TABLE OF CONTENTS
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND LECTURES
The author brings under scrutiny the relation between philosophy and ideology in the situation of information warfare. It is characterized by the phenomenon of mirror ideological symmetry where both sides of the conflict tend to employ the same type of sophistry and casuistry. This ideological symmetry results in mobilizing the mass audiences which serves two main intentions: (a) admonishing and (b) inspiring them toward a suggested project. The admonition effect is reached by means of stirring up preemptive distrust, creating the 'enemy image', implanting discrediting evidence and propagating a cult of vigilance. The standard discourse of ideological admonition is a 'collage of separate information bits' which sanctions logical impudence and the loss of logical memory. This paper proposes to ground the logical defence of consciousness and of thinking in the very nature of discursivity, by resorting to logical and linguistic analysis. The inspiring projects neatly conform to the notion of mission; they are still afloat, fraught with dangerous geopolitical myths, interethnic intolerance and revived historicist speculations. According to the author, to find a philosophical response to such idealogical threats one needs to promote a culture of sceptical verification of social expectations and hopes, to observe a strict distinction between a programme and an ideal (or goal), and to further develop the concept of open history.
Keywords: philosophy, ideology, information warfare, presumption of discredit, global missions, 'open history' concept
THEORY AND HISTORY OF CULTURE
As the outcome of the round table discussion on What is art, various philosophical strategies were suggested to address the problems of art in general, and modern art in particular, its mode of existence and ways of reception. The participants used diverse methodologies in their reflections on the metaphysical foundations of art as well as its social role; special consideration was given to the question what kind of conceptual apparatus should work best when dealing with contemporary art: may one still speak of 'beauty' and 'the sublime', or it is time to invent a new analytic language? Particular approaches were tested on a number of works of 20th century art from Marcel Duchamp and Kazimir Malevich to Joseph Kosuth and Roni Horn; this resulted in proposing the models of interpreting art where it is regarded either as a direct action or an event.
Keywords: aesthetic categories, contemporary art, event, the sublime, the beautiful, judgement of taste, interventionism, performance
IN SEARCH OF A NEW LANGUAGE FOR PHILOSOPHY
The present paper takes into consideration Gilles Deleuze's theory of image conceived as an alternative to the semiotic approach to this notion where it is regarded as based on a certain representational or psychic function. Of all Deleuze's vast output of work, the author singles out the analysis of 'movement-image' expounded by the philosopher in the eponymous book Cinema, and the idea of individuation as the principle of image mechanics. Within this philosophical approach, images are viewed as a result of the impact of forces and affects which is non-specific for art as a particular cultural continuity but rather belonging to the same order as matter with its properties of duration and extension (in Bergsonian sense). The cinematographic regime, with such resources as cutting and framing at its disposal, brings forward the dynamic nature of the nascent image which emerges in the process of highlighting, or individuating, matter. The effect of an image, therefore, can best be described not by assimilating to a model or imposing an interpretation pattern, but through experiment and the process of becoming. The paper aims to develop some important elements of Deleuzian aesthetics and to suggest new solutions to the problems which arise with respect to understanding certain controversial notions in Deleuze's thinking.
Keywords: image, motion, matter, individuation, cinema
This article investigates the problem of the status spacial images and drawings may have in a philosophical texts. The source of the present study are the unpublished preparatory notes for the lectures on Proust held by Merab Mamardashvili in 1981-82. Mamardashvili papers abound in schematic sketches which graphically convey spatial images. In his interpretation, Dr. Paramonov suggests a model of the so-called topos of understanding, or transversal space, as the structural principle of Mamardashvili's intellectual manner. Application of such model leads to the conjecture about the structural similarity between the approaches to the analysis of Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time used by Mamardashvili and Gilles Deleuze.
Keywords: drafting as elemental force, topology, transversality, topos of understanding, noogenic machine, Möbius grid, Möbius transformation
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
The present paper is concerned with the famous work of Porphyry, his “Introduction” (Isagoge). During the Middle Ages it was used as a work to start studying philosophy, which partly accounts for its fame. Its subject is quite elementary: it deals with the five basic terms of Aristotelian logic: genus, differentia, species, proprium, accidens; owing to this, it was also known under the title Quinque voces, viz. the five terms. This study concentrates on the problem of Isagoge’s purpose. As it is evident from the title, the treatise was intended to serve as an introduction; nevertheless, the subject to which the introduction was made remains unclear. Some ancient scholars (Boethius among them) made the conjecture that the treatise should be considered an introduction to Aristotle’s Categories. This became widely accepted among the scholars and translators of the text (the Russian edition of it, for instance, bears the title “Introduction to Aristotle’s Categories”), which, however, in itself is no proof that such attribution is correct. Moreover, a closer examination of the text reveals that the assumption about a special affinity between the two works is at least disputable. The author argues that both writings have indeed very little in common in terms of their content: while Aristotelian categories can be described by the medieval term praedicamenta, i.e. the predicates, Porphyry’s five terms under the same system will be called praedicabilia, viz. predicables. In other words, the two books deal with the objects of different logical types, and therefore one of them cannot be considered an introduction to the other. This being the case, it is reasonable to agree with another explanation of Isagoge’s purpose: instead of being an introduction to a specific work, it should be regarded as an introduction to the whole subject of logic.
Keywords: Porphyry, Aristotle, Isagoge, Topics, category, predicate, predicable, ancient logic
This article is a study of a set of largely ignored ideas found in the philosophical Nachlass of Pavel Florensky, which, according to the authors, may point toward a new potential theory, a “philosophy of thinking”. The problem of thinking has hitherto received only insufficient attention from the various branches of philosophy, despite the fact that its multifaceted character makes it suitable to provide ground for a new philosophical synthesis, the latter being much needed to holistically comprehend the wealth of amassed empirical data and hypotheses which do not fit into the dominant scientific paradigm. Today, as the authors contend, we witness a renaissance of platonism, the philosophy to which Pavel Florensky belonged and to which he made contributions of utmost importance. Particularly significant was the principle of 'spiritual materialism' which he applied in reconsidering all forms of being, assuming that thoughts possess a certain 'thingness' and thus affect the world both indirectly and directly. This shows striking affinity with some of the trends in present-day science, notably in biology and in micro and megaworld physics. In the process of cognition man, in Florensky's view, gets hold of the idea of an object (its true being); truth, therefore, is not an epistemological construct but rather a congruence of individual thought with the eidos. More than that, the individual acts of thinking not only are capable of generating the new meanings, but also of complementing the existing eidetic structures with new layers of meaning and semantic energies. Finally, in his anthropology Florensky consistently develops the idea of the identity of micro- and macrocosm; he emphasizes the direct impact that intellectual and spiritual activities of a human being exert on the entire universe. Florensky's “philosophy of thinking”, if properly developed to include a practical dimension, may prove instrumental in approaching some of the fundamental problems mankind is facing.
Keywords: Florensky, platonism, monodualism, eidos, consciousness, thought
LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY
Ancient Chinese Logic may be likened to a conceptual “extract” from the Chinese strategy of survival and dominance. From the perspective of Chinese thinkers, who considered foresight the most important cognitive ability, the value of an inference is primarily determined by its efficiency; this is why their attention was focused mainly on the ability of deductive reasoning to yield final result. That is why the formal aspect of inference is understood as 'strategic formality': graphic visualization of the mechanism behind the winning or losing strategy served as a formal justification for the predictability of the outcome of a chosen strategy. The article makes explicit the logical nature of Chinese stratagem thinking.
Keywords: inference, stratagem thinking, reasoning according to a prototype, game theory perspective, hexagram scenario
The problem of Chinese logic raises many questions of relevance not only to the history of logic and forms of logical thinking. It involves difficult problems of epistemology and philosophy of science, brings to the contemporary debate about the nature and prospects of constructivism. The first acquaintance of Western European scientific world with the Chinese culture, the structure of the language and the specifics of thinking has led to insights, which rather reflected the Europeans projecting their own mentality to the Chinese mentality than adequate understanding different styles of thinking. In the relation to The Chinese denied the existence of logic, and thus a logic of rationality, which, in turn, was conceived as the reflexive criterion of scientific theorizing.The article discusses the Chinese way of thinking and logic in the context of current discussions on constructivism, projective activity and the phenomenological semantics. The conclusion about natural cognitive foundation of genetically-constructive method in scientific thinking: abstract thinking rational type displays a higher level of basic cognitive ability of consciousness, developing and constructing a world of images. The underlying cognitive ability of the subject design in the course of evolution of thinking is specifically developed on the basis of alphabetic and hieroglyphic languages types. Comparison of Greek and Chinese mentalities reveals the general features of scientific thinking of ancient times: the visual-spatial construction, an algorithmically-defined classification scheme, the allocation of minimum samples, the heuristic role of the beginning in generating, self-similar structures.Stand out ways for visual design, had practical significance. Conclusions about expansion understanding of deduction in connection with mathematical modeling. Chinese algorithmic thinking is seen in a new light, meeting the latest trends of technological science and mathematical modeling.
Keywords: Chinese logic, geometry of Euclid, genetically-constructive method, visual design, phenomenology, cognitive style
This paper provides an interpretation of the doctrine of ‘rectification of names’ (zhèng míng) as a grammatical and a logical principle of ancient China’s social software, i.e., a certain system of institutions and rituals that govern social interactions. This is achieved through a formal reconstruction of zhèng míng in the framework of evolutionary game theory and the theory of games with correlated equilibrium. The aim of zhèng míng is to constitute an ideal social software where the management system is so perfect that the mere naming of things ensures optimal interaction of all social agents by way of faultless choice of samples for replication. In game theory terms, one may say that the ‘rectification of names’ principle is designed to ensure harmony in the society be means of attaining correlated equilibrium. In this type of equilibrium, none of the interacting agents benefits by deviating from a strategy profile generated by a benevolent dictator. The role of such a collective benevolent dictator is assumed by the ancient sage kings who established the institute of correct names. The correct names, therefore, function as focal points, or as stable equilibria, selected by agents of social interactions on the basis of general knowledge. The rituals prescribed by the ancient sages are a common knowledge in ancient Chinese social software. So the adherence to ritual presumably ensures social harmony thanks to the coordinated execution of their roles by all the agents. Being a grammatical principle of the ancient Chinese social software, ‘rectification of names’ constitutes the institute of correct behavior. On the other hand, the strategic rules are traditionally studied in the framework of game theory. Their inclusion into the logical model of reasoning is an effect of the interactive turn in logic and a stimulus to switch its focus from constitutively correct to strategically perfect reasoning.
Keywords: rectification of names, social software, institute, ritual, evolutionarily stable strategy, correlated equilibrium, substantial formality, dynamic formality
ANATOMY OF PHILOSOPHY: HOW THE TEXT WORKSRejoinders in a dialogue
Scholars participating in the panel discussion attempted to answer such questions as What is the 'Russian' in Russian philosophy? What are the main problems of Russian philosophy? What is specificallynational in Russian philosophical thinking? What languages are the languages of Russian philosophy, beside Russian? What attitude the Russian philosophy has toward the philosophy of West and East? Why Russian philosophy is so popular in the Slavic world? What is the possible significance of Russian philosophical ideas for today?
Keywords: Russian philosophy, philosophy in Russia, “national philosophy”, history of philosophy, national and cultural identity, Russian studies
The discussion panel is concerned with the two interpretations of Husserl’s phenomenology given, respectively, by Gustav Shpet and Lev Shestov. Despite having little in common as philosophers, the two remained close friends and kept exchanging what they called their 'unmatured thoughts'. Shpet family archive has preserved several letters from Shestov which help recreate the context of their conversations. Apparently no letters remain from Shpet to Shestov, but there are Shpet’s letters to N. K. Gutchkova (1912, 1914) which amply display his distinctive writing manner full of unusually detailed references to some of the more important points in discussions held elsewhere, and thus present us with a very important evidence of the partly lost polemic. Participants in the panel attempt to enter the imaginary dialogue between the two thinkers and show that in this way much of what is difficult to understand in their published work finds a better explanation. The central topic in this dialogue is philosophical scepticism, no less important today than in their time.
Keywords: history of Russian philosophy, phenomenology, scepticism, Lev Shestov, Gustav Shpet, Emund Husserl