Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences




  2014, Volume 41, Number 3
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2014, Volume 41, Number 3

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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2014, Volume 41, Number 2

 

CONTENTS

EDITORIAL


Ilya Kasavin. INFRASTRUCTURAL REVOLUTION IN PHILOSOPHY: ATHENS FROM THE HEAD OF ZEUS?

Today philosophy is not particularly concerned with philosophical problems but with ones of its social existence. Is this a sign of our times? Apparently it is, for "the eternal question" whether the philosophy is science has been decisively solved today. Philosophy is the complete science taken as a social institution, no more an amateurish enterprise; in its current social status it does not differ from general linguistics, theoretical sociology, civil history, pure mathematics. Philosophy has to justify its topicality, theoretical relevance, necessity for certain theoretical innovations in the context of modern scientific problems. At the same time philosophy has to establish its practical relevance, i.e., the applicability to meet the socio-political, economic, cultural and information needs. Its ability for this is doubtful for officials and laymen, but is important for philosophy as ever. It appears that it is here to look for specifics of modern philosophy: it is located within the common destiny with modern science, culture as a whole.
The ongoing science reform has set the philosophers (and other scientists) to the new realities, and they develop the necessary mechanisms of adaptation. There is nothing wrong with improving the Russian Science Index (RINZ) to the international level, in creating new systems of indexing and the inclusion of at least parts of them in a global database. The same is for establishing new science foundations and other sources to support science. The promoting of Russian scientific journals will be also a step in the right direction. But it should not be forgotten: the scientific infrastructure must grow slowly, in communication with scientists and not be born like Athena from the head of Zeus. For this to work, one needs not just to subordinate a recalcitrant population Universe of knowledge to one’s political will. The involving in infrastructure transformation must be a social program for living people with their passion for scientific research – authors, grantees, future leaders of ratings, motivated scientists. Otherwise, there will only a bureaucratic infrastructure dropped from the top without any human agent.

Keywords: science, infrastructure, science funds, scientific ranking, scientific journals, peer review, open access

 

 

PANEL DISCUSSION


Ilya Kasavin, Vyacheslav Stepin. PHILOSOPHICAL TALKS: 10 YEARS AFTER

An interview with one of the most influential Russian philosophers of science Vyacheslav Stepin in which he discusses his current ideas on science and its history, progress in philosophy, current issues in philosophy of science in Russia, types of rationality, divide between the methodology of natural sciences and the humanities.

 

 

EPISTEMOLOGY AND COGNITION


Vladimir Vasyukov. INTERDISCIPLINARITY: A LOGICAL ANALYSIS

The article presents an analysis of the phenomenon of interdisciplinarity from the point of view of Universal Logic – a general theory of logics considered as the kind of mathematical structures by analogy with the universal algebra treatment of algebras – discloses some basic combinations of scientific theories (other patterns of combinations are not forbidden but the scope of their applicability turns out to be essentially restricted). Such an approach is based on strongly idealized understanding of the scientific theory (theory as such) and in fact deals with the logical conception of a theory as the system of correlated statements. Early it was shown that there are just four basic combinations of theories which scope of applicability coincides with the universe of theories in the framework of Universal Logic. Here their constructions are explained by giving examples of the transfer of social doctrines into biology or so called sociobiologism.

Keywords: interdisciplinarity, Universal Logic, combination of theories, transfer of social doctrines into biology

 

Tian yu Cao. INCOMPLETE, BUT REAL – A CONSTRUCTIVIST ACCOUNT OF REFERENCE

Various theories of referent are critically but briefly surveyed from the perspective of structural realism; a constructivist version of structural realist account of referent is outlined, and its implications for history of science and for descriptive metaphysics are briefly indicated.

Keywords: reference, realism, constructivism, history of science, metaphysics.

 

 

LANGUAGE AND MIND


Alexei Cheniak. INDIRECT REFERENCE FOR INDEXICALS AND AMBIGUOUS SELF-IDENTIFICATION

The article is devoted to a philosophical discussion of semantics of indexical expressions inspired mainly by theories of D. Kaplan and P. Schlenker. The author considers Schlenker’s arguments contra Kaplan that referents of indexicals sometimes may not be considered as directly provided by contexts of their use. He argues that the idea that indexicals can have shifted reference can and should be developed further. The author discusses cases which seem to call for a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals. In particular the cases that introduce contexts where the speaker does not refer to herself as a unique individual specifically located in space and time. It is argued that references in such cases can hardly be explained as either shifted or not shifted in the standard way suggested by Schlenker. These examples are followed by more examples of conditional shifting and examples of split shifted parameters. The author argues that such real speech situations along with communicative intentions of speaker suggest that a broader understanding of context dependency of indexicals should be taken into account.

Keywords: indexicals, semantics, context shift, conditional shifting, split shift parameters, D. Kaplan, P. Schlenker.

 

Pavel Baryshnikov. SEMANTIC PROCESS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: FROM COMPUTATIONAL MODELS TO LINGUISTIC EXPERIENCE

This article looks to consider the principles of generation of the conceptual and semantic relations in the conscious experience and in the computational process of modern artificial intellectual systems. We attempt to give proof of the unformalizability of qualitative states and we mean to clarify the semantic differences between information and meaning. It’s important to describe the role of the language system in the cognitive and semantic procedures of consciousness including the computational aspect of problem. The consistent intellectual activity (in engineering approach) requires the particular material organization of processing and the rules of logical-semantic inference. The semantics of mental states demands uncertain, undefined conclusions and the agent capable of free will. Computational Theory of Mind and computer-based information system models can clearly present the cognitive process but without any explanation of substantial nature of linguistic components of consciousness. In this paper the following points are: in the human cognitive process there are some elements which are not accessible for formalization and computer modeling. One of these components is natural language fuzzy semantics. This feature of natural language is related to the private mental states and to the uniqueness of associative activity of consciousness. The stable meanings of language system are representable in the data machine forms but the pragmatic functions require the experience of conscious existence. Artificial intelligence is connected with neither world of things nor mental representations but only with information and inference rules. The natural language semantics establishes the symbolic relations between the consciousness and the entire being.

Keywords: Computational Theory of Mind, computability, qualia, conceptualization, knowledge representation.

 

 

VISTA


Diana Gasparyan. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND (POST)-STRUCTURAL SEMANTICS

There are two problem areas associated with modern studies of philosophy of mind focusing on identification and convergence of human and machine intelligence. One problem is machine simulation of meaning and the other – machine simulation of sense. In the present study the analysis of the stated problems is carried out based on the concepts of structural and post-structural linguistics almost entirely ignored by philosophy of mind. If we refer to the basic definitions of “sign” and “meaning” found in structuralism and post-structuralism, we will see a fundamental difference between the capabilities of a machine and the human brain engaged in processing of a sign. The present study will exemplify and provide more and probably stronger evidence to support distinction between syntactic and semantic aspects of intelligence, the issue widely discussed by adepts of contemporary philosophy of mind.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Strong Artificial Intelligence, Weak Artificial Intelligence, Meaning, Sense, Reference, Semantics, Syntaxes, Structural Semantics, (Post)-Structural Semantics, Narrative.

 

 

СASE STUDIES – SCIENCE STUDIES

 

Hans Poser. LEIBNIZ’ PROJECTS FOR ACADEMIES AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN SCIENCE, POLITICS AND PUBLIC WELFARE

Leibniz wrote more than 60 proposals, concepts, and outlines for academies for Holland, Germany, Austria and Russia. Unlike the academies in Paris, London or Rome he intended a narrow connection of theoria and praxis. This should be achieved by his Scientia generalis as a theoretical unification, whereas the aim consisted in a universal Harmony.

Keywords: Leibniz, Academy, Scientia generalis, rational government, harmony.

 

Victor Krutkin. HUMAN'S MOVEMENTS: THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH

The author discusses man as finding himself in the world not as pure mind or consciousness, but as embodied being. It is argued that this embodiment is not a simple natural fact, man is not the product of his or her own body, on the contrary, people in history always have bodies as their own objects and representations. French anthropologist M. Moss believed that for construction unified concept of human being we must base on different sciences - sociology, psychology and physiology. In this article concept "techniques of the body " analyses through the theory of motions developed classic psychophysiology N.A. Bernstein. It is hypothesized that different types of movements can be generalized by notion "gesture”. Gesture –is a movement that is able to experiment with space and time, it is the way by which a person can transcend his own boundaries .In a gesture of material and intentional sides fused together. Gesture suggests The other Man. The human body takes on the role of media. Understanding of environment can be carried out through the body and senses, not only through logic and language. The body is the mode by which nature becomes a human being, at the heart of this process we find the development of techniques and movements. Desire to reveal "the nature of the human body" - is part of a wider problem - to understand the "body of human nature."

Keywords: techniques of the body, M. Mouss, schemes of movements, N.A. Bernstein, symbolical coordination , gesture, media, image

 

Alesei Malinov. FROM METHODOLOGY OF HISTORY TO THE THEORY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE (FROM THE LECTURES OF ACADEMIC A. S. LAPPO-DANILEVSKY)

The author discusses the philosophical views of Academician Alexander Sergeyevich Lappo-Danilevsky (1863 - 1919) on the basis of the fragments of the course on the methodology of Russian history. It is argued that according to Lappo-Danilevsky the methodology of history should imply, above all, the theory of historical knowledge, which should reveal the epistemological foundations of the science of history, as well as show how the historian, perceiving reality inaccessible to direct observation, is able to come to the truth. The author shows (by extensively quoting previously unpublished works Lappo-Danilevsky, that a central place in Lappo-Danilevsky’s is assigned to historical phenomenology, forms the historical givens, historical phenomena, and not to facts.
It is also shown that Lappo-Danilevsky believed that the methodology of history should serve the development and clarification of more general principles of socio-humanities or «theories of social science». In his «theory of social science» special place was given to the problem of «another I» or recognizing the existence of the psychic life of the Other. For Lappo-Danilevsky to formulate a «theory of social science» meant to answer the question of how given the content of our individual «I» we can come to a real recognition of the existence of other individual consciousnesses. The main purpose of his lectures Lappo-Danilevsky saw not in a dogmatic exposition of his teaching, but in independent thinking and in awakening of his listeners.
The text contains fragments of the lecture notes of Lappo-Danilevsky.

Keywords: Lappo-Danilevsky, methodology, history, analysis, phenomenon, social studies.

 

Marina Chernakova. THE PHENOMENON OF EQUIVALENT DESCRIPTIONS AND THE PROBLEM OF PHYSICAL REALITY

The article is devoted to the philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of the coexistence of the empirically equivalent theories in physical knowledge. These theories equally well describe the empirical data in the same subject area, but differ from each other by the mathematical apparatus and/or postulated ontology of the fundamental objects. The choice between them is one of the most difficult challenges in achieving the objectively true knowledge about the studied region of reality. The article considers three types equivalent theories. The first type are temporarily equivalent theories - the emergence of new experimental data allows to choose one of them as the true and reject a false theory. Equivalent theories of the second type in the course of development of science find that one theory is applicable only in a limited area of reality, while the other can be extended to a new, more wide area of physical reality. Equivalent theories of the third type can not be evaluated in the foreseeable future by means of experiment on the validity/falsity. The empirical equivalence of the first and second types is temporary, and the equivalence of the third type is constant. We analyze the characteristics of solving of the problem of choosing between competing descriptions for all three types of empirically equivalent theories. Solutions can be found by: 1) the search of non-empirical criteria of the truth of the theory, 2) revision ability of the scientific theories give us the real picture of the non-observed physical reality, 3) revise the structure of physical reality in non-observed field of phenomena.

Keywords: empirically equivalent theories, philosophy of physics, scientific realism, scientific antirealism.

 

 

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

 

Elena Sokolova. LOSS OF SELF: CLINICAL PHENOMENA OR NEW CULTURAL NORM?

In the conditions of “ambiguity” of postindustrial society, social traumas and global social transformations of our time the narcissistic “part” of contemporary Russian identity is charged with ambitions, perfectionism, grandiosity, rejects continuance of traditions, limits, generally accepted rules and many moral taboos. It is egocentric, not burdened with the feelings of duty and responsibility, prefers “the positive” and values self-expression, takes changes exclusively as entertainment. The diffuse “parts” of its self-identity are motivationally exhausted, passive, hostile and unkind, depressive, they lack the resourceful potential for development and are “bound” with superficial understandings of traditional patriarchal attitudes and paternalism: they are afraid of changes and try to avoid them, are dependent upon strong power and “idolize” it, prefer to “cling” to the existing situation despite common discontent with the conditions and quality of life. It is obvious that the content of Russian mentality “falls behind” the dynamic social changes and constantly “regresses”: the aim of retention of permanence (or even the return to the previous social-cultural identity) and the defense from negatively appraised, unfriendly and aggressively intruding Western civilization is still important to it. The issue of the development of the “mobile” aspects of identifications that answer the rapidly changing conditions of Russian society in global world shifts to periphery. We offer the clinical interpretation of today’s condition of Russian social consciousness, the integrity of which is “deficient”, “split”, with its “fragments” involved in mutual antagonism as the cooperation and solidarity seize to exist. We underline the necessity of multidisciplinary research of the process of social evolvement and disintegration of self-identity as the unity of relationships “I – the Other” with the apparatuses of the allied sciences – social epistemology, clinical and social psychology.

Keywords: contemporary Russian identity self-identity, social cataclysms, social trauma, ambiguity, identity diffusion, narcissism, “fragmentation”, “splitting”, “stable instability”, hostility, animosity.

 

 

ARCHIVE

 

Willian Whewell. THE PHILOSOPHY OF INDUCTIVE SCIENCES, FOUNDED UPON THEIR HISTORY. CHAPTER II. ON THE FUNDAMENTAL ANTITHESIS OF PHILOSOPHY

 

BOOKS REVIEW


Svetlana Neretina. «BEING YOURSELF IS RISKY…»

Review of: Rabinovich V.L. Rodzher Bekon. Videnie o chudodee, kotoryy nazhival opyt, a prozhival sud'bu. Saint Petersburg, 2014. 240 p.

 

Ekaterina Vostrikova. SEMANTICS OF DEFINITE DESCRIPTIONS: NEW PERSPECTIVES

Review of Elbourne P. Definite descriptions. Oxford University Press, 2014.

 

Petr Kusliy. ROLANDAS PAVILIONIS’ LAST BOOK

Review of Pavilionis R. Smysl i identichnost’, ili Put’ k sebe (Sense and identity, or The way to oneself). Vilnius, 2013.