Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences

  Philosophy Journal. 2018, Vol. 11, No. 2
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Philosophy Journal. 2018, Vol. 11, No. 2

Philosophy Journal. 2018, Vol. 11, No. 2




Toward the 190th anniversary of the birth of Leo Tolstoy

Abdussalam A. Gusseinov. The philosophical legacy of Leo Tolstoy (interviewed by Predrag Cicovacki)

This article is devoted to the philosophical legacy of Leo Tolstoy and is written in the form of answers given by professor Abdusalam Guseynov to the questions put by professor Predrag Cicovacki (USA). It discusses the main philosophical influences experienced by Tolstoy and his special attitude towards the thinkers of the past. Tolstoy's distinctive style of thinking and his teaching owe their systematic character to the moral program of individually responsible acting, based on the ethics of nonresistance to evil by force. Special attention is given to Tolstoy's view of quietism and the difference between it and his own program of moral perfection. An assessment of Tolstoy's place in the intellectual tradition and the great urgency his philosophy of nonviolence has today conclude the dialogue.

Keywords: Leo Tolstoy, philosophy, faith, religion, nonviolence, Rousseau, Schopenhauer, quietism

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-5-21


Garris S. Rogonyan. The inaccessible belief

This paper examines the arguments put forward by Donald Davidson in defense of first person authority, the very possibility of which is being questioned different variants of modern anti-individualism. In particular, radical versions of externalism in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and epistemology either ignore the problem of justifying direct knowledge of our mental states and the meanings of our words, or give unsatisfactory explanations for this phenomenon. In relation to such kind of knowledge, Davidson proposes a moderate version of externalism. In his famous article on that question he argues that one can reconcile the externalist approach to knowledge and meaning with the idea of irreducibility of mental states and first-person perspective to the vocabulary of natural sciences. The main point of his method is to consider causal factors that determine the meanings of words and mental states primarily from the perspective of а publicly accessible intersubjective world. In this case, not only anonymous determinants of social and perceptual orders are taken into account, but also the individual's own activity and his / her relationships with the immediate environment. As a result, such moderate externalist approach to first-person authority can be shown to be reconcilable with the idea of non-reducibility of mental states and our direct knowledge of these states to the vocabulary of natural sciences. This notwithstanding, for many philosophers the advantages of Davidson's position still remain unobvious, to the extent that some of his arguments have never been properly assessed or even have been declared unpertaining to the problem they profess to solve. The aim of the present author is, therefore, to clarify and explain Davidson's reasoning, making due account of the difference between proximal and distal causes of our beliefs, and to consider the problem of our immediate knowledge about ourselves from the perspective of distal theory of reference.

Keywords: epistemology, semantics, mental states, radical externalism, first person authority, distal and proximal causes, intersubjective triangulation

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-22-39

Konstantin A. Pavlov-Pinus. Theorizing about consciousness: an epistemological prolegomenon. Part I

This article discusses the following problems. What is the correct way to pose questions about consciousness nowadays? What exactly are we interested in when we investigate the nature of consciousness? Wherefrom should the criteria for the ‘rightness’ of answers be derived? Should we expect to come up eventually with a final theory that explains everything about consciousness, or rather accept that the horizon of questioning about consciousness will always become more and more complicated, differentiated and removed further and further from us? The search for the solutions to these problems requires a preliminary analysis of the whole spectrum of human intentions that drive forward to theorizing as such. We will try to justify that the internal multiplicity of this spectrum appears not to be accidental, particularly, the assumed exclusiveness of objective approaches to consciousness will be submitted to a critique, to explain why it is wrong to consider the quest for objective truth among the basic theoretic intentions, especially when it comes to thematizing consciousness. We will also argue that the phenomenological project of Dasein-analyses, in its original version, appears to be successfully exhausted, for modern science has adopted most of phenomenological discoveries, at least on their technical side, which is reflected in several methods of computer modeling of cognitive and behavioral processes, and such branches of theoretical research as neurophenomenology, microphenomenology, cardiophenomenology and others. This suggests exploring the possibility of principally new ways of questioning about consciousness.

Ключевые слова: theorizing consciousness, understanding, basic theoretical intentions, objective truth, Dasein-analysis, neurophenomenology, second-order cybernetics, theoretical goal conflicts

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-40-57




Alexandra V. Makurova. Phenomenological interpretation of the term 'Meaning' in early Heidegger

This paper offers an analysis of Heidegger’s view of the notion of meaning, including a survey of his attempts to approach this problem which preceded the theory of meaning (Bedeutung) as elaborated in his early lecture courses. The problem of sense (Sinn) arises already in his dissertation of 1913 on the judgment in psychologism, and then undergoes a significant conceptual change in the late '10s / early '20s. At first Heidegger, in his critique of psychologism, reflects over the problem of meaning (Bedeutung) from the standpoint of pure logic, but already toward early 20s he significantly modifies his understanding of the phenomenological method, which also affects his approach to meaning. Starting with the idea of meaning as a logical form of judgment which expresses, for the speaker, the validity (Geltung) of a state of affairs, Heidegger then switches to a new understanding of meaning, namely, as a pre-verbal experience of interaction with objects that belong to particular life circumstances. While trying to consistently follow the phenomenological 'principle of presuppositionlessness', Heidegger comes to a conclusion that the authentic presuppositionlessness is only possible as an experience of everyday life. Facticity or factual life is exactly the mode in which one can achieve access to meaning. Thus an original interpretation of phenomenological method brings Heidegger to a new conception of meaning.

Keywords: meaning, sense, phenomenology, phenomenological hermeneutics, Heidegger, Gadamer, philosophical hermeneutics

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-58-71

Pavel S. Gurevich. Man in the philosophical legacy of Hegel

This article attempts a new interpretation of the conception of man in Hegel’s philosophical heritage; it also offers a critique of the recent anthropological accounts of Hegel's doctrines. Despite that there exists extensive philosophical literature on this subject, perception of the main tenets of Hegel's anthropological doctrine has changed significantly with the demarcation between classical and non classical anthropology becoming more and more evident. The author submits to a critical analysis the opinion that it was the anthropological argument that served as foundation for Hegel's entire philosophical system. He also points to the immense influence exerted on the evolution of understanding of the role of man in Hegel's legacy, both inside and outside Russia, by Marxist tradition; in Soviet Russia, in particular, it became fairly common among academic philosophers to concentrate their efforts primarily on 'overcoming' the Hegelian attitude within Marxism. Hegel's 'anthropology' has thus caused a significant dissent in the academic community. Doctoral dissertations have been approved whose authors held diametrically opposing views about this problem. Individuality has been plumply found to be the subject of Hegel's teaching even in the passages where the credible presence of any definable personal character is patently impossible. This paper shows that the starting point for Hegel was his dispute with Kant who is believed to be the founding father of philosophical anthropology. In this perspective, Hegel's so-called anti-anthropologism deserves a new critical assessment, with special consideration being made of Russian existentialism. Modern man experiences the situation of an ontological shift, when one feels prompted to reexamine the familiar ideas of man and develop new ones, to reread classical texts and to form new languages and senses with respect to the main agent of changes, i.e. man.

Keywords: man, spirit, subject, essentialism, non-classical anthropology, anti-anthropologism, soul, madness, reason, personality

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-72-90




Raisa Ed. Barash, Alexandr Yu. Antonovsky. A study of social movements from the systemic communication standpoint: is a scientific theory of political protest possible?

The present paper is a study of the causes and forms of contemporary protest movement. The authors carefully explore the theoretical language employed in the description of protest movement and examine the social functions and dysfunctions of protest, as well as the connection between extra-parliamentary activism and the traditional institutions of modern society. What makes Russian protest so specific as compared to other social movements around the world? One observation clearly stands out: the new types of self-organization are based on modern communication media and technologies, including the social networks whose importance has long been underestimated. It is therefore logical to subject the influence exerted by social media on the development of social movements to particularly stringent analysis before proposing a tentative model of protest movement in terms of communication theory. Further on, the authors raise several questions aiming to determine the substantiality of protest movement: whether it is an 'interactive rhizomatic network' or rather a form of collective action, and, if so, whether such collective action is a product of modified collective consciousness and must therefore be regarded as derivative from the plurality of deviant opinions and beliefs? Another problem which merits close attention is whether protest movement is to be considered a new variety of political conflict, or, to take another perspective, whether it can be understood as a kind of collective creativity or rather a previously unobserved form of emerging new (or old, but undergoing transformation) institutions. Can the protest be interpreted as a manifestation of the so-called 'civil society'? The present authors give a negative answer to these questions; they suggest that the essential and unprecedented characteristic of protest movement is the way it attempts to solve social problems without regard to institutions, organization, politics, or parliamentarism.

Keywords: protest movement, social theory, communication, society

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-91-105




Rejoinders in a dialogue


The nature of consciousness between East and modern West (David I. Dubrovskii, Viktoria G. Lysenko, Julia V. Sineokaya)

Any contemporary discussion about how philosophers imagine the nature of consciousness is impossible without taking into account Eastern philosophical traditions and, first ofall, Indian philosophy, in which there were many interesting ideas, approaches and practices that in one way or another resonate with the problems facing Western philosophy today. The participants of the latestRejoinders seminar reunionexplored the similarities and differencesin the philosophical understanding of the problem of consciousness between Western and Indian cultures. In a brief survey of the concepts of consciousness that have gained prominence in Western philosophy, David Dubrovsky pointed out the significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge about consciousness made in the areas of study concerned with subjective reality and the inner world of individual, such as existentialism, phenomenology, philosophical anthropology, psychology, and others. He then gave a short outline of his own concept of subjective reality. Victoria Lysenko observed that the distinctive characteristic of Indian philosophical tradition is to approach the problem of consciousness from the standpoint of the subject, 'from first person perspective', as opposed to the Western claim of'objectivity'in understanding consciousness. She also noted the parallels betweenthe view of subjective reality suggested by Dubrovsky and that present in Buddhist thinking.

Keywords: consciousness, cognition, subject, objectivity, subjective reality, first person perspective, Western philosophy, Indian philosophy, Buddhist philosophy

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-106-122


Existential experience: a mystery and a problem (Viktor V. Znakov, Nadezhda A. Kasavina, Julia V. Sineokaya)

The growth of academic interest in the specific problems of existence takes its roots in the generaltendency to humanize knowledge. In modern literature, the idea of existential experience increasingly acquires the status of a multidisciplinary category that is associated with the shaping of a holistic vision of human nature and the historical development of man. The discussion reported in this paper deals with the problem of understanding of this particular kind of experience, which can be perceived as a sort of mystery where a human being is granted the possibility of an immediate contact with the world, or as a continuous and problematic process of self-understanding of existential subject, its constituting itself in the world with regard to cultural meanings and values, or as the making of one's proper ontology of existence – the temporal horizon of one's being – one’s personal history, which allows to integrate one's situations, events, meanings and values as fragments of a single destiny in the context of the past, present and future. The phenomenon of existential experience is interpreted on the basis of existentially oriented philosophy, psychology, and fiction.

Keywords: existential experience, existence, experience, mystery, meaning, human person, temporality of being, finiteness, inscrutability of existence

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-123-137




Vitalii V. Tselishchev. Analytic philosophy and revisionism beyond the bounds

This article is a critique of the so-called 'revisionism' with regard to the origins of analytic philosophy, which found an advocate in the person of Vladimir Shokhin who defends it on the pages of two academic journals, Problems of Philosophy and The Philosophy Journal. According to the revisionist position, the standard view of the emergence of analytic philosophy, as it was expounded by Bertrand Russell and George Moore, can be contested in favour of earlier evidence or other philosophers. Now the author of both papers in question, Vladimir Shokhin stretches this tendency to the extreme by placing the beginning of the analytic tradition as far back in time as in ancient Indian philosophy. By unreservedly relying in his argumentation on a single source, Aaron Preston's book Analytic Philosophy: The History of an Illusion, Shokhin presents a distorted picture of an alleged decline in analytic movement, completely ignoring the astounding boom we are witnessing in analytical studies which make use of the advances in modern science and mathematical logic. The historiography of analytic philosophy as delineated by Shokhin is untenable, too, because it is based on an unwelcome oversimplification of its methods and achievements, and no less because of the unhappy attempt to artificially expand the historical framework of a very concrete philosophical school of the 20th century, which deprives it of its historical context and of any recognizable specific traits. 'Boundless revisionism' in Shokhin's version has little in common with the actual practice of analytic philosophy where the elucidation of classical metaphysical doctrines of Western thinking, such as Alexius Meinong's 'stratification of reality', is successfully achieved without any recourse to the philosophical wisdom of Ancient East.

Keywords: analytic philosophy, revisionism, Aaron Preston, Vladimir Shokhin

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-138-155

Nadia Maftouni. Art as a language for Muslim thinkers: metaphorical vs. literal approach

Signifying bilateral relations between art and science, scientart includes three types of subjects: artistically-inclined science, science-minded art, and intertwined scientart activities, i.e., equally involved both artistic and scientific approaches. It is art that allows science to be held up against peoples’ minds. And it is science that allows art to be held up against experimentation. Science includes, in this account, different disciplines such as metaphysics, cosmology, psychology, physics, medicine, and economics. And various branches of art such as painting, sculpture, music, and poetry are regarded as art, including novel and literature. This broader conception of art is derived from Farabian theory of art. Among Muslim thinkers, Suhrawardi and ibn Tufail are two major figures in the field. Having an intellectual grip, Suhrawardi conveys the issues of metaphysics, cosmology, and psychology with allegory and imagery fictions. He allegorizes, for instance, the nine spheres and the sublunary realm by the nine shells, eleven layers of a basin, eleven mountains surrounded by the Mount Qaf, sons, mills, the Tuba tree, the Twelve Workshops, and the Pearl-that-glows-by-night. In his unique novel called Hay ibn Yaqzan, ibn Tufail identifies and elaborates the issues of human anatomy, autopsy, and vivisection in a literal and non-figurative approach. Expressing autopsy in his novel, he constitutes an early supporter of dissection. Importance of scientart approach could be explained for Farabi. He posits that intelligible happiness and truths should be transferred to the imagination of people through allegory, analogy, and parallelism.

Keyword: Farabi, Suhrawardi, ibn Tufail, scientartist, novel, theory of art

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-156-166



Andrey F. Vasilyev. A sketch of metaethics

This paper briefly surveys the field of metaethics. Metaethics is a second-order philosophical discipline relative to normative ethics. It strives to answer descriptive questions about metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, and language of morality. The main metaphysical question concerns the very existence of “true”, i.e. more than just socially accepted, morals. Moral realists give a positive answer to this question. Realist moral metaphysics situates moral facts and properties against the natural world (naturalism, non-naturalism, supernaturalism), and at the same time relates them to mental facts and properties. Philosophical moral psychology connects moral properties and moral judgments to human action via motivating and normative reasons (various kinds of internalism and externalism). Moral epistemology asks how can someone have the knowledge of moral facts and properties (skepticism, intuitionism, empiricism). Finally, antirealists completely deny the existence of morality and seek to explain it as an illusion created by moral language (error theory and non-cognitivism). The problem arises when it turns out that plausible metaphysical theories often lead to unacceptable psychological, epistemological and semantic consequences, and vice versa. Moral naturalism and non-naturalism have little success in explaining the psychological significance of morals, meanwhile the former relies on an empiricist epistemology that poorly suites moral reasoning, whereas the latter implies intuitivist epistemology which today fares no better. On the other hand, internalist theories, which in themselves are much more convincing both from psychological and epistemological point of view, are bound to deny either the possibility of objective morals, or morals altogether.

Keywords: metaethics, ethics, moral metaphysics, moral psychology, moral epistemology, moral realism, moral naturalism, moral motivation, internalism, non-cognitivism

DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2018-11-2-167-186