“Paths to Liberation” Philosophy: Shunyavada and Taoism
Irina Rodicheva
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.2.1-111-132

The article attempts to consider the theories of «liberation» in the ancient Eastern philosophy, which, on the one hand, clearly reflect the similarities and differences between the Buddhist teaching of Shunyavada and Taoism, and on the other hand define the basic principles of two philosophical schools in question. Despite the emphasis in the text on the difficulty of comprehending such key concepts of the philosophy of «liberation» as «Tao» and «Shunyata», since they cannot be subjected to analysis of formal logic and rational definition possessing «intangibility», «ambiguity» and, one might even say, «transcendence»of meanings and definitions, the author in his work considers these terms using the dialectical method, its form of thinking embodies the unity of the basis of opposites «and this and that». The theoretical, methodological and comparative researches of the basic concepts of madhyamik’s «Shunyata» and emptiness of «Tao», covered in the article and taken as independent units of philosophical discourse, have shown that it makes sense to speak of the close relation of considered concepts, since there are two aspects of emptiness in each of them: «theoretical» that defines the classification of approaches and meanings of emptiness, and «practical» that reveals the methods (means) and strategies of self-improvement. As a result of the research, the author has proposed an understanding of emptiness in both considered philosophical systems through the model of «circular motion»: in relation to the Buddhist teaching of Shunyavada, it embodies non-duality, emptiness of samsara and nirvana, in respect of the Taoist teaching, it symbolizes «the internal state of interdependence and mutual permeability», the relativity of all things and phenomena, i.e. their emptiness. It has also been defined that Madhyamikas and the Taoists interpret the path leading to «liberation» (Skt. mokṣa) or enlightenment (Chin. «min») as median. Nevertheless, the interpretations of this path are diverse in the ancient Indian and ancient Chinese traditions, since, in relation to the Taoist doctrine, the Middle way is to overcome duality through harmonizing the «yin» and «yang» that create the continued integrity by dint of presence (dissolution) in each other. Folding and reaching the center, they give birth to a new «undetected» state of harmony and peace, namely the state of «the Great emptiness of Tao». In contrast to the Taoist Middle path, the Buddhist Middle way involves the complete elimination of opposites since everything is relative and identical to Emptiness (Skt. Sūnyatā) and it does not lie through «following naturalness» as indicated in Taoism, but through following «the eightfold path» (Skt. Arya aṣṭāṅgika mārga) that leads to understanding the illusory nature of all things, since one of the most important features of dharma as a constituent element of samsara is emptiness (Skt. Sūnyatā).

Foundations of Modern Passibilism and the Problem of Its Compatibility with the Antique Philosophical Theology
Alexey Streltsov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.2.1-155-170

This article deals with various historical treatments of the problem of impassibility or passibility of God. The author demonstrates connection of passibilism as the view admitting divine suffering with the sociocultural context of modernity, and also points out different attitudes throughout history to whatever is considered to be worthy of God. Standard concept of ancient philosophical theology held absolute impassibility of God. While Christian thought of Late Antiquity likewise considered God to be impassible, it did not exclude discourse of the suffering of God the Son. This opinion transpired throughout medieval period as well as Reformation, although Luther’s theology of the cross made an emphasis on divine revelation in the suffering of Christ. It was the dialectical approach of Hegel’s philosophy of religion that laid foundation for the option of theological passibilism. Such views came into being in the late 19th – early 20th century in Germany, England, and Russia. N. Berdyaev especially made an influence on subsequent thought. Among principal reasons for the passibilist development one can name popular view of uncritical reception of ancient Greek philosophy by the early Christian thought, process theology, apologetic need in new approaches to theodicy in view of global cataclysms of the 20th century that caused massive suffering of people, and, finally, democratization of political life as compared to absolutist monarchies of old. The author observes peculiar approaches in contexts of Japan, Korea, and African continent. While modern passibilism holds that only the concept of the suffering God is capable of alleviating human suffering, representatives of the classical Christian framework tended to find consolation rather God’s impassibility. Considering shift in view on impassibility of God as an integral part of historical-philosophical development, the author highlights possible incompatibility of the frameworks of Antiquity and modernity and does not find grounds for critique of the concept of Antiquity from the perspective of modern metaphysical sensitivities.

The World Died Again. Long Live the World!
Aleksander Shevtsov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.2.1-133-154

Philosophy (as the world-view) was not the first way to create a description of the world. Before that there was a whole sequence of other descriptions.It is very important that the epos gradually displaced the myth, and logos displaced epos.By the 5 century BC, the truth was sought philosophically, and it is the Logos that becomes the language of philosophy and the new worldview.The author analyzes the words of Plato from the fourth book of “The Republic”, in which he talks about the subtle power structure of a person. We are talking about those forces - dunamis - which determine to which part of the society this or that person belongs. Those who rule must develop the logisticon - the power of the mind or, more precisely, the reason; defenders and guards - the power of thumos (spirit). But the rest of the free citizens of the city-state live on the force, called epithumia, that is, desire. The article discusses the movement back: from the change of worldview and revolutions to the very first coup - the battle of the Titans and Gods. Why philosophers, who in general do not recognize the gods, were on their side? The particular outrage of the Greek philosophers was caused by the way of thinking, used by the people of manual labor. The insignificance of manual labor is a serious ideological attitude, manifested through the public opinion of the ruling class, because it is manual labor that is a sign of the majority of society: farmers, artisans and merchants. In other words, we can interpret the revolution that took place in the world of the gods and raised Olympus over the Earth as the struggle of the previous cults with the new, with the cult of gods of the military aristocracy. But the author is convinced that the struggle for Olympus is not over yet. If you listen, you will hear that there is a battle for the Mind, changing the nature of man. Because we have made the choice: to be with the gods, to be their creation – Homo sapiens.

Dialogue “Octavius” in the Context of Religious and Philosophical Polemics between Christianity and Paganism
Lidiya Schneider
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.1-145-161

The author considers the early stage of religious and philosophical polemics between Christianity and ancient culture, exemplified by dialogue “Octavius”, which is probably the first literary Christian apologetic work in Latin. Following the ancient tradition Minucius Felix, the author of the dialogue, gives every participant of the disputation an opportunity to express their point of view. Paganist Caecilius steps first on the polemic stage. Like an Epicurean philosopher he declaims materialistic idea of the world origin and denies the God's will and action. As a sceptic Caecilius states that questions of religion are unavailable for human cognition, so people shouldn’t try to settle them, and the best option is to belong to ancestor’s religion. In his oration, directed against Christian religious ceremonies, common superstitions about Christians are reflected: accusations of ritual murders, anthropophagy and lechery. The advocate of Christianity, Octavius first of all declares that it is a mistake – not to notice God’s touch in harmony of cosmos and living creatures. Thus Octavian denotes two traditional arguments of the existence of God: cosmological and teleological. Then he raises the question about the genesis of roman polytheism and concludes that it is a consequent of the deification of real people – kings and heroes of the past. Noteworthy is the fact that Octavius reinforces his speech with references to ancient philosophers. It is related to author’s aspiration to draw a parallel between Christianity and ancient philosophy, to introduce Christianity as a respectable intellectual school of thought. As a result of detailed analysis of this dialogue it becomes obvious that "Octavius" deserves special attention, not because of the disclosure of the content of the Christian religion, but as an example of a polemical dialogue between the old and the new cultural paradigms. It allows us to understand what was the first impression Christian religion has made by its first acquaintance with the culture of the Roman Empire of II century.

The Concept of the Cognitive Unconscious and Its Criticism by John R. Searle
Alexsander Katunin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.1-129-144

The problems of consciousness, cognition, and unconsciousness have always been relevant in philosophy and at the same time these problems are the main issues of cognitive science. The latest achievements in the field of cognitive science have clearly shown that a person is able to receive, to process and apply information not only on the conscious level, but also unconsciously. Modern science generalizes all the processes associated with cognition under the concept of "the cognitive unconscious", which becomes one of the most discussed concepts in cognitive science nowadays. To clarify this concept, in the first part of the article the author gives examples of manifestation of the cognitive unconscious, based on experiments. First, the author considers implicit memory and implicit learning. It is the ability of a person to acquire information, skills as a result of life experience, but these processes occur at an unconscious level. Another form of manifestation of the cognitive unconscious is subliminal perception - a psychic phenomenon, when stimuli not fixed by consciousness become modifiers of human behavior, influencing thoughts, feelings, actions, value judgments. Then the author considers the phenomenon of priming, which causes qualitative changes in the results of the solution of the problems presented to the person, subject to preliminary presentation of information in some way related to this task, or the likelihood of a faster reproduction of the information received in the same conditions in which the prime was shown. Among other forms of the manifestation of the cognitive unconscious, the author also cites such processes as: automatism, blindsight and comes to the conclusion that, according to numerous experimental data, it is fair to say that in addition to the conscious system responsible for the processes of receiving, processing and using information, the system of the unconscious is actively functioning within the human psyche. This point of view over a number of decades has become widespread and many critical assessments have been given. In the second part of the article, the author analyzes the criticism of the cognitive unconscious by the well-known American philosopher John R. Searle on the basis of the arguments presented in his two monographs: "The Rediscovery of the Mind" and "Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception" . In both books, Searle argues that consciousness remains absolutely central in any discussion of perception and cognition, and at the same time he admits small, minor unconscious processes and completely denies the deep unconscious. In the end, reflections on Searle's position and his critical attitude to the concept of the cognitive unconscious are analyzed.

Time and Eternity in the Ontological Models of Parmenides and Heraclitus
Tatyana Denisova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2018-4.1-212-229

The article gives a systematic analysis of the positions of two outstanding and traditionally opposed to each other representatives of the Greek natural philosophy Parmenides and Heraclitus regarding the problem of time as a world-forming principle. The article is focused on the ground of the following ideas. First, attempts to consider ontological essence of time (not only its empirical manifestations and instrumental uses) were already made in early Greek philosophy. Secondly, the tradition of contrasting the views of Parmenides and Heraclitus concerning the main principles of the world order is hardly justified. The article shows that the Parmenides’ idea of the static nature of being doesn’t exclude the movement and the formation of things, and the metaphysical dynamics of being according to Heraclitus does not reduce the existence of things to an infinite becoming without the opportunity to get true being. Thirdly, images of time and eternity, one way or another, are presented in both conceptions. Time is considered as a condition and basis for the existence of individual things, manifested in their conversion and movement. Out of time, that is, in eternity, there is the Whole that includes all the existent and possible individual things. Thus the conceptions of Parmenides and Heraclitus represent two parts of a single ontological model of the order of the Cosmos.

The Problem of the Research Method in the History of Philosophy
R.S. Platonov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2018-4.1-191-211

The article sets a goal to give clear methodological principles for historico-philosophical research with regard to the specificity of the research. On the one hand, to bring historico-philosophical work closer to intersubjective scientific practice, on the other, to determine its differences from the hermeneutic problem of understanding per se. For this, it is making a small overview of the development of hermeneutics in the European tradition of XIX-XX centuries, uncovering the difference of the hermeneutic process as unlimited and subjective from scientific research as local and intersubjective. The proposed methodology is described in two main aspects. The first aspect is the method of working with a text. The method of philosophical conceptual analysis is taken as a basis and given its adapted version in which the problem of clarification of philosophical concepts is compared with the problem of clarification of key concepts of the text and their interconnection. The main methodological technique of the analysis is to clarify the meaning by investigation the use of words in the text by means of opposition and differentiation of semantic refinements/details, as well as generalization, that is, the identification of the common semantic core of different concepts. The obtained results are recorded in terms of the meta-language of the research. The end of this analysis is a clear structure of the text, explicating basic conceptions and problem points of the conceptions. The second aspect is the limitation of object material. The necessity of exclusion of the historico-cultural and intellectual contexts is corroborated as external constructs in relation to the concrete research. Linguistic conceptions can be considered as such constructs, if they build self-sufficient explanatory schemes of language development. The limitation is carried out primarily by means of the formation of the corpus of texts: 1) establishing a thematically linked group of texts by one author; 2) using only well-preserved texts in which a narrative is not broken. The first limitation saves from complications of the research by multiplication of conceptions, allows us to make a minimum of meaning’s deformations of the word when the context of its usage is examined. The second limitation also saves from complications of the research and demands that the textual context of a word usage was free to the maximum extent from reconstruction. As a result, the presented method is defined as textual conceptual analysis.