A remarkable phenomenon in our present-day culture has been the broad interest shown in the history of Russian thought, which is continually, and sometimes even from unexpected quarters, showing itself to be of topical interest. Recently, and particularly in connection with the publication of the works of N. F. Fedorov, there has been an exchange of opinions in the pages of various journals with regard to the essence of his philosophical views, revealing not merely conflicting, but in a number of (...) cases mutually exclusive assessments of those views. (shrink)
In this article, cognitivism is understood as the view that the engine of human (individual and collective) action is the intentional, dispositional, or other mental capacities of the brain or the mind. Cognitivism has been criticized for considering the essence of human action to reside in its alleged source in mental processes at the expense of the social surroundings of the action, criticism that has often been inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy. This article explores the logical extent of the (...) critique of cognitivism, arguing that by positing collectively shared knowledge of criteria as the engine of human action many such critiques themselves display latent cognitivism. (shrink)
In this article, cognitivism is understood as the view that the engine of human action is the intentional, dispositional, or other mental capacities of the brain or the mind. Cognitivism has been criticized for considering the essence of human action to reside in its alleged source in mental processes at the expense of the social surroundings of the action, criticism that has often been inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy. This article explores the logical extent of the critique of cognitivism, (...) arguing that by positing collectively shared knowledge of criteria as the engine of human action many such critiques themselves display latent cognitivism. (shrink)
A range of multidisciplinarily arguments and observations can and have been employed to challenge the view that the human relationship to nature is fundamentally a cognitive matter of collectively held cultural ideas and values about nature. At the same time, the very similar cognitivist idea of collective sharing of conceptual schemes, normative orientations, and the like as the engine of collective action remains the chief analytic tool offered by many influential philosophical and sociological theories of collective action and human sociality (...) generally. Critically discussing in empirical as well as theoretical contexts the prospects of cognitivism to account for the human collective causing of environmental problems, the paper illustrates the deficiencies of cognitivism about collective action and discusses the challenges facing a different way forward. (shrink)
Critically discussing the causal social ontologies presented by Dave Elder-Vass and John Searle, the article argues that these views implausibly identify the causal ontological source of human sociality in collectively known, recognized and accepted statuses, criteria, norms and the like. This is implausible, for it ignores human sociality as occurring in temporally and spatially dispersed on-going processes of human interaction of differently placed, often unequal, and thus epistemically differently equipped actors in division of labour. Human scientific concepts are best seen (...) as picking out such complex and heterogeneous processes, not what the participating actors allegedly collectively know, accept or recognize about them. The article observes that similar appeals to collective recognition are also common in Wittgensteinian literature that, however, have claimed to reject the causal ontological view. It is argued that the ultimate value in rejecting the causal ontological view, and the accompanying idea of collective recognition, resides in that we thereby avoid epistemically homogenizing and over-intellectualizing the diverse mass of dispersed, often unequal, but interacting actors. (shrink)
In a range of human sciences, the human relationship to nature has often been viewed as driven fundamentally by religious, philosophical, political, and scientific ideas as well as values and norms about nature. As others have argued before, the emphasis on ideas and values faces serious problems in heeding the structural, socioeconomic quality of the human relationship to nature and thereby the deeply problematic structural character of the human environmental burden. At the same time, alleviating the structural environmental burden generated (...) by global industrial market society represents arguably the single most challenging task in addressing environmental problems. Critically explicating the tendency of our intellectual culture to produce ideological and psychologistic explanations of human ecologically consequential action, and human action more generally, can clarify the notion of the cultural causes of environmental problems and the character of the human collective causing them. Only a structuralist point of view can accommodate the diversity of our positions and perspectives toward nature in the global context in which environmental problems are caused. (shrink)
We give an explicit axiomatic formulation of the quantum measurement theory which is free of the projection postulate. It is based on the generalized nondemolition principle applicable also to the unsharp, continuous-spectrum and continuous-in-time observations. The “collapsed state-vector” after the “objectification” is simply treated as a random vector of the a posterioristate given by the quantum filtering, i.e., the conditioning of the a prioriinduced state on the corresponding reduced algebra. The nonlinear phenomenological equation of “continuous spontaneous localization” has been derived (...) from the Schrödinger equation as a case of the quantum filtering equation for the diffusive nondemolition measurement. The quantum theory of measurement and filtering suggests also another type of the stochastic equation for the dynamical theory of continuous reduction, corresponding to the counting nondemolition measurement, which is more relevant for the quantum experiments. (shrink)
In this paper we focus on what is referred to as the ‘mineness’ of experience, that is, the intimate familiarity we have with our own thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Most accounts characterize mineness in terms of an experiential dimension, the first-person givenness of experience, that is subsumed under the notion of minimal self-consciousness or a ‘minimal self’. We argue that this account faces problems and develop an alternative account of mineness in terms of the coherence of experiences with what we (...) label an ‘embodied biography’. Building on a near consensus among consciousness researchers over the function of consciousness as integrating infor- mation, we argue that the phenomenology of mineness consists in the absence of any further thought on top of the experience itself. Finally we argue that this non-phenomenological account of mineness fits well with existing data on pathologies of mineness such as delusions of thought insertion. (shrink)
The so-called epistemological turn of the Descartes-Locke-Kant tradition is a hallmark of modern philosophy. The broad family of normativism constitutes one major response to the Cartesian heritage building upon some version of the idea that human knowledge, action and sociality build fundamentally upon some form of social agreement and standards. Representationalism and the Cartesian picture more generally have been challenged by normativists but this paper argues that, even where these challenges by normativism have been taken to heart, our intellectual culture (...) remains fundamentally epistemic in certain problematic senses. Two problems are highlighted: first, normativism remains functionally Cartesian, for human action and sociality appear as processes driven by the shared understandings by competent contributors, and second, normativism is unable to account for forms of human action and sociality other than those occurring in the relatively small worlds of normatively regulated conceptual spaces of mutual access and listening. These points are illustrated by an applied discussion of the blind spots of normativist accounts of the emerging environmental and the on-going economic crises. (shrink)
This problem is not a new one, but it is hardly likely that anyone will contend that it is not timely. It is all the more important because entirely too little attention has hitherto been given, in our schools and higher educational institutions, to visual and aesthetic education. Yet for the man of today visual culture is not the least bit less important than the culture of verbal communication, including that in written form, to which considerable attention is given throughout (...) one's school years. (shrink)
From the editors. Our society, too, is apparently not uninterested in problems associated with such mysterious phenomena of the human psyche as clairvoyance, telepathy, and telekinesis. Expectations and hopes with regard to psychosurgical intervention on the human organism thrive; ideas of reincarnation and life after death, the interaction of our civilization with supposed inhabitants and civilizations of the Universe , the influence of the natural-cosmic environment on human destiny , or, on the contrary, man's independence of natural laws are widespread. (...) The corpus of these ideas has a life of its own , is becoming institutionalized, is successful in lobbying for its interests, and is becoming an influential force in society, generating a unique emotional atmosphere that combines fear of the future with hopes that fate is more favorable to man than would be warranted from the picture of the world painted by modern science. (shrink)
Nikolai Alekseevich Umov , a professor at Moscow and New Russian universities, Russia's first theoretical physicist and a mathematical philosopher, according to N. E. Zhukovskii's definition, developed a genuinely ecological philosophy, which is usually included in the philosophy of Russian cosmism. He made the first global forecast1 that took into account the finiteness of resources on earth, population growth, and food reserves.
V. I. Lenin made an outstanding contribution to the growth of materialist dialectics as a science of development. He defended and provided comprehensive validation for the Marxist theory of development, and enriched it with propositions and conclusions corresponding to the new historical epoch. In the present article we analyze a number of Lenin's ideas having tremendous importance to the further elaboration of the Marxist theory of development.
The need for new models of social development capable of increasing the resilience of society and of counteracting the destructive processes that ruined a once-powerful state edifice has led to an interest in Eurasianism-a philosophical-historical, culturological, and intellectual-political movement that arose in Russian émigré circles in the early 1920s. Eurasianism made itself known by the publication in 1921 in Sofia of a collection with the symbolic title Exodus to the East [Iskhod k Vostoku]. The initiators of this work were the (...) economist and geographer P.N. Savitskii, the linguist N.S. Trubetskoi, the theologian and philosopher G.V. Florovskii, and the art critic P.P. Suvchinskii. The legal scholar N.N. Alekseev, the historian and philosopher L.P. Karsavin, the historian G.V. Vernadskii, and other eminent Russian émigré scholarly and cultural figures also took part in the movement. (shrink)
The emergence of the two great late modern crises—economic and environmental—has prompted calls for a return to Marx. This article describes a Marxian account of the 2008 economic crisis relating it to the phenomena of job polarization, de-industrialization, the decline of the middle class, and political populism in Europe and elsewhere. These are argued to spring from political mobilization due to certain kinds of capability deprivations as understood in Amartya Sen’s capability approach. The article demonstrates the continued relevance of Marx (...) for philosophy of the social sciences as well as for a better understanding of the future challenge of maintaining societal stability in the West. (shrink)
Cartesian representationalism and the Enlightenment heritage more broadly continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the 21st-century human scientific theory and practice. This introduction to a special section on the topic surveys some aspects of that heritage.
We describe how the choice of an appropriate (“physical”) gauge leads to the solution of a nonperturbative problem in quantum electrodynamics: dynamical chiral symmetry breaking in QED in a constant magnetic field.
In the first section of this paper I argue that the main reason why Daniel Dennett’s Intentional Systems Theory (IST) has been perceived as behaviourist or antirealist is its inability to account for the causal efficacy of the mental. The rest of the paper is devoted to the claim that by emending the theory with a phenomenon called ‘empathic resonance’ (ER), it can account for the various explananda in the mental causation debate. Thus, IST + ER is a much more (...) viable option than IST, even though IST + ER assigns a crucial role to the phenomenology of agency, a role that is incompatible with Dennett’s writings on consciousness. (shrink)