On actions and intentions of the historian of philosophy in past and present
History of philosophy cannot be immune to change. The author of the present paper attempts to outline its immediate future. Whereas formerly only a potential continuity could be attributed to its subject matter, now it has become an in actu one. The present-day information and communications milieu involves the “death of the history of philosophy” in its traditional meaning. This statement must be understood, however, only as a symbolic representation of the changing paradigm. There remains a demand for the history of philosophy, only the way it is practiced gets changed in accordance with the new mode and structure of the subject matter: everyone now becomes one’s own helmsman in the ocean of content and determines for oneself the course of motion, both toward the past and toward the future. Keywords: history of philosophy, potential and actual continuity, changing paradigm, information and communications milieu.
Science and philosophy of free will
It is often remarked that mechanistic and deterministic forms of explanation found in modern science have become characteristic of western thought as a whole. Yet the western Enlightenment project has been, and remains, the use of knowledge of nature in order to instruct people to live wisely, in accord with nature. In this paper, the author considers the apparent contradiction in enlightened western thought between free will and determinism. He suggests that we should recognize a long western tradition of understanding rooted in belief in the freedom of human action rather than in the mechanistic operations of nature. Any discussion of contrast between East and West must take account of the western argument and diversity of belief rather than any supposed monolithic western position. This point is illustrated with aspects of the literature on free will (drawing in the examples of Dostoevsky, Nietzsche and Bergson). Keywords: determinism, free will, Enlightenment, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Bergson.
What kind of political culture is needed by the civil society?
The present paper brings together the ideas expressed by V.M.Mežuev, M.M.Fedorova and A.A. Kara-Murza on the panel entitled “Philosophy in the public space” and attempts to delineate the principles which determine philosopher’s approach to the theories of social science. Particular attention is given the concepts of mixed political cultures and complex societies. The author seeks to reveal the connection between development and democracy; she also stresses the importance of the analysis of public sphere in mass societies. Keywords: political culture, civil culture, rational activist model, model of mixed political cultures and stable democracy, inequality balancing, mass societies.
Miguel de Beistegui
The question of desire in French phenomenology
The author summarizes the results of the significant theoretical advances achieved in respect to the “passionate”, or “suffering”, dimension of human existence, both in its egoist (Husserl, Sartre, Renaud Barbaras) and its ethical variant (Lévinas). The conclusion arrived at is that existence is invariably understood as being humiliated, either by an authoritative Other (as in the first aforementioned case) or by a weak one (as in the second case). To blame are the fundamental premises of phenomenology as such in that it typically connects desire with intentionality. Keywords: human reality, passions, predestination of desire, limit, Sartre, Lévinas, Husserl.
Potentially “human”: Paolo Virno and the media
The paper explores how the media theories which tend to avoid touching on the realm of political utterances complement the new approaches in political anthropology that shun the category of “mediation”. An example of the latter attitude one finds in Paolo Virno. Representatives of both trends are forced to recur to certain patterns in anthropology which they recast anew under the constraints of defining the “human” through the technological (for media theorists, it is the danger of an anthropogenic technological milieu structuring the manifestations of the “human”; for Virno, it is the danger of mechanization of the “highest manifestations of humanity”, such as the social intellect and language, being alienated at a biological level). Keywords: mediation, potentiality, transitional form, visible thought, real abstraction, transduction, Simondon, Virno.
How philosophy works: a social perspective
Philosophy exerting social influence: is it an impossible dream or a real possibility, or merely an illusory problem? Is philosophy expected to influence society in the same direct way as, for instance, the appearance of computers and other high technologies did? One can hope to provide answers to this and similar questions if one takes into account the fact that the philosophies come to be invariably as certain special events in the networks of human research practices or the practices of self-awareness. Keywords: research practices networks, philosophy as event, social meaning of philosophy.
Thierry de Duve
Avant-garde and the “loss of craftsmanship”: an easy explanation
In this paper, Thierry de Duve proceeds from the opinion shared by both Clement Greenberg and Theodor Adorno, that the artistic avant-garde, in the first place, specifically belongs to the western civilization, whereas other civilizations are ignorant of it; secondly, that the avant-garde does not give up aspiring to create “great art” even under the most hostile circumstances. The author tries to clarify what the “loss of craftsmanship”, which, on the first glance, is characteristic of avant-garde, actually is. Keywords: avant-garde, Thierry de Duve, Clement Greenberg, Theodor Adorno, “loss of craftsmanship”
Avant-garde. The problem of naming
The author proposes to consider the problem of naming an artistic event an avant-garde one from the perspective of Wittgenstein’s philosophical strategy which consists in replacing the search for the essential truth of a phenomenon with the latter’s “graphic” demonstration. Instead of inquiring into the deepest meaning of the word “avant-garde” it suffices, according to Wittgenstein, to number the contexts in which it is used and to delineate the boundaries beyond which the term “avant-garde”ceases to function and its usage in language constructions becomes unacceptable. Making up a grammar of the term “avantgarde” may help to clarify its idea. Keywords: avant-garde, the problem of naming, definition of art, philosophical grammar, language games, family resemblance, forms of life.
On the problematic of Darstellung in “The Literary Absolute” by JeanLuc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe
The author considers “The Literary Absolute” by Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe from the viewpoint of the problematic of artistic cognition. He analyzes the way early Romantic aesthetics is treated in that work and, by explicating the notion of Darstellung, which is shown to be one of the key concepts for this particular context, reveals certain pivotal features of artistic cognition that distinguish it from both scientific and ordinary cognition. Keywords: artistic cognition, artistic representation, literary image, Darstellung, Vorstellung, Dichtung, early German Romanticism, imagination, fragmentary writing, eidetic memory studies.
Innovative complexity from the standpoint of enactivism
The phenomenon of innovative complexity is under consideration in this article. The methods applied are based on contemporary theory of complex adaptive systems as well as on the conception of enactive cognition (enactivism) in cognitive science and in non-classical epistemology. From this methodological point of view, one can assert that properties of a complex system and of a medium in which it is built in and within which it functions, mutually determine each other. Complexity, emergence, activity, innovation potential of the system and of its medium are reciprocal properties which appear in their interaction. The system is determined by the medium and creates its own medium which, in its turn, influences backwards on the system and constructs it. Keywords: autopoiesis, coevolution, complexity, emergence, enactivism, innovation, nonlinearity, self-organization, system.
Ivan Luppol: a Renaissance man in the grip of the Stalin’s regime
The paper offers an overview of the life of Ivan Luppol, fellow of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, one of the founders of the Institute of Philosophy and head of the Department of history of philosophy, based on archive documents and publications from the 1920s and 1930s. In appendix there are reproduced the documents illustrating Luppol’s election to full membership of the Academy. Keywords: the school of Deborin, Institute of Philosophy, Ivan Luppol, Stalin repressions.