SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
“Is the truth possible in humanities?” Papers of the “round table”. Part 1
The publication provides the full papers of the “round table” discussion that was organized by the journal “Philosophy of science and technology” in March 2017 at the RAS Institute of Philosophy. The participants are some of the leading Russian researchers in the field of epistemology and philosophy of science: V.A. Lektorsky, I.T. Kassavin, A.L. Nikiforov, N.S. Avtonomova, N.M. Smirnova, V.P. Filatov, G.D. Levin, E.L. Chertkova, A.V. Rodin, S.V. Pirozhkova, E.O. Trufanova. The following questions are discussed: is there a principle difference between natural scientific knowledge and knowledge in humanities, is there a difference between humanities and social sciences and between humanities and human sciences? Do the humanities gain knowledge about the reality or they just construct it? Do experiments in humanities and humanitarian technologies exist? What is the correspondence between knowledge in humanities and social-cultural mythologies and can we separate them from one another? In the first part of the discussion the participants consider the questions of the knowledge structure in humanities and social sciences, in particular of the existence within this knowledge of such elements as cultural, social and political values on one hand and methodological norms and ideals on the other hand, as well as elements of utopia, myth, ideology; of the contents of methodological regulations of humanitarian knowledge and the specifics of the latter in comparison with natural scientific knowledge; of the specifics and limitations of experiments in social science basing on the example of economics; of the research of the problem of truth with the methods of philosophical logic and the possibility of the usage of this research in the framework of systematical research of the questions at hand. Without rejecting the possibility of acquiring the truth, that is, of acquiring knowledge not only in social sciences but also in humanities, the participants point out those at first glance ambiguous or even opposing to the ideal of scientific character traits that are characteristic for humanities, the thorough research of which can help to shorten the gap between humanitarian and natural types of knowledge.
Keywords: truth, humanities, objectivity, knowledge, reality, realism, constructivism
S. Pirozhkova. Unity and pluralism of methodology of forecasting
Article continues research of the epistemological analysis of the forecasting, that author have pursued in previous work. In this paper the focus of attention is on the problem of the diversity of methods of forecasting and the question of if methodology of forecasting has “hard core” and “auxiliary belt”. It is shown that “hard core”, if forecasting’ methodology has it, supplements the earlier specification of the forecasting goals and results and will serve for the demarcation of this field of the interdisciplinary research from other practices of working with the future, mainly in cases, when it comes to forecast social and complex socio-techno-natural reality. Author points out the invariant component in the various subject areas of forecasting. Forecasting is considered in the historical development: from 1) autonomous practices slightly connected with scientific knowledge as the form of explaining; to 2) activities methodologically oriented to searching for causal laws; then to 3) activities aimed at describing of the future state of open systems and situations thay characterized by uncertainty and dynamics irreducible to the sets of causal laws and initial conditions. Author shows that “hard core” of methodology of forecasting is the set of methodological principles, which are common for all subject areas of forecasting. Also it is shown that methodology of forecasting has kind of “protective/auxiliary belt” that makes the methodological credo of forecasting effective in a variety of subject areas. “Auxiliary belt” of methodology of forecasting performs a dual role: 1) protects hard core and 2) allows to solve problems of specific researches. It is argued that “hard core” of methodology of forecasting due to common goals and competencies of this special type of prognostic activity. And “auxiliary belt” is dictated by the universal nature of forecasting, that intended for cognition of the future state of objects of any nature, including those that belong to several disciplinary areas. To demonstrate the forming of “hard core” of methodology of forecasting and the interaction of its “hard core” and “auxiliary belt” author especially thoroughly analyzed the expert forecasting. It allows explaining the pluralism of forecasting methodology as however limited by “hard core”. The system of eight principles composing “hard core” is proposed as system of criterion for demarcation of forecasting from others types of prognostic activities.
Keywords: forecasting, forecast, prediction, prognostic activity, quantitative forecasting, expert forecasting, formal methods, expert methods, “hard core” and “auxiliary belt” of forecasting’ methodology, problem of demarcation
RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF EPISTEMOLOGY
In this essay, we defend a pluralism concerning the concept of knowledge and show that the seven types of knowledge, that we distinguish, can be unified by criteria which characterize the types of knowledge as being critical. In the first part, seven types of knowledge are distinguished: 1. knowledge as true immediate objective understanding (e.g. simple logical or mathematical truths); 2. knowledge as true immediate understanding (e.g. cogito ergo sum); 3. knowledge as true objective understanding by proof (e.g. rigorous proof in logic, mathematics, and science); 4. knowledge as verification (e.g. direct and indirect observation, or experiment); 5. knowledge as justified true belief (e.g. belief in experts); 6. knowledge as possessing epistemic entropy and information (e.g. possible states that satisfy a hypothesis h, and possible states that are forbidden by h); 7. knowledge as justified corroboration (e.g. Kepler’s second law is corroborated by severe tests). In the second part, conditions for knowledge to be critical are proposed. The general critical question (CQ) is: what would happen if p, a statement claimed to be known, is given up? This question, then, is applied to the seven types of knowledge. The first and second type of knowledge cannot be given up because this would lead to contradiction and absurdity. Applying CQ to the third type of knowledge may be a hint for finding an incorrect step or a gap in the proof. CQ applied to the fourth type of knowledge leads to the critical investigation, whether the verification is a reproducible effect, whether it is observer-invariant, and whether it has a suitable interpretation with a well-corroborated hypothesis or law. Applying CQ to the fifth type of knowledge forces to check the reliability of the experts or one’s own reliance. Moreover, it leads to uncover the hidden assumptions and preconditions. Applying CQ to the sixth type of knowledge guides us to investigate the excluded possible states and, consequently, to consider alternatives. For example, Euclidean Geometry excludes positive or negative curvature; an alternative (hyperbolic) geometry with negative curvature was discovered by Lobachevsky and Bolyai. When applying CQ to the seventh type of knowledge, we have to distinguish two cases. Very well confirmed laws of nature or the fundamental constants of nature behave similar to the first type of knowledge: Absurd consequences follow, if they would be given up. Alternatively, applying CQ to corroborated scientific hypotheses often leads to revision, sometimes to refutation.
Keywords: types of knowledge, epistemology, conditions for knowledge
I. Belonogov. Epigenetics in epistemology
В статье исследуются вопросы о границах современной эпистемологии, ее статусе среди других дисциплин, ее собственных устройстве и подходе. Появление постнеклассической рациональности требует разработки постнеклассической эпистемологии как нового этапа ее развития. Достижения современной науки, в том числе эволюционной теории, биологии, нейрофизиологии и синергетики, с одной стороны, приводят к кризисной ситуации в эпистемологии, т. е. к широкомасштабным и далеко идущим изменениям, в связи с чем и возникает настоятельная необходимость [пере]определить границы эпистемологии. С другой стороны, благодаря этим достижениям задача [пере]определения границ и может быть решена. Статья представляет собой попытку произвести это двойное движение. Отправной точкой выбран текст В.М. Розина «Современные проблемы эпистемологии», в котором обозначены четыре главных оппозиции современной эпистемологии. Парадоксальная ситуация одновременности кризиса и подъема в эпистемологии решается путем проведения «испытания постмодернизмом». Это «испытание», как оно интерпретируется в данной статье, предполагает деконструкцию текстов С. Тулмина и сближение его версии эволюционной эпистемологии со взглядами философов-постструктуралистов. Выход эпистемологических исследований в междисциплинарное пространство вызывает сомнения в возможности построения гомогенного дискурса. Это противоречие исчезает, стоит лишь реконструировать краткий отрезок истории эпистемологии. Неясности относительно того, чем являются знание и познание, рассеиваются благодаря понятию «мира 3», разработанному К. Поппером и его последователями, и понятию «коэволюции» в том виде, в каком оно используется в исследованиях нейрофизиолога Т. Дикона. Последняя оппозиция, касающаяся места эпистемологии как дисциплины, снимается за счет наведения мостов между эпистемологией и эпигенетикой, дисциплиной, основанной К.Х. Уоддингтоном. Статья строится как раскрытие перечисленных оппозиций средствами постструктуралистской методологии, концепций, созданных в рамках эволюционной эпистемологии, и с опорой на данные современной науки.
Ключевые слова: эпистемология, эпигенетика, постмодерн, постструктурализм, эволюционная эпистемология С. Тулмина, вирусология
The article explores the conception of science developed by the famous Scottish philosopher W. Whewell who can be considered the founder of philosophy of science. It is demonstrated that, according to Whewell, the main goal of philosophy of science consists in discovering the general methods of a scientific research which bring the researcher to the truth by means of a thorough analysis of the history of various scientific disciplines. The author discusses Whewell’s ideas about the structure and development of science and shows that, in many cases, Whewell anticipated the ideas of K. Popper, T. Kuhn, I. Lakatos. The author argues that Whewell’s conception of science is still relevant and can be useful for the development of the philosophy of science.
Keywords: William Whewell, philosophy of science, history of science, axiom, definition, idea, method, induction, fact, theory
The Penrose–Hameroff theory of consciousness for the past 20 years has not been confirmed. Its main provisions are refuted by such major specialists as St. Hawking, A.Shimoni, etc. Despite this, it is advertised as a significant scientific achievement in explaining the nature of consciousness. The article emphasizes the inconsistency of the explanation of consciousness from the standpoint of radical physicalism. The paradigm of functionalism is considered, on the basis of which the adequate theoretical means of research of biological and social self-organizing systems are developed. In this respect, the possibilities of the information approach in explaining the connection between the phenomena of consciousness and brain processes and mental causality are shown. The experiments that were proposed by Hameroff in order to confirm the theory of consciousness and the idea of quantum immortality of the soul are critically examined.
Keywords: consciousness, a subjective reality, physical and mental, information, protomental, quantum mechanics, objective reduction (OR), theory of consciousness
The article substantiates the assumption that any science, apart from its theoretical and empirical component, draws upon a specific ontology – a representation of the set of typical objects, on which the axioms and theorems are interpreted. According to the author, the revolution in natural science of the XVII–XVIII centuries could take place not least because a successful ontology of classical physics and, later, of other sciences was found and explicitly formulated, which made it possible to effectively interpret mathematical formalisms and, as a result, offer satisfactory explanations for known facts and demonstrate prognostic possibilities as well. Particular shortcomings of cognitive and social sciences, in the author’s opinion, are due not to the lack of good formalisms, but to the lack of effective ontologies. The main difficulty is that the widespread ontology of the human world presupposes the presence of objects endowed with consciousness and free will as further irreducible properties, which makes all possible explanations non-operational. The article deals with general ontological concepts proposed by Aristotle in “Categories” and “Metaphysics”, and also by Wittgenstein in the “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”. It is demonstrated that Wittgenstein’s ontology overcomes the shortcomings associated with some ambiguity in the understanding of the “first essences” by Aristotle, and, in fact, puts the philosophical doctrine of being on the level of metaontology that makes object ontologies of particular sciences possible. In addition, the paper substantiates the thesis of plurality of ontologies that prevails nowadays both in the post-classical physic theories and in computer sciences. The closest to the metaontological ideal appears to be the “network” ontology, which assumes for each subject domain the existence of elementary objects, all of whose properties are reduced to relations. It is this particular vision that the author proposes as a variant of a shared ontology for cognitive and social sciences that could contribute to their interdisciplinary integration. As current scientific trends show, the network interpretation works well both in cognitive science (connectionism, deep learning) and in social explanations (network society theories). Philosophy may help integrating both domains in a version of a satisfactory Lebenswelt theory. In the course of argumentation, the author identifies two principles of what he calls “socio-cognitive integration”: the “weak” principle, according to which if an element is part of a social system, it necessarily takes part in cognitive acts; and the “strong” principle, according to which all cognitive tools of humans are necessarily social by nature. The paper invests in defending the weak principle. The author advocates the “hypernet theory of consciousness” stating that, for the first hand, society and consciousness are parts of a single ontology, while society is understood as a network that in a sense extends the network of neurons of the brain building on it and using its capacities; and for the second hand, to this single reality, the same type formalisms are applied connecting the theory of society and the theory of consciousness into a single interdisciplinary project with good prospects for their full integration.
Keywords: social science, cognitive science, ontology, metaontology, network approach, object, property, relation
Some non-trivial properties of network structures in social media, which are revealed on the basis of the methodology of network analysis, are considered in the article. It is shown, in particular, that nowadays the emphasis shifts from the study of social complexity to the study of social network structures. The evolutionary trend is the transition from hierarchies to networks, and the process of forming network structures is explored as a phenomenon of networkization. The processes of rapid growth of network structures and the risks of their destruction are essentially non-linear. Of great interest are also the small-world phenomenon and the strength of weak links in network structures.
Keywords: hierarchical structures, cooperation, nonlinearity, network thinking, network structures, networks formation, complexity, strength of weak links, phenomenon of small world
The article is devoted to substantiation of the importance of the phenomenological project of E.Husserl for modern social theory. The goal of the work is not confined to the “transfer” of the sociological constructions of the authors that were influenced by E. Husserl; the subject of investigation is phenomenological philosophy itself as significantly transforming the look of classic metaphysics and therefore making possible a different philosophy of social. Thus, in our analysis we turn to the consideration of consciousness in phenomenology, and its most important characteristics: intentionality, temporality and intersubjectivity. In particular we show that from the perspective of the Self as absolute the phenomenology moves on to the idea of the compatibility of the original being. Thus, the term “life-world” is prefaced by our isolated existence: We are not the sum of our Self, on the contrary, the self is derived from our common perspective. Thus, phenomenology makes possible a different formulation of the problem of “social”: it is understood not as a "public space", institutions and so on, but as the actualization of the compatibility of the original human being. Not “being community”, but a “community of being”, as it is formulated by the modern philosopher J.-L. Nancy. We have also shown that, from the point of view of phenomenology, the reality of the “life world” is the nearest reality to us, but it this that capacity was “looked over” and “not recognized”. As M. Heidegger said, “what is ontically trivial ontologically is a problem”: the most important aspects of things are hidden in their simplicity and everyday life, they are “looked over” since they are always before his eyes. It is in this context we affirm that the phenomenology is reorienting the science of culture from considering “extraordinary” (Kantianism) on the analysis of “everyday”. From our point of view, consideration of social as a typical organized order of everyday life is an extremely important motive for a number of areas of modern social theory. And here, in our view, it is justified to perceive the influence of phenomenology.
Keywords: phenomenology, intersubjectivity, life-world, everyday life sociology, natural setting, ethnomethodology, social constructionism, E. Husserl
The paper considers the problems outlined in the book by V.E. Lepskiy “Analytics of Assembly of the Subject of Development”. Lepskiy frames the problem of development as a philosophical one, but he goes beyond conceptual analysis in his treatment: he offers some concrete ways and means of application of the results of development studies in development projects of varying scale. Positive thinking aims at a search for ways out of any conundrum, even if for a coherently critical eye it seems like there aren't any. Therefore it is hard to condemn Lepskiy's consistent optimistic outlook of the contemporary situation, which is very complicated on several levels of study and increasingly complex with regards of ways of its development. The first question is the question of the subject of development. The classical conception of the subject as solid and self-transparent is neither viable nor feasible anymore. Description and modeling of such complex reflexive constructions and complex imbalanced systems requires an interdisciplinary approach. Some attempts in this vein (as represented in the works of G. Schedrovitskiy, V. Lefevre, V. Arshinov and Y. Svirskiy) have already been explored by Lepskiy. However, no less important would be to use Latour's theory of networks and M. Rosov's theory of social relay. In the process of development, subjects encounter not just the resistance from the environment but also the inertia of social, cultural and civilizational practices. They have to somehow smoothen the arising conflicts, prevent or compensate for accompanying negative or destructive growth factors and treat very gently some very sore nodal points which connect people's psychological complexes to traditional forms, ways and styles of life. This point is sadly missing from Lepskiy's work.
Keywords: subject, subject of development, post-nonclassics, post-nonclassical subject, interdisciplinarity, reflexion, thought ecology
Article presents the analytical overview of materials of the Xth all-Russian conference of students, post-graduates and young scientists “Artificial Intelligence: Philosophy, Methodology, Innovation” (27–28 of April 2017, MIREA,Moscow,Russia).
Keywords: epistemology, cognitive science, cognition, methodology of artificial intelligence, innovation
A. Yakovleva. Philosophy of science and technology in Russia: main problems and discussions
The paper is an overview of actual discussions on the problems of philosophy and sociology of science and technology that took place in Russia in 2017, within the framework of two main scientific forums: the International Scientific Conference "Philosophy and Sociology of Technology in the 21st Century" (24-26 May 2017, Moscow), dedicated to the 70th anniversary of professor Vitaly Gorokhov (24.05.1947-10.09.2016), and the Russian Scientific Conference "Philosophy of Science and Technology in Russia: Challenges of Informational Technologies" (2-3 June 2017, Vologda).
Keywords: philosophy of science and technology, sociology of technology, technologies
Boris Grigorievich Yudin (14.08.1943 – 6.08.2017)