Philosophy: Tradition and Modernity

What Is Philosophy?
Vasily Kuzin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-11-34

The article is devoted to the traditional theme – self-determination of philosophy. The author reveals the specifics of philosophy in comparison with other areas of spiritual culture – religion, art and science. The single basis for comparison is their ability to overcome human suffering. The named areas differ in that very ability, each of them helps to overcome suffering in its own special way. For science, the main means of solving life’s problems is knowledge, for religion – faith, for art – imagination, and for philosophy – understanding.

Understanding in this article is considered as a movement towards clear knowledge, towards meaning, and at the same time as the result of such a movement as the achieved meaning. Knowledge clothed in certain, culturally given forms, seems understandable to us. We draw the basic models of understanding from our natural languages. Forms of judgments, cultural universals, and basic theories also give us forms of understanding. Among many forms of understanding, an important role is played by those forms and models that crystallize in the main philosophical categories, such as ‘essence’, ‘whole’, ‘general’, ‘cause’, ‘purpose’, etc.

The peculiarity of philosophical thinking is that understanding in it does not act as a means for further application, but as a direct action, practice. The achieved understanding in itself eliminates suffering and resolves life’s difficulties. In this sense, philosophy as a whole is not a theory, but a practical exercise aimed at making human life happier.

According to the author, the described four ways of overcoming suffering are ‘ideal types’ (M. Weber). On the one hand, science, religion, art and philosophy in their historical practices can be characterized by this or that degree of syncretism. On the other hand, there are cases when the ‘official rubric’ of a particular sphere of culture and its content do not coincide: for example, philosophy is practiced under the name ‘religion’, scientific research is carried out under the name ‘philosophy’, and art is created under the name ‘science’.

Transformation of the Concept of “Metanoia” in the Religious Tradition
Julia Ustyugova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-35-43

The article analyzes the ancient concept of ‘metanoia’ in the religious and philosophical tradition, carries out a historical and philosophical reconstruction of the term. The author considers the concept of ‘metanoia’ in the context of the problem of the relationship between mind and body. Tracing the transformation of the concept, coming from Aristotle, the author of the article shows that the Eastern religious tradition understands repentance as the integration of the divine mind, which exists separately, into the human body and the beginning of its existence according to new laws. Western scholasticism, following Aristotle, separates the active divine and passive human minds, but denies their union in the body, endowing repentance with a supra-individual meaning, interpreting it as a kind of turn towards the Divine light that occurs outside the physical body and is not the result of a genuine experience of union with Christ. The author considers understanding of the concept of ‘metanoia’ by such theologians as Gregory Palamas, Clement of Alexandria, Thomas Aquinas. It is concluded that the problem of the bodily localization of the mind, the essence of the mind, is closely related to the problem of repentance and the historical transformation of the concept of ‘metanoia’.

The Metaphysical Sense of Orientalism Criticism in the Writings of René Guénon
Nataliya Kanaeva,  Artyom Shikov,  Grigoriy Vasilyev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-44-60

This article is devoted to the critical arguments against orientalism put forward by the French mystic Réne Guénon (1886–1951) in his three books: A General Introduction to the Study of Hindu Teachings (1921), East and West (1924), Man and His Realization according to Vedanta (1925), and in the paper Eastern Metaphysics (1925). These arguments have rarely attracted the attention of researchers, and yet they occupy an important place in the methodology of Génon's justification of his “true metaphysics” which is one more attempt to return to man his proper human existence, broken in the modern world into different forms – Eastern and Western civilizations. The two types of civilizations are in a state of ruinous confrontation all the time. In the introduction of the article, Guénon’s anti-orientalist ideas are correlated with the criticism of orientalism by E. Said (1935–2003), which had a great influence on Oriental studies of the second half of the twentieth century. The main part touches on the cultural context of the esotericist’s ideological search, and it marks the source of his metaphysics in the idea of contrasting Modernity and Tradition.

Guénon criticizes the widespread belittling of traditional Eastern cultures by the Western people, and the “dogmas” of civilization, progress and the existence of only one type of humanity moving along the steps of the only possible progress based on reason and rational sciences. For the thinker, the understanding of culture as the progress is flawed, and Western civilization is not a model for the other civilizations, but it is an anomaly of development. As long as the Westerners in general, and the Orientalist scientists, in particular, who study the East with prejudice, without the desire to reach a genuine understanding of the meanings of Tradition as a form of integral metaphysical knowledge, do not get rid of their “dogmas”, the confrontation between East and West will persist. Guénon often finds his critical arguments in the works of professional orientalists (Eugène Burnouf, Max Müller) and philosophers (G.W. Leibniz). He demonstrates the mistakes they made which destroy the foundations of the orientalist approach.

Word as an Event in Buddhist and Taoist Cultures
Irina Rodicheva
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-61-73

The article is devoted to a special attitude to the word as a corpuscle of a cultural event which not only forms the ancient Eastern traditions, but is also one of the mechanisms of the system of non-local connections that create a philosophical understanding of a particular text, event and culture in general. The paper discusses the problem of interpretation and understanding of texts which is inextricably linked with the reach of the fundamental principles of the Eastern philosophy, focuses on the attitude to the word in Taoist and various directions of Buddhist cultures, and also describes the differences in the comprehension and perception of ancient Eastern philosophy between European researchers and Buddhist scholars.

The author notes that the discrepancy in the meanings of understanding Buddhist texts lies much deeper and comes not only from the difference in mentalities, since the semantic load of a philosophical treatise correlates with the concept of ‘spiritual integrity’, but is also significantly related to differences in understanding and comprehension of the alphabetic and hieroglyphic writing systems. The question is raised that a holistic perception of the text for a European researcher will inevitably slip away, since he/she tries to reveal the meaning of the canon only by the categories of rational presentation. The influence of the Taoist terminological apparatus in the translation of Buddhist canonical texts into Chinese is shown. It is emphasized that the main principle of the translation of the early texts of the Mahayana is the selection of a Taoist term that is suitable in meaning. In this context, attention is focused on the fact that the relationship between the semantic and stylistic content of Buddhist and Taoist canonical texts is one of the basic elements necessary for a deep understanding of the primary sources of ancient Eastern philosophy.

The text pays special attention to the teachings of the Madhyamika, notes its role in the history of Buddhism as well as the certain mechanisms of deprofanation of the word developed by this philosophical school are considered that they contribute to a high ‘inclusion’ in the natural world and are based on the Mahayana postulate of the primacy of personal spiritual experience over all other epistemological strategies. Attention is paid to the fact that focusing on nature itself is basic among Buddhist ideas that came from China in the philosophy of Zen Buddhism in Japan.

As a result of the study, the author notes that the obvious semantic load of the word led the Buddhist and Taoist cultures not only to the formation of a strong immunity to the profaning of the word itself, but also to the practice of limiting the written and verbal activity of representatives of these cultures.

Existence and Being as a Whole in Interpretations of Parmenides’ Poem
Alexander Gorev
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-74-86

The article discusses two main existing options for interpreting the concept of being in Parmenides’ poem. The first option is more traditional: quantitative monism, where existence is the only form of being. The second option is more modern: the predicative monism, where there are many types of being, but each of them is strictly defined by its essence. Both options are illustrated by the example of modern works by M.N. Wol’f, as well as in the example of a new translation by E.V. Afonasin. The close connection of the two variants is shown, almost inextricable, judging by the text of the poem, which allows for various translations. The article discusses the fundamental options for reading the ‘οὖλον’ (dense / whole), ‘µουνογενές’ (only-begotten / homogeneous) and the number of possible commas in the fragment ‘µοῦ πᾶν ἕν συνεχές’, which affects the result of counting the types of being. Based on the work of I.V. Berestov, the article shows that both interpretations have a common basis in the form of the concept of the whole. The whole can be considered both as one, which corresponds to quantitative monism, and as an absolute whole, having many parts, each of which is a separate relative whole: the being, which corresponds to predicative monism. This common ground allows us to consider both interpretations of Parmenides’ concept of being together. The author insists on just such an examination of the poem in order to come to a more definite conclusion about the nature of being. There is no contradictory opposition between these options, which would lead to a contradiction when they are considered together. It is noted that the whole is the one and at the same time indivisible, which does not negate the mandatory presence of its parts, which are separated from each other. Thanks to the concept of the whole, one can see the mutual interweaving of predicative (essential) monism, quantitative (existential) monism, and even, if desired, holistic (substantial) monism. Holistic monism assumes the whole as the only substance underlying the entire universe.

The Unity and Multiplicity of the Cosmogonic Process in Empedocles’ Poem*
Gamid Magomedov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-87-104

Among the ancient Greek philosophers Empedocles is the one who attempted to create a complete picture of the world, taking into account the knowledge of the thinkers who preceded him. It is an entire philosophical system that explores eternal and true principles and seeks to discover the causes of the being of all things and at the same time to explain their empirical becoming. It is a theory of the cosmic cycle, an eternal alternation in which the four elements that are the roots of all things--earth, air, water and fire--interact with the opposing forces of Love and Enmity, both in macrocosmic and microcosmic perspective. Empedocles does not give preference to any of the four elements, as had been done before him, but gives each of them their proper place. He introduces acting forces, by means of which he explains the reasons for the appearance and destruction of the world, and, moreover, in his views one can see the foundations of future conceptions of an impersonal law. Because of the fragmentary nature of the poem’s text, however, it is still not easy for us to grasp Empedocles’ thought consistently. Based on his own observations and taking into account the knowledge accumulated by previous generations of scholars, the author tries to offer his own reconstruction of the cosmogonic process presented in Empedocles’ poem. The reconstruction is carried out taking into account new fragments from the Strasbourg papyrus, thanks to which we have at our disposal a rather long and coherent piece of text, which makes a significant contribution to understanding the philosopher’s thought. The emphasis of the article is on the physical exposition of the poem with the application of philological methods and the subsequent interpretation of Empedocles’ verses. The physics of unity and multiplicity within the interaction of the forces of Love and Enmity and the four roots is reconstructed. The article also considers the didactic component of the poem, showing that Empedocles does not think of himself as separate from sensual nature, and that he and his disciple Pausanias are aware of their full involvement in the universal cosmogonic process.

Social philosophy

Very Old and the Very Modern Clothing of Anarchism. Theory
Yury Voronov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-105-133

This article discusses the main stages in the development of the theory of anarchism. The author started his examination of anarchist ideas from Errico Malatesta’s book “The System of Anarchism in Ten Conversations for the Peasants”. Then, the author considers the works of a French politician, philosopher and economist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. The paper touches upon the problem of practical implementation of his theoretical principles up to the present time. The author also takes into account the works of the geographical school of anarchism (Elise’e Reclus and Peter Kropotkin). The paper analyses the anarchist origins of the classical school of political economy. It is noted that a significant part of Adam Smith’s ideas was previously expressed by his predecessor, anarchist William Godwin. In particular, it is shown that the category of invisible hand’ originated from anarchist ideas about the inner world of a person, and not from the ideas that ‘the market will decide everything’. Some aspects of the history of the First International, the role of anarchists in the creation and activities of the First International are considered. The article describes the emergence and development of anarchism in Japan, it is shown that the Japanese branch of anarchism is closely connected with the works of M. Bakunin. The problem of long-term propaganda of the ideas of anarchism in US universities is touched upon. The main authors of anarchist works are singled out from among them. The author also considers Christian theological anarchism associated with the name of I. Illich, as well as the works of the followers and propagandists of anarcho-Islam that have appeared in recent years. According to the author, the ideas of anarchism are poorly analyzed by historians, which leads to many incorrect assessments of current events and erroneous predictions of the future, especially in recent decades.

The reason for this is ignoring the role of anarchist thought in the socio-economic life of the world. It is noted that the penetration of anarchist ideas into social theories and political doctrines of very different directions takes place in such a way that they become an inseparable part of them and are no longer considered anarchist. Briefly, the main idea of ​​the article can be expressed in the words: “Theoretical anarchism does matter”.

The Citizen in Search of Community: Peculiarities of the Organization of the Far Eastern Urban Space (the Case of Khabarovsk)
Leonid Blyakher,  Andrei Kovalevskii
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-134-147

As a rule, the tradition of analysis and description of the Russian city space marginalizes significant parts of this space. Thus, industrial zones, low-rise residential areas, etc. fall outside the concept of ‘city’. The Soviet ‘private sector’ often remains outside the scope of analysis, covering more than half of the city’s territory and a significant part of its population in individual settlements. This discussion in scientific papers has appeared recently, and we want to proceed with it in the space of Far Eastern cities. In this paper, we propose to look at these ‘marginal’ territories and the groups inhabiting them from a fundamentally different perspective, to consider them not as ‘territories of prospective development’, but as already established social space, with its inherent social significances and practices. From the framework of the Khabarovsk city we determine the ratio of ‘normal urban’ (regular urban development) and ‘marginal’ spaces on the basis of two years of observation, three series of in-depth interviews and analysis of statistics, demographic and spatial data, and then combine these two separated parts into a single object - the city, which, as we show in our work, is eminently characterized by both these types of spaces. As the study showed, it is in the ‘invisible’ part of the city that the most stable communities are formed, actively participating in the ‘struggle for the city’, organizing routine resistance to the aspirations of powerful agents to change their space. In areas of regular urban development, on the contrary, communities are increasingly replaced by ‘combinations’, associations regarding the use of common elements of urban infrastructure. At the same time, ‘meeting points’ appear between these parts, uniting the city, giving it a chance to form integrity, or at least coherence. The authors present an analysis of the urban space and urban communities of Khabarovsk in this article.

The Internet as a Communication Space for Identification of Personality
Egor Yurchenko
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-148-164

This article examines the social structure of the Internet, which is based on the process of communication, and the possibility of identification of personality in virtual space. The analysis of the problem of identification and existence of personality on the Internet is built on the psychological and structural components that are integrated in the Internet. Building the analysis of the Internet as a space for identity is founded on the theoretical basis of the personality as a social construct, where an important role is played by interaction with the surrounding social environment. One of the ways, where this interaction takes place, is the communication process. The main features of interaction within the network are highlighted: possible anonymity and detachment from reality, physical non-representation, global openness and universality. Anonymity and detachment allow one to construct a relatively safe space for the expression of repressed traits and desires. Global openness and universality allow one to build social connections without geographical determinants and to find a response among others, to develop interests and skills. In order to outline the possibility of identification of personality on the Internet, the author establishes the connection of needs, meaning spheres of personality with the actual opportunities, which are revealed due to the components of the Internet. One discovers the possibility to realize latent needs and immerse themselves in a vast environment of formation and translation of meanings. The analysis of the formation of Internet addiction confirms the possibility of changing personality traits on the Internet, which provides data for the analysis of the positive impact of virtual space on the change of personality traits. That is, virtual space has a functional ability to influence the personality’s needs and meaning spheres, which in turn opens up the possibility of identifying a person on the Internet. Using the Internet, a person gives themselves the possibility of active, creative and social realization with involvement in virtual interaction, which continues the real identity of the person. The author highlights the idea, that it is necessary to have personal regulation of Internet activity and pay close attention to the meanings that are translated in the virtual space.

Corporate Values as the Basis of the Company’s Activities
Elena Prokaeva
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-165-175

This article explores the changing approach to the values in the field of business, primarily in transnational corporations. Just a hundred years ago, the German sociologist Max Weber noted for the first time that values directly affect professional activity. At the moment, society’s requirements for socially responsible business conduct have increased. Violation of ethical standards by the company and its representatives can significantly affect the value of shares, income and the very existence of the company. Adventure capitalism, which sought to benefit by any means, is increasingly being replaced by rational capitalism, built on the principles of ‘universal gain’, when the desire for profit is balanced with the interests of society, and solidarity prevails over competition. Modern large companies try to adhere to the principles of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance). The desire to be included in ESG ratings, in which a comprehensive assessment is made on environmental, social and managerial indicators of sustainable development, is explained by the increase in investment attractiveness and the overall prestige of the company. The percentage of participants in such ratings and rankings is growing every year. More companies consciously get engaged in their organizational culture, develop ethical codes, and publish corporate values in open sources. Ensuring the understanding and acceptance of the company’s values by each of its employees, so that they can implement them in their daily work, is a difficult task, which requires in-depth knowledge in a variety of fields. The use of values by corporations as a tool in management requires compliance with high moral standards, as it is introduced into the subtle and little-studied sphere of the foundations of not only human activity, but also of the entire human existence. There is a great risk of coming to a new form of slavery instead of freedom, creativity and development. In this paper, the author analyzes the conjugating of companies’ activities with their corporate values from the point of view of social philosophy.

Problems of the Methodological movement

Are the Accusations against Methodologists Fair? Methodologist’s Answer
Vadim Rozin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-176-196

The article analyzes the discussion by political scientists and some Russian intellectuals of the ideas of the Moscow Methodological Circle (MMC), whose representatives are accused of arming the modern government with inadequate methodology, trying to control it, almost ideologically preparing a special military operation. The author separates two main directions of methodology - philosophical research and applying it into practice, arguing that the accusations relate primarily to the second direction, in addition, he argues that there is no single methodology, there are different groups of methodologists with different views and tasks. In order to develop criteria for understanding and evaluating the discussion, a reconstruction of the evolution of the views and concepts of the MMC is proposed: from the first program for the study of thinking, through the program for constructing the theory of activity and mental activity, to organizational activity games (OAG) and the concepts of management and OLM (organization, leadership, management). At the same time, the influence of Marxist ideas, which led to the reduction of sociality and management to activity, is demonstrated. The nature of the OAG is discussed. At the end of the article, the achievements of methodology are characterized, which the author refers to the “golden fund of methodology”, obtained in the framework of philosophical research. The study is accompanied by an analysis of the positions of methodologists and their critics, as well as social situations that predetermined the development of methodology. In particular, they point to the crisis of socialism in the USSR, the weakening of ideological pressure, the expansion of freedom, and the expansion of the activity of philosophers and scientists. According to the author, the main methodological schemes for reforming sociality were created at the MMC (Moscow Methodological Circle) without a serious study of sociality, which was used by some political scientists and ambitious intellectuals, blaming methodologists, attributing imperious intentions and goals to them. As the author shows, everything is much more complicated, it is necessary to take into account both the difference in methodological views, and the division of methodology into two directions, as well as the political context influencing it.

"Progressors": Methodological Movement before and after Perestroika
Irina Zhezhko-Braun
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2023-15.1.1-197-231

The widespread use of game methods for solving problems and developing thinking in the 1980s - 1990s, in other words, the game movement, was one of the forms of participation of the intelligentsia in the transformation of Soviet society. It began with organizational-activity games (OAG), created in the Moscow Methodological Circle under the leadership of the philosopher G.P. Shchedrovitsky. The article analyses the gaming movement, its influence, efficiency and social responsibility. Methodologists practiced several forms of social engineering activity: OAG organizer - game technician - political strategist - political consultant - designer of the state system - trainer and teacher of the administrative elite. There are many modern politicians from the first echelon of power among those who have been trained in seminars and games. Methodologists began their social engineering activities during the “Perestroika” period. The article analyzes the game at the RAF (1987), where the theme of democratization was discussed within the framework of the election of the plant director. Game technicians acted as ‘foremen of perestroika’ or ‘progressors’ and offered their own interpretation of democratization, which turned out to be unrealizable in Soviet life. Following the OAG, new types of games were formed: design, problem-practical, simulation, innovation and other games. The gaming movement ended in the late 1990s. Among the external reasons for stopping the gaming movement were: the ill-conceived perestroika program, the collapse of the USSR and the course towards strengthening the new Russian goverment. Among the internal problems are: misunderstanding of the situation in the country by game technicians, the inadequacy of the proposed mechanism for social change to the social and political nature of Russian society, the replacement of the concepts of democracy and democratization with managerial concepts. This ended with the commercialization of the gaming movement, merging it with power structures, serving the state and various social movements. The methodologists have demonstrated their failure in the role of ‘progressors’ and in this sense they have shared the fate of the Soviet intelligentsia. Having suffered a defeat in the role of social engineers, methodologists returned to Castalia to practice and develop methodology in various fields of academic and pedagogical activity.