Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences

  Philosophy Journal, 2014, No. 1 (12)
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Philosophy Journal, 2014, No. 1 (12)



V.N. Shevcenko. Why does a society need public philosophy?

The present paper explores the nature of public philosophy and its mediatory role in contemporary society between academic professional philosophy and the ideologies professed by various political movements and parties. So, the importance of political philosophy in today's Russia keeps growing in view of vital goals, such as reaching the national consensus on issues of polity and government system, formulating an ideology that would be acceptable to the society as a whole, and finding an optimal trend of further development.

Keywords: public, academic philosophy, the purpose of philosophy, practical philosophy, public philosophy, political science, political party, national consensus




Brian Massumi. Envisioning the Virtual

The author discusses the role played by the virtual in human experience and perception. The virtual is perceived as potential and, therefore, as inaccessible to sensual perception. It this sense it can be said to be abstract. There are, however, examples, drawn from the empirical sphere, such as the optical illusion, the visual perception of depth and the experience of a situation as value-laden, which demonstrate that the virtual can be included in experience and be perceived in a non-sensual mode. Thus complementarity of the virtual and the actual is proved. The virtual can be regarded as an “abstraction being experienced”. The analysis of the relations which constitute experience and, while being dependent on the virtual, at the same time determine it allows the author to consider the theory of the virtual as a foundation of some kind of situational ethics. 

Keywords: the virtual, potential, pragmatism

A.V. Smirnov. Mind as a sense generating vehicle

“Sense” is treated here not as a meaning-value of something which, as we say, “makes sense” for us, but rather as a constituent of any such “some-thing”. Perception of “external reality” is impossible without apprehension of “things” which, however, are constructed by our consciousness and not “reflected” in it. This approach does not reduce consciousness to any external independent reality but argues that its basics should and can be discovered in itself. The striking parallel between sense perception which structures the scattered plurality of perceptions around “things”, and the deep structure of our thought which is based on subject-predicate link, is further explored.

Keywords: mind, consciousness, meaning, sense, Ego, subject, predicate



J.V. Sineokaya. Travel as a philosophical project

The paper investigates the phenomenon of travel as an experience of self-identification. The author analyzes the texts about journey around one's room by Xavier de Maistre, Albert Camus, Hermann Hesse, Joseph Brodsky, Vasili Betaki and others.  

Keywords: travel, existentialism, self-identification, archetypes of internal space, entelecheia, journey around one's room



R.G. Apressyan. Towards a core understanding of morality

The meaning of morality consists in the coordination of one's private interests with common/public good. Actions recognizing and promoting the good of others are considered as morally positive. The generalized experience of such actions is reflected in the values of non-harming, of recognition, solidarity and care. One’s sensitivity regarding these values and one's readiness to implement them are manifested in personal virtues and determination towards personal excellence. As ideas, virtues and excellence also belong to moral values. Moral values are imperative by their nature and for this reason are often considered as merely imperative. The author analyzes the specific way the value and imperative modalities of moral propositions operate and attempts to rethink such significant features of morality as its absolute and universal character.

Keywords: morality, ethics, values, imperatives, virtues, excellence, communicativity, perfectionism, sanction, absoluteness, universality, public morality


In the memory of Vadim Nikolaevič Sadovsky. On the occasion of his 80th birthday

N.I. Lapin. The change of paradigms of system thinking and the anthropic understanding of non-equilibrium sociocultural systems

The author attempts to show that V.N. Sadovsky (1934-2012) laid the foundation of a new contemporary phase of systems research which consists in the transition from the first to the second paradigm of system thinking, i.e., from the study of open systems in equilibrium to the analysis of the non-equilibrium and irreversible state of complex systems. He was self-critical enough to recognize that I. Blauberg and E. Yudin had been right in asserting that the main contribution of systems research to science, technology and practice had been the implementation of specific system worldview and system methodology in these areas rather than any attempts made to create a general theory of systems. The paper shows that the anthropic (or rather antroposocietal, that is, combining the methods of social philosophy with those of general sociology) approach he proposes has been developed according to the second paradigm of systems thinking. He applies the said approach to the study of non-equilibrium sociocultural systems (such as the Russian society or its regions) and modernization processes inside them.

Keywords: paradigms of system thinking, a non-equilibrium sociocultural system, anthropic (antroposocietal) approach, factors inhibiting modernization, strategy of integrated modernization



N.V. Motroshilova. The world of Theodor Oisermann’s wise thoughts

The present paper is a commentary to Theodor Oisermann's latest book Reflections and Aphorisms. Oisermann's succinct statements and terse formulations are shown to contain some novel approaches to the analysis of the essence of human experience, the limits of knowledge and the effects of science on human history and nature. To the arrogant formulas, overrated expectations and promises that concern scientific knowledge, allegedly capable of solving nearly all social and individual problems in the near future, Oisermann opposes the idea of patient search for a new and balanced philosophical approach to evaluating the real possibilities and the inherent limitations and difficulties of cognition, scientific cognition in particular, that are insurmountable in principle.  

Keywords: knowledge, science, the progress of science, the unknown, «uncognizable in principle», scientism, social utopia, unpredictable results of scientific research, mania grandiosa, Faustian spirit, ecological crisis




S.N. Korsakov, M.G. Deborin. The struggle of A.M. Deborin, FRAS, for scientific and social rehabilitation: the story told via documents and testimonies

The article offers a reconstruction, based on documents and historical evidence, of the struggle to abolish the decree of the CPSU Central Committee from the year 1931 declaring the Soviet school of Marxist dialectic philosophy a «menshevik-like idealism», led by the founder of the Institute of Philosophy, Fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences A.M. Deborin. The authors publish three letters which Deborin wrote on the subject to Khrushchev from 1953 to 1956, through the years of Khrushchev's «Thaw», as well as documents reflecting the resistance with which Stalinist-minded philosophers and party officials met Deborin's attempts to destalinize philosophy. Particularly valuable is the testimony from little-known memoirs of A.M. Necritch and Е.G. Plimak who served as Deborin's secretaries during that period.

Keywords: A.M. Deborin, Stalinism, Soviet philosophy, N.S. Khrushchev, the «Thaw»


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