Comparative Analysis of Zen Philosophy: Rinzai and Soto
Olga Novikova,  Irina Rodicheva
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-83-97
Abstract:

The practical methods of studying Zen, known as ‘pure zazen’ and the ‘koan method’ of the Buddhist schools of Rinzai and Soto are subjected to comparative analysis. This study focuses on the comprehension of Zen philosophy, and also analyzes the basic attitudes regarding the difference from the old Buddhist schools in Japan: practical activity, self-improvememt and indifference to death come first, as well as new aesthetic norms and ideals. Simplicity, the absence of any authority, the absence of rituals and anti-intellectualism corresponded to the spirit of the era when the once unshakable moral values were collapsing. Comparing the two Buddhist schools, the authors of the article note that the distinguishing feature of Soto, founded in Japan by Dogen, is absolute immersion in the meditative practice of ‘Silent illumination of Zen’ (黙想 mokuso), which outlines the path to enlightenment through sitting meditation. At the same time the emphasis is placed on the fact that this is a complex and not fast process of passing through certain stages in comprehending the teaching. Rinzai Zen in Japan is most associated with learning through koan work, and the origin of this practice dates back to master Linji from the time of the Song dynasty, namely Daie Soko, who collected and arranged all the major koans in a specific order for ease of use. But the very practice of comprehending the teaching is distinguished by its rather harsh and cruel methods, since the teachers considered it necessary to tear the student out of everyday life and the fastest way is to hit or to shout at a person. It was this philosophical practice of Rinzai Zen that was spread in Japan by Eisai.

As a result of the study, the authors came to the conclusion that the masters of the Rinzai school proclaim the importance of ‘sudden enlightenment’, and the masters of the Soto school teach to follow the path of ‘progressive enlightenment’, and thus Soto and Rinzai become Zen schools that use opposite methods to achieve insight.

Genesis of Foolishness in the Byzantine Tradition
Evgeniya Sharabarina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-98-119
Abstract:

In this article, an attempt was made to make a preliminary religious analysis of the phenomenon of foolishness from the perspective of the modern methodology of the Dutch researcher J. Waardenburg. It was noted that earlier in the Russian science of religion, this phenomenon practically did not become an independent object of study. The systematic concept of J. Waardenburg assumes a consistent consideration of religious facts from the perspective of four approaches of equal importance: historical, comparative, contextual and hermeneutic. The collection and primary analysis of empirical data is a necessary and preliminary condition for a full-fledged study of the phenomenon of foolishness. Foolishness arises in Byzantine society and is perceived ambiguously by the contemporaries. The article indicates the sources of the phenomenon of foolishness in the Byzantine tradition: ancient cynicism in the person of Diogenes Laertius, healed the demoniacs who spend a lot of time near temples, Old Testament prophets. This work also reflects the historical process of the gradual separation of foolishness as an independent rank of holiness. Its biblical justification is the multiple references on the pages of the Gospel to the madness of the world and the wisdom of the unwise. The fact that the foolishness was known to the culture of the Romans is evidenced by the fact of the spread of the phenomenon of false ugliness, which the official Church tried to fight. The reason for the appearance of foolishness in Byzantium can be called the extinction of spiritual life after its rise in the first centuries of the spread of Christianity. The tradition of honoring extraordinary ascetics, as well as the formation of iconography, was slow. Only at the end of the VIII century the process began to gain momentum, which was connected with the approval at the Seventh Ecumenical Council of the veneration of saints as a necessary element of Christian dogmatics. In the Byzantine Church, six holy fools were canonized. Despite their small number, the hagiographic literature of Christian ascetics of the first centuries often offers examples of episodic foolishness. The article concludes that the genesis of foolishness in the Byzantine tradition required a long time for its development. In Russian culture the phenomenon of foolishness has found its full-fledged development, becoming an integral part of Russian culture. The author assumes, that this phenomenon requires its further empirical study as an objective religious fact.

Evidence for the Existence of God - the Case of Dostoevsky
Georgy Antipov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-11-24
Abstract:

This theme was one of the main ones for Dostoevsky, he turned to it throughout his life and work. As everyone knows, its essence has taken the form of catchphrases like „If there is no God, then we can do everything.” The theme has given rise to a huge number of interpretations. Some of them go back to the discourse of proofs of the existence of God as it has developed in the history of philosophy. In Christian theology, the argument relating to the question of the existence of God has received the general definition of “ontological proof of the existence of God.” In general, the scheme of reasoning in the ontological proof can be represented as follows. An absolutely perfect being, such as God appears, must have the totality of perfections; existence is one of these perfections; God, as a perfect being, must have existence not only in our imagination, but also in reality; therefore, God exists. In the Western European philosophical tradition, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, and others turned to ontological proof. Kant, examining the classical proofs of the existence of God, showed that the existence of a thing cannot be seen in the content of its concept. Thus, it is impossible neither to prove nor disprove the existence of God. The appeal to this topic in the general cultural Russian discourse, and in the emerging Russian philosophical discourse, was due to two circumstances. First, the influence of European classical philosophy. One can recall Pushkin’s lines: “By the name of Vladimir Lensky, / With a soul directly Goettingent, / A handsome man in full bloom of years, / An admirer of Kant and a poet,” or Belinsky’s mental anguish about the Hegelian formula “everything real is reasonable, everything reasonable is real”. Secondly, the impact of Western technogenic civilization on Russian society, traditional in its type. One of the manifestations of this influence was the increased tension along the line “faith – knowledge” (“religion – science”). The article attempts to translate Dostoevsky’s plots into axiology and the theory of values. The general conclusion that follows from the analysis of Dostoevsky’s work in the context of the article can be formulated as follows: the denial of God leads to the legalization of his surrogate likenesses.

Dostoevsky: Foreshadowing of Philosophical Anthropology, Hermeneutics and Phenomenology
Galina Petrova,  Nikolai Tarabanov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-25-39
Abstract:

The purpose of the article is to substantiate the hypothetically expressed proposition that Dostoevsky in his work proposed for comprehension and understanding of the problem of man and consciousness such ideas that (and this is the performative potential of his philosophy) received theoretical conceptualization only in the XX-XXI centuries. We are talking primarily about his foreshadowing of philosophical anthropology, hermeneutics and phenomenology. The realization of this goal, framed in the article through the substantiation of the concept of ‘mystery’ as a category of philosophical anthropology, and the comprehension of Dostoevsky’s work in the context of the ideas of modern philosophy, are the novelty of the article. We argue that Dostoevsky supplemented the categorical apparatus of philosophy with the concept of mystery, foreseeing the specifics of the language of description, which became relevant to the specifics of modern philosophical and anthropological discoveries and socio-ontological constructions. The research methods of the designated topic are dictated by the target setting. With the help of the comparative method, we demonstrate the relationship between the provisions of these modern philosophical trends with the provisions expressed in the literary and philosophical form by Dostoevsky. The comparison shows the historical cultivation of anthropological content in the hermeneutic-phenomenological direction of the study of consciousness, which in Dostoevsky’s works manifested itself in all the complexity of its own structure, not reduced only to reason and intellect. In addition, we reveal the phenomenon of unhappy consciousness found in ‘Notes from the Underground’ and make an assumption about intersubjective (pluralistic) idealism, which justifies the uniqueness of a person and the ‘non-fusion’ of his consciousness, which is not amenable to generalizations of logic and does not fit into the laws of nature. Pluralistic idealism is an original metaphysical concept, which Dostoevsky substantiates with his work and within which he finds the definition of man as a mystery. On the way to the development of ‘new horizons’, the article supplements the categorical apparatus of phenomenology, when in the categorical series (‘intentionality’, ‘epoché’, ‘natural attitude’, ‘phenomenological reduction’) a concept appears, expressed in an artistic and figurative form, – ‘mystery’.

Traditional Chinese Culture Transition into the Philosophy of the ‘New Era’
Shuo Wang,  Xin Qiu,  Lidiia Zolotykh
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-40-54
Abstract:

The global positive change in public opinion about China has been constantly growing in recent years. However, there is still some misunderstanding of China and the Chinese culture in the world due to ideological and cultural differences. The relevance of the development of theoretical innovations and their application in practice to disseminate traditional culture is an essential moment of state and public life in China. The article represents the natural transmission of traditional Chinese culture, the characteristics of which are clearly reflected within moral civilization and affirmed in the philosophy of a new stage of modern Chinese society development called the ‘New Era’. The importance of traditional spiritual culture of Chinese people in the process of realizing the value of human life towards the development of socialism whereas the Chinese specificity is shown. Historical and retrospective analysis determines the role of the stages of civilization and personalities in the formation of the spiritual values system of the Chinese nation. The semiotic method, as a basic one, is aimed at interpreting the elements of traditional Chinese culture, in particular the symbolic system. The article highlights the main spiritual characteristics and defines the meaning of the traditional Chinese culture in modern culture, defines the specific feature of the concept of ‘cultural gene’ as the Chinese spiritual culture, covering varied and differentiated content and characteristics of the Chinese national culture and defining the difference between the Chinese nation and other ethnic groups in the world. The value of harmonious and unified relations between a man and nature in the Chinese culture is considered using the example of bamboo, a typical traditional symbol that actively transfers traditional cultural information into modern everyday life in China and determines the continuity of the foundations of Chinese moral philosophy. The analysis of the expansion of Chinese cultural symbols to the west is given and the main problems in the work on the popularization of Chinese cultural symbols abroad are identified. The contemporary Chinese culture is represented as an open system that recreates a comprehensive hands-on process that effectively enhances the influence of the Chinese culture.

Individualism аnd Archaic Order оf Society In The 'Greek Worldview' оf Max Wundt
Tim Trendelkamp
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-55-74
Abstract:

In this article the Problem of the development of Individualism during the cource of the history of ancient Greece as described by Max Wundt is discussed. The development of Sophism is observed. Then, the philosophical Systems of Plato and Aristotle are being discussed as solutions to the problem of Greek individualism. Inner contradicitons in Max Wundt's argument in favour of Platonism are being discovered. Aristotelian arguments against the radical ascetic platonic system as described by Max Wundt are being given. The main material of this research are original texts of Max Wundt. The main subject of research is Max Wundts text "Greek Ideology". This text is read and analyzed to illucidate its inner philosophical systematic. The main method is thus the method of conceptual and systematic analysis. This analysis is combined with own commentary, to make an intuitive philosophical access easier for the reader. The aristotelian arguments against a radical ascetic style of culture and constitution of state are of surprising efficiency and sophisticated. These arguments have been studied and were better understood. The development of the problem of individualism in the course of the ancient Greek history can now be better understood. The concept of the naive archaic collectivism as explained by Max Wundt provides a further understanding of the motivating forces behind authoritarian and collectivist political systems. The meaning of the Greek tragedy and the works of Homer during the course of the development of Greek invdividualism can now be better understood. Inner contradicitions in the argumentation of Max Wundt have been discovered. Max Wundt gave an important text to better understand the development of ancient Greek individualism and the problems this development entails from his point of view.  The discussion between the point of view of Max Wundt, who is supporting Platonism, with the arguments of Aristotle, gave a lot of insight into possible arguments in favor of different solutions in overcoming 'Sophistic' phases of the historical development of socio-cultural entities. My further research will pay attention to the political philosophy of Aristotle, which is centered around the concept of the „Doctrine of the Mean“. I suppose that this study can supply some interesting new insights and arguments for questions of political philosophy of concern to the thinkers of the „Conservative Revolution“ in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. I also think that historical research of Max Wundt's concept of „naive archaic individualism“ could be of interest.  But perhaps it is just a working hypothesis to create a coherent philosophical picture of the development of ancient greece society and ancient greek thought.

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

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
Abstract:

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
Abstract:

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
Abstract:

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.