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1. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Vladimir P. Filatov В.П. Филатов
Problems of Cognition in Karl Marx’s Works
Проблемы познания в работах Карла Маркса

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200 years have passed since the birth of Karl Marx, a century and a half since the publication of the first volume of “Capital”. The theory of Marx had a great impact on the development of socio-political thought and the course of history, his legacy remains rel­evant today for philosophy and a whole range of specific sciences. Marx’s ideas were repeatedly reviewed, subjected to reassess­ment, criticized and refuted, but they resisted all attempts to send them to the intellectual past. The central place in Marx’s works is occupied by a critical analysis of capitalist society, its history and prospects for development. However, Marx made a significant contribution to the theory of knowledge, to the analysis of the social nature of consciousness and knowledge. In this regard, his ideas attracted and continue to attract many researchers today. The article considers the assessments of Marx as a thinker and sci­entist, his social analysis of science and technology, the influence of his ideas on the development of Russian psychology.
panel discussion
2. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
William T. Lynch Уильям Линч
Imre Lakatos and the Inexhaustible Atom: The Hidden Marxist Roots of History and Philosophy of Science
Имре Лакатос и «неисчерпаемый атом»

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Recent work on Imre Lakatos’s missing Hungarian dissertation on the historical sociology of science sheds new light on his mature philosophy of science. Remembered primarily as an “internalist” defender of the autonomy of science, and a Cold Warrior in poli­tics, commentators have mistaken his contribution as primarily a rearguard action against the followers of Thomas Kuhn and the “externalists” influenced by Boris Hessen. It comes as a surprise, then, to find that he developed and retained a fully general soci­ology of scientific knowledge, with Marxist roots that articulated Lenin’s “inexhaustible atom.” He carried forward this emphasis on the fallible, changing, and incomplete nature of our engagement with the natural world by a dialectical account of how research programs advance and recede historically. In his effort to develop a synthesis of Popper and Kuhn, and via his engagement with Paul Feyerabend, he continued to develop a distinctly dialectical ap­proach to science.
3. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Vladimir N. Porus Владимир Натанович Порус
What do the Marxist “Dialectics of Cognition” and Lakatos’s “Sophisticated Falsificationism” Have in Common?
Что общего между марксистской «диалектикой познания» и «утонченным фальсификационизмом» Лакатоса?

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The article shows that Marxist dialectics and the social philosophy of science, whose influence was obvious in Imre Lakatos’s early philosophical experiments, underwent substantial reinterpretation during the mature period of his creative activity. Being implicit heuristic sources of his “sophisticated falsificationism” or methodology of scientific research programs, they take on a conceptual form in which they lose the “excess” of authentic contents. Therefore, the philosophical views of “mature Lakatos” may be called close to the Marxist philosophy of science only with many important reservations and specifications.
4. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Ilya T. Kasavin Илья Теодорович Касавин
Uniting the Cognitive and the Social: Lakatos Unmasked?
Объединяя когнитивное и социальное

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The proposed comment to the paper by W. Lynch provides another indirect argument in favor of the thesis about Lakatos’s hidden Marxist roots. The methodology of research programmes and the sociology of scientific knowledge (social epistemology) share a common object of criticism, and a constant opponent. Lakatos calls him the naïve falsificationist while a social epistemologist dubs him a metaphysical realist, or fact-objectivist. Both criticized the non-critical trust in scientific theories and facts as well as their reification though using different means: the internal dialectic of science’s development and the socio-communicative interpretation of scientific knowledge. Still, the differences between them like the differences between Lakatos’s and Feyerabend’s approaches are two ways of expressing the similar position based on acceptance of some non-dogmatic Marxist ideas.
5. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Lada V. Shipovalova Лада Владимировна Шиповалова
Contemporary Science Studies With or Without Hidden Marxist Roots?
Есть ли у современных исследований науки скрытые марксистские корни?

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This article describes the two possible consequences of referring to the Marxist roots of modern research in science to which V. Lynch puts attention. First, referring to various Marxist viewpoints, whether they put an emphasis on reflecting reality or on its social construction process, can contribute to current discussions concerning the status of representation in science. Second, the Marxist legitimization of scientific theory competition protects from judgmental relativism in science that may arise in case of the recognition of their proliferation. Moreover, the appeal to the roots reveals the intersections between various scientific studies, and therefore serves as a condition for their possible constructive interaction.
6. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Svetlana V. Shibarshina Светлана Викторовна Шибаршина
On Some Conceptual Background of Imre Lakatos’ Thought
О некоторых концептуальных основаниях идей Имре Лакатоса

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This paper comments on some problems accentuated in William T. Lynch’s work on the Marxist roots of Imre Lakatos’ history and philosophy of science. This is quite a significant and still debatable issue relating to the adequate interpretations of Imre Lakatos’ complete intellectual growth. Accordingly, any further exploration of the “deep structures” of his conceptual background may help gain a better understanding of his legacy. In this comment, I make a brief review of the studies on the pre-English roots of Lakatos’ theoretical schemes.
7. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
William T. Lynch Уильям Линч
The Challenge to Consensus: The Relevance of the Lakatos-Feyerabend Debate for Contemporary Science and Technology Studies
Консенсус под угрозой: о значении дискуссии Лакатоса и Фейерабенда для современных исследований науки и техники

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Responding to comments on “Imre Lakatos and the Inexhaustible Atom: The Hidden Marxist Roots of History and Philosophy of Science,” an argument is made for reviving a missed opportunity for integrating sociological and normative approaches to science. Lakatos’ mature philosophy of science, though jettisoning a political commitment to Marxism, retains a dialectical approach developed during his Hungarian career. Through his carefully crafted debate with Feyerabend, Lakatos continued to promote a dialectical approach that offers a useful model for integrating the history of science and normative assessments focused on the viability of approaches that challenge dominant perspectives.
epistemology and cognition
8. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Tom Rockmore Том Рокмор
Is Marx a Materialist?
Материалист ли Маркс?

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This paper examines the distinction between materialism (or realism) and idealism, which to the best of my knowledge all forms of Marxism regard as central to Marx as well as to Marxism. Materialism comes into ancient philosophy as a philosophical approach to philosophy of nature, which later becomes a philosophical alternative to idealism, and still later becomes a Marxist view of an extra-philosophical, scientific approach supposedly illustrated by Marx. The paper will review Marxist approaches to materialism in Marxism-Leninism and then in classical Marxism before turning to Marx, with special attention to the Paris Manuscripts. I will suggest that if “materialism” is understood in a standard manner as referring to the priority of matter as the main or even the sole explanatory element, then Marx’s alleged materialism is no more than a Marxist myth. I will further suggest that Marx is a materialist in another, non-standard sense of the term as concerns the focus on concrete, social problems.
9. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Elena O. Trufanova Елена Олеговна Труфанова
On Hegemony, Acceptance of the Differences and Social Construction of Knowledge
О гегемонии, признании различий и социальном конструировании знания

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The paper analyzes current situation in epistemology that is characterized by the appearance of the so called alternative epistemologies opposing the classical epistemology. The ties between alternative epistemologies and Karl Marx’ class consciousness concept and its development in the neo- and postmarxist works (by A.Gramsci, E.Laclau, Ch.Mouffe) is demonstrated. The research is focused on the concept of “false consciousness” that serves as a basis of the concepts of ideology and hegemony. The concept of hegemony in neo- and postmarxism is analyzed, it is shown how its application is reflected in the research of scientific knowledge: some authors claim that science is an agent of hegemony and it helps to maintain the illusion of the objectivity of the existence of certain phenomena. The proponents of this position – social constructionists, feminist philosophers et. al. – suggest to accept the equal value of the positions of different social groups each of which holds its own special discourse that helps to express the “knowledge” specific to this certain group. It is shown that such position sees “knowledge” as no longer universal, the knowledge is equaled to local understanding of the world. The conclusion is drawn that the position of K. Marx that gives basis to many claims of postmarxists and social constructionist is more favorable in comparison to them, because Marx whilst speaking of class consciousness assigns an important role to the individual subject. It allows to combine both universalistic understanding of knowledge and account not only for group differences, but for each individuality.
language and mind
10. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Karim Zahidi Карим Захиди
How to Leave Descartes Behind: On the Relevance of Marxism for Post-Cartesian Philosophy of Mind
Преодолевая Декарта

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Both mainstream cognitive science and analytic philosophy of mind remain wedded to the Cartesian picture of the mind as an isolated, self-sufficient, and constitutively individual phenomenon. However, recently approaches to the mind (e.g. extended mind thesis, enactivism) that depart from the standard view have emerged. Aunifying thread that runs through these approaches can be summed up in the slogan: “to understand mental phenomena one cannot do away with the environment”. Differences between these related views pertain to the strength of the modal operator “cannot”. On the strongest reading the slogan implies that the mind is constituted by the environment. While this interpretation is akin to Marx view on the constitution of consciousness, this link is overlooked in the literature. In this paper, I will argue that Marxists philosophical thinking about the mind, as exemplified by the activity approach, offers a sound philosophical basis for the further development of post-Cartesian views in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. Furthermore, I will argue that the materialistic method proposed by these thinkers is the most promising approach to the problem of naturalizing the mind.
11. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Chris Drain Крис Дрэйн
Cognition, Activity, and Content: A.N. Leontiev and the Enactive Origin of “Ideal Reflective Content”
Познание, деятельность и содержание

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According to Leontiev’s “activity approach,” the external world is not something available to be “worked over” according to a subject’s inner or “ideal” representations; at stake instead is the emergence of an “idealized” objective world that relates to a subject’s activity both internally and externally construed. In keeping with a Marxian account of anthropogenesis, Leontiev links the emergence of “ideality” with social activity itself, incorporating it within the general movement between the poles of ‘inner’ cognition and ‘external’ action. In this manner, Leontiev both parallels and goes beyond Hutto and Myin’s recent “enactivist” account of “content-involving” cognition, where representational thought depends on socio-cultural scaffolding and, as such, is uniquely human. What traditionally comes to be called representational content is for Leontiev the result of the transition from a primitive cognitive apparatus of “image-consciousness” to a one which is mediated by social activity. For the being endowed with “activity-consciousness,” mental content is something apprehended by assimilating “the objective world in its ideal form” [Leontiev, 1977, p. 189]. And the precondition for such assimilation is the apprehension of meanings from their origin in the social-material system of activity. The genesis of content-involving cognition is thus coeval with the development of socializing activity systems, replete with the external representations of values and norms as described in enactivist literature as publicly scaffolded symbol systems. Leontiev thus offers an anti-internalist account of cognition commensurate with Hutto and Myin but with the added dimension of a developmental scale of analysis with which to explain the origin of human-specific cognition.
12. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Juraj Halas Юрай Галас
Marxian “Abstraction” and Contemporary Philosophy of Science
Марксова «абстракция» и современная философия науки

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The method of “abstraction” had been the centerpiece of earlier attempts at founding a Marxist philosophy of science – from Engels to Soviet Marxism. This paper confronts Marx’s writings on abstraction with contemporary views of the method, stemming mostly from the analytic and (post-)empiricist traditions. In Section 2, I reconstruct the roles that abstraction was to play, according to Marx, in the construction of a scientific theory, focusing exclusively on his own writings. The analysis reveals certain rules, left mostly implicit in Marx, for the correct application of the method of abstraction. These are discussed in Section 3. The first rule states that concepts of the historically specific aspects of target systems (e.g., the capitalist economy) cannot be defined simply by means of transhistorical concepts. The second rule prohibits abstraction from the explanatorily relevant aspects which pertain, in Marx’s vocabulary, to the “essence” of the target system. In Section 3, I confront Marx’s notion of “abstraction” with contemporary statements on the method. It is shown that it covers both abstraction and idealization as understood in some modern accounts (notably, that of M. R. Jones). Under this approach, abstraction involves the tacit omission of properties, which are simply left unspecified. In contrast, idealization consists in the explicit counterfactual ascription of properties (and values of magnitudes). Finally, the representational goals pertaining to Marx’s “abstraction” are discussed, using distinctions due to M. Weisberg. It is shown that Marx was a proponent of “minimalist idealization”, focusing on the identification of causally relevant mechanisms that characterize all capitalist societies. I conclude with a suggestion for further research.
13. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Valentin A. Bazhanov Валентин Александрович Бажанов
Post-Soviet Marxism in the Soviet Era: Activity Approach to the Analysis of Science
Постсоветский марксизм в советскую эпоху

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Author discusses the specifics of the orthodox Marxist-Leninist philosophical principles in the context of ideological pressure in 1970–1980 s. He analyzes the concepts and approaches that have given rise to some new Post-Marxist ideas. He shows that the revision of the orthodox Marxism was possible exclusively due do the delicate usage of Marxist-Leninist conceptual background. He claims that it was necessary to in order to avoid accusations in revisionism and popularization of ideologically alien views. The author pays special attention to activity approach, which was represented in the works by I.S. Alexeev and M.A. Rozov. He argues that the development of this approach was one of the most significant achievements of non-orthodox Marxism in the Soviet era.
case-studies – science studies
14. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Gennady E. Gorelik Геннадий Ефимович Горелик
Hessen’s Explanation and the Needham Question, or How Marxism Helped to Put an Important Question but Hindered Answering It
Объяснение Гессена и вопрос Нидэма, или Как марксизм помог задать важный вопрос и помешал ответить на него

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Boris Hessen’s Marxist attempt to explain the origin of modern science helped Joseph Needham to come to his Grand Question. To make this heuristic question historically answerable it is extended in cultural space and time: What hindered Greco-Roman and Medieval science from making the next major step after Archimedes, and hindered Easterners from contributing to modern physics after Galileo up to the 20th century? Tо answer this question the key distinction between modern physics and pre-Galilean science is suggested: the right to invent “illogical” fundamental concepts, verifiable by experiment. The epistemological context of the Needham question and my “biblical” answer to it is discussed.
15. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Constantine D. Skordoulis Константин Скордулис
How Marxist History of Science Can Inform a Pedagogy of Science for Social Justice
Что марксистская философия науки может сказать о социальной справедливости в преподавании науки

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The scope of this paper is to examine the perspectives for a pedagogy of science for social justice situated in the framework of Marxism by proceeding to an analysis and a contemporary evaluation of the work of the scholars who are considered as the initiators of the Marxist history of science. In this paper therefore, I review N. Bukharin’s and B. Hessen’s seminal papers as presented in the 2nd International Congress of History of Science and Technology in 1931 in London. This Congress was marked by the appearance of the Soviet delegation influencing a generation of radical scientists in Britain with the most prominent figure being J. Bernal. I present J. Bernal’s views as developed in his most important work “The Social Function of Science” with an emphasis on his writings on science education and the role of science teachers for the emancipation of society. Finally, I present the work of the Austromarxist and member of the Left Vienna Circle E. Zilsel on “The Social Origin of Modern Science” contemplating on his work as an adult educator in the period that Vienna was governed by the Austrian Social Democratic Workers Party. Emphasis is placed on the role of science and education as a vehicle for raising proletarian self-awareness. The analysis of the legacies and works of these scholars of the Marxist tradition in the history of science shows that it can form the basis for a Marxist pedagogy of science that can change society and its practices in our epoch when education in science and pedagogy of science are considered one of the most important pillars of contemporary science policy.
interdisciplinary studies
16. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Álvaro Martins Siqueira Альваро Мартинc Секьера
Critical Realism and the Ontological Critique of Economics Methodology
Критический реализм и онтологическая критика методологии экономики

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The objective of this paper is to defend the importance of ontological critique of the mainstream economics. To do so, we examine the methodological arguments of Tony Lawson who, inspired by the critical realism philosophy, advocates in favor of realistic, non-deductive and ontology-aware economics to solve problems of contemporary economic theory. This article proposes that, although correct in the logic of its argument, Lawson’s critique of the mainstream is not able to explain the social reasons for its existence and reproduction. And if so, Lawson’s critique is not ontological. It can be stated that a project of generally reorienting economics methodology is impossible in case the social reason for its orthodox existence is maintained. Some substantial insights can be found in the Marx’s ontological critique of capitalism and also in the Critical Realism philosophy. Therefore, we propose an explanation for the enduring deductivism and empirical realism in economics from a Marxist perspective.
17. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Sergei N. Korsakov Сергей Николаевич Корсаков
The Floor is Given to Mr. Hessen
Слово товарищу Гессену

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The author presents the previously unknown text of the outstanding Soviet philosopher and historian of science Boris Mikhailovich Hessen. The author analyzes the report of Boris M. Hessen at the Second international Congress on the history of science and technology in London (1931). He considers as well some published works of B.M. Hessen, mainly his book on the philosophical interpretation of the theory of relativity. He argues that it is time to start introducing unpublished texts by B.M. Hessen into scientific circulation. This will make the study of his work more thorough and increase the reliability of conclusions made by specialists in Hessen’s legacy. This publication offers the reader the text of B.M. Hessen, extracted from the archive: the report of B.M. Hessen at a meeting of the Presidium of the Communist Academy about the trip to the London Congress.
18. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Boris M. Hessen Борис Михайлович Гессен
Speech at the Presidium Session of the Communist Academies. August 1, 1931
Выступление на заседании Президиума Коммунистической академии. 1 августа 1931 г

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B.M. Hessen’s speech at the meeting of the Presidium of the Communist Academy on August 1, 1931 is a report of his trip to London for the Second International Congress on the history of science and technology. During this meeting several presentations were made by the members of the Soviet delegation. In this report Boris M. Hessen tells in detail about his contacts with the socialist intelligentsia of Great Britain, about the situation in which the Congress was held, about his visit to scientific institutions in Great Britain and about the meeting with Petr L. Kapitsa.
book reviews
19. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 3
Valentin A. Bazhanov, Elena V. Kudryashova Валентин Александрович Бажанов
Marxism and Philosophy of Science
Марксизм и философия науки

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This is a review of the book: Sheehan H. Marxism and the Philosophy of Science. A Critical History. The First Hundred Years. (L.: Verso, 2017. XII. 450 p.). The keynote of the book serves the conviction that Marxism is a sort of “super-theory” that can explain not only any social and political life, but also profound philosophy of science, including natural science. Science is presented in the book as a form of social practice. The main idea of the Marxist philosophy of science is the status of the theory of dialectical materialism. The author shows that Marxist ideas could be considered as the origins of many disciplines: the sociology of science, the history of science, the history of technology; they had a noticeable effect on non-Marxist thought as well. However, Stalinism and Lysenkoism significantly decelerated the development of the Marxist philosophy of science.