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Displaying: 1-20 of 114 documents

1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Małgorzata Czarnocka Editor’s Note — Philosophy of Nature Rebuilt Anew
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Włodzimierz Ługowski Philosophy of Nature Today. Introductory Remarks
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The subject of the paper is the social function of the philosophy of nature. The author presents briefly his own position in this topic and gives an evaluation of the literature on the philosophy of nature in the recent decades. According to him, the opposition against the abuse of science for the purpose of social mystification stems mostly from (philosophizing) scientists themselves and sociologists of knowledge. Academic philosophers—regardless of the variety of their ontological orientations—are prone rather to cultivate the metaphilosophical mythology (of positivistic origins).
meta-philosophy of nature today
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Viacheslav S. Stiepin Philosophy of Nature and Post-Nonclassical Rationality
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In modern European culture the explication and the understanding of nature is determined by the specific traits of systemic objects investigated by science. The paper singles out three types of systemic objects, i.e. simple (mechanical) objects, complex self-regulating, and complex self-developing systems. Categorical structures accounting for each of these types are analyzed.The paper shows that the investigation of every new type of systems changes the type of scientific rationality (classical, nonclassical, post-nonclassical).
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Andrzej Łukasik Atomism Today. Classical and Quantum Concepts of Elementary Particles
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Atomism is the programme explaining all changes in terms of invariant units. The development of physics during the 20th century may be treated as a spectacular triumph of atomism. However, paradoxically, changes and conceptual difficulties brought about by quantum mechanics lead to the conclusion that the ontological model provided by classical atomism has become inadequate. Atoms (and elementary particles) are not atomos—indivisible, perfectly solid, unchangeable, ungenerated and indestructible (eternal), and the void is not simply an empty space. According to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, there is no unchanging substance at all. If we want to understand contemporary notions of matter and develop an ontological model of the world, consistent with contemporary natural sciences, we should probably go beyond the conceptual framework of atomic philosophy.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Helena Knyazeva, Sergey P. Kurdyumov Synergetics: New Universalism or Natural Philosophy of the Age of Post-Nonclassical Science?
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The modern theory of the self-organization of complex systems, or synergetics, is considered in the context of historical traditions of natural philosophy. It is substantiated that it is unfairly to treat synergetics as a modern “speculative physics”, i.e. the natural philosophy of a new type. However, there is no doubt that on the basis of synergetics a certain worldview is built, and this worldview oversteps the boundaries of basic scientific disciplines and reaches a meta-scientific level of research. The paper presents an attempt of a critical analysis of the claims of the theory of complex systems selforganization (synergetics) and the interdisciplinary generalizations and the universal efficacy of its models. The grounds of synergetic models transfer to different disciplinary fields are discussed. It is argued that synergetics is rather a mental scheme or a heuristic approach to exploring the complex behavior of systems, and not a universal key of solving concrete scientific problems. Some prospects of the development and the possible future of synergetics in the next decades are estimated.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Danuta Sobczyńska Goethe and Ostwald. Die Farbenlehre in the Interpretation of an Artist and a Scientist
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The paper concerns the science of colors (die Farbenlehre) on which among others J.W. Goethe and W. Ostwald were focused. The first part of this essay describes the science of colors in the period from antiquity to late Renaissance. In the pre-scientific phase it was intervened with philosophical speculations as well with symbolism of magic, religions and customs. Since Newton’s time there are distinguished the colors of light and the colors of objects. J.W. Goethe’s Farbenlehre, discussed in the second part, connects empirical studies and metaphysical vision of the light and colors. W. Ostwald, a distinguished chemist and philosopher-energetist, attempted to construct measurable Farbenlehre. He is a creator of a strict colors’ taxonomy, but his soul of artist (he was also a painter) “crept into” his study of colors. The discussion of Ostwald’s deliberations is contained in the third part of the paper.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Lidia V. Fesenkova, Aleksandr V. Pankratov The Noospheric Mode of Thinking and Modern Philosophy of Nature
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The authors investigate the contemporary idea of noosphere (the conceptual and ideological basis for considering the coming ecological crisis). The authors arrive at the conclusion that the concept of human plays the central role in ecology as all the ecological problems rest upon the problem of mankind’s moral imperative. Therefore the authors claim, applying among others Vernadsky’s views, that the idea of human in the field of ecology should be today revised.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Teresa Kwiatkowska The Natural. So Ambiguous a Word
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The term natural has long been one of the key concepts within environmental ethics discourse, environmental legislation, policy and practice. A central issue of many theoretical disputes and conservation/restoration practices revolves around the “naturalness” of living organisms, species or ecosystems. Many argue that natural things, whether they are organisms or inert matter, have intrinsic value that obliges humans to morally consider plants, animals and ecosystems. The ethical questions thus raised lead in turn to metaphysical inquiries about what makes a thing natural. This paper confronts the existing, often colliding, views and understandings of this contested concept.
nature and human values
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Boris G. Yudin Understanding Human Being. Constructivism versus Naturalism
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Two different value orientations with regard to nature are presented. The first orientation corresponds to the naturalistic worldview. It emphasizes the need for protecting the environmental order of things. The second value orientation situates our interests and desires above the imperatives of the nature preservation. Nature is grasped, first of all, as raw material to be more or less radically changed. The distinction of two value systems is relevant for our position not just regarding nature around us, but regarding human nature as well. The current bioethical debates on therapy versus enhancement reflect the opposition of these two sets of values.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Andrzej Elżanowski Toward a Scientific Axiology of Life
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Values are relational properties that can be defined only in relation to a goal-directed system. Biological values originated with living systems and subjective values originated with the origin of vertebrate (and possibly others’) mind through a conversion (subjectivization) of biological values. While this conversion is understandable in adaptive (functional) terms, the evolutionary mechanism whereby positive and negative meanings in the mind were assigned to molecular and/or neuronal configurations in the brain, so far defies our comprehension. Whatever their origin, the primary subjective values are experienced by most if not all vertebrates, and the hominid conceptual values are all ultimately derived from experiential values.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Igor K. Liseev Nature in Modern Philosophical Discourse
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The paper analyzes philosophy of nature viewing it as this part of philosophy which investigates the foundations of nature and the limits of its existence. The paper concerns the following issues: the historical forms of the philosophy of nature, its modern context and the embracing philosophy of nature in the frame of co-evolution strategy determining that nature is only a moment of interaction between mankind and the world outward. It is shown that “philosophy of nature” is an extremely general notion being filled with various historical, social and cultural senses. Nature is involved into the smithery of human activity and human relations. In cannot be understood beyond these relations, as well as beyond the historical and cultural spheres. Nature becomes the participant of human questioning which grows in certain social and cultural context and carries on itself its signs. Philosophy of nature begins to be built up on the basis of ontology of history, or, in other words, on the basis of the comprehension of ultimate characteristics of historic processes.
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Teresa Kwiatkowska, William Forbes “It Is Better to Light a Candle than Curse the Darkness”. Voices of Nature and Human Responses
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In everyday life, people grasp mainly short term events of their natural surroundings, since our perception of broad and long term behavior of natural systems has been, and still is, rather limited. Throughout our history there are numerous cases of unheeded environmental warnings. This paper provides an overview of earlier era forewarnings, to illustrate how understanding of past responses to natural predicaments may help enhance future curriculum and policy discussions.
13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Ekaterina V. Petrova The Adaptation of Man as a Socio-Natural Problem
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Man is a biosocial entity, so, in the study of his adaptive peculiarities two directions, that is, biologic and social, can be determined. Within the biological framework (more correctly, natural, not restricted by the boundaries of biology as a science) it is possible to combine evolutionary, genetic, medical-biological and ecological investigations. Recently, the problem of man’s adaptation to profound changes taking place in the environment, under the impact of man’s activity, becomes of growing importance. The second direction of the man adaptation research may be called social or socio-cultural. In the course of social adaptation man acts as an adaptively-adapting entity, inasmuch as, unlike animals, he does not only adapt himself to the environment, but also transforms it in course of his activity, sometimes creating a new environment. The complex study of human being makes necessary a synthesis of natural-scientific and socialhumanitariansides of the man’s adaptation problem. The analysis of the above mentioned directions, of social and biological man’s adaptations research, enables us tocome to the conclusion that no one direction, taking separately, can resolve the problem of man’s adaptation, which has a complicated pattern with many aspects. The man’s adaptation problem emerged within the framework of biology, and during a long time it was of evolutionary-biological character. However, in the course of the development of science it has become an interdisciplinary issue. It may be conceived profoundly and with all aspects only by means of an interdisciplinary synthetic analysis.
14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Piotr Kendziorek The Biologistic Legitimization of Social Doctrines
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The article considers historical and actual aspects of social biologism. The historical aspects of biologism should help to describe the social content and quasi-scientific basis of socio-biologistic ideas in the contemporary world. The author shows the connections between many forms of socio-biologistic discourses and the structure of (capitalist) social relations. He proves that ideas of social biologism function as an ideological justification for different phenomena of social inequality, but at the same time they formulate a condition for its material reproduction. The connection between sociobiologistic ideology and practice is shown by the examples of the main historical forms which social biologism took in the 19th century. These examples include colonial racism, class-racism, anti-Semitism, and psychiatric biologism.
15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Stanisław Butryn Has the Conception of the Quantum Origin of the Universe an Absolute Character?
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The subject of the article is the conception of the Universe quantum origin. According to this conception, the Universe was formed as an effect of the quantum fluctuation of physical vacuum and can just be considered as such fluctuation. The first suggestion of such an origin of the Universe was made by M.G. Albrow. The views of A. Vilenkin, S.W. Hawking and J.B. Hartle, who combined this conception with the inflationary Universe theory, made the basis for the analysis of the contemporary version of the conception of the Universe quantum origin. Consequently, a new version of this conception was elaborated, which assumed that the Universe was formed from nothing as an effect of quantum tunneling passage. Followers of the conception of the Universe quantum origin suggest that the solution of the problem of the origin of the Universe on the basis of this conception is of absolute character. However, the philosophical analysis of the problem discussed in the article, which includes cosmological consequences of the idea of inexhaustibility of matter, proved that the solution of the problem proposedin the conception of the Universe quantum origin is not and cannot be of absolute character. In fact, the solution is a cosmological hypothesis describing one of theoretical variants of the relative origin of the Universe. At the end of the article, it was remarked that the development of the 20th century cosmology results in the necessity of modification of philosophical terminology used so far for the purpose of the analysis of the problem of the origin of the Universe.
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Jan Werszowiec Płazowski, Marek Suwara The Ontology of Cognition
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The term ontology of cognition is introduced to promote a neo-Kantian approach to epistemological questions. Following the discussion of some aspects of philosophy of cognitive subject authors claim that the most appropriate approach requires turning attention to a whole human species as a governed by the evolution rules collective, cognitive subject rather than individual one.
17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Andrzej Gecow The Purposeful Information. On the Difference between Natural and Artificial Life
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The spontaneity of natural life is the only property which differs this type of life from artificial life. However, it may be the main basis to understand life. Artificial life is constructed by living beings; it is a part of the natural life process, and its properties are not an effect of its own restrictions but of external assumptions. Therefore the investigation of artificial life is not a safe way of searching for basic properties of natural life. The purposefulness appears only in the area of a life process. We generalize the notion of information and encoding to apply them to the physical phenomena description. We use them to define the purposeful information—its example is a biological information, its quantity is an Eigen’s information value. Next we investigate properties of the spontaneous process of purposeful information collecting. In effect we get such properties of this process as: a goal “to exist”, reproduction and the Darwinian mechanism of randomchangeability and elimination. In this process a natural identity criterion of the evolving object connected with the “small change tendency” appears.
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Włodzimierz Ługowski Progress or Crisis in the Origin-of-Life Studies? A Philosophical Perspective
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The essence of the science dealing with the origin of life, called protobiology, is based on the idea of the evolutionary formation of the first living beings from non-living matter. This thesis is generally accepted by both scientists and philosophers. However, the agreement stops at the same point at which it begins. At least this is the case for the scientists. Meanwhile, the philosophers appear to be amazingly concordant where the consensus, owing to their different orientations, might be rather unexpected. I demonstrate that at the source of many recently declared views concerning the philosophical foundations of origins-of-life studies—views both of scientists and philosophers—there is a misconception of a fundamental nature. I also try to reveal some sources of this misconception and its sometimes peculiar consequences.
19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Marek Łagosz Ockham’s Razor and the Problem of Non-Existence—Modal and “Economic” Aspects
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In the article I undertake the question of the Ockham’s razor. I consider the basic version of this methodological postulate: entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. I propose to interpret this postulate as a criterion of non-existence. In this context I analyse the matter of accidental entities as well as the ontological principle of economy.
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Oleg E. Backsansky The Biological Roots of Knowledge
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An inspection into the contemporary theory of knowledge shows that a new methodological stance, that is, the so called evolutionary epistemology or, equivalently, evolutionary theory of knowledge, which is a version of “naturalistic” turn has been established. This stance tends to consider various philosophical problems from concrete scientific positions and by means of scientific knowledge. This interdisciplinary enterprise has determined as its purposes the researches of biological preconditions of human knowledge and the explanation of its features on the basis of the modern synthetic theory of evolution.The paper discusses the ideas of K. Lorenz, G. Vollmer, D.T. Campbell, H.R. Maturana, F.J. Varela. Especially, the paper concerns the thesis that the reality cognizable by man is the reality designed, created during his personally involved communicative activity. In this perspective, the question “What is the object of knowledge?” becomes inappropriate. The reliability of knowledge consists in being able to behave adequately in individual enterprising and in co-operation with other subjects.