On the Necessity to Reorient Scientific and Technological Policy from the Production of Indicators to Solving Actual ProblemsEvgeny Semenov
The main feature of the state scientific and technological policy in modern Russia is its hypertrophied formalism - isolation from the real problems of the country and science itself, from the substantive tasks that are replaced by standards. Such a policy distracts science from the production of knowledge, competencies and technologies, orients it towards the production of reporting indicators. It is absolutely necessary to reorient the scientific and technological policy from the production of indicators to solving the actual problems of the country, associated primarily with overcoming the technological backwardness by modernizing the existing and creating the new branches of production and industries, as well as creating an innovation system. Deep transformations are also needed in science itself, primarily in its outdated disciplinary and official structure, as well as in the model of scientific organization and the national scientific system as a whole. A radical change is required to the national language of science, the loss of which is dangerous for the loss of higher education in the Russian language as well.
The article describes the crisis experienced by the education system during the development of the digital economy. The main presupposition of the crisis rests upon the following paradox: although the modern economy is based on the accumulation, processing and dissemination of knowledge, a fragmented perception of knowledge as such is being formed nowadays in the whole of society. The urgency of this crisis is especially noticeable against the background of the unfolding pandemic, which exacerbated many serious problems in the academic structures both in Russia and in foreign countries. This crisis of education is supplemented (and enhanced by) the crisis of science as a source of authority in postmodern era. In particular, expansion of social networks within the digital economy leads to the crisis of rational discourse in the society, because of the tendency of individuals to form closed interest communities, based not only on free discussion, but also rather on common misunderstandings, conspiracy theories and esoteric, contra-scientific forms of knowledge. The purpose of the article is to highlight the most important features of this crisis, as well as to outline its specificity within the Russian context. The main conclusion of the article is, although the education crisis in Russia is in many ways more severe than in developed countries, there are still opportunities to overcome it, not only within the framework of an academic system as a whole, but also through a wide range of grassroots initiatives related to with the promotion of scientific knowledge to a mass audience, covering wide sectors of society.
This note is a response to the criticism of colleagues who expressed their opinion about the publication: Razumov V.I., Orekhovsky P.A. ‘Carnival Time: Russian Higher Education and Science in the Postmodern Era’ // Ideas and Ideals. – 2020. – Vol. 12, No. 3, Part 1. – Pp. 77-94. The article received ten different responses, including both agreements with some of the theses, and objections, as well as alternative proposals. The works represent a wide scientific geography from Abakan to Moscow, although the bulk of the reviews came from Novosibirsk. The authors represent various humanitarian specialties. An analysis of the works published in Ideas and Ideals allows us to conclude that the reforms of science and education undertaken by the Government of the Russian Federation are alarming. At the same time, attention is drawn to both dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs and a wide range of ideas about what strategy for the development of science and education is required in modern Russia. Similarly, very different positions are presented in relation to postmodernism and its role in changes in science and education. The authors make an attempt to characterize the grounds for the coincidence and difference of the positions of the debaters and authors.
The Final Stage of the Minority Revolution in the United States. Upward Mobility of Minorities to the Corridors of PowerIrina Zhezhko-Braun
This article is the third and final in a series dealing with the birth of a new political elite in the United States, the minority elite. In previous articles, the mechanism of its appearance was analyzed, as well as its ideology, goals, program and values. The black movement, as the most co-organized of all protest movements, is entering the final phase of its development, being engaged in the placement of its representatives in state and federal governments, political parties and other social institutions. The women’s movement has recently been taken over by ethnic movements, primarily blacks, and has become their vanguard. This article describes new social elevators for the promotion of minority representatives into the corridors of power. The logic of promoting people of their own race, gender and nationality to the highest branches of power began to prevail over other criteria for recruiting personnel. During the 2020 election campaign, a new mechanism for promoting minorities in all branches of government was formed. It is based on numerous violations of local and federal electoral legislation. The mechanism of pressure on the US electoral system is analyzed using the example of the state of Georgia and the activities of politician Stacey Abrams. The article describes Abrams’ strategy to create a network of NGOs that are focused on one mission - to arrange for the political shift of the state in the elections. These organizations circumvented existing laws, making the state of Georgia the record holder for electoral irregularities and lawsuits. The article shows that Abrams’ struggle with the electoral laws of her state is based on the political myth of the voter suppression of minorities. The author identifies a number of common characteristics of the new elite. The minority elite does not show any interest in social reconciliation and overcoming racial conflict, but rather makes efforts to incite the latter, to attract the government to its side and increase its role in establishing “social justice” through racial quotas and infringement of the rights of those social strata that it has appointed bearers of systematic racism in society. As the colored elite increases and the government’s role in resolving racial conflicts grows, the minority movement is gradually condemned, it ceases to be a true grassroots movement and turns into astroturfing.
The “Flight” of Soviet Elites to Opposition in the Late 1980s – Early 1990s: Macro-Sociological AnalysisSergey Filippov
The article deals with investigation into the conditions of the defection of the national Soviet party-state functionaries to opposition in the USSR (late 1980s – early 1980s) that is an important indicator of the loyalty of the national elites towards the central government.
The analysis is based on comparing two contrastive cases – the Soviet elites of Latvia and those of Kazakhstan in their interactions with the central government as well as local population. Despite seemingly obvious cultural and historical differences, both cases are similar regarding some important aspects such as socio-demographic, economic as well as cultural dynamics in the late Soviet period. In both republics, the proportion of migrants in the whole population as well as in the elites was relatively high. The intensive migration in the post-war period was a result of the rapid industrialization and the Virgin Land campaign in the case of Kazakhstan. The Soviet elites both of Latvia and of Kazakhstan were loyal to the Union center, Russian-speaking and more international than national oriented. Besides, the national movements in both republics were practically nonexistent at the beginning of the perestroika.
Nevertheless, many Latvian national ruling cadres joined the opposition in the late 1980s – early 1991s whereas Kazakh national elites remained mostly loyal to the Union center up to the dissolution of the USSR (Kazakhstan declared its independence only on 16 December 1991, as the last republic to leave the USSR) – although Kazakh national party-state functionaries did not have less reasons to get rid of the tough control from Moscow than national elites of Soviet Latvia.
As the theoretical basis the author applies the R. Collins` state-centered theory of ethnos elaborated in the framework of the Weberian paradigm. The analysis showed that decreasing loyalty of the Latvian national elites in the late 1980s – early 1991s was due to the success of the protest movement in this republic including the violent confrontation with its rivals in January 1991 (“The Barricades”). A broad support of the protest movement striving for the reestablishment of the independence from the Soviet Union was based on anti-immigration ideological alternative to official Soviet internationalism attracting different social and ethnic groups of Latvian population.
A relatively high level of the loyalty of the Kazakh national elites to the central government was caused by the effective suppression of the Kazakh youth riots in December 1986 that triggered the purge of the national ruling cadres in Kazakhstan initiated by Moscow. A relatively low social support of the protest movement in the republic was due to the lack of a broad ideological basis that could create solidarity between different social and ethnic groups that made up the population of Kazakhstan. Besides, the protest of 1986 with Kazakh students as the main participants was perceived by local population in the logic of ethno-territorial conflicts very common in the late Soviet Kazakhstan and evoked therefore not solidarity but fear and anger.
The author considers the foundations of the origin and formation of the axiological content of the spatiotemporal structure of human existence. The object of the research is a human being and culture at the turn of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. The theoretical and methodological foundation combines a number of approaches characteristic of the social humanities: the scientific research program of cultural centrism aimed at understanding the complex subject of social and humanitarian problems and allowing to reveal and describe its unique, individually expressed properties; the relational concept of time and space, according to which the latter exist only in mutual connection with objects and, therefore, in inseparable unity with human being; dialectical model, within the framework of which the universe is an integral organic evolving process, all structural elements of which are dialectically interconnected; the theory of chronotope affirms the immanent unity of time and space. All that has been noted makes it possible, within the framework of the presented study, to interpret space and time as a complexly structured evolving multilevel chronotopological organization immanent to human being. Human existence appears as a temporal component of the chronotopological structure, and the spatial axis of the latter is the locus of human existence and the world around a person. The value content of human space and time arises and receives its development according to their relational essence, due to their inextricable dialectical relationship with human existence. The evolution of space and time is inseparable from the evolution of human being, is an integral component of his existence, which appears as personal, aesthetic and value development, experiencing the world around him, existentially and ethically determined communication with him. Forming and evolving together with a person, time and space not only act as accidents and modes of his being, but become his value-structured life-world, interconnected with the social and cultural spheres.
A profile on a social network site (SNS) containing the user’s personal information qualifies as both a personal and public space, which raises the problem of delineating, what is private and what is public in this virtual domain. The paper attempts to identify privacy boundaries in the social media environment and the actual ownership of personal information disclosed on users’ profiles. The stated problem is considered through the lens of Communication Privacy Management theory, an influential approach to the study of privacy in the online environment proposed by Sandra Petronio. The terms and concepts of the theory are applied to analyze the peculiarities of privacy management of the user’s personal information on the pages of the social network VKontakte (i.e. in the context of ‘one-to-many’ communication). The peculiarities noted are as follows: the presence of social media administration as a co-owner of the data (i.e. the user is not granted exclusive ownership of their personal information); difficulties with discussing information ownership rules with other social media participants; the presence of such phenomena as ‘online friends’ and ‘the imagined audience’ making it difficult for the user to recognize the composition of their actual audience and set proper privacy boundaries. It is also shown that the social network provides what can only be described as rather vague collective privacy boundaries (if the term privacy is even applicable to the social media environment). All the information shared by the user on the social media profile crosses the personal privacy boundaries and is moved almost uncontrollably to the collective ownership domain. The further theoretical research of privacy management of personal information on social media profiles should aim to critically examine the concept of collective privacy in the digital space and determine the ownership rights of original owners of personal information gone public.
The article is devoted to the consideration of two interrelated topics: the opposition of two foundations of social action, one of which is called the ‘design mind’ by the author, and the other is known as ‘nature’, and the path of evolution, in which three types of realities arose sequentially - cosmic, vital (biological) and social. The discourse of the design mind is formed in ancient culture in the works of Plato, and the concept of nature in the works of Aristotle. The first is characterized by the predominance of ideas and patterns, as well as a belief in the possibility of their implementation. The second is characterized by considering the prevailing reality (nature) and mediating social action by knowledge of the processes of nature. The new European understanding of nature is a hybrid; it combines the Aristotelian and Platonic approaches. Nature is both actions in nature and design creation. The second difference is that the new European nature was understood as “written in the language of mathematics” and passed through experimentation. However, since the 19th century, the natural-scientific understanding of nature has been criticized and differentiated: a demarcation is made between the first and second nature, different types of realities, nature and technology. Within the framework of this process, in the course of explaining the origin of life, man and society, a diagram of the evolution of three types of realities is outlined: first, there is only cosmic reality, understood as the first nature, then comes vital reality, and then social (second nature). An assumption is introduced that the next type of reality in evolution appears as a new formation, on the one hand, as a result of development and complication, and on the other, as a number of random processes. The conditions of interaction of processes belonging to different types of reality are discussed; in this regard, the concepts of “renegade areas” and “maternal reality” are introduced. On the basis of the outlined distinctions and relationships, an explanation of the pandemic and the modern transition process from modernity to post-culture is proposed.
The Notion of Matter in Contra Proclum of John Philoponus: Modern Scientific Discussions Koshelev Alexander,Alexander Koshelev
The purpose of this opening article is to give a brief overview of key foreign works, mainly monographs, concerning the account of matter in the treatise Contra Proclum John Philoponus, and thus to make evident the corresponding research situation to the Russian reader. John Philoponus is one of the last Greek commentators on Aristotle, both a neoplatonist and a Christian. In his work Contra Proclum (c. 529 AD) John Philoponus redefines the classical concept of matter, rejecting the universal qualityless prime matter of the Neoplatonists. At the beginning of the article, a brief historical introduction is given, which is necessary for the formulation of the problem. The author analyses several works relevant to the topic: an article by a Russian researcher M. N. Varlamova (2017) and foreign (German, English, Dutch, French) monographs by Michael Wolff (1971), Richard Sorabji (1988), Christian Wildberg (1988), Jeanne de Groot (1991), Frans de Haas (1997), Pantelis Golitzis (2008) and Pascal Mueller-Jourdan (2011). The overview covers the entire research history of John Philoponus’ account of matter. The author pays special attention to a detailed description of the current scientific discussions related to this issue: the positions of researchers, their approaches and perspectives. At the same time, the problem of Philoponic matter is also presented in close connection with many related research topics of the history of late-antique philosophy: the ontological status of species differences, the reception of the Aristotelian doctrine of categories, the separation of the Alexandrian and Athenian Neoplatonic traditions, etc. In conclusion, the article gives a general summary, identifying the most important discussions related to the topic of Philoponus’ matter, and finally proposes an author’s assessment of their current state.
The article was written as a response to a previously published (Ideas and Ideals, 2018, No. 3) article by S. Yu. Kolomiytsev “About Unfalsifiable Scientific Statements and Ideas”. The author, agreeing with a number of positions of this article, discusses some of its ideas. Primarily, the criticism concerns the thesis that the criterion of falsifiability unjustifiably narrows the scope of knowledge identified with its help as scientific, and that there is such a type of knowledge that does not meet the criterion of falsifiability but it has a scientific status. According to the author of this article, for applying of the criterion of falsifiability, we must take into account some conditions. First, the required falsifiability of knowledge is potential, i.e. falsification does not have to be available just at this stage of the development of science. Secondly, this criterion is intended to solve the problem of demarcation of science and knowledge that lies outside of it, and may be less effective in other, even close cognitive situations. Thirdly, the qualification of a theory as non-scientific does not mean that it is certainly unacceptable or erroneous. From the point of view of the modern epistemological paradigm, not only the science but also other types of cognition may give reliable and useful knowledge. The article discusses the thesis of S. Yu. Kolomiytsev that some fundamental ideas (for example, the idea of the atom) originally were not falsified but were already scientific. The author justifies an alternative assessment: these ideas were initially true, since they corresponded to the objective reality, but at the same time they were not scientific, since they could not be developed by means of scientific knowledge. The reality of some object does not mean that all judgments about it automatically fall into the category of scientific; after all, metaphysics is also a doctrine of reality, although, as a rule, deeper than directly observable reality. Thus, arguments aimed at limiting the criterion of falsifiability actually refer to attempts to expand it to a range of problems that it is not intended to solve. One of the normative directions for the application of the criterion of falsifiability is the demarcation of science and pseudo-scientific theories; pseudo-scientific knowledge often has a “built-in” protection against falsification. The article describes some techniques of such protection.
The article analyzes the pragmatic concept of truth in analytical philosophy. Attention is focused on its main ideas – generality of thoughts, practical use. The paper presents the main ideas of representatives of the pragmatic concept of truth: J. Austin, H. P. Grice, P. Strawson. The pragmatic concept of truth is one of the main concepts in the analytical philosophy of language. This concept is characterized by the ideas of practicality and demand of knowledge, the definability of truth by a person. According to this concept, the true idea is the one that solves certain issues, and the false idea is an almost impossible idea.
The paper proves the hypothesis that it is the pragmatic concept of true meaning formation that is most acceptable for its understanding and development, rather than the corresponding one aimed at matching the concept to the object. It is also stated that the desire for unity of thoughts and their practical applicability are the main and popular ideas in the process of forming, understanding and using meaning.
The author presents the idea that the pragmatic concept of true knowledge is aimed at solving issues of communication, speech communication, and establishing a dialogue between interlocutors. In contrast to this concept, the corresponding and coherent concepts of truth are characterized by a strict correspondence of the concept to the subject, as well as a clear relationship between the concepts in the sentence.
The paper proves that it is the pragmatic concept that makes it possible to form, interpret and implement meanings in communication, thus providing an individual opportunity to use their own ideas and aspirations. Here it should be noted that the corresponding or coherent concepts represent a model in which a sample of the description and characteristics of the material world is expressed. Thus, the model of an ideal language, expressing a strict scheme of perception, interpretation and understanding of reality, restricts a person’s ability to individually understand and implement the formulated ideas.
The article presents a version of the failure of the corresponding, coherent concepts of truth, since they do not provide a person with the opportunity for reasoning, for the independent search for truth by each of us and the development of speech communication. It is also argued that it is the ideas of the pragmatic concept of truth - the community of ideas, the desire to transfer knowledge to each other, the realizability of ideas that are the basis of communication and are the main ones in the development of speech communication.
The subject of the article is the pragmatic concept of truth, its main ideas and representatives in analytical philosophy.
Methods used in the research: hermeneutical, analytical and pragmatic.
The study is devoted to the philosophical understanding of the problem of the cultural origins of Russian philosophy. In the author’s opinion, the source of diversity of modern approaches to the phenomenon of Russian Philosophy is, first of all, the absence of a unified methodological approach. The diversity of research on the phenomenon of the Russian philosophy origins is also a consequence of research susceptibility to certain methodological influences. The paper aims to identify a number of philosophical, historical, literary approaches to the problem of the genesis of the eighteenth century Russian Enlightenment. It is necessary to clarify the mechanisms and procedures for the reception of Western European ideas and concepts by Russian Enlightenment during the eighteenth century. On the basis of adaptation of natural law terms, the author considers certain trends in the theory of reconstruction of the Enlightenment phenomenon in Russia. He reveals a number of significant features of the process of reconstruction of the Enlightenment ideology formation on Russian soil, including the idea that European concepts and theories are assimilated by the domestic semiosphere in the form in which they existed in the culture of the West. The author highlights the idea, that researchers were convinced that Russia of the XVIII century already had a national philosophy. The paper also draws attention to the lack of analytical interest in the problems of transformation of the language of expression of political phenomena. In the same row, there is also the idea that the process of reception of the enlightenment heritage of the West had a revolutionary, not an evolutionary, specificity, and was devoid of cultural prerequisites.
Basing on the material of historical and historical-philosophical studies, the author considers the possibilities of constructing a methodologically integral reconstruction, chronologically covering the entire period of the XVIII century. The research methodology is based on the approach that includes an analytical description of the problems of the thematic fields of discourse, concepts and theories of the Enlightenment on the Russian soil. The result of the analysis is the systematization of contradictions in the process of analyzing the phenomena of the Russian Enlightenment in the XVIII century.