Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences




  Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2017, Vol. 22, No. 1
Home Page » » Philosophy of Science and Technology » Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2017, Vol. 22, No. 1

Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2017, Vol. 22, No. 1

 

CONTENTS

 

INNOVATIONAL COMPLEXITY


The philosophy of complexity management in terms of convergence of socio-humanitarian and natural-science knowledge. Papers of the “round table”

The proposed discussion about understanding of interdisciplinary problems of science and prospective of the complexity methodology is directly associated with problems of complexity control and socio-humanitarian and natural science cultures dialogue that are converging today, which are the central issues in the work of the Department of Interdisciplinary Problems in the Advance of Science and Technology of Institute of Philosophy RAS for many years. This topic is key for solving philosophical and methodological issues of understanding techno-anthroposphere future, which was fruitfully researched by the head of the department Vitaly G. Gorokhov, one of the founding fathers of philosophy of technology in Russia whose memory this work is devoted to. Almost twenty years ago he was a first philosopher who became engaged in the philosophy of techno-science and convergent technologies, complexity, techno-ethics problems that have today become mainstream. The philosophy world of complexity relies on ontological and epistemological grounds of presentation of human-measurable, self-development systems that V. Stepin was developing in postnonclassical methodology paradigm already nearly thirty years. Postnonclassical science rationality is simultaneously considered like special type of rationality which possesses methodological specificity and also like framework construction that covers the methodological foundations of classical and non-classical science. Concurrently, contemporary interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary vision of the problem of complexity, techno-science, dialogue of cultures, information revolution and different challenges from the new technological paradigm necessarily call for the analysis of new phenomena constantly generated by network information environments, converging NBICS-technologies and digital economies. With this purpose problems and prospective further development of philosophical grounds of complexity-synergetic methodology, new principals of works by techno-social expertise and social technologies, network-communicate technologies in complexity management and rethinking in new discourses both integral scientific representations of traditional cultures and poststructuralist ontologies are described. Not only researchers of the Department took part in the discussion, but also the students and colleagues of V. G. Gorokhov, for whom the philosophy of science and technology has been a fact of life.

Keywords: сomplexity, transdisciplinary, science methodology, network communications, postnonclassics, techno-social expertise, synergetics, divergent technologies, reflexive processes and control, techno-science

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-5-29

 

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY


E. Gavrilina. An experiment in socio-humanitarian cognition: genesis and evolution

The article is devoted to the study of the genesis of the experimental method in social and humanitarian sciences and its formation. Material for the study consists of literature on epistemological and methodological problems of science in general and the social sciences and humanities in particular. As the methodological tools the approach by stages of development of science V.S. Stepin and evolution of technical sciences V.G. Gorokhov are used. The origin of the experimental method as a whole and its transformation in the course of development of science and a paradigm shift in it are considered. The specifics of the experimental activities in the socio-humanitarian cognition in contrast to similar activities in natural sciences and technical sciences are shown. It was detected by stages of the experimental method of changes in the social and human sciences, depending on the change of the dominant scientific paradigm. It is noted that in the modern methods of obtaining and analyzing social information an important paradigmatic transition is planned that is associated with the spread of technology of processing ‘Big Data’. The new ways of obtaining social information and its treatment are shown and it is demonstrated how the may significantly change the research landscape and the structure of social sciences and humanities.

Keywords: the experimental approach, socio-humanitarian cognition, genesis of the experimental approach, the transformation of the experiment in modern science, Big Data

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-30-45


D. Stebakov. Psychological experiment in context of the problem of complexity

The paper is dedicated to trends and problems of experimental practice in psychological science in the context of the problem of complexity. Epistemology of complexity by E. Morin is used for conceptualization of features of psychological knowledge and experimental method. Thе Researching phenomenon in psychological experiment have a number of properties that determine the need to develop adequate tools for the study and understanding; in the context of the problem of complexity: they are often not observable, the knowledge about them is indirect, they are multi-dimensional, woven into a diverse system of connections and historical, etc. The multiplicity of models of the same phenomena in psychology, which is often seen as a consequence of the crisis of psychological knowledge, in the context of the epistemology of complexity it acquires new meanings and can be interpreted as a natural property of psychological knowledge, which requires, however, rethinking of experimental practices and searching of new tract of experimental knowledge. As one of these ways Participatory Action Researches are considered as a postnonclassical sample of the knowledge complexity. Basic purpose of PAR is not only a study of the object, but also action aimed to it’s changing. Change and action in the context of PAR is irreplaceable and crucial element of methodology. Another feature of PAR is the equivalence of positions and collaboration between “experimenter” and “participants”. The purpose of the research is exploring through helping the community of interest by acting on the object. The research should include element of action, which aims at generating positive change and new knowledge at the same time. In contrast to the traditional linear model in research practice, this methodology is based on a circular model: a series of repeated cycles of planning, action, evaluation of action and reflection is taking place. The article is also dedicated to the problem of reproducibility of the results of psychological experiments. This issue is discussed as a direct consequence of features of object of research in psychology. Currently the movement associated with the revision of the results of psychological research, and the quality of the experimental work in which a large-scale replication studies is gaining momentum. In particular, two reports produced by community “Open Science Collaboration” within widescale “Reproducibililty Project: Psychology” are analyzed. The project contains replication data of hundreds of psychological researches. Technical, ethical and methodological aspects of knowledge production in psychology are discussed in context of the problem of reproducibility. In particular, the question of validity of reproducibility criterion and science criteria constituting research practice is discussed.

Keywords: experiment, complexity, reproducibility

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-46-60

 

 

RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF EPISTEMOLOGY


E. Trufanova. Elusive reality and social constructions

“Reality” is one of the most elaborate concepts. It is easy to define reality as something that is “what actually is taking place”. But when we try to declare what actually is taking place, we encounter quite different statements. Even the simplest object like a rock lying on the ground can evoke many different “versions” of reality: a rock can become in different eyes a weapon, a precious gem, an object of worship. This is what is often called a “social construction” of an object. From this point many different “versions” of reality spring to life. We deal here with the realism vs anti-realism debate in the field of scientific and epistemological realism, taking into consideration social constructionist movement and its anti-realistic stance. “Science wars” of the 1990s are regarded as a “political” conflict between natural scientists, trying to defend the classical concept of science and its claim to truth, and sociologists, psychologists and postmodernist philosophers who are arguing that whatever science says is ideologically biased and supportive of the political authorities, thus science cannot be seen as an objective source of truth. The concepts of “objectivity” and “truth” themselves are put into doubt on the premise that they are a part of European rationality that expresses the socio-culturally and historically restricted point of view of European male thinkers only. Social constructionists suggest that instead of one universal scientific knowledge many “situated knowledges” should be proposed when each social group will be given “voice” to express its opinion about the world. However the author remains critical towards social constructionist arguments. Their main theses suggest that nearly everything we know about the world is “social constructions”. But does “socially constructed” means “not real”? Social constructionists mostly use the linguistic understanding of “social construction” – the ways we talk about an object is what “constructs” it. Different cultures and social groups have different ways of speaking about the same objects which according to social constructionism means there is no reality behind these descriptions, or at least we are ignorant about it. Social constructionism claims that words build our realities and only words transform them. Do social constructions hold no reality of their own? The concept of “President” is clearly socially constructed, but if we try to get rid of it, will the words be enough to do it if all of us just decide against using both the word and the idea of “President”? That is hardly possible – to get rid of “President” concept we should probably need to face a very real revolution. That means there is some reality connected to this word. The problem of reality is very acute in the present day media-saturated world, where each event gets a variety of media coverage with quite different versions of reality. The main question of reality nowadays goes beyond the scientific or epistemological realism and becomes the question of mutual understanding between people.

Keywords: realism, anti-realism, social constructionism, constructivism, relativism, reality, existence, science wars

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-61-77


 

HUMAN SCIENCES


E. Petrova. The problem of the dialectical relationship of natural and social aspects of human adaptation in the ecosystem of the information society

In the analysis of the problem of human adaptation there are two closely related aspects - natural and social. The main methodological guideline of this work is to try a holistic consideration of the problem of human adaptation in the information environment emphasizing (but not separating from each other) its natural and social aspects. All organisms on the planet are grouped into certain kinds of complexes – ecosystems. An ecosystem is a collection of living organisms in their relationship with environmental factors. The ecosystem centered on the human becomes anthropo-ecosystem. One of the integral parts of any anthropo-ecosystem is its information field. The problem of the information field is one of the most important in the description of the dynamics and nature of anthropo-ecosystem. This is due to the fact that the basis of the anthropo-ecosystem is always a community of people, the existence of which is impossible without information and communication processes. In fact, the information environment is becoming a major habitat of modern man. Modern information environment can be considered as a collection of information conditions of human life (availability and quality of information resources, development of information infrastructure), as well as a set of economic and socio-cultural conditions of informatization processes. Changes to our life created by artificially created environment of information and communication technologies affect all its aspects: our minds and our world view, work and education, family and interpersonal relations, the economy and production. Consequently, the need to develop new mechanisms of adaptation to the changing environment is undeniable. The process of changing of information environment by humans, the construction of artificial information environment around them, and their change under the influence of the environment – these processes are inextricably linked, closely intertwined and impossible without each other. Consideration of human beings as part of anthropo-ecosystem helps us better to understand the need for human adaptation to the information environment. It would even be more correct to use the term “co-adaptation” here, since humanity and information environment throughout their evolution constantly mutually adapt, evolve, co-adapt. The ecosystem of the information society originally, like any other ecosystem, is built as part of the environment (in this case the information environment) and only then is integrated into the structure of the information society. Adaptation is not always a positive thing. When a person experiences a flow of information exceeding the limits of his or her adaptation mechanisms there is a possibility of failure of adaptive mechanisms and information stress. Analysis of changes in the human psyche, consciousness, and behavior immersed in the modern information environment, shows that the concept of “adaptation” and “maladjustment” dialectically interrelated, acquiring positive or negative direction depending on a variety of factors. A new form of pollution – information pollution – necessitates the creation of a new science – information ecology. Humanity must develop new adaptation mechanisms (or try to somehow modify existing ones), in order to successfully adapt to the new information environment. Moreover, this applies to both social and natural adaptation, because these processes are inextricably linked. The process of adaptation - a holistic process and the natural and social sides of it can be distinguished as its aspects, the relationship of which can be analyzed dialectically, but a clear separation and isolation of them is not possible or even needed.

Keywords: information environment, information society, ecosystem, anthropo-ecosystem, adaptation, human being, information ecology, information stress

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-78-92

 

HISTORICAL EPISTEMOLOGY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


L. Laino. Trying to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out: some notes about the ontological structure of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics

In the present article the author will deal with an inquiry of the ontological structure of quantum mechanics, and he will analyze the evolution of the heno-ontological equation (the identity of being one and of being) in the shape of the new arrangement prepared by the orthodox interpretation of the theory. Hence the article will particularly focus on the Copenhagen interpretation and the lack of intuition [Anschaulichkeit] in the representation of physical external objects; as far as the latter topic is concerned, the author will also consider the classic representation of Heisenberg’s philosophy given by Heelan. The author will then show the impossibility of holding the old physical body-representation which worked for classical mechanics as well, because quantum mechanics denies an absolute localizability of physical entities. A non-defective determination of localizability was in fact the very postulate which lays at the basis of the heno-ontological equation as Aristotle had envisaged it: what is not localizable, is not one being. It also has to be considered a specific lack as regards the chronological permanence of the identity of the quantum object, which appears to be constantly modified by its interaction with the devices and with other particles. Accordingly, the author will explain the peculiar definition of physical entity in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics as a non-substantial entity, as a non-body, considering the argument that henceforth the actual substance, in physics, will be only the whole totality. Arguing about the latter point, the author will develop a definition of individuality which could not be extraneous to the most recent interpretations of quantum mechanics. He will indeed aim for a non strictly ontological definition of individuality, if one has to figure out the individuum as a body of daily experience. Rather than a body, the quantum individuum is almost a being whose ontological content is only relative to the transformations of a primitive context: this implies that his ontological charge cannot be considered permanent. From this point of view, one can argue that quantum mechanics is very close to the old representation of nature as being by the ancient Greek physicists, which tended to distinguish between the ontological definition of individual entities and the unity of being as a whole. Hence the article will show, through Cassirer’s review, how it is possible to depict a new setting for the relationship between one and being, as well as trying to shed some light on the basic assumptions of the ontology of Copenhagen interpretation and of modern quantum mechanics.

Keywords: Aristotle, E. Cassirer, Copenhagen interpretation, henology, Quantum mechanics, question of being, W. Heisenberg, ontology

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-93-110


N. Popkova. Non-classical character of philosophy of technology (exemplified by the “The Perfection of Technique” by Friedrich Jünger)

Definition of the type of rationality of philosophy of technology in relation to a periodization “classical-nonclassical – postnonclassical” is considered. As an example work “The perfection of technique” by Friedrich Georg Jünger is taken. It contains the philosophical analysis of consequences of technical progress – social and cultural, ecological and anthropological. Feature of the given work that it, despite publication time, contains the predictions that came true concerning negative consequences of technologisation the nature and society. Denying positive results of technical progress, the philosopher called in question even such its advantages as simplification of human work or increase of a standard of living. It is possible to track at Friedrich Jünger origin of the expanded treatment of the technique seeing in it universal social-cultural code of work of the person with an environment. Friedrich Jünger has shown ecological and anthropological problems of technogenic civilisation. The technique is a rationalisation of labour processes. It maintains not only the nature: The person becomes raw materials. The person who has seized technique, turns to its servant and is compelled to submit to its laws. Poverty, confirms Friedrich Jünger, will remain at all forms of the device of economy as it is inevitably generated by rationalism of technical thinking. Not errors of separate people lead the civilization to catastrophe, but the principle underlying technical progress. The conclusion is that given works concern nonclassical philosophical rationality. The same type, proceeding from criteria of nonclassical philosophy, is inherent also in philosophy of technology as a whole. It is shown that base philosophical concepts of philosophy of technology laying in the basis, are the following: refusal of naturalistic installation and the thesis about modeling of the world by the subject; refusal of attempts of construction of uniform rational model of the world and of rationalization of technical activity of the person; understanding of interosculation of the subject and object; understanding of technology as uncontrollable elements, instead of obedient tool; introduction in frameworks of research of socio-historical aspects of the investigated phenomenon. It shows that the philosophy of technology could appear only after the statement in philosophy of these principles, that is after transition to a nonclassical step of its development. Having arisen simultaneously with philosophical researches of language and mentality, the philosophy of technique ascertained, that all these displays of essence of the person do not depend directly on its will, submit to own laws and demand from the person of studying and even the adaptation. Considered work by Friedrich Jünger serves here as a vivid example. Inevitable transformations of philosophy of technology at transition to a postnonclassical stage of its development deserve the further research on a wide background of the general condition of modern philosophy.

Keywords: technique, philosophy of technique, nonclassical philosophy, technical progress, technogenic civilization, ecological crisis, Friedrich Jünger

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-111-124

 

 

EPISTEMOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES


D. Dubrovsky. The critical analysis the Penrose–Hameroff theory of consciousness. Part 1

It has been over 20 years since the theory of consciousness Penrose–Hameroff was launched. During this time it has not received significant evidence and was subjected to a thorough critique by many prominent scientists. Insolvency of this theory was proclaimed by such authority as Stephen Hawking. Despite all this, Penrose–Hameroffs theory continues to appear in the scientific community and to be advertised in popular literature as a major achievement of consciousness studies. This situation prompts a detailed review and additional critical analysis of the theory of the Penrose–Hameroff. It is understood that one of the reasons for the “support” of this theory is that its co-author and principal founder is a prominent scientist of our time, a mathematician and a specialist in the field of cosmology and astrophysics, Sir Roger Penrose. The article discusses in detail the basic tenets of the theory, the essence of which is associated with the operation of "objective reduction» (OR) as a quantum computing in the brain microtubules. It has been shown that the basic provisions of the theory is based on a number of Penrose’s hypotheses about the future physical theories, which are yet to be created to achieve a quantum-mechanical explanation of consciousness and brain activity. A critique by such experts as A. Shimoni, N. Cartwright, S. Hawking that appeared soon after the appearance of the theory is considered. We should underline special importance of the critical arguments of S. Hawking. He makes a number of reasons, from the standpoint of quantum mechanics. They imply that the objective reduction of the wave function as a form of decoherence can occur through interaction with environment factors or due to fluctuations of space-time. Therefore there is no need to bring order to explain quantum gravity. Especially since according to Penrose, the objective effect of the reduction is so small that it can not be experimentally separated from decoherence caused by interaction with the environment. Hawking stressed that Penrose leaves aside the key questions of the theory of mind about the specific properties of consciousness (what we call in the philosophical language “subjective reality” and associate with the problem of “other minds”). The article underlines the high relevance of the problem of consciousness in modern conditions, discusses methodological issues of constructing a theory of consciousness and related philosophical problems. It is shown that the failure of physicalist approach to the explanation of consciousness is also seen from the standpoint of quantum mechanics. Over the past 20 years, science has made a huge step forward. This applies not only to the biological disciplines, information and cognitive technologies, but to the physics itself, the development of nanotechnology and the whole NBICS convergence system. But all this did not affect in any significant degree of speculation and conceptual problems of “theory” of the Penrose–Hameroff. No “fundamentally new OR-theory” has appeared, no new laws of physics were discovered, whuch, as Penrose hoped, would confirm his hypothesis. To a thorough critical arguments against the theory of Penrose–Hameroff discussed in the article, we can add a number of other counter-arguments, also concerning experimental base of Hameroff research, that will be presented in the second part of the article.

Keywords: consciousness, subjective reality, physical, mental, information, protomental, quantum mechanics, the superposition, objective reduction (OR), theory of mind, nervous system, the brain

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-125-136


K. Ocheretyany. Delegated perception: technical modification of sensory experiences

The article describes the modification of sensual experience in human culture. Since a human is not only a being that has an organic body, but also a being that has an inorganic body (that means arsenal of the technical means used by him determine his life sometimes even more stronger than his biological structure) the sensuality of the human rooted in his biological nature receives the articualisation in technological samples. By means of the technology equipment, be it even primitive technology of imitation animals for the sake of survival or the developed craft art, or even machine-mechanic and computer-digital technology, the human creates first of all himself, implements himself into reality. Changes of sensuality forms are parallel to the change of technologies, mainly of record, storages and broadcasts of information technologies. Supplementing and transforming each other the technician of the oral story, technology of the letter, optical media technologies (in the widest range from scientific devices to the photo and television), modern interactive digital technologies (even computer games) lay borders of the sensual experience available to the human: borders habitual and clear – what orients it in the world. In article the method of historical and conceptual reconstruction is used: specific historical examples act at the same time as semantic models within which demonstration and interpretation of how the technicians used by the person modified his sensual experience is performed. To deliver a problem of technological registration and expression of sensual experience of the person in a historical and conceptual key means also to plan questions of what images, models, technicians, make habitable our bodies today – during the era of digital media, what world they create, by what rules perception, understanding and experience of this reality is performed? Vision of things is unavailable to us, they weren't as if far from us, out of that semantic aura which surrounds them, but the semantic aura, often blinds us imaginary self-evidence. As semantic completeness, as expression of reality in images, symbols, models, technology belongs to both our experience of the world and experience of ourselves. Today when even the biological body of the human becomes dependent on images and techniques of the bodies made and translate by technical devices, understanding of technology allows us to see another side of our experience, allows to clear our sources, formation history, intrinsic qualities and distinguish features. Technologies including modern digital media technologies, open for the human himself, acting as the instrument of self-knowledge. The human is in the dark of relative what feelings are available to him as they can be worried what they will be directed to until models of these feelings aren't shown to him by means of the technical devices used by him. The analysis of technology forms of sensual experience opens a way to understanding of a modern situation of expansion of mediareality that pretends to be our life-world.

Keywords: sensuality, mediareality, writing, photography, optical media, technology

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-137-151

 

 

THEORY AND METHODOLOGY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


A. Ivanova. Influence of the phenomenology of E. Husserl on social theory. Part 1

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 analyses 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 Martin 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

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2017-22-1-152-161

 

 

IN MEMORIAM


Aleksandr Stepanovich Karpenko (07.04.1946–07.02.2017)