Institute of Philosophy
Russian Academy of Sciences

  Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2018, Vol. 23, No. 1
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Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2018, Vol. 23, No. 1




“Is the truth possible in humanities?”. Papers of the “round table”. Part 2

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 participant 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? During the discussion different answers to these questions are provided.

Keywords: truth, humanities, objectivity, knowledge, reality, realism, constructivism

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-5-28


Alexander V. Mikhailovsky. Engineering activity and technological “form of life”

While engineers play one of the main roles in the advanced industrial society, they also develop technologies and design our future. Yet, in contemporary philosophy, culture and engineering are usually discussed separately, engineering knowledge and education are usually contrasted with the socio-humanitarian knowledge. This can be dealt with using a “value-sensitive design” approach, which is explored through creativity, intentions and expectations. Therefore, this paper intends to overcome the opposition between technology and culture and provides a description of the engineer as an original technological “form of life”, not as a social and professional group. It first addresses E. Spranger’s idea of “forms of life”, which are a mode of conceiving a culture that arose at the turn of the 20th century in conjunction with phenomenology. A set of theoretical resources of sociological thought (H. Freyer) and German engineering philosophy of technology (F. Dessauer, M. Schröter, H. Hardensett) is further proposed to deal with the domination of economic rationality (or pseudo-economic pragmatism) and profile the type of engineer, which cannot be reduced to the “value-neutral” type of the “technician” or “technologist”. This paper focuses on the structure of the project activity as a particular modern “form of life“. It examines the type of engineer as homo creator, which is described as the dominant type in the advanced industrial society. Although engineering activity produces material things or artefacts, still it has chiefly immaterial nature as far as includes projecting, planning, organizing and other intellectual activities. Investigation, development, production as integral parts of engineering are always dependent on systems of market, political decision-making, cultural values, traditions and images of everyday life, i. e. incorporated within the life-world. In this regard, engineers don’t form the “technosphere“ but rather create guidelines for action by integrating concrete values of man’s life-world into technologies (for example, innovations and sustainable development). Integration of technology and culture proceeds not externally but within the project activity which provides an opportunity to implement the concrete technical form of life and transform life-worlds of contemporary industrial societies. The principal hypothesis is that the activity of engineering, which produces technology is not a variation of the instrumental reason but the expression of the infinite creative freedom implemented in the European culture. It is pointed out that the compensative function of technology (Mangeltheorie) shall be called into question and replaced by the notion of technology as “optimation” (Optimierungstheorie). I claim that technology produces surplus possibilities which surpass all imagination. According to Dessauer, technology can be conceived real being from ideas and participation in divine creation (Weiterschöpfung). The engineering inventions and the technological transformation of the world make us aware of escalation, innovation and crossing of space and time borders which allow the technological spirit to unfold the perfect technological universe.

Keywords: project activity, engineering activity, philosophy of technology, technological form of life, technology and the lifeworld, F. Dessauer, H. Dingler, H. Hardensett, E. Spranger, M. Schröter

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-29-42

Alexander I. Prokhorov. Knowledge act and its modal analysis. Elicitation of E. Husserl’s semantic theory preconditions

The paper considers the scientific knowledge conception suggested by E. Husserl in his “Logic Investigations”, volume 1. The concept of “disciplinarity” is applied to describe scientific knowledge as a phenomenon. A knowledge act is recognized as a constitutive element of the disciplinarity. Scientific knowledge acts are spread inside the disciplinary field in appliance with the evidence principle. Structure of a knowledge act situated among other acts inside the disciplinary field is homogeneous to structure of modal relations in categorical system elaborated by I. Kant. The modal analysis shows how individual knowledge acts are connected with nascence of science discipline conceptual framework. Therefore it lets to express the structure level of relations between theoretical, normative and practical disciplines. Common principal conditions are given for theoretical consideration of empirical scientific material. The connection between the concept of science as a whole and particular scientific disciplines is described. Science is described to be the principle of the evidence conditions organization, providing the knowledge acts production. The concept of norm is analyzed and it is shown how the inversion of the fundamental norm lets to transfer from theoretical to practical scientific disciplines. The knowledge act is considered as a semiotic object, to which the results of modal analysis may be applied. Interaction between theoretical and practical is introduced as a particular form of communication. It does not only open “from the inside” the expediency of phenomenological reduction as a method, but also clarifies some problems of Husserl’s semantics, which were explicated later in the second part of “Logical Investigations”. In particular, the question of “sense” and “meaning” equivalence may be interpreted by the introduced method. Conceptual interrelation between expression and signification is also described.

Keywords: Husserl, knowledge, modality, phenomenology, semantics, semiotics, philosophy of language

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-43-53


Ivan A. Karpenko. The philosophical interpretation of modern approaches to creating the quantum theory of gravity

The article is devoted to the philosophical interpretation of the several approaches to the creation of a quantum theory of gravity. The analysis of the key aspects of the General theory of relativity and the Standard Model, the clarification of the relevant concepts contents (gravity, particle, field, space, etc.) are conducted for this purpose. We establish the causes and origins of the creation of the quantum theory of gravity problematical character, give the interpretation of the existing problems. Therefore, the article shows a fundamental difference between realities described by the two leading modern physical theories. Classical science is based on common sense and intuitive representability, while the microcosm cannot be directly observed and therefore is out of the representable sphere. This is probably the part of the reason for the incompatibility of the equations of quantum theory and general relativity. On the basis of the philosophical analysis of the results of some modern theoretical physics concepts, the article presents the direction of creation a quantum theory of gravity. This direction appears to be the combination of the consequences of several concepts of the string theory and the holographic principle to the properties of the quantum-mechanical entanglement. The phenomenon of nonlocality is discussed separately. Historically, it has been considered axiomatic that the world is organized locally – i. e. there can not be interactions (without intermediaries) through empty space. In Newton's theory of gravitation this has become the main problem: the gravitational force has had no intermediaries (and has also propagated instantly). Any remote bodies have interacted with each other not in a local way. In fact, it has been a mathematical challenge to the physics of that time. Later the problem has been solved in a positive way: the gravitational interaction propagates with a finite velocity – the speed of light, and thus the inconvenient question of instantaneity has been solved. The question of the absence of intermediaries has been also solved – they are gravitons, but the hypothetical ones (although, recently recorded gravitational waves have become indirect confirmation of this – the perturbations of the gravitational field). However, nonlocality has returned not for long. Modern quantum field theory is nonlocal. Moreover, it is nonlocal in both ways - both the time costs and the concept of physical intermediaries are unnecessary for the transfer the interaction. In the strongest sense of nonlocality we are talking about the fact that the space itself is nonlocal (this becomes possible if the multidimensionality is allowed). In the quantum field theory nonlocality is a consequence of the quantum entanglement. The entanglement is most likely dually connected with gravity, and the non-locality is a characteristic of the multidimensional space. The problem lies in the fact that this result is not literally applicable to our reality and describes the possible worlds (in the context of the diversity of the laws of physics). The article establishes that, despite the mentioned, the theory remains scientific and still appears to be a good approximation to the observed physical reality.

Keywords: philosophy of science, quantum gravity, cosmology, general relativity, quantum field theory, holographic principle, string theory, AdS/CFT correspondence

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-54-67


Rinat M. Nugayev. The genesis of general relativity: efficacious unification of theoretical schemes of Abraham, Nordstrom and Einstein

The aim of the paper is to amend the received view on the general relativity (GR) genesis by taking into account some recently discussed history of science data. It is contended that the relations between the GR and its ingenious rivals were far more complicated in 1907–1915 than it may seem from the pestered “truth-falsity” dilemma, so that one can contemplate the interlacement and interpenetration of rival “paradigms” into each other. The genesis of GR as an instance of an epistemological model of mature theory change that hinges upon ‘old’ theories encounter and interaction is elucidated. The epistemological model fits some achievements of current philosophy and history of science and deals with mature theory dynamics and structure. The model asserts that the history of physics does not advance through the creation ex nihilo of new paradigms, but rather through long-term processes of reconciliation, interpenetration and intertwinement of “old” research traditions. I strengthen arguments in favour of the tenet that the dynamic creation of the GR had been continually governed by internal tensions between two research traditions, that of special relativity andNewton’s gravity. The encounter of the traditions, their deep interpenetration and fanciful intertwinement entailed construction of the hybrid domain at first with an irregular set of theoretical models. The invention of relativistic theory of gravity had commenced with the crossbred object construction in Einstein’s 1907 paper, i. e. with the implantation of mass-energy relation into the theory of gravity. The crossbred object entry – the introduction of inertial and simultaneously gravitational mass – led to a penetration of SR methods into Newtonian theory of gravity and to a reverse penetration of Newtonian gravity methods into the SR. As a result, the both theories were radically rebuilt from within and the corresponding changes in both of them were set up. The changes were epitomized in the peculiar sequences of crossbred models, the byproducts of the transformation performed. Step by step, on eliminating the contradictions between the models contrived, the hybrid set was put into order. It is maintained that one of the reasons for the GR victory over the rival programmes of Abraham and Nordström was a synthetic character of Einstein’s programme. As a result of reconciling and amalgamating the “physical” and “mathematical” approaches, embodied in Abraham, Einstein and Nordström’s crossbred theoretical models , Einstein was able to explain at last the anomalous motion of Mercury. Einstein’s programme did supersede the rival ones because it did deftly assimilate sober premises of the Nordström programme as well as judicious presuppositions of the programme of Abraham. In particular, Einsteinian programme’s convincing victory over its rivals became possible since Einstein had put forward as a basic synthetic principle the Principle of Equivalence.

Keywords: Einstein, Abraham, Nordström, general relativity, nonmetric theories, hybrid models

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-68-78

Vladimir I. Kurashov. Supramolecular and nanochemistry: philosophical-methodological analysis

Traditional chemistry has been and is primarily concerned with the planning and implementation of synthesis of compounds at the macroscopic level of viewing the object. The subject of chemistry and related areas has expanded significantly from the onset and development of supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry. Nanoscience is a purposeful cognitive activity that develops system knowledge about dimensional phenomena associated with material formations from units to hundreds of nanometers: their structure, methods of studying and controlling, methods of obtaining and practical application. Supramolecular chemistry is the chemistry of multimolecular, or polymolecular, stable formations created on the basis of multicenter non-covalent interactions. The peculiarity of nanoscience, in particular nanochemistry, is the creation of methods for studying, controlling and/or manipulating matter up to single atoms and molecules. Supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry are the result of the discovery of a new field of chemistry and related sciences in the processes of interrelations of scientific and technological knowledge. The situation at the turn of XX–XXI centuries, the characteristic feature of which is the dimensional effect of the nanoscale, similar to the situation of the turn of the XIX–XX centuries, when quantum mechanics was born, whose characteristic feature are, similarly, the dimensional effects. Supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry expand the knowledge about the limits of knowledge of the world and the diversity of physical structures. The above-named trajectories of science and technology development have opened new horizons for a variety of trends for development in historical and scientific, philosophical and methodological research in the areas of convergence of sciences, technologies and multifactorial Nano-Bio-Information-Cognitiv-Sociohumanistic (NBICS) processes in general. As a result, in our time, there has been a deepening of the scientific and/or philosophical problem of the “strength of the weak”, as well as the expansion of knowledge about selective actions and recognition in the interaction of systems of different nature and different levels of organization. All this is formally formulated and reinterpreted for systems of inorganic, organic and social worlds, which leads to a new formulation of the question of the finiteness and infinity of the world's material diversity in the context of new data of modern natural science.

Keywords: convergence of sciences and technologies, NBICS-processes, interplay of sciences, supramolecular chemistry, nanochemistry, molecular recognition and transport processes, dimensional effects, subject and history of natural science, philosophy and methodology of science

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-79-87


Suren T. Zolyan, Renad I. Zhdanov. Genome as a semio-informational phenomenon

The article addresses the possibilities of linguistic (semiotic) description of the genetic code. Typically, molecular genetics is defined as a branch of biology that investigates on the molecular level the patterns and mechanisms of creating, processing, transmitting and storing information. The substantial similarity between language and genetic information processing has been intuitively recognized since genetics was founded, and many scholars have noted the possibility of considering genes and genomes as texts or languages. The assumption that the bio-molecular processes are a special type of informational ones entails that they must share the most important characteristics common to all forms of communication. We shall intend to demonstrate that as such common ground, the textual organization of signals should be mentioned and the idea of the textual processing of the genetic information would be a useful tool for the explication of the basic functional characteristics of its structuring. The distinction between a biochemical substance and a semiotic form allows to distinguish and describe relationships that are characteristic not so much for biological as for sign systems (dichotomy of language and speech, arbitrariness of sign, contextual dependence, polysemy and homonymy, synchrony and diachrony). The principle of context sensitivity allows describe cases when biochemically same sequence of nucleotides, depending on its location, acquires a different meaning and performs a different function. In particular, some essential features of gene expression common with human reading can be revealed: this is a faculty to identify the biochemical sequences based on their function in an abstract system and distinguish between type and its contextual sensitive variants (tokens) of the same type. Thus the processing of genetic information is understood as some operations on text – as a writing, reading, and editing. This allows to describe genetic information as a dual – biochemical and semiotic entity, and apply as a complement to existing biochemical methods also a semiotic apparatus. The semiotic-informational approach to genome allows to reveal new forms of ordering of genetic information and to find a systemic explanation for a number of phenomena previously considered as deviations.

Keywords: genetic information, genetic code, genome, semiotics

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-88-102

Vadim A. Emelin. From Neo-Luddism to Transhumanism: singularity and vertical progress or identity loss

One can distinguish two extremities in relation to modern technologies. The first is Neo-Luddism that implies their negation and representation as a hostile force to man, which should be struggled against. The second is transhumanism that finds a panacea to the humankind in solving all the problems on the basis of technology development and rests upon the maximum convergence of human and machine minds. Both of the views imply a radical change of either standard of living or the existing identity of an information society individual. This article discusses a problem peculiarity of modern Neo-Luddites’ viewpoints. At that, if one does not take into consideration the extreme displays of fight against machines, than this is rather about reasonable fears of unpredictable consequences of the unrestrained and uncontrolled process of inclusion of technologies in the human vital activity. One disputes a “rose-coloured view” of the future triumph of technological development that must bring the man if not just immortal, then an utmost lifespan. As an ideal, it must become a point of technological singularity, that is, the man’s transformation into other, cyborg-like, machine property. The popularity of the ideas of life extension is quite explainable and is not subject to criticism. But disregard of ethic and ethnic problems as well as problems of overpopulation of the planet and scantiness of resources makes transhumanists’ outlooks, if not utopian, then at least, rather ambiguous. As well as any immortalist of those who have promised immortality, take the latter to an unclear future speculating on ever-increasing interest to this theme. Evaluating the approaches by Neo-Luddites and transhumanists as radical, one proposes to start moving to the in-between position. It provides the working-out of a commensurate and “peaceful” coexistence of man and technologies in order to save the generic entity of a human and exclude shocks to the identity.

Keywords: identity, information society technologies, transhumanism, Neo-Luddism, cyborgization, immortalism, technological singularity

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-103-115


Anna V. Mayakova. Complexity quality as relevant category of post-nonclassical philosophy and science

The modern understanding of complexity theory gives it a functional meaning of a way of dialectic intensification that provides a chance to talk about some new methodological processes of socio-cultural and socio-historical processes of learning and cognition, as well as human-dimension systems. The author suggests that we should introduce a new category such as “complexity quality”, reflecting a post-nonclassical understanding of a “quality” category from the perspective of complexity theory. This quality-study of complexity quality represents a category in the form of a complex system of multiple properties and characteristics, correlating in different ways on the basis of a systems approach by Hermann Haken. Thus, this quality-research justifies not only the introduction of complexity quality for assimilating quality by the theory of complexity, but the attachment of complexity quality to modern philosophy and science, and besides it’s not only a dialectical or practical category, but an independent system concept as well, which combines a lot of significations and functions.

Keywords: quality, complexity quality, complexity theory, dialectic, praxeology approach

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-116-127


Natalia N. Emelyanova. Scientific information in the mass media: characteristics of generation and production

The article is devoted to the problem of generation and production of scientific information in modern media. The focus is on methods of distortion of scientific information in the media, including those under the influence of Internet. The topic of perspective forms of interaction between science and the public and the problem of the negative impact of the Internet on the scientific community are considered too. One of the main paradoxes of the media environment is that the increase in communication channels and the improvement of the forms of information presentation associated with various graphic innovations do not directly lead to improving the general awareness of the audience. The aims of non-professional actors in the information and media space (state structures, big commercial companies, investment groups for stimulating of scientific developments, public and non-profit organizations) are analyzed in the formation of thematic blocks in the media in relation to science. In addition, the article identifies the main queries for the scientific information received (entertainment, emotionality, emphasis on personalities, interactivity), as well as new formats of publicity in the context of intensive interaction of the common man with technology in the urban environment (lecture-performance, science slam). The boom of sociocultural destructiveness, the mismatch of social roles and cultural ties, the unclearness of the formation of aesthetic ideals are all problems that lie outside the natural sciences and their possibilities. It is noted that as the social consequences of the development of technologies are most clearly manifested in the city and the urban environment, the communication potential of the humanities expands significantly and lies primarily in the field of ontological measurement of human relations with the technological environment.

Keywords: open science communications, scientific information, medialization of science

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-128-140

Evgeniy V. Maslanov. Crowdsourcing in science: a new element of scientific infrastructure

The article discusses the use of crowdsourcing technology, which is increasingly used by scientists and research and development units of corporations to attract non-professionals to research tasks. The use of this technology involves several risks. Today, the search for information on the Web is becoming more and more personalized, i.e. search algorithms are guided by the behavior of a particular network user. As a result, the search history affects the results. The non-professional's confidence in the data obtained by searching the network can affect the results of crowdsourcing projects. Search technology forms two types of knowledge used in research: those with a systemic character and situational ones. Active participation in crowdsourcing projects can lead to situational knowledge becoming part of the system knowledge of the project participant, as well as to situations in which part of the knowledge will be used only once. As a result of the use of the technology, a community of professionals can emerge, which, though not having formal institutional recognition, would possess sufficient competence to solve scientific and technical problems at a high professional level. Due to this technology, they can take part in solving puzzle problems, although it is unlikely to solve fundamental scientific and technical problems. As a result of using crowdsourcing technology, an array of "distributed knowledge" is created, which can be used by any participant in the project. However, this technology should not be considered as one of the steps to the formation of a collective subject of knowledge. Within the framework of scientific and technical projects, it is always under the close supervision of experts, and therefore it should rather be seen as a communicative platform. Crowdsourcing technology can become one of the elements of the scientific and technological infrastructure that facilitates the inclusion of the population in scientific, technical and innovation activities and become an important element in the formation of a knowledge society.

Keywords: crowdsourcing, Internet, knowledge in digital era, knowledge society

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-141-155 


Yulia V. Khen. Review of the International conference «Philosophy of biology in the new dialogue with nature. 90th Anniversary of Regina S. Karpinskaya (January the 30th, 2018, RAS Institute of Philosophy, Moscow)

The paper is an analytical review of the International Conference "Philosophy of biology in the new dialogue with nature”, organizedt by the sector of bio-and ecophilosophy of the Institute of philosophy January 30, 2018.

Keywords: evolution, ecology, genetics, methodology of science, adaptation, life

DOI: 10.21146/2413-9084-2018-23-1-156-162



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