Philosophy Journal. 2018, Vol. 11, No. 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
Richard Rorty. Analytic philosophy and transformative philosophy (translated into Russian by Alexander Yurganov)
Dmitry V. Ivanov. The relation between mind and reality in the analytic philosophy of John McDowell
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences. 12/1 Goncharnaya Str., Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The present paper examines McDowell’s approach to the problem of the relation between mind and reality and demonstrates that externalism, as long as it supports a two-component theory of mental content, is unable to overcome Kantian anti-metaphysical stance toward the ontological problems and to substantiate philosophical realism. The two-component theory of content, which distinguishes between the extra-conceptual object upon which the content of a mental state depends, and the content itself, is discussed along the examples of Russell's epistemology, which divides between knowledge by description and knowledge by acquaintance, his theory of descriptions and contemporary Neo-Russellian externalist theories, in particular the semantic externalism of Kripke and Putnam. Considering McDowell's Neo-Fregean views of on the nature of singular thoughts, the author demonstrates that, in order to substantiate realism, externalism must be compatible with a one-component theory of mental content that would interpret external objects not as an addition to the inner conceptual sphere of the content of mind, but as something present in that sphere in de re mode. According to McDowell, external objects are parts of the conceptual content. From the above it can be concluded that the return to realism, one of the characteristic features of classical metaphysics, is only possible by following the direction determined by post-Kantian, Hegelian thinking and not at all by way of abandoning the tradition of Kant and Hegel, as many analytical philosophers tend to believe.
Keywords: metaphysics, realism, externalism, philosophy of mind, content, Russell, McDowell
Roger Smith. The sense of movement
Many philosophers hold that there is a special relationship between the touch sense and belief about reality. The figures of speech of ordinary English reflect such a relationship. It is less appreciated that there is no touch without movement, and this paper therefore discusses the sense of movement. Sometimes called a “sixth sense”, this sense links sensation to intuition – a “feel” for “the real”. The paper outlines pivotal aspects of the history of Western ideas about the sense of movement (including the muscular sense or kinaesthesia) in relation to claims about knowledge of reality. This history “touches on” awareness of being alive and being embodied. I emphasise in particular the contribution of the analysis of sensations from Condillac, through Destutt de Tracy to Maine de Biran for the history of movement awareness as essentially double, action-resistance. The conclusion turns to the work of Husserl as the authority for modern phenomenological analysis linking the sense of movement to judgment about ‘reality’.
Keywords: touch sense, kinaesthesia, theory of knowledge, Maine de Biran, Husserl
Konstantin A. Pavlov-Pinus. Theorizing about consciousness: an epistemological prolegomenon. Part II.
The second part of of this ongoing study continues the work initiated in the previous fascicle of the Philosophy Journal, where the author characterized the spectrum of basic research intentions which give rise to theorizing as such. A general view of the background makes it easier to perceive the difference between the key modern approaches to the study of consciousness and to compare the objectivist and phenomenological theories for their expressive potential and conceptual resources. The difference between such theoretical procedures as modeling, explanation, prediction, as well as phenomenological and analytical explication, allows to perceive a certain incommensurability between the different theoretical approaches. At the same time, the advancement in bio- and computer modeling of the majority of external manifestations of consciousness makes it much harder to define the limits of consciousness as an object of philosophical inquiry. This difficulty brings to the fore the problem of the 'proper language of consciousness'. Clearly, it is not enough to simply catalogue the corresponding vocabulary. What is required is an analysis of the entire range of metaphors used in the discussions about and in the name of consciousness. One is also bound to to examine the mechanisms and modes of generating discourse based on sense generation and on (intersubjectively explicit) forms of actual understanding. Here the following circumstances may help: the theorizing consciousness manifests itself in two modes, both as an extra-theoretical consumer of theoretical knowledge and as an actual participator in the process of theorizing, capable of correcting its proper forms of self-understanding.
Keywords: target conflicts of theories, theoretical explanation, ontological arbitrariness, analytical description, theoretical modeling, understanding, proper language of consciousness, informative incommensurability of theories
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
Anastasia V. Lozhkina. Classification lists (mātikā / mātṛkā) in early Buddhism
The aim of the present article is to analyze the role, significance and specific usage of the mātikā principle in early Buddhism. А mātikā / mātṛkā is a traditional classification list, or a list of doctrinal terms; such lists played an important role in the construction of Buddhist texts and early Buddhist teaching. Upon a close reading of Vinaya Piṭaka, Sutta Piṭaka and Abhidhamma Piṭaka, the author identifies the patterns of the genesis of the principal mātikās within the Pāli canon and traces some of the more subtle changes in the attitude toward the mātikās in early Buddhist religious and philosophical traditions. The article is divided into five parts dealing, respectively, with 1) the principal meanings of the term mātikā, 2) the role and significance of mātikās in early Buddhist tradition, 3) the methods of composing mātikās in early Buddhism, 4) the analysis of the principal Buddhist mātikās, 5) the place mātikās occupy within the Pāli abhidhamma. The overview of the traditional approaches to composing and laying down classification lists in early Buddhism, undertaken here by the author, prepares the ground for further study of the mātikās belonging to various genres. It can be shown that mātikās are a dominant feature of early Buddhist doctrinal texts, largely responsible for the mechanism of their transmission.
Keywords: early Buddhism, classifications list, mātṛkā, mātikā, the Pāli canon
Konstantin Yu. Burmistrov. Doctrine of the infinite in Jewish mysticism
The present paper discusses one of the central concepts in medieval Jewish mysticism: the Infinite (Ein Sof), or the hidden and absolutely incomprehensible God. This important mystical intuition is present in most Kabbalistic texts. It was of paramount importance both for Kabbalistic cosmogony and epistemology, which is based on the notion that the knowledge of God is only possible with respect to creation. God in itself, as a transcendent absolute entity, is inaccessible not only to speculative perception, but even to ecstatic experience. The Kabbalists, therefore, sought to reconcile the concepts of the First Beginning inherent in medieval Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism, with the specific esoteric practices of ascending to the divine Primordial Source and achieving the fulfilment of the prophecies that existed in Judaism from at least the beginning of the first millennium AD. Kabbalists of the 13th–17th centuries put forward various ways of understanding the nature of Ein Sof, from impersonally agnostic to personalistic theistic. In this article, their main interpretations will be brought under scrutiny. Until now, this problem has not been raised by Russian scholars. At the same time, not only is it of fundamental importance for the history of Jewish thinking, but it is no less essential for the understanding of certain episodes in the history of European and Russian philosophy: it was the concept of Ein Sof that interested many European thinkers and came to be adapted to their own philosophical systems.
Keywords: Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, Jewish philosophy, Judaism, Absolute, apophaticism, divine attributes
Alexey R. Fokin. The principle of self-diffusion of the Good: from Plato to Bonaventura
In this article, the author investigates the origins and the main stages in the development of the doctrine of self-diffusion of the Good in ancient philosophy, patristics and medieval scholasticism. The first formulation of the idea of the Good as a universal principle, which is not only the final goal of all things, but also bestows being on all things and renders them capable of cognition, is given by Plato in the Republic. This doctrine of the Good came to be adopted and further reinterpreted both in the ancient philosophy and Christian theology. The present author proposes a classification of the two main forms (or versions) of the concept of self-diffusion of the Good, 'demiurgic' and 'emanational', and identifies their respective attributes when applied in the analysis of the surviving works of the philosophers. It can be shown that in Christian patristic and medieval thinking it is the first, or 'demiurgic', variant of this doctrine that dominates the discourse, since the goodness of the Creator is commonly regarded as the main reason for creating the world, and his bestowing of goodness on all things is viewed as an act of free will, which presupposes communication of the Good by way of assimilation and participation. The 'emanational' version of the concept of self-diffusion of the Good, on the other hand, was characteristic of Neoplatonism, and as such was adopted by Christian thinkers only to a limited degree: it was applied almost exclusively to justify the existence of the three consubstantial and coeternal hypostases in one God.
Keywords: ancient philosophy, Neoplatonism, patristics, scholasticism, metaphysics, agathology, the Good, being, emanation, creation, participation
Natalia D. Safronova. Elucidation as conversation: hermeneutics in Das abendländische Gespräch of Martin Heidegger
The present article is a close reading, with particular attention to methodology, of Das abendländische Gespräch (“Dialogue in Occidental Manner”), a 1946–1948 text of Martin Heidegger, still relatively little known in Russia. The dialogue between philosophical thinking and poetry that takes place in Heidegger’s later works forms an essential part of his project of ‘overcoming of metaphysics’ in the quest for 'the other beginning' of history and philosophy. According to Heidegger, Dichtung, or poetic creation (in the first place, the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin), is, for language, a more authentic mode of existence than either the ordinary language or the languages of science and metaphysics. Viewed from this standpoint, the Dialogue provides a valuable source for the examination of Heidegger’s hermeneutic ideas which can be shown to originate in a distinctive understanding of the nature of poetic speech as a ‘protolanguage’. For Heidegger, the main goal of interpretation is to reveal the special time and space where the ‘existence’ of poetic word takes place. This goal is here analyzed under two crucial aspects, i.e. the fusion of language with landscape occurring in a poetic text and the performative interpretation that endows the word with ‘body’. This allows to explicate some of Heidegger’s peculiar methodological requirements for the interpreter, such as letting the poetic word itself speak, adapting oneself to its swinging motion, and restoring the word to its semantic and sonorous fullness. It can further be demonstrated that, in this case, the choice of a dialogical form, otherwise so rare in Heidegger, serves the purposes of his hermeneutic strategy.
Keywords: Hölderlin, Heidegger, hermeneutics, elucidation, overcoming of metaphysics, dialogue, language of landscape, articulation of poetic language, linguistic space and time, embodied language
IN SEARCH OF A NEW LANGUAGE FOR PHILOSOPHY
Valery A. Podoroga. Revolution as the avant-garde myth. The odds are long: Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein
This paper offers a study of two attitudes to revolution as embodied in the figures of Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein, both of whom were contemporaries of the Russian Revolution. This is done against the background of some influential writings on revolution, including those by Alexis de Tocqueville, François Furet and Elias Canetti, who discuss, among other things, whether a revolution is something practically feasible or it can only be the object of myth or staging. For all the fierce debate between them, both Vertov and Eisenstein championed illusion (or myth). It can be shown, however, that their respective positions differed significantly. Eisenstein held that the role of art in revolution was enormous: he insisted that creating a mythography for the revolution was of greatest importance, while the problem of historical truth is insignificant, seeing as what matters is not what did actually happen but what had to happen. It is the viewer's consciousness being involved into the visual for the sake of transition into another state which is important, not alienating him from the visual. Vertov, on the other hand, started from the conviction that the revolution needs no special mythography and needs be shown and seen here and now. He understood his task as one of filming the event or the phenomenon as it is, reducing the time of actual photography to a brief moment so as to take things happening 'by surprise'. Hence the growing role of the camera as something capable of catching on the reality from standpoints inaccessible to humans and thus unveiling the invisible and penetrating to the depth of the material world. In case of Eisenstein, the specific 'technical' element of his cinematography was his handling of numbers, which amounted to manipulating mass consciousness, whereas Vertov's 'kinoks' strove to create a national identity.
Keywords: revolution, avant-garde, myth, event number, human eye, matter
Nikolay А. Kormin. Aesthetic egology
The purpose of this article is to investigate the development of the aesthetic programme of Cartesianism and the way Cartesian interpretation of subjectivity has exposed, by transforming its 'metaphysical code', the problems of modern European culture. The author examines the structure of the aesthetic 'staging' of existence on the metaphysical arena of cogito ergo sum, where the idea behind the famous formula represents the result of a long evolution determined, among other things, by the poetics of self-evidence of the “I” which is at the heart of the artistic consciousness. Cogito as the ultimate foundation of the form of life prepares the ground for elaborating a new type of aesthetic theory which regards art as a sui generis cordiality of life; this theory constitutes the conditions for the “inner” self-perception of the artist. Of special interest is Descartes's approach to the analysis of consciousness in the relation between science and art, which shows great flexibility in the pursuit to reveal the mode of existence of art in various intelligible types of convergence. From here it becomes possible to trace the origin of egological tradition in the philosophy of art.
Keywords: aesthetics, creativity, art, science, cogito, egology, Descartes
ANATOMY OF PHILOSOPHY: HOW THE TEXT WORKS
Rejoinders in a dialogue
Does the methodological isomorphism between natural and social sciences exist? (Vyacheslav S. Stepin, Natalia M. Smirnova, Julia V. Sineokaya)
The subject of the panel discussion here reported concerned the problem: to what extent can one rely on scientific methods in the study of social and cultural reality? Have these methods proven themselves to be universal and equally valid in the study of both natural and socio-cultural phenomena? Does the transition to the study of self-developing systems under post-non-classical rationality transcend the highly specified character of social and cultural objects as meaningful in their essence? What are the limits (if any) of methodological convergence between natural and social sciences? What social and ethical limitations does the study of human-dimensional systems imply? The discussion attempted to answer these and other questions.
Keywords: methodology, natural sciences, social sciences, meaning, self-developing systems, human-dimensional systems, ideal objects of science, ideal types, human life-world
Dmitry B. Volkov. Benefits of a narrative approach to personal identity
The problem of personal identity is often defined as a problem of reidentification of a person at different moments. This way it is defined in psychological, biological and substance theories of personal identity. Proponents of the narrative approach replace the question of reidentification with the question of characterization and suggest that framing it this way resolves some practical aspects of the problem more efficiently, as far as the attribution of actions and responsibility and the determination of the conditions of survival are concerned. The author of this paper maintains that the priority of first-person view and the four-dimensional model of a person, extended in time, are also special features of the narrative approach. Narrative approach presupposes that the attribution of actions and personal characteristics is based on the inclusion of these properties in a holistic, unified autobiographical narrative. Internal requirements of such narrative include unity of perspective, intelligibility and teleological direction of the story. External requirements of the narrative include the possibility of presentation (primarily from the first person viewpoint) and credibility. The author concludes that narrative approach is on the whole successful in both attributing actions and determining survival in actual and hypothetic situations.
Keywords: personal identity, narrative approach, reidentification question, characterization question, Locke, Dennett, Marya Schechtman
Maria A. Sekatskaya. Narrative identity and the problem of duplication
The possibility of the physical duplication of a person is one of the most substantial challenges for psychological theories of personal identity, because such duplicates can have identical psychological properties, while being numerically distinct. This is a challenge for the narrative theories of personal identity as well, which, unlike the psychological theories, seem to be incapable of providing an answer to it by invoking the causal connection between the episodes of the narrative.
Keywords: personal identity, physical criterion of identity, narrative approach, Bernard Williams
Igor G. Gasparov. Personal identity and narrative
Narrative approach lays a claim to distinct advantages over other theories of personal identity, but fails to take account of the gravity of the problems it faces itself. First, it appears that any autobiographical narrative is dependent on the metaphysical and other beliefs of its creator. Second, narrative approach seems to entail an unjustified elitism about personal identity which deprives a significant number of people of their full-fledged identity. Third, it is not clear whether narrative approach is indeed able to deal successfully with the problems it is aimed to solve according to its proponents.
Keywords: personal identity, metaphysical realism, narrative approach, analytic philosophy
Sergei M. Levin. Narrative identity: fiction and reality
One of the key questions of narrative identity is the question of the relationship between narrative and reality. In the first place, in order to exclude that autobiography gets substituted with fantastic stories, it is necessary to determine its truth conditions. Then the ontological status of the protagonist of the narrative needs to be defined, as well as the conditions of its existence. In this paper, I argue that narrative approach implies anti-realism in relation to personality and, consequently, is incompatible with the assertion of its four-dimensionality.
Keywords: personal identity, narrative approach, fiction, reality, analytic philosophy
Dmitry B. Volkov. A reply to critics
In this essay, I reply to the main objections from Maria Sekatskaya, Igor Gasparov and Sergei Levin to my previous paper, Benefits of a narrative approach to personal identity. In my reply to Sekatskaya, I accept that the narrative approach does not always provide means for reidentification in the duplication scenario, but I argue that reidentification is not necessary for the theory of personal identity. In my reply to Gasparov, I argue that character and personhood can be secondary in relation to the narrative; I also provide details for the criteria of narrative presentation. In my reply to Levin, I agree that the narrative approach is an anti-realist approach to personal identity, but I suggest that this is consistent with the four-dimensional concept of person.
Keywords: personal identity, reduplication, narrative approach