Philosophy: Tradition and Modernity

Mysticism in Plato’s Works
Aleksander Shevtsov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-11-20

The article deals with the theme of mysticism in the works of Plato. The study begins with the concept of magic and comes to the conclusion that modern scientists do not know what the word μαγεία/magic really meant for the ancient Greeks.

However, Plato is considered to be the philosopher who laid down all the basic concepts of mysticism. The original ancient Greek definition of the word ‘mysticism’, derived from the Greek μυστικός, differs from the modern understanding of this concept and is directly related to the ancient Greek mysteries and the cult of the goddesses of fertility Demeter and Persephone. Very little is known about the mysteries, but it is obvious that for the ancient Greeks it was a way to gain immortality, a kind of action during which the soul descended to the underground world of the dead and returned from there. Many researchers note that such journeys of the soul among the Greeks are extremely similar to shamanic ones. But we are talking here about archaic views, and not about the shamanism that modern ethnography describes.

The most important part of the mysteries was contemplation. What exactly the participants of the mysteries contemplated, what the high priest showed them, remains a mystery. However, Plato in the dialogue “Republic” gives a lesson on how to reveal the ability to such contemplation with the help of mimesis, or imitation. This is not just an external theatrical imitation, namely, it is getting used to what is being contemplated.

Plato believed that actors and temples are not needed for a real mystery, it should unfold in contemplation, and therefore only you are needed for it. The author of the article finds confirmation of this idea in the dialogue between Socrates and Cephalus, which ends with the myth of Er’s travels to the world of the dead. Plato describes these journeys in such a way that his disciples, if desired, can enter the state of Er and, with the help of contemplative imitation, live everything that happened to him. These journeys are similar to the shamanic journeys of the soul to the underground world.

The author concludes the article with the assumption that Plato tried to create a kind of mysteries within his school for a philosopher who wants to master contemplation.

The Issue of War in F. Bacon’s Political Philosophy
Vasily Markhinin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-21-43

The article brings the analysis of Bacons’ ideas on war and political violence in general. Military activities of a state and military foundations of statecraft were of a particular interest for Bacon both from legal & bureaucratic and philosophical perspective. Both perspectives merged in his writings on colonization of Virginia and Ireland, military affairs with Spain, legal issues of union of England and Scotland and on the principles of policy-making. Bacon believed violence – organized, well-armed and successful – was a mighty factor uniting communities into a state. No one state in the world had been able to emerge without an oppression of the ruled by those who rule. The later stages of a state-building required something except mere force – a set of common habits and laws and a consent to be governed as well. The pursuit of common interest requires nowadays the use of an armed force. The reason for it is the contest between the rival states. The balance of powers, the colonial policy, the control of lands and populations are never available for a state lacking military power. Although a successful colonization, a proper use of lands and an effective government could never be achieved by such a means. These goals require a legitimate rule based upon a common consent, a respect for the law and a peaceful labor. A conquered population should be naturalized rather than forced to recognize a new government. A wise ruler will use armed force moderately even for such purposes like suppression of seditions and wrong religions. Analyzing war from a pragmatic, Machiavellian perspective, Bacon had escaped the aestheticisation of martial virtue and art of waging wars typical for Machiavelli.

Tradition with a Small Letter
Alexey Timoshhuk
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-44-55

May 7th, 2020, the wonderful philosopher Tatyana Borisovna Lyubimova died. Her final monograph “Philosophy and Countertradition” is a multifaceted study of the correlations between traditional culture and the current state of philosophy. This is also the last publication on the life path of Tatyana Borisovna, in her philosophical adventure, where Western sociology and categorical aesthetics, ancient Russian philosophy and metaphysics of a unified tradition became landmarks. Tatiana Borisovna always lacked topos and chronos, she wrote about Peter I and the sociology of Adorno’s music, the ontology of tragedy and the ecology of culture, about the dialogue of civilizations and the philosophy of life of Rozanov; she translated Böhme and Berleant, Sartre and Ricoeur. Particularly noteworthy is the participation of T.B. Lyubimova in grant research on the interaction of cultural models, the modernization of ideology and the globalization of cultures, where she expressed her non-standard opinion outside the ordinary field of consciousness. In short, Lyubimova’s system can be called a ‘strange philosophy’. This is a philosophy where self-discovery of the paradoxes of one’s own world takes place. This is a portrait of culture without its essence, made according to aesthetic guidelines. This is a worldview where a metaphysical thread stretched between unusual reference points: Kepler’s hexagonal snowflakes and the calendar rites of the farmers of Central Asia.

Tatyana Borisovna published the largest anthology of the works of René Guénon in Russian in her own translation. The French traditionalist remained for Tatyana Borisovna a transcendental magnet of her late work, he set the course of her inner time, bestowed metaphysical freedom, and clarified the increasingly complex world of quantitative relations.

From the Being of Culture to the Culture of Being: About Perspective Possibility of Constructing Positive Ontologies
Baizhol Karipbayev,  Alibek Sharipov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-56-67

The article presents a historical and philosophical retrospective aimed at establishing strict conceptual boundaries that prevent uncontrolled extrapolation of modern terms and concepts to realities that are not included in the meanings of modern humanitarian discourse. The philosophical definition of the “culture” concept is substantiated, which includes specific characteristics that have a chronologically factual origin. The authors give a general conceptual overview of current intellectual trends dealing with the theming of the phenomenon of culture; and highlight their pluralistic character. The article analyzes the polysemicity of the postmodern situation as an intersubjective disposition within cultural communication and as a special way of understanding the current state of affairs that exist under the sign of fundamental complexity. Criticism of destructive attitudes in understanding and predicting possible outcomes and solutions of pressing culturological problems is carried out. In particular, it points to the moment of subjective psychologizing in some pessimistic expert assessments, when personal disorder in new circumstances is presented as an objectively negative state of affairs. The principles of constructivism ontology are introduced and defended, which constitute an alternative to the traditional understanding of philosophy as delayed evidence (the owl of Minerva flying out into the twilight). A fundamental replacement of the descriptive (passive-contemplative) approach is proposed with a projective (active-creative) one. The authors present a substantial version of constructing a positive ontology based on a historical precedent in the form of the ideology of classical humanism. The philosophy of postmodernism is interpreted as hyperreflection of Modernity, that is, not as a negation, but as overcoming the traditional structures of rationality to form more complex (sophisticated) types of reflective thinking. The authors substantiate the need to connect a volitional resource, intentionalized in the direction of creating semantic configurations of social reality. This eliminates the reductionist possibility of interpreting such a call by appealing to complex contexts that require the development of complimentary discourses and narratives.

The authors adhere to the position according to which any extreme is false, and the truth is found in the zone of balance between the extremes, considering the completeness of the experience knowledge of both extremes. Classical history passed under the sign of speculation, the 20th century - under the sign of thoughtless activism. In the 21st century, it is necessary to learn how to combine these extremes.

Social philosophy

Critical Attitudes among the Soviet Scientific and Academic Intelligentsia in the Historical and Socio-Cultural Context of 1960-1990s
Sergey Filippov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-68-85

The article deals with investigating into the conditions of the critical attitude spread among scientists and academicians during the period of 1960s–1990s towards some aspects of domestic and foreign state policy of that time. At the same time, the motives for such a criticism seem not to be obvious, since the social status and well-being of the scientific and academic intelligentsia, as well as its public prestige, was one of the highest among the socio-professional groups of Soviet society. To perceive criticism of Soviet scientists as a form of struggle against the regime does not seem entirely correct, since the critically thinking Soviet scientists did not seek to popularize their socio-political ideas and attract supporters from other social groups. On the contrary, the discussion on “complex” political and socio-economic aspects of the Soviet society took place within closed communities. In addition, the Soviet scientific intelligentsia of that time, unlike the pre-revolutionary intellectuals, did not idealize people; they did not have a sense of “guilt” towards it, as well as the idea of selfless “serving the people”. Soviet scientists perceived themselves as an elite, even aristocratic group, and this idea found expression in the science-fiction novel “Hard to Be a God” by the Soviet writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The main character of the novel is the historian Anton, who was sent to the Arkanar Kingdom on an alien planet and assumed the role of an aristocrat named Don Rumata. He masterfully uses a sword, enjoys phenomenal success with women and contributes to the progress of local humanity. The Soviet intellectuals of that time constructed their own elite professional and social identity using the practices of prestigious consumption and behavior and pursuing specific socialization strategies that were alternative to the official Soviet norms and rules of behavior. The self-identification of scientists as an elite group within the Soviet society was based on the social conditions for the development of science in the USSR in the 1950s–1960s such as a high level of prestige of scientific and academic activities, high expectations from science as well as creating relatively autonomous scientific centers (“Academic Town” or ZATO (‘closed administrative-territorial formation’) – closed towns with secret research installations). Such settlements were quite independent from the local and regional authorities being subordinated directly to Moscow. Besides, secrecy of closed cities or facilities limited the possibilities of the direct control and interference from regional party and state authorities in the activities of scientific institutions and scientists.

Stand-Up as an Indicator of Passionarity: To the Methodology of the Question
Radiy Ibragimov,  Diana Amzorova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-86-100

The article deals with a scientific substantiation of the possibility to solve an essential methodological goal — social diagnosis of human capital on some concrete social practice, taken as an indicator. A humorous genre ‘stand-up comedy’ is suggested to be chosen as the indicator. Arguments: 1) It is one of the most energetically developing areas with a youth audience in Russian mass culture. 2) The economic side of the project, its capitalization in the literal sense of the word, is also actively developing. 3) High level of the individual success, which allowed for the consideration of a stand-up comedian as a local ‘growth point’. 4) The last argument allows involving the arsenal of the passion theory, reconsidering the problem from a social energetic point of view. 5) It, therefore, allows considering irregular distribution of stand-up communities localization as an effect of passion theory erosion in a particular region (The Republic of Khakasia). Stand-up was analyzed from different points of view: philosophical, historical, aesthetic, economical, political and micro-sociological.

As a result of the analysis a number of provisions were put forward which allow designing empirical research programmes. For instance, by using an idea that laughter is alienated aggression, one may clarify the perspective of social tension studies. Historical analysis showed that stand-up metamorphosed from a Protestant sermon and may be the indicator of westernization of both society and its regional localizations. Political studies of the problem allowed formulating relativity of the social and aesthetic resonance of comedy. Micro-sociological analysis helped to define the mechanism and distribution tendency of passion theory tension in an audience.

As a result of the study certain thematic clusters and an algorithm of their logical interdependence were defined, aimed at empirical research, which will make it possible, in short term, to implement methodologically valid study of human capital by using a stand-up comedy as an indicator.

Falsehood from the Standpoint of Inverse Analysis
Dmitry Sevostyanov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-101-114

The article presents a socio-philosophical analysis of such a phenomenon as a falsehood. The analysis of falsehood is based on the study of inverse relations in a hierarchical system. Since the lie itself can be considered as a hierarchical system, and in addition, it is implemented in a hierarchical social system, this approach is reasonable. Inversion is a form of system relations in which some lower element takes on a dominant value. This situation is observed, in particular, when a falsehood occurs. The ability of the system to form inversions depends on the organizational principles that determine the hierarchical subordination of elements in the system. System inversions occur when one organizational principle contradicts another. Inversion, which has developed in a hierarchical system, is an increase in internal contradictions that can destroy this system from the inside. The very fact of falsehood is generated primarily by the peculiarities of human thinking. A verbal thought is significantly different from a verbal utterance in the process of communication. What matters, however, is the strength and direction of these differences. The falsehood itself can be considered as a hierarchical system in which at least four organizational principles can be identified. The first such principle distributes statements according to the degree of their inconsistency with the real state of affairs. The second principle places statements in a hierarchy according to their degree of plausibility. The third principle is based on the degree of anti-sociality of the falsehood. Finally, according to the fourth principle, the hierarchical relationship between statements depends on whether the statement affects the reflection of facts or opinions. As a result of the interaction of these statements, inverse relations are formed in the system of falsehood.

Philosophy of science

Reflecting the Ideas of a New Philosophical Paradigm of Education (Following in the Footsteps of Oleg Bazaluk’s Book)
Vadim Rozin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-115-130

The article presents a detailed response to the new book of the philosopher Oleg Bazaluk “Discursive Thinking through Education”. The problem of understanding Plato’s terms is discussed, in connection with which the author of the article expresses the idea that the correct reconstruction of the statements of ancient philosophers allows not only to choose the necessary values from the existing ones, but also to set new ones; at the same time, he believes, understanding the narratives of a foreign culture (or one’s own, but cultivating a different type of thinking) is quite possible, however, the condition for this is a change in one’s own consciousness, which, figuratively speaking, must be re-educated through the methodology and practice of historical and cultural thinking. The author reconstructs the picture of the world that Plato built and the ontological foundations taken by Bazaluk as the basis of his research and constructions. The author of the article raises the questions why the author of the book took the project of Plato as a basis, who began to doubt it even in antiquity, and also whether knowledge of the cosmos and its evolution can help in building a good society and sociality, as well as make a person happy. Special attention is paid to the issue of Bazaluk’s reconstruction of the evolution of the cosmos and the support of the discursive thinking of education on the knowledge and results obtained in this reconstruction. A number of questions and problems are discussed here: what the author of the book understands by education, what are the features of his reconstruction of the evolution of the cosmos, if it is possible to deepen his understanding of the basic reality (matter) in the direction of taking into account not only the first nature, but also the second. Evaluating the book, the author of the article proceeds from the understanding of Bazaluk’s work as a tradition and discourse that implements at least three principles: Plato himself, Russian cosmism, and the cognitive approach, which is popular nowadays. The author of the article understands his response as a benevolent discussion of the book, calling on other readers to do the same.

Is It Still Possible to Save Russian Economic Science and Education?
Grigory Khanin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-131-148

The article shows the causes and consequences of the deplorable state of the Russian economic science and higher economic education. They are rooted, first of all, in the persecution to which economics was subjected in Soviet times, especially during the Stalinist period. As a result, it lost the most talented scientists. There was no need for good economists in the command economy, so higher economic education had low prestige. In the post-Soviet period, due to the transition to a market economy, the need for economists to work in government institutions and commercial structures increased. However, it turned out that the current system of higher economic education is unable to satisfy it. The author shows negative consequences of a low level of economic education for solving national economic problems and managing companies. The low level of economic science did not allow economists to justify an effective transition to a market economy, taking into account the peculiarities of the Soviet economy and Russian history. In the post-Soviet period, the political leadership focused only on economists loyal to the government, without taking into account their professionalism.

The author proposes the ways of improving the quality of economic science and higher economic education. The emphasis is on a sharp reduction in the number of researchers and teaching staff (and a reduction in the number of students), with a simultaneous significant increase in the remuneration of researchers and teachers basing on objective criteria for evaluating their activities. This will allow democratizing the management of universities and scientific institutions, abolishing bureaucratic control over their activities.

Analytics of Spiritual Culture

The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Notes in the Margins
Yuriy Pershin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-149-163

The response to the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Consequences for Education, Science and Politics” is not a fully analytical review. It represents the result of certain empathy and it is also an attempt to articulate some thoughts generated by the reflection of modern social reality. The reviewed article was only the trigger for starting this work. Associations and intuitions, which appeared after reading of this article, indicate that the material presented by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov was able to bring the consciousness of a modern man out of the “comfort zone”. This fact suggests that the material presented by these authors has high relevance, which immediately raises the relevance of all its reviews. Despite the fact that the article under consideration is more essayistic than scientific, the object of investigation is narcissistic culture in modern conditions, when, according to P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov, postmodernism serves as a unique medium for its dissemination. The subject – some features of its influence on the human community, including its manifestations in our country. As a set of methods of research or consideration of the problem, we use a combination of general logical methods, the method of historical analogies, elements of a systematic approach, as well as elements of an approach to social phenomena from the perspective of reconstructed archaic consciousness, its principles and its values.

The most general conclusions of reviewing the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov are that narcissistic culture is a relatively obsolete (do not mix it with ‘archaic’) variant of pathological social development. It gained new strength in the conditions of technological progress, the emergence (or rather, reproduction) of thinking, which in post-industrial society was defined as postmodern. During the recent political confrontation of social systems, it was used as an ideological weapon. It launched the processes that turned out to be poorly controlled and it can only be resisted from the standpoint of healthy conservatism and the promotion of traditional values.

Humanism, Post-Traditionalism and Secularism as Three Foundations of Contemporary Narcissism
Grigory Illarionov,  Vyacheslav Kudashov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-164-179

This paper is a critical response to the article by professors P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Consequences for Education, Science and Politics”. The idea of treating Western post-war culture as narcissistic has been expressed in the United States since the 1970s of the XX century, but it will also be relevant in relation to the post-Soviet culture of Russia. Considering the ambiguity of the cognitive metaphor of Narcissus in relation to the described socio-cultural transformations caused by the possibility of an almost arbitrary interpretation of something as narcissism, the article presents its own interpretation of the foundations of narcissistic culture. Following the idea of opposing a narcissistic culture to a culture of service, modern narcissism is viewed not so much as an individual’s selfishness, but as a loss of an object and opportunity for service. Secularism, understood in the spirit of Charles Taylor as the loss of any higher, transcendent, hierarchical ontological concepts, deprives a person of a higher authority that legitimizes any service to something. This means a horizontal ontology of equivalent objects that do not have the highest value in relation to the individual. Post-traditionalism means impermanence, “fluidity” of any institutionalized forms of sociality and their perception, the dynamics of the emergence and decline of which does not allow the individual to find an object of service. A person remains in conditions of “minimal humanism”, which means that this person, having neither a higher reality that determines it, nor the constancy of social institutions, remains for himself the only possible value, a kind of “narcissist against his will”. We also believe that narcissism is not an external, but an internal factor of social processes that constitutes the motives and interests of the participants in these processes. While agreeing with the thesis about the connection between narcissistic culture and postmodernity, we believe that it is not a “young culture” opposite to mass society. On the contrary, narcissistic culture is the culture of a mass society that has gone further along the path of secularism, post-traditionalism and humanism, just as postmodernity is called late, far-reaching modernity by such sociologists as E. Giddens, U. Beck, Ju. Habermas.

The Gracious Powers оf Individualization
Andrey Teslinov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-180-196

This article continues the discussion of the phenomenon of modern culture published in the paper by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Implications for Education, Science and Politics”. Arguments are presented for those consequences that lead culture to new states and guide thinking to explain the efforts needed to strengthen it in the role of developing us.

The judgments are based on a sense-genetic conception of culture that eliminates the naïve identity between the concepts of ‘cultural’, ‘civilized’, ‘cultivated’, ‘ethical’, ‘aesthetic’, ‘high’ and other assessments of specific properties of human behavior. The method of deriving consequences from judgments is based on the dialectical regularities of the development of living wholes and the products of their activity.

For the sake of continuing the semantic line of the original article, an attempt is made to rely on the phenomena of narcissism disclosed therein to see in them the signs of the future, the approach of which one could rejoice in without demonstrating its quite understandable experiences as an ugly form of the value landscape of modernity. In this sense, the idea, not developed but sown by the authors, that “narcissistic culture” brings to the world high diversity that can serve as a stimulus for the beginning of a new round of human development is supported here. There is a reason for this thought. They point to the approaching of gracious time when anarchic individualism will develop into another form of long-term sustainable coexistence of people under conditions of heterogeneity of values and interests. These conclusions make it possible to outline the contours of the tasks that need to be solved now in order to multiply this grace.

Problems of national discourse

National Specifics of the Language Worldview
Elena Vaganova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-197-211

This article presents the main approaches to the study of the national specifics of the language worldview. The relationship between the concepts of "worldview", "language" and "thinking" is determined by the ontological foundations of the formation of a linguistic picture of the world as a structural unity of ordered elements. The national specificity of worldview is determined by the subjective perception of reality, which is reflected in the worldview and the implementation of the received ideas and knowledge about the world in speech activity. National specifics includes historical processes and phenomena, way of life, living conditions, traditions, customs, national consciousness and personal self-identification. The worldview can be presented as a system of categories. The subject connection of categories goes back to the ideas of Aristotle. Aristotle defines categories as the most general concepts of the world and ways of knowing it. The role of categories in human cognitive activity is unique. They serve as a means of mental division, grouping, classification of surrounding objects and phenomena, that is, they help to organize the elements of the worldview. The concept of worldview and model of the world is related. Image of the world - is a system of coherent images of reality, reflecting the ethnic and cultural consciousness in a certain perception of the world. Ethnic and cultural image of the world is due to the system coordinates, through which people perceive and interpret the reality around them. The world model is a scheme that is filled in the minds of the displayed objects of reality, in other words, the content includes a picture of the world.