus Roterodamus. However the author tries to consider the historical tradition not isolated but to link with the technological opportunity of its transformation into those perspectives of transhumanism. That’s why the author draws attention to a remarkable writer-philosopher Aldous Huxley with his anti-utopian novel ‘Brave New World’. The author concludes the paper with offering to the reader’s attention his author’s speculative model how it can be.

The Anthropological Dimension of Progress: Improvement, Increment, and Redistribution
Pavel Opolev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-181-196

Thinking about the progressive movement in which there is a transition from the simple to the complex, from the less perfect to the more perfect, the author has found its conceptualization in the ideas of progress. In the historical and cultural tradition, we observe a transformation of ideas about the role of progress in the life of society and man. The objective-universal interpretation of progress has been placed at the fore since the Enlightenment. However the subjective-personal interpretation of progress has taken the leading position nowadays as the concept of progressive development of civilization becomes disappointing. In this paper the author considers progress as a process of anthropocultural complication, to outline the relationship between the objective-general and subjective-personal interpretations of progress, which can be described through the ideas of redistribution, increment and improvement. These meanings allow us not only to consider the features of socio-cultural dynamics, but also to identify what kind of progressive development strategies are relevant for modern man. In the twentieth century, we see a return on a qualitatively different level to one of the most archaic meanings of complication: complication through redistribution. However, if in mythology redistribution was carried out due to a sacral-mystical sacrifice, at present redistribution is thought of as a utilitarian-pragmatic principle.

Philosophy of science and technology

Phenomenology of the Life -World and Naturalistic Epistemology
Aleksander Frolov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-197-209

This paper aims to reveal parallels between the phenomenological concept of the life-world in Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the naturalistic epistemology of Gerhard Vollmer, in which a central concept is the mesocosmos (“world of medium size”). Such a comparison is necessary because the concepts of life-world and mesocosmos are quite similar in content, since they both refer to the human dimension of our world experience, to our natural position in the world. However, these concepts are far from identical. In Husserl’s case, the world of life is the world of pre-scientific experience taking place before scientific idealizations. According to Merleau-Ponty, the world of life is primarily a world of perceptual experience, in which I participate not as a subject of culture, but as an anonymous subject of perception, as a living perceptive body. Both philosophers call for a return to the life-world as a ground of scientific idealizations in order to overcome a crisis brought about by an excessive trust in scientific knowledge and “objectifying thinking”. In turn, Vollmer interprets the mesocosmos as a “world of medium size” that we can successfully explore due to the evolutionary adaptation of our cognitive abilities. This is our “ecological niche”, but while Husserl and Merleau-Ponty encourage us to return to this “cradle of humankind” to take root in it, Vollmer emphasizes that we are not bound to our ecological niche and can expand our knowledge both in the direction of the microworld and in the direction of the “world of mega scales”. He calls this process the objectification and deanthropomorphization of our picture of the world, and this is, in his view, the main trend of the development of scientific knowledge in its history, which is supported by the views of some prominent scientists of the 20th century.

To the Prerequisites for the Formation of an Egocentric Picture of the World: at the Intersection of Physics and Metaphysics
Sergey Myakinnikov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.1-210-232

The article considers the most general prerequisites for creating a new model of the ecological picture of the world, which is characterized by the comprehensiveness and completeness of coverage of various aspects of the study of the relationships between man and nature. For its formation, it is proposed to use an ecological version of the worldview-methodological platform, called ‘postholism’ by the author, which is able to coordinate the one, whole, many and singular, unique in (among others) the environmental relations of man, society and nature. This allows us to eliminate the methodological shortcomings of the reduction to the individual (merism), to the whole (holism), to the one (onecentrism) of human worldview orientations in the nature of naturcentrism, anthropo(socio)centrism, technocentrism, theocentrism. Such categories of philosophy as ‘reality’, ‘being’, ‘otherness’, ‘non-existence’, ‘being’, ‘nature’, ‘matter’, ‘physical’, ‘metaphysical’, and ‘spiritual’ were important tools for constructing a picture of the world of ecocentrism. They were refined and correlated with the latest achievements in quantum physics, astrophysics, cosmology, as well as reflexed based on extra-scientific representations of ancient cultures and religions. Physical, as well as metaphysical features of nature and man are briefly discussed. Nature is represented at various levels of physical organization (micro-world, macro-world and mega-world) and outside of physical dimensions. These dimensions presumably contain the ‘metaphysical’ content of nature. In them, the objective ‘spiritual’ of the universe, deified by man, is allowed. This does not exclude the pantheistic presence of metaphysical transcendence, estimated as ‘nonexistence’, ‘nothing’ for the reality of man within nature. Man himself is positioned as one whole of physical and spiritual existence, serving as a semblance of a Single Whole of nature. In conclusion, a list of the main environmental invariants of the world picture is given in comparison with the proposed picture of the world of ecologized postholism ecocentrism, the advantages of which are emphasized. The Universe and quantum-field reality, along with the Earth, become components of the All-unified Whole authentic home of the ‘ecos’ of man. Further conditions and prospects for the direct development of this model are discussed.