Epistemology & Philosophy of Science
2014, Volume 40, Number 1
Irina Gerasimova. BIOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGY AS A PROBLEM OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
According to a government forecast, biotechnology, medicine and health will be the priorities of science and modernization of Russia until 2030. Development of the Life Sciences and their practical applications raises issues related to the competence of epistemology, history and methodology of science, philosophy of technology and philosophical anthropology. What today is medicine – science, skill or biotechnology of the human development? Medicine as science and practice brings new dimensions to the discussion of problems of truth, possibilities and limits of knowledge, features of observation and experiment, creative thinking, social constructivism, dialogue of cognitive practices. Analysis of a problem of scientific and extra-scientific knowledge on the example of history of medicine doesn't promise unambiguous decisions. Research of the laws changing types of rationality in the history of medical practices leads to the conclusion that the sequential changes of stages - magical practices, nature corresponding medicine, natural-science medicine and techno-science medicine. Holistic and vitalism – the main features of ancient medicine. Sense pre-scientific medicine can be called nature corresponding medicine, based on personal knowledge and experiences of the physician, and the forces of nature. In the school of Hippocrates formed the analytical method based on the methods of induction, deduction, semiotics. Natural philosophy was the picture of the world, the principles which has been specified in the medical practice. The coexistence of ancient medicine and modern biotechnology introduces non-standard dimensions of the dialogue of cognitive practices. Feelings of traditional doctors served as the instrument of diagnostics, and the skill of biotechnologists achieved the perfection in cooperation with the technical device. Dialogue with nature at the level of high technology enables a new level to discuss old philosophical problem of possibilities and limit of human knowledge.
Keywords: biomedical technology, philosophy of Sciences, scientific, extrascientific, history of medicine, cognitive practice, nature corresponding medicine, technoscientific medicine.
Vitaliy Gorokhov. BASIC AND APPLIED RESEARCH, BUT NOT BASIC AND APPLIED SCIENCES
The article starts the panel discussion with a statement that the traditional division of sciences in fundamental and applied is wrong and misleading. According to the proposed argument, this division results in qualifying technical sciences as fully applied disciplines which is far from being correct. Technical sciences, just like natural sciences, are claimed to contain technical theories. And because a technically prepared experiment plays such an important role in natural science, it is argued that the aforementioned division should concern fundamental and applied research that can take place in natural sciences as well as in technical sciences, the humanities and social disciplines. This division is argued to gain importance when applied research receives priviliged financing. The author brings illustrations of the damage experienced by specialized science in contemporary Russia as justification for his thesis.
Keywords: experiment, fundamental science, applied science, natural sciences, theory, division of sciences.
Viachespav Shuper, Vladislav Cheshev, Nadezhda Bagdasaryan, Dmitri Efremenko, Dmitri Stebakov. Commentaries to V.Gorokhov’s “BASIC AND APPLIED RESEARCH, BUT NOT BASIC AND APPLIED SCIENCES”.
The participants of the discussion support the thesis formulated by Prof. Gorokhov, according to which sciences should not be divided into theoretical and applied, but it is rather research within particular sciences that should be qualified as theoretic (fundamental) or applied. They justify it with illustrations from different spheres. Dmitri Stebakov (Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences) investigates the thesis in the field of psychology, Dmitri Efremenko (Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences) brings justification for the thesis from cognitive sciences. Viacheslav Shuper (Institute of Geography, Russia’s Academy of Sciences), Vladislav Cheshev (Tomsk State University of Architecture and Building), Nadezda Bagdasaryan (Lomonosov Moscow State University) bring examples of unsatisfactory scientific beurocratic management resulting from the division.
Keywords: experiment, fundamental science, applied science, natural sciences, theory, division of sciences.
EPISTEMOLOGY AND COGNITION
Lyudmila Markova. SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY: ITS ORIGINS AND PRESENT
Nowadays the most important and difficult problem for the social epistemology is how to overcome the empiricism and the absence of a logical system which would be able to preserve in its frame the individuality of its constituents. The return to the rationality of the New Time does not give the desired result. Both the attempts to appeal to classical logic in its integrity and to some of its elements, which are especially difficult to refuse from in their previous quality, testify this. I mean, first of all, the notions of truth and knowledge objectivity that are directly connected with the necessity to remove all social elements from the knowledge. But just these social moments, provides the individuality of the results, obtained in science. The emergence in the last century trends of thinking on the basis of communication between authors of scientific achievements instead of generalization of already existing results evolved two features of the thought of a new type. On the one hand, the communication is possible only between subjects who are different, otherwise we shall have to deal with one person. In this case he has nobody to communicate with. On the other hand, we need to have something common for the communication. It is this common, that presupposes the communication between individuals who do not coincide with each other, that is becoming the basis of new logic and gives it the property of universality. This general is emerging out the environment, medium, of the context where there are no common or individual, where the border between them is disappearing, and in general all borders that are essential for classic are blurred. Many contemporary philosophers and sociologies are studying opportunities to move through the newly arisen border between the context where we do not have the usual divisions, in the world where both the generalization and the communication are possible. The appearance in the philosophical analysis of the points of science growth such a notion as convergence also shows the growing interest in the studies of a new field of epistemology.
Keywords: classical epistemology, social epistemology, scientific knowledge, border, general, individual, logic, empiricism, blurring of boundaries.
Ilya Kasavin. SOCIAL ONTOLOGY AND SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY
Dynamic, creative ontology of knowledge is a conceptual horizon against which knowledge is produced. The horizon is not a one-dimensional mathematical line but rather a complex layered structure, in which consciousness, activity and communication intertwine with each other. It sets the boundaries of the reality and is a prerequisite for understanding as a creation of meanings. At these borders the theoretical mind is drawn to himself, taking the form of philosophical reflection and posing the eternal problems of universality and locality, reality and cognition, the subjective and the objective. The construction of this ontology is an ambitious theoretical task requiring parallel rethinking of realist assumptions and conceiving every picture of the world as a product of the social-reflexive endeavor outside pre-critical philosophy of nature. This ontology reveals in itself a particular picture of social/cultural reality, which is taken by social epistemology to be a basis for every epistemological reconstruction and interpretation of particular cognitive situation. In its turn it requires the new interrelation of culture and sociality as diachronic and synchronic, dynamic and stable, temporal and spatial dimensions of the human existence. The structure of social ontology is conceived as consisting of three types of sociality - external, internal and open ones, which in turn correspond to three human types: “a common sense man”, the owner of social competence; “a pragmatist”, the practical implementation of professional qualification; “a man of creativity”, professional generator of ideas and images. These types do not have simultaneous embodiment in a particular individual or collective subject. However, they may represent successive stages of development (degradation) or toggle (complementary) modes of social/cultural being. The role of philosophy in constructing social ontology of knowledge is hard to overestimate. It is philosopher who arranging and inspiring interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue provides a synthesis of theoretical approaches although the latter appears not as theoretical system but rather as new context of evidence gradually and tacitly accepted by the intellectual communities.
Keywords: Social ontology, social reality, social epistemology, knowledge, understanding, ontological turn, relativism, value, meaning, philosophical reflexion.
LANGUAGE AND MIND
Constantine Frolov. SOME CASES OF NONTRANSITIVITY IN JUSTIFIED JUDGMENTS ABOUT IDENTITY
This article analyzes various mechanisms involved in the genesis of such sequences of reports as: «S believes, that A is identical to B; S believes, B is identical with C, but S believes, that it is not true, that A is identical with C». In particular, our interest will focus on those cases when all elementary judgments in this structure (including the latter one) are independently justified by personal sensual experience of the subject, her direct «acquaintance» with the state of affairs. In such circumstances, these judgments can not be called totally wrong or mistaken. Moreover, in some considered cases these structures are not just possible, but fundamentally indispensable. Reasons of genesis of such situations differ depending on what we mean by A, B and C (properties of phenomena, properties of objects or objects themselves), or depending on the role that natural language (with its limited vocabulary and vague applicability of concepts) plays in these mechanisms. First part is dedicated to cases of non-transitivity in judgments about sameness of phenomena (colors, pitches of sounds, etc.). Inter alia, here we discuss well-known problem of phenomenal sorites and suggest some of arguments for the possibility of their existence. But in the base of there existence there is a serious problem of comparison of the same phenomena taken from different contexts. The second part is about cases when we deal with primary qualities of physical objects (height, volume, etc.). And the third part considers cases when we make some judgments about sameness of objects themselves (for example, objects which are continuously changing during the time and becoming something different). The main thesis is that our perceptions, as opposed to correct thinking, do not always match rigorous standards of classical logic, and sometimes they are able to come into conflict.
Keywords: Identity, sameness, transitivity, belief, justification.
Vasily Zuev. THE REFERENCE PROBLEM AS A PROBLEM OF EMPIRICAL CLASSIFICATION IN CLASSICAL SCIENCE
The reference problem as a problem of empirical classification is expressed in lack of rigid communication between names, essential signs and objects. Scientists do not put a problem of a reference, it is fixed in philosophical judgment of problems of empirical classification. Respectively, the problem of a reference can be put by philosophy of science and is turned to classical science for the purpose of comprehension by scientists of difficulties of classifying as corollaries of mechanisms of functioning of empirical classification. It would help to carry out transition from empirical classification to its more high-organized form – the theoretical classification, capable to remove and solve methodological problems of empirical classifying. Root of the problem is the idea of classical science of the existence objects regardless of knowledge and, accordingly, the necessary connection between the elements of knowledge (names and essential features) and objects. Linguistic philosophy considers the problem as a problem of language reference, considering the special syntax, semantics and pragmatics and logical means of resolving it. However, the scientific classification is not only a language, fixing the total set of items in the common names (universals), but also as a theory, which is built with respect to many items of theory as individualized objects. Contact name and object classification in the organization due to the peculiarities of the theoretical work. In taxonomic classification problem of reference due to regulatory rules of the organization work of scientists contributing a situational research in the situation and, ultimately, lead to the problem of stable reference.
Keywords: classical science, reference, external objects, theory of social relays, the structure of knowledge, program references, program representation.
Ivan Karpenko. QUANTUM MECHANICS AND THE MEASUREMENT RELATION PROBLEM: A SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS
The article investigates the current ideas about the possible impact of conscious observation on reality in the context of quantum mechanics, a subdiscipline which is yet to be named according to the conventional meanings of quantum theory and quantum physics. The best hypotheses about the relationship (or lack of it) between observation and reality are discussed in the article. The conclusion summarizes the current state of the issue. The current analysis also identifies the difficulties in this issue in the context of epistemology. Conscious observation is to a certain extent an important element of quantum mechanics. However it is not reflected in the theory as it includes no mathematical description of consciousness. Accordingly the following statement is proposed: quantum theory is incomplete in the sense that its description of acts of observation do not include the perception of reality (the term “observation” presumes rational activities itself). The specificity of quantum mechanics in its relation to consciousness lies in that unlike other sciences during the process of observation it makes reality to choose a specific configuration on a micro level. According to the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle this can be interpreted as follows: the entire observation (the measuring device) brings imminent disturbances into the quantum reality. This observer participation leads to a failure in the simultaneous measurement of the position and velocity of the components. Further, every following observation provides different results. Third, the world turns out to behave differently when being observed and when not. While quantum reality is not observed, it is described by Schrödinger equations; when the measurement has been carried out, the quantum mechanical equations are no longer applicable and classical physics which describe the macrocosm, come into effect. This meaning - the influence of conscious observation on the description of reality and its particular configuration - states the fundamental difference between quantum mechanics and classical physics. In classical physics the properties of reality do not depend on the presence or absence of observation. The same applies to the relations with the properties of reality occurring in quantum physics but only until the very moment when this reality is being observed by conscious viewers. This is the theme which is discussed in this article – the rational consciousness.
Keywords: measurement, quantum mechanics, consciousness.
CASE STUDIES – SCIENCE STUDIES
Natalya Martishina. GENDER METAPHORS IN FRANCIS BACON’S IMAGE OF SCIENCE
The idea of the feminist philosophy of science about classical science as masculine enterprise is discussed. An interpretation of this evaluation as a key metaphor that can be used for description of the classical science is proposed. It is demonstrated that masculinity is a characteristic not only of the classical science, but also of the image of science in common notions. (The image of science is defined as the whole representation about the nature of science and it’s place in human existence which exists in professional and / or mass consciousness). Gender features of philosophical image of the classical science are identified on the base of analysis of linguistic tools which Francis Bacon has used for the description of science. Two main metaphors used by Francis Bacon to describe the scientific knowledge are: 1) idea of journey, way which expands horizons, and 2) idea of practical work what uses proper tools. At the F. Bacon`s epoch both of them are associated with men`s activity only. The main types of practical work used for comparison with science are architecture and house-building, land cultivation and mining. Then, there are a number of additional metaphors in which scientific research is described in terms of war, hunting and game; they are associated with masculine practice too. Analysis also provides expanded metaphor in which science is presented as a female divinity (Sphinx). It seems to make gender image of science more compound but we see the idea of Reason as force which researches, invades into and masters the Sphinx. So, this metaphor proposes the masculine interpretation of the figure of scientist too. The author makes the conclusion that construction of science as masculine enterprise is not only the feature of the classic science as the objectified system of research, but also the implicit image of science that exists in the mentality of the philosophers and scientists of New Ages. Transition from classical to non-classical science is marked by change of key metaphors, and feminine ones appear among them.
Keywords: image of science, philosophical metaphors, classical science, Francis Bacon.
Ivan Kuzin. ON TRANSFORMING THE IMITATIVE FUNCTION OF ART BY MEANS OF SCIENCE
The article discusses the connection between the so-called direct perspective which has become since the Renaissance a fundamental principle in painting and the formation of the Modern European scientific knowledge. During the Renaissance the development of direct perspective became a new medium to make clear the reality that has previously been turbid due to superstitions. This medium gradually become the content which called for new scientific and technical apparatus. The author discusses this connection in terms of the major paintings of the Renaissance and the central scientific principles of the Modern Era and on the material of the leading works in art theory and history (E. Panofsky, B. Raushenbah, P. Francastel, H. Damisch) and philosophy of art (P. Florenskij, E. Gilson). He finds parallels in his comparative analysis with N. Luhmann’s conception of medium being the message. The author argues that a surface realization of the principle of naturalism (mimesis and, ultimately, technicism) aimed at accurate reproduction of reality results in moving away from similarity with things. Only rationalizational work of thought is not enough to create a work of art.
Keywords: science, painting, direct prospect, imitation, mass art, equipment, present, rationality, person.
Alexander Pechenkin. THE DIALECTICS OF THE CORRELATION OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS
In the Russian philosophy the problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics has been traditionally treated from the point of view of the concept “the form of motion of matter”. In the long run this position is tautological: chemistry studies chemical phenomena. The present article treats the problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics by basing on the concepts of the contemporary analytical philosophy: – “hypothetico-deductive theory”, “the ontological reduction”, “the scientific realism”. Our analysis is not talking about how nature works, but allows us to clarify the structure of scientific knowledge. The classical scheme of the reduction of the theories was proposed by Ernst Nagel in his classical book “The structure of science”. Nagel takes the reduction as a deduction of the reduced theory on the base of more fundamental theory. This procedure requests the formulation of the “rules of correspondence” which connect the terminology of the reduced theory to the theory which provides the basis of deduction. According to the Nagel scheme the reduction of the chemical theory of the bond and valence to quantum mechanics is a deduction. However, the real situation in quantum chemistry is more complicated. To clarify the situation the present author invites Quine’s concept of ontological reduction. The reduction taken as a deduction does not necessarily imply the ontological reduction of the basic concepts of the reduced theory. The problem of the reduction of the chemical theory of the bond and valence to quantum mechanics is also connected with the debates about the epistemological status of approximations used in quantum chemistry. For example, do the atoms implied by the computational methods really exist in a molecule? These debates can be clarified with the help of the controversy “scientific realism – instrumentalism”.
Keywords: philosophy of science, reduction, chemistry, physics, scientific realism
J.E.H.Smith. IT’S ALL DARK. TOWARDS A HISTORY OF THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
When telescopic observation had found nothing on the near side (Roger Boscovich had established by 1753 that it lacks even an atmosphere), the far side still remained as a preserve for whatever we did not yet know but had for so long felt we must believe. It was the coup de grвce of the men behind the Soviet space program to go to the other side and see for themselves, and while they could not have said as much what they were in fact doing was checking to make sure that there was no atmosphere there, no vegetation, no seas or grottoes or beasts with legs like camels, no spirits.
Keywords: history of science, philosophy of nature, cosmonautics, the Moon, Enlightenment, scientific revolution, optics.
Olga Panova. EAST-WEST: THE DEEP ROOTS OF COMMUNITY OF THE CULTURAL WORLDS AND THE INTEGRATION TRENDS OF MODERNITY (THE EXPERIENCE OF THE INTERPRETATION OF HEIDEGGER'S "FROM THE DIALOGUE ABOUT LANGUAGE BETWEEN JAPANESE AND ASKING"
The article is devoted to the cultural dialogue and relation of the intellectual traditions of the East and the West. The author offers the interpretation of Heidegger's "From the Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer", showing the actuality of questions, raised in it, in the modern philosophical context, taking into consideration the changes, taking place in science in the modern era of its development. Particular attention is given to the "Eastern" and "Western" ontology features of holistic and analytical styles of thinking, the question of the nature and essence of language. The relationship Language-Mind-Being/Nothingness is considered in the bright historical-cultural context of the world philosophical discourse, involving eastern spiritual heritage. It is argued that the contemporary stage in the development of lingvo-philosophical thought is associated with a tendency to restore the comprehension of nature of language in its entirety. A stronger emphasis is made on the dynamics of sense, inner creative processes, spiritual and historical memory, mythological and poetic origins. The author argues that a turn to the spiritual experience of the Eastern philosophy can contribute to the process of freeing the philosophy of language from the influence of the philosophy of mind in its classical variant of transcendental idealism.
Keywords: culture, science, East, West, metaphysics, being, nothingness, aesthetics, beauty, harmony, art, language, dialogue, hermeneutics.
Ilya Kasavin. AN APOLOGY FOR INDUCTIVISM: READING WHEWELL
Introduction to the Russian translation of W.Whewell’s “The Philosophy of Inductive Sciences, Founded Upon Their History”.
William Whewell. THE PHILOSOPHY OF INDUCTIVE STUDIES, FOUNDED UPON THEIR HISTORY. PREFACE. PART 1. INTRODUCTION
Svetlana Neretina. DISCUSSING SCIENCE WITH SCIENCE
Review of Markova L.A. Science on the Verge with Nonscience. M., 2013.
Pavel Baryshnikov. STRUCTURES OF STABLE MEANINGS ON THE BORDER OF LANGUAGE AND MIND: A PHILOSOPHICAL QUEST
Review of “Language and Mind: Analytical and Socio-Epistemological Aspects”. M., 2013