Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences




  Philosophy Journal, 2016, Vol. 9, No. 2
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Philosophy Journal, 2016, Vol. 9, No. 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY 

 

Alexander Karpenko. Hyperrealism, part I: from the thinkable to the possible

Hyperrealism conceives of the Multiverse as multivariance of the Universe, all variants being equiprobable. Problematics of the philosophy of mind, the phenomenon of counterfactual thinking, modal epistemology, various theories of possible worlds, the results of contemporary cosmology, the anthropic principle – all of this amalgamates into one global tendency which aims to maximally expand the sphere of the real. In the present paper, on the basis of wide factual material, the following argument is established: (1) All that is thinkable is also possible (Wittgenstein, David Chalmers, etc.); (2) All that is possible is also actualized (the principle of plenitude, the principle of fecundity, modal realism, the worlds of Everett, etc.). From this, by transitivity, we obtain: (3) All that is thinkable is also actualized (the principle of fullness). Then the basis of the principle of fullness is a thinking being, the one endowed with counterfactual thinking, whose function is to generate, by means of its consciousness, ever newer possibilities. Now the reality is born out of the closure of human consciousness upon itself, that is, from logic, until everything logically possible is actualized. There are two essential prejudices which hinder the development of human reflective faculties: (1) Constant repetition that history has no place for the subjunctive mood; (2) The hope that everything ends eventually. The former, as well as the latter, points to the strict limitations of modern human thought. Overcoming such prejudices leads to an entirely novel view of the world around us and to new, much greater, opportunities for its philosophical understanding.

Keywords: logical space, philosophy of consciousness, counterfactual thinking, metaphysics of modality, principle of fullness, anthropic principle, Multiverse, hyperrealism

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-5-23

 

ANATOMY OF PHILOSOPHY: HOW THE TEXT WORKS

 

Irina Blauberg. Henri Bergson’s Philosophical Intuition as reflexions on the nature of philosophical creativity

Philosophical intuition is the address Henri Bergson gave at the Fourth International Congress of philosophy held in Bologna in 1911. Here Bergson sets out an interpretation of the history of philosophy which is alternative to the Hegelian one; he also expounds his own ideas on the subject. According to Bergson, every philosophical doctrine grows out of a primary intuition which can, in some part, be expressed through images, but remains impenetrable to concepts. Such intuition defines whatever new, original or genuinely creative is contained in the doctrine. This implies that all intuitions are equal; accordingly, history of philosophy makes no progress. This conclusion, however, is contradicted by the second part of the paper in which Bergson, while expounding his own doctrine, in a certain sense still prefers, be it voluntary or not, a 'higher position'. The present paper reveals the three meanings of intuition in Bergson: 1) intuition as the core of philosophical doctrine; 2) intuition as a way of penetrating the perpetually changing reality, the becoming; 3) intuition as a maxim of behavior that allows man to change his condition radically.

Keywords: international philosophical congresses, intuition, methodology of the history of philosophy, image, philosophy and science, Henri Bergson, Benedict Spinoza, George Berkeley

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-24-36


Victoria Lysenko. Categories of language and categories of thought in an Indian philosophical text (Prashastapada’s Collection of Characteristics of Categories)

A fragment from Prashastapada’s (VI century A.D.) treatise (a classical text of the Vaisheshika school of Indian philosophy) has been selected for the analysis on the grounds that it demonstrates two theoretical positions both of which are of importance to the author of the present paper: 1) the correspondence between linguistic and philosophical categories (for example, noun – substance, adjective – quality, action – verb); 2) the typological similarity between Indian and European philosophical traditions which could be traced back to their common Indo-European origins. With Prashastapada, the term pada-artha, interpreted as 'category', means literally 'the object of word', or its referent. The linguistic origins of many terms and concepts in Indian philosophical tradition can be explained by the extremely early development of linguistics in India (the emergence of grammatical tradition dates back to VI–V centuries BC.). The author further discusses some general principles of structure and functioning of Indian philosophy: the culture of philosophical debates, different forms of debates, genres of philosophical literature, elaboration of the logical structure of philosophical texts.

Keywords: linguistic categories and philosophical categories, Vaisheshika, Indian philosophy, Prashastapada, debate, linguistics, logic

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-37-53

 

Alexey Kara-Murza. Pushkin's Poem The Bronze Horseman and its politicо-philosophical implications

The claim this paper makes is that the The Bronze Horseman (1833), poem by Alexandre Pushkin, is not only one of the crowning achievements of Russian literature, but of Russian political philosophy as well. As it is well known, one of the protagonists of the poem is river Neva and the flood restrained by the Bronze Horseman, Pushkin's incarnation of Peter the Great. The author puts forward the hypothesis that the The Bronze Horseman could be conceived by the poet in terms of the treatise of Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (1513), the centrepiece of the respective system of notions being the figure of the 'prince' who overpowers the barbarous masses, depicted by Machiavelli through the metaphor of an uncontrollable destructive torrent. It may further be supposed that The Bronze Horseman is in a certain sense Pushkin's response to the criticism from his once friend, the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz who had dealt with the ideas of Machiavelli (an important authority in Polish Catholic tradition) in his work. During his stay in Russia in 1824-1829 Mickiewicz met Pushkin in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg many times and developed a friendship with him. One of the most significant encounters took place by the Bronze Horseman on the Senate Square and was subsequently described by Mickiewicz in his short poem entitled Monument to Peter the Great. After the suppression of the Polish revolt of 1830-1831 Mickiewicz remained outraged by the position of his 'former Russian friend Pushkin' who celebrated the 'capture of Warsaw' in enthusiastic verse.

Keywords: political philosophy, history of Russia, civilization, barbarism, empire, freedom, revolution

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-54-65

 

 

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

 

Artem Iunusov. First philosophy as a science: Aristotle’s theory of scientific knowledge in Posterior Analytics and in Metaphysics IV

The present paper endeavors to compare the general theory of scientific knowledge (ἐπιστήμη) as described in Posterior Analytics with the specific theory of science or 'first philosophy' expounded in the fourth book of Metaphysics. Both theories are examined not on the ground of any general preconceived hypothesis regarding their relation to one another, but by closely investigating the local characteristics peculiar to either of them. The set of characteristics brought under comparison comprises any special properties both the subject and the attributes under investigation possess, the way they are related to the first principles of science, as well as the general question of whether the science in question is supposed to be demonstrative. As a result, it can be shown that, contrary to the opinion dominating the present-day Aristotelian studies, the project of the first philosophy as it is described in Metaphysics IV presupposes the construction of a type of knowledge which, while remaining essentially different from the 'particular' sciences of the Posterior Analytics, is still a demonstrative science and has its main goal in giving an account of the demonstrable properties of any existent items in terms of their most general attributes by means of common definitions.

Keywords: Aristotle, ancient philosophy, philosophy of science, Γ of Metaphysics, Posterior Analytics, demonstration, first philosophy, first principles

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-66-81

 

Nelly Motroshilova. Hegel and Schelling on Bruno: two philosophical portraits set against the scenery of the age and eternity

The two philosophical images of Giordano Bruno as a 'heroic character' and the corresponding representations of his ideas about 'the life of the whole' created, respectively, by Hegel (in his lectures on the History of Philosophy) and by Schelling (in the dialogue Bruno), are brought into consideration in their paradigmatic significance for the history of contemporary philosophical thought. The central point in Hegel’s understanding of Bruno’s role in the history of philosophy is the idea of an affinity between Bruno’s personality and the philosophical principle of 'absolutely universal unity of all things' avowed in his writings. The dialogue Bruno is considered here as one of the important waymarks of Schelling’s early philosophical development which attains a transhistorical paradigmatic significance for all philosophers striving after ultimate unity of world and thought, 'matter' and 'form', nature and human being.

Keywords: Bruno as a heroic character; affinity between Bruno's personality and the principles of his philosophy; unity as the main category in the philosophy of the Universe

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-82-96

 

Dmitry Testov. Structuralism and the ecology of mind. Comparative analysis of the anthropological projects by C. Levi-Strauss and G. Bateson

This article is an attempt of comparative analysis between two anthropological projects, that of Claude Levi-Strauss and that of Gregory Bateson. The object chosen here for comparison is the thought-form considered as a condition of generating and justifying of method, rather than the subject matter or method as such. By comparing the concepts of structure and pattern central to either doctrine, the author shows that both notions can be regarded as resulting from the analysis of the two types of transformation sequences, the specific continuous (Levi-Strauss) and the abstract and discrete one (Bateson). Comparison between the observation strategies yields evidence that there exists an essential difference of method as applied by Levi-Strauss and Bateson, despite both scholars appealing to the concept of mind as an explanatory principle behind the selection of observed facts. For both of them the fundamental characteristic of observation is the distance between the observer and the other. For Levi-Strauss, distance is the condition of observation which lets the mind manifest itself. For Bateson, mind is manifested owing to the redundancy in communication which makes it possible to distinct the signal from noise, where the distance is a secondary characteristic of the communicative circuit. On the other hand, the fact that both critical strategies remain largely in agreement as to their sceptical attitude to functionalism testifies in favor of a deep theoretical unity of both projects within a larger theoretical context. The analysis of instrumental and biological metaphors of culture, as used by Bronisław Malinowski, Ruth Benedict, Bateson and Levi-Strauss, makes it possible to reconstruct a list of specific features to which the 'anthropology of form' is recurring in its attempt to rethink the functionalist concept of culture.

Keywords: Bateson, Levi-Strauss, structuralism, ecology of mind, functionalism, anthropology, culture, pattern, structure

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-97-113

 

 

MORALS, POLITICS, SOCIETY

 

Ekaterina Shmeleva. Urban 'multitude' and the aesthetics of performativity: new forms of public culture

This is an attempt to overcome the idea of the end of public culture. Parting from Paolo Virno's concept of 'multitude' and Erika Fischer-Lichte's idea of performativity, the author examines the phenomenon of game interaction, based on the physical co-attendance of participants, as a new form of publicity process which has certain political implications. After a brief analysis of the now classical view of publicity and its relation to the notion of the 'political' as developed in the works of Hannah Arendt, Jürgen Habermas and Richard Sennett, she turns to the contemporary theorist Paolo Virno and submits to a scrutiny the concepts of 'virtuosity' and 'individuation' which are connected with new forms of labour and, therefore, attain a crucial importance from the perspective of political properties of contemporary post class society best described through the concept of 'multitude'. She then proceeds to comparing the new and the old models of publicity. Relocating a theatrical event directly into the urban space may serve a good example of the new form. It is possible to trace down the comeback of the theatre to the city from the point of view of the theatrical as well as urbanistic processes. Such observations lead to the conclusion that collective transformation of commonplace norm must have a political dimension. This can be illustrated by an analysis of the 'Remote Moscow' theatrical project where the public, who are both spectators and performers, are moving across the city on a previously unknown route, which constitutes the performance itself.

Keywords: multitude, publicity process, performativity, game (theatrical) interaction, 'Remote Moscow'

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-114-126

 

 

REVIEWS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC SURVEYS

 

Mikhail Maslin. The Flow of Ideas: a new book by Andrzej Walicki

This is a review of the recent monograph by Andrzej Walicki, one of the best known Polish historians of Russian philosophy. Walicki is Fellow of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Notre Dame University (Indiana, USA). Walicki's present book is a revised and extended version of the work published back in 1979 under the title A History of Russian Thought from the Enlightenment to Marxism which came to be regarded as the standard English-language handbook on Russian philosophy (Russian translation printed in 2012). The appearance of Walicki's new book is a major event for every student of the history of Russian philosophy. Walicki not only reconsiders the large body of of new research that has emerged over the past thirty years, but he rests his analysis on tireless study of original sources, thus ensuring both the encyclopedic completeness and an impeccable reliability of information his work provides. As a result, it offers a solid background for the dialogue between Russian and Western scholars of the subject.

Keywords: Andrzej Walicki, Enlightenment in Russia, Russian philosophy, religious-philosophical renaissance, Russian intellectual history, flow of ideas

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-127-137

 

Ruben Apressyan. Moral philosophy, thought experiment and an out-of-control trolley

David Edmonds' book, the recent Russian translation of which is under review here, belongs to a very popular branch in contemporary experimental philosophy, the so-called ‘trolleyology’ where thought experiments with a runaway trolley are used to analyze the situations of forced choice and to study the alternative modes of decision-making. The author provides an account of the history of trolleyology and of the various theoretical approaches to the problems typical to it. Trolleyology is a valuable way to improve our understanding of the theoretical implications of thought experiments and, in broader terms, of the method of case studies as applied to moral philosophy. It certainly has highlighted such theoretical issues as intention, ends and means, motives and results, the sphere of moral principles, the limits of moral responsibility, all of which are important in normative ethics and in the different branches of applied ethic, like bioethics, ethics of punishment, just war theory, etc. The book is a brilliant specimen of popular philosophical literature; apart from giving a highly satisfactory representation of the current discussions in trolleyology, it shows the potential of applying the whole range of related issues to philosophical education.

Keywords: ‘trolleyology’, thought experiment, experimental philosophy, double effect doctrine, concomitant consequences, intention, Philippa Foot, Judith Thomson, neurosciences and morality

DOI 10.21146/2072-0726-2016-9-2-138-144