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of the Russian Academy of Sciences




  2013, Volume 38, Number 4
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2013, Volume 38, Number 4

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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

2013, Volume 38 Number 4

 

CONTENTS

EDITORIAL

 

Vladimir Porus. “INTERDISCIPLINARITY” AS A THEME OF PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

The article investigates the thematic content of the term “interdisciplinarity” in philosophy of science. The author presents the term “interdisciplinarity” as deeply rooted in discussions within theory of science and argues that it is in need of an adequate philosophical reflection. The object of philosophy of science is presented in terms of the nature and the development of methodological synthesis, introduction of new research objects within the interdisciplinary field of science that embraces the ontologies of particular disciplines. The author argues that philosophy of science makes a transition from the typology of interdisciplinary interactions to the “topology” of the interdisciplinary space, i.e. to the determination of complex non-linear connections among the changes that occur in the structure and in the content of particular disciplines. The theme of interdisciplinarity binds together methodology of science with sociology and psychology of scientific research. The author concludes that whereas a monodisciplinary knowledge about an object can be presented as a two-dimensional projection of this object, a multidisciplinary research every such projection is connected to other projections and the object is thus reconstructed in its multi-dimensional image via concrete methodological procedures (mutual translation of notions, methodological synthesis, elimination of incommensurability of meanings and others).

Keywords: science, interdisciplinarity, non-classical methodology, philosophy of science

 

 

ACADEMY

 

Carlos Moja, Tobies Grimaltos. PROPER BELIEFS AND QUASI-BELIEFS

In this paper, we distinguish two ways in which someone can be said to believe a proposition. In the light of this distinction, we question the widely held equivalence between considering a proposition true and believing that proposition. In some cases, someone can consider a proposition true and not properly believe it. This leads to a distinction between the conventional meaning of the sentence by which a subject expresses a belief and the content of this belief. We also question some principles of belief ascription, suggest a solution to a famous puzzle about belief and defend the unity of the semantic and causal aspects of beliefs.

Keywords: Belief content, Truth conditions, Belief ascription, Definite descriptions, Kripke’s puzzle

 

Lyudmila Mikeshina. ECLECTICISM AND SYNCRETISM: ON SYSTEMACY OF PHILOSOPHICAL KNOWLEDGE

The article is devoted to eclecticism and syncretism, to their meaning and functions in the history of philosophical knowledge: from an interpretation of philosophical knowledge in terms of “natural” eclectic combination of elements from different teachings (Alexandria, I-III centruries) to the reconstruction of the systems of German thinkers (XVIII-XIX centuries) and the overcoming of systematicity that followed, as well as, to the emergence of a new eclecticism in postmodernist philosophy. A need of an understanding from different perspectives and a contemporary reconsideration of the history and the nature of syncretism and eclecticism in philosophy is supported by the modern interpretation of such “classical eclectics’ as Cicero and Diogenes Laertius. The author considers the views of A.F.Losev and G.G.Majorov, who showed that evaluations of the two aforementioned thinkers follow the traditional criteria of the past centuries: whether such-and-such philosopher had or had not constructed a philosophical system of his own (the former being a sign of eclecticism).

The author continues with a consideration of the evaluations given by Diderot in the Encyclopedia, in which an eclectic is viewed as a philosopher who rejects the tradition and authority. Also she discusses the views of such Hegelians as K.Marx, M.Stirner, L.Feuerbach who united the criticism of German philosophy with antropologism and some French socialist ideas. Their philosophical ideas are viewed as eclectic in the positive sense of the term which takes into account all the meanings in the dialogue of different ideas, approaches and conceptions.

The author also considers G.G.Shpet’s discussion of a critical and positive views on eclecticism in the Russian philosophy (A.I.Herzen, P.L.Lavrov). The article ends with a consideration of syncretism and eclecticism as basic methods in postmodernist philosophy on the material of words of such thinkers as J.-F.Liotard, and W.Welsch as well as G.Bataille and J.Baudrillard.

Keywords: syncretism, eclecticism, natural sciences, I. Newton, the humanities, A. Koyreґ, W. Dilthey, U. Eco, the modern, the postmodern

 

Alexander Nikiforov. ON THE RELATION OF SENSE AND UNDERSTANDING

The article presents an attempt at analysis of the notion of understanding and its relation to the notion of meaning. Understanding is treated as interpretation, i.e. attribution of meanings to linguistic expressions. It is shown that restricting the notion of meaning to reference excessively narrows down the field of understanding a language. It is argued that understanding is intrinsically connected with grasping of sense. The author attempts to reveal the complex structure of the sense of linguistic expressions as consisting of five different levels. It is argued that full mutual understanding among people is impossible.

Keywords: understanding, meaning, sense, semantics, hermeneutics, linguistic analysis

 

 

PANEL DISCUSSION

 

Mark Ratz, Sergei Kotelnikov. THE SCIENCE OF REFORMING AND THE REFORM OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

On the example of the recent reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences the article discusses the methods of reform practiced in Russia and their intellectual coverage. The authors argue that the methods used in Russia have nothing to do with contemporary approaches discussed in the science of politics and management. In particular, these methods go against with the conception of management developed by the authors which treats management as activities aimed at activities (approach pioneered by G.Schedrovitskiy). It is also argued that the choice of the object of reform (Academy of Sciences as a system of production of scientific knowledge) does not solve the problem of technological and economical development. The authors claim that solving these problems demands a change in the state policies towards science as well as in the system of using the results of scientific research in economic activities. The latter demands a development in social sciences and the humanities.

 

Vladimir Kolpakov, Valentina Fedotova, Ilya Kasavin, Vitaly Gorokhov, Nadezhda Kasavina, Valentin Bazhnov. Commentaries to M.Ratz, S. Kotelnikov “THE SCIENCE OF REFORMING AND THE REFORM OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES”

The discussion on the topic of the reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences that follows the article by M.Ratz and S.Kotelnikov presented more alternative diagnoses of the reform. V.Kolpakov and V.Fedotova discuss the reform process in terms of K.Popper’s “piecemeal technology”. V.Gorokhov stresses the importance of taking into account for a natural evolution of social systems as well as working out a clear conception of the desired final state of the regulated system. V.Bazhanov addressed the issue of connections between science and education and presented his own ideas on the ways of making the former better. Based on the experience of the post-war university reform in the United States, I.Kasavin argues that the role of the humanities in the field of education and science must be enhanced by the state. N.Kasavina discusses what she treats as a passive state of the civil society in Russia and the difficulties of its interactions with the state. She draws parallels with the Chinese experience of intellectual coverage of an analogous reform.

 

 

ALTERNATIVE VIEW


Ilya Kasavin. SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY, NATURALISTIC ONTOLOGY AND REALISM

Talking about knowledge necessarily involves the notorious Nietzsche’s question: “Wer spricht?” Does philosophical approach to knowledge differ essentially from the common sense one? It was already Plato who demonstrated that an unproblematic appeal to reality gives no foundation for knowledge definition, while the concept of reality is a natural implication of our knowledge. There is no ontology separate from epistemology, and knowledge cannot be deduced from a more general concept of reality. Thus human cognition is not a reflection of reality outside the man and mankind. It represents the content of collective activity and communication since their organization and functioning require the ideal, i.e. possible, tentative, approximate models and perspectives. This network of signs – scientific formulas, moral norms, images of art, magical symbols – is imposed upon the world and at the same time originates from our practical contact with the latter. Knowledge, consciousness, activity and communication represent internally interconnected elements of an open social system and can hardly be analyzed in a strong separation from each other. Hence epistemology is only in abstraction to be detached from philosophical anthropology, social philosophy and requires interdisciplinary interaction with the entire scope of the social sciences and humanities. SE seems to be a kind of synthesis of many different ideas and case-studies in philosophy and beyond. It also shows the poverty of metaphysical or naïve realism and inconsistency of the newest “technoscientific” obsessions. Clever realism always includes at least some SE statements. And in turn the genuine ontology for SE can be dubbed a “communicative realism”.

Keywords: realism, metaphysical realism, communicative realism, ontology, social epistemology, knowledge, sociality, natural-artificial, natural-human

 

 

VISTA

 

Petr Kusliy. A COURSE IN ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE FOR A RUSSIAN AUDIENCE: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES

The article deals with methodological issues of teaching a semester introductory course in philosophy of language to the students with philosophy major in Russia. The author discusses the challenges that an instructor of philosophy of language faces in general and with Russian students in particular.

The general problem for such a course is the broadness of the topic. A more than a hundred year old tradition that influenced almost all parts of contemporary philosophy has to be shrinked into limits of one semester – an impossible objective if one aims to cover or even mention all these topics. The only reasonable stance that is usually taken by instructors is to give their audience a perspective on what can be considered a nucleus of philosophy of language. The question is what exactly is to be treaded as such a nucleus. The most popular choice is to give a brief history of the discipline covering the fundamental texts and issues of the classic of analytic philosophy. This however, according to the author, has its shortcomings. The course becomes historical and deprives the students of an attempt to think and discuss issues in philosophy of language themselves. So, it is argued that a course in philosophy of language must have a focus on a particular problematic within the discipline.

The specificity of Russian philosophy students also has its facets that are discussed in the article in their relation to its main issue. Many philosophy students are equipped with sporadic historical philosophical knowledge, they often have general acquaintance with the content of philosophical teachings of different times and epochs but they very often lack competence in logic and theory of argumentation, they are not focused on one particular problem in their research and are often disposed to speculations in their reasoning. The author argues that it is the responsibility of the instructor to deal with such specifics of her audience and, therefore, she needs to present the content of the course taking these specifics into account. The author discusses handouts (not at all popular among instructors in Russia) as one way to overcome the difficulties in dealing with the audience. The advantages of handouts in the courses in philosophy are discussed.

An example of a houndout is provided. It deals with some fundamental issues within formal philosophy of language: metatheoretical restrictions on semantic theories. Among others such notions as truth-conditional semantics, model theory, compositionality, function analysis, extensionality and contextuality are discussed.

Keywords: teaching philosophy, philosophy in Russia, philosophy of language, semantics.

 

 

CASE STUDIES – SCIENCE STUDIES

 

Elena Dragalina-Chernaya. THE LOGIC OF FORBIDDEN COLOURS

The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to clarify Ludwig Wittgenstein’s thesis that colours possess logical structures, focusing on his ‘puzzle proposition’ that “there can be a bluish green but not a reddish green”, (2) to compare model-theoretical and game-theoretical approaches to the colour exclusion problem. What is gained, then, is a new game-theoretical framework for the logic of ‘forbidden’ (e.g., reddish green and bluish yellow) colours. My larger aim is to discuss phenomenological principles of the demarcation of the bounds of logic as formal ontology of abstract objects.

Keywords: abstract logic, formal ontology, invariance criterion, meaning postulates, opponent-processing model, ‘stabilized-image’ experiments, over-defined games, payoff independence, imaginary logic

 

Nadezhda Kasavina. TOWARDS THE AUTHENTICITY OF HUMAN BEING (ON THE EXISTENTIAL DYNAMICS IN PSYCHOLOGY)

The article dwells on some methodological transformations in psychology and psychotherapy in their relation to the ideas of existential philosophy. The certain features of phenomenological method in existential psychology are characterized. The experience of authenticity and inauthenticity of human existence, inevitable tensions of its formation (content of psychotherapeutic process) are described in order to demonstrate a way of conceptualizing in terms of existential philosophy. Specific forms of dealing with personality in existential psychotherapy using particular existentials or their sets shows that psychological practice requires philosophical conceptualization for grasping the fundamental constituents of the human mind like as experience, meaning, value, and life. The case of alliance of existential psychotherapy with philosophy presents an equal alternative to the naturalistic psychological trends.

Keywords: existence, psychology, psychotherapy, phenomenology, understanding, authenticity of being, role of philosophy, anxiety

 


INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

 

Andrey Stochnik, Sergei Zatravkin. THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION IN THE XVIITH CENTURY MEDICINE

The article presents the results of the studies based on the application of the concept of the structure and dynamics of scientific knowledge developed by V. S. Stepin to the analysis of the history of the 17th-century medicine. The scientific revolution in the 17th-century medicine was of a globally-disciplinary nature and involved changes in all of the bases of the medical science of the galenism period. Its mechanism was a "paradigm inoculation" of new methodological principles of scientific knowledge originated from astronomy. The crucial role in the transmission of these statements into medicine was alloted to Galileo`s disciples and followers - S. Santorio and W. Harvey. The works by Descartes provided the revision of philosophical foundations of medical science and the emergence of a new picture of reality in the XVIIth-century medicine. The adoption of Cartesian ideas of kinetic mechanics and their wide-spread occurrence in medicine were connected with the development and implementation of iatrophysical teachings (G. Borelli, L. Bellini) and the teachings of the corpuscular iatrochemistry (F. Sylvius and others).

Keywords: scientific revolution, the foundations of science, the picture of reality, medicine, Galen, Galileo, Harvey, Descartes, iatrophysics, iatrochemistry

 


CONTEXT


Irina Chernikova. COOPERATION BETWEEN THE FUNDAMENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGICAL PROJECTS OF SCIENCE

The mechanisms of cooperation between fundamental knowledge and technoscience (that is called a contemporary form of science and technology interaction) are covered in the paper. It is highlighted that the essential peculiarity of technoscience is that its’ objects are not substantive reality in Cartesian dualistic worldview, but so called “human dimension” objects socially and practically constructed. NBIC technologies can serve as an example of the contemporary technoscience. The paper attempts to reveal and analyze the philosophical basis of technoscience: ontological, gnoseological and axiological.

Keywords: techoscience, fundamental science, converging technologies, philosophic basis of techoscience, selfdeveloping systems, evolutionary constructivism, “posthuman”, responsibility ethics

 

 

HISTORICAL STUDIES IN EPISTEMOLOGY

 

Irina Rebenschikova. METHODOLOGICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS OF PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SYSTEM OF VIEWS OF N.G. DEBOLSKY

Multifaceted and rich theoretical heritage of N.G. Debolsky (1842-1918) - Russian philosopher, psychologist, educator - not yet sufficiently known, poorly understood and has not been adequately assessed. This article presents one of the recent attempts to fill this gap. It examines the evolution of Debolsky´s views in 1870 years on the methodological and philosophical problems of psychology. In this context, considers its evaluation activities of such psychologists and educators as: K.D. Kavelin, K.D. Ushinsky, W. Wundt and G. Spencer. Particular attention is paid to Debolsky´s discussion such methodological issues of psychology as questions about its scientific, its relationship with the philosophy (metaphysics) and natural science, its method, the object, structure, objectives and practical application. In addition, special emphasis Debolsky´s understanding the soul and its description of its main features. The article concludes his contribution to the psychology, the development its methodology and its history.

Keywords: psychology, methodological and philosophical problems of psychology, the method, the soul, the inner and outer worlds

 

 

ARCHIVE

Raisa Barash. PEOPLE OF KNOWLEDGE AND THEIR PRACTICAL EFFECTIVENESS

 

Florian Znaneski. THE SOCIAL ROLE OF THE MAN OF KNOWLEDGE (PARTS 5-8)

 


SYMPOSIUM 

 

Peter Safronov. XXIII WORLD CONGRESS OF PHILOSOPHY: IDEAS AND IMPRESSIONS

 

 

NEW BOOKS

Vladislav Cheshev. HISTORY AND METHODOLOGY OF TECHNICAL SCIENCES AS A BRANCH OF PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY

 

Review of: Gorokhov V.G. Texnièeskie nauki: istorija i teorija. [Engineering Sciences: History and Theory]. M., 2012.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Irina Tunkina, Sergei Schavelev. THE IDEA OF THE HISTORY OF THOUGHT: COGNITIVE PORTRAIT OF DEVELOPMENT THE WORLD ARCHEOLOGY

 

Leo Klein. ETHICS AND PSYCHOLOGY AT THE THRESHOLD OF SCIENCE

 

Review of: Schavelev S.P. Ethics and psychology of science. Additional chapters of the course on the history and psilosophy of science. Textbook for post-graduate students. Kursk, 2010.