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of the Russian Academy of Sciences




  2013, Volume 37, Number 3
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2013, Volume 37, Number 3

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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2013, Volume 37, Number 3

 

CONTENTS

EDITORIAL

 

Lyudmila Mikeshina. Reductionism as a Problem of Philosophy of Science and Epistemology

The article presents a general overview of logical and philosophical discussions of reductionism in the XX century by such philosophers as E. Nagel, P. Feuerabend, R. Karnap, K. Hempel, V. Sadovski, S. Averintsev and many others. The author argues that today these discussions can still be used very fruitfully in social and humanitarian epistemology and in the analysis of contemporary philosophical issues in technoscience.

Keywords:  reductionism, history of philosophy, methodology of social and natural sciences

 

 

ACADEMY

 

Vsevolod Ladov. Is the Language of Intensional Contexts Possible?

The article is devoted to discussion of possibility of language oriented to expression of intensional contexts solely. The language of E. Husserl’s phenomenology is considered as an example. Questions about logical consistency of the language and its expressional possibilities are discussed. On the foundation of G. Frege’s logical analysis it is asserted that direction towards expression of extensional contexts is unremovable characteristic of ordinary language. Realization of phenomenological reduction is difficult very strong in view of this fact. However, author of the article interprets this circumstance as an advantage of ordinary language inasmuch as language oriented to expression of intensional contexts solely is logically inconsistent. This becomes clear in the application of the argument about self_reference to the theory of intensional contexts language.

Keywords: intensional context, extensional context, language, phenomenology, Husserl, Frege, self,reference, paradox, Russell, Tarski, realism, antirealism

 

Steve Fuller. Social Epistemology as the Science of Cognitive Management: Releasing the Hidden Potential in the History of Philosophy

Looking broadly at the history of philosophy, I develop the ideas of 'cognitive management' and 'cognitive economy', which have always informed my conception of social epistemology. I elaborate two general tendencies, which have been also expressed in more conventional philosophical terms, such as Kant's famous contrast of 'rationalism' and 'empiricism'. The former tradition stresses the mind's capacity to remake the world in its own image, whereas the latter stresses the mind's receptiveness to the inherent character of the world. In 'economic' terms, the resulting conceptions of knowledge are, respectively, 'demand' and 'supply' driven. In the former case, knowledge consists in the realization of the mind's own needs; in the latter, knowledge is proportionate what the world has to offer. In terms of access to ultimate truth, the former tends to overestimate (i.e. 'proactionary'), the latter to underestimate (i.e. 'precautionary'). I also discuss the idea of 'undiscovered public knowledge' as a pressing problem in cognitive management that relates to the scale and scope of the scientific enterprise in our time.

Keywords: cognitive economy, cognitive management, demand,driven epistemology, precautionary, proactionary, social epistemology, supply,driven epistemology, undiscovered public knowledge

 

PANEL DISCUSSION


Ilya Kasavin, Tom Rockmor, Evgeniy Blinov. Contextualism and interdisciplinarity. The discussion

The discussion is devoted to the notion of context and its use in connection to the notion of interdisciplinarity. These two notions are claimed to be crucial for understanding how “naturalization of social epistemology” can be possible and whether it can be exhausted by an interpretation of knowledge in social context and whether it has its own philosophical importance. These questions were initially raised in the works of I.Kasavin.

Keywords: social epistemology, contextualism, knowledge, interdisciplinarity

 

 

ALTERNATIVE VIEW

 

Maria Sekatskaya. Personal Identity as a Fact of Ontology. An Objection to Derek Parfit

The article aims to show that if we take the thesis of minimal supervenience to be true then Derek Parfit’s arguments against ontological approach to personal identity are not sufficient to prove that ontological criterion of personal identity should be abandoned. We will also try to show that Parfit’s arguments in favor of using “what matters” considerations for deciding whether a given person survives can not be seen as arguments for or against ontological criterion of personal identity.

Keywords: Derek Parfit, personal identity, ontology of persons, supervenience, survival

 

 

VISTA

 

Irina Khomenko. Theoretical Problems of Informal logic: Conflicts of Perspectives

The article is devoted to consideration of some theoretical problems in informal logic: its definition, the connection with formal logic and epistemology, argumentation as an inferential structure and a kind of dialogue, its structure and appraisal. Different approaches to their decisions are analyzed.

Keywords: logic, informal logic, epistemology, argumentation, structure of argument, appraisal of argument

 

Irina Gerasimova. Images of Science in the Russian Literature of XVIII-XXI Centruries

 The article considers the landmarks of the history of ideas about science, its subject and methodology, role in the life of society. The study has been conducted jointly with undergraduates studying a course on the philosophy of science. The basis of the analysis are encyclopedic dictionaries and manuals.

Keywords: science, society, ideology, education of the individual, the social context, the social assessment techniques

 


CASE STUDIES – SCIENCE STUDIES

 

Anastasia Belyaeva. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: Saying and Showing

The paper focuses on saying/showing distinction in Wittgenstein’s «Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus». The purpose is to discuss what grounds and consequences this distinction has. The author starts with a brief review of two opposing views on the Tractatus, which sets the context of any discussion on theTractatus. Then she examined the meaning of saying/showing distinction, and divide what can be said from what can be shown. The author then considers the most important characteristic of showing, and what conditions must be met for showing to be possible, more precisely, how language should be arranged in order to showing become possible. The author examines what will happen if the conditions which made showing possible are violated. Finally, the author tries to consider a strong objection to her argument, and decides which one of the two opposing views on the Tractatus is more reasonable.

Keywords: tractatus, saying vs showing, history of philosophy

 

Alexei Gaginski. Criterion, Knowledge, Truth

The article deals with analysis of the key concepts of epistemology as criterion, knowledge and truth. The author aims to make a distinction between mentioned terms, which would help to solve some difficulties in understanding what the truth is, and shed light on the nature of knowledge. We show that the correspondence theory replaces the truth by many criteria that are necessary for the process of knowledge, but are unable to give an accurate idea of truth itself. Furthermore this theory leads to the contamination of the concepts of truth and knowledge, which in turn brings insoluble problems to the disclosing of their meanings.

Keywords: truth, knowledge, criterion, guess, Gettier, being, thinking

 

 

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

 

Matthias Deliano. On the Intimate Relationship between Man and Machine

In the paper the mental processes are described in terms of computational functions realized by a physical brain machinery. Serving dedicated computational functions, the cognitive performance of the brain/mind can then be quantified by the amount, speed, and precision of information processing. Even our emotions can then be described in the framework of economic computational principles, namely as error signals minimized by machine learning algorithms to optimize computational performance. The paper highlights the importance of reflecting and clarifying our increasingly intimated relationship to machines. In the development of brain_machine interfaces, this relationship is brought to an extreme, which makes them an interesting case for exploring the dependencies between human nature and artificial devices.

Keywords: Neuroscience, cognitive behavior, neuroprosthesis, brain,machine interfaces, computational measures of cognitive performance

 

 

CONTEXT

 

Vladimir Glebkin. On the Cognitive Style of Ancient Greek Culture

This study addresses the problem of cognitive development in phylogenesis. The concept of cognitive style of culture, or more exactly, the opposition “field_dependent – field_independent cognitive style” is the main methodological instrument for the analysis. The author argues that cognitive development from sympractical cultures to theoretical ones, and further within theoretical cultures, can be described as the emergence of novel cognitive modules which become less and less field_dependent. This statement is illustrated by parsing the Ancient Greek mathematics and historiography with the example of Euclid’s Elements and the historical treatises by Herodotus and Thucydides.

Keywords: phylogenesis, cognitive development, sympractical cultures, theoretical cultures, cognitive modules

 

Anastasia Astakhova. The public representation of professional community: popularization of science and debates in society.

The article gives an overview of the cooperation of the scientific community and public at large and discusses some strategies of inclusion of scientific knowledge into social context. The author analyzes debates on the question of the use of products after the process of genetic modification.

Keywords: popularization of science, communication, community, public debates, public

 

 

HISTORICAL STUDIES IN EPISTEMOLOGY

 

Alexander Ogurtsov. System Analysis of Science: the Concepts of Equifinality and Human Dimensiality

The article presents a historical investigation into the system analysis of science (sistemyi analiz nauki) – a movement in the Soviet philosophy of science in 1960_s. The author discusses some general characteristics of this movement as well as the conception of one of its leading representatives – M.K. Petrov. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the notions equifinality (ekvifinalnost) and human_dimensionality (chelovekorazmernost) in Petrov’s works.

Keywords: Soviet philosophy of science, system analysis of science, M.K. Petrov

 

 

ARCHIVE

 

Raisa Barash. Robert King Merton and Florian Znaniecki on «The Man of Knowledge» and “The Man of Action”

 


SYMPOSIUM

 

Vitaly Dolgorukov. On the Conference “Logical and Linguistic Pragmatics. To the 100th Anniversary of H.P.Grice

 


NEW BOOKS

 

Elena Dragalina-Chernaya. Searching for a Theory of Search of Inference

Review of Bryusinkin V.N., Hodikova N.A.. Teorija poiska vyvoda. Proishozhdenie i filosofskie prilozhenija. Kaliningrad, 2012.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS


Ekaterina Vostrikova. Мodality: Linguistic and Philosophical Aspects

 

Sergei Merzlyakov. New Books in Philosophy of Mind in Russian