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301. 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.
302. 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).
303. 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.
304. 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.
305. 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.
306. 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.
307. 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.
308. 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.
309. 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.
310. 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.
311. 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.
312. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Olympic center for philosophy and culture: Third International Bilingual Summer Seminar on ARISTOTLE’S POLITICS
313. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Józef Życiński The Ontology of Possible Worlds
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The recent scientific discoveries cast a new light on the classical distinction between the actual and the possible. A creative elaboration upon this theme, stimulated by works on modal logic and controversies around the semantics of Kripke, has been developed in contemporary discussions on epistemological aspects of quantum cosmology and on ontological preconditions of genetic determinants.Proceeding from new scientific theories, in the paper an attempt is undertaken to determine the ontological structure of nature in which one satisfactorily explains new data implied by these theories. In the context of contemporary physical discoveries the very concept of possible being is reinterpreted. A new version of moderate Platonism is proposed in a form of modified modal actualism. Its classical counterpart was earlier developed by Robert C. Stalnaker and Alvin Plantinga in their ontology of the possible worlds.
314. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Discussion after A. Koj’s Paper Mechanisms of the Ontogenesis of Living Creatures Participants: The Holy Father, Życiński, Sych, Krawczyk, Stróżewski
315. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
John Paul II Address of John Paul II to the Fiftieth General Assembly of the United Nations Organization
316. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
John Paul II The Address Delivered at a Meeting with Government Authorities and the President of the Republic of Poland at the Royal Castle in Warsaw
317. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Jan Krawczyk Cooperation or Defection Strategies of Conduct in Conflict-Prone Situations
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The simple model of conflict-prone situations called Prisoner’s Dilemma is discussed. Whereas the best strategy for the model is to defect, in the case of its iterated version (Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma—IPD) it is possible and more profitable to cooperate with the opponent.The simple strategy called Tit for Tat (TFT) which is easy to recognize, never defects first, punishes every defection but is also forgiving is presented. The TFT strategy is very successful being able to establish the cooperation with its opponents. The possible outcome of the competition between the TFT strategy and non-cooperative strategies is considered. It turns out that even small number of TFT strategies can overcome the greater number of more “egoistic” strategies.The described model can give the better understanding of some psychological, sociological and biological processes as well as help to propagate the altruistic attitudes in the society.
318. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
The International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations: 38™ World Conference — June 26–28th, 2008 University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada
319. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Discussion on the Papers of Z. Jacyna-Onyszkiewicz, Existence Versus Consciousness and J.A. Janik, A Philosophizing Physicist’s Problems with Existence Participants: The Holy Father, Janik, Jacyna-Onyszkiewicz, Zięba, Stróżewski
320. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4/6
Jerzy A. Janik The Seminar Opens