Philosophical Alternatives 6-2019

Topic of the issue: SOCIAL THEORY, LANGUAGE AND RATIONALITY
Issue editor:Nikolay Mihaylov
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords

Angel S. Stefanov – “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”: An Unlooked-for Revelation of Contemporary Science
Abstract
: The title phrase “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”, taken from the TV series Twin Peaks, is a motivating metaphor for reflections concerning the fact that contemporary non-classical science often provides us with what I call an epistemological surprise. The main lesson contained in this surprise is that things which we know from our centuries-long experience are in fact not what they appear to be. For the purpose, I discuss the misleading role of naпve philosophical realism lying in the background of the growth of contemporary scientific knowledge.
Keywords: naпve realism; epistemological surprise; progressive growth of scientific knowledge.

Gabriel Andrade – The Postmodern Attack on Science: Irrationality in the Name of Relativism
Abstract:
: This article addresses the postmodern attack on science. On the basis of relativism, postmodernism posits that science should not have a more privileged status than pseudoscientific or plainly anti-scientific disciplines. Some 20th-century philosophers have unfortunately provided intellectual ammunition for this attack. Levi-Strauss's approach to rationality, Peter Winch's criticisms of Evans-Pritchard, Wittgenstein's notion of “language games”, Kuhn's approach to the incommensurability of paradigms, and Feyerabend's epistemological anarchism, are duly addressed and criticized in the article. Likewise, Popper's philosophy of science has been erroneously used by postmodernists to attack science. This article clarifies some of these misconceptions.
Keywords: postmodernism; science; relativism; irrationality.
Tatyana Batuleva – Contemporary Readings of Responsibility
Abstract
: The article offers an analysis, in parallel, of the philosophies of responsibility of Emmanuel Levinas and Hans Jonas, based on an overview of their most representative theses. These include, in the case of Levinas, ethics as a “first philosophy”; the hypostasis of the Self and Being for the Other as a path to the transcendent; responsibility and ethical transcendence; the transition from responsibility to justice. In the case of Jonas, responsibility and metaphysics as guardians of justifications; the role of knowledge and imagination; the specificity of the subject of responsibility, who continues and ensures the work of the “silent God”.
Keywords: ethics; metaphysics; responsibility; Being for the Other; togetherness; subject.

Yana Rasheva-Merdjanova, Petya Panayotova – Self-Narrative Theory in Teaching Philosophy – From Synergetic Paradigm to Experimental Results
Abstract
: In order for education to be efficiently and progressively developed, it is of vital importance that we redefine its philosophical foundations. This paper focuses on the presumptions and conceptions related to the Synergetic philosophy of education; its projections on Synergetic school pedagogy, including the restructuring of the global society, the evolution of the determinants of social integration of young people, the tendency towards greater “openness” of the class- and lesson-centered system for organizing the basic components of the educational process. A methodological example, called the “My Tsunami” method, is presented: this is a philosophical self-reflection on and transformation of life events that uses the “life story” narrative technique, with its transcultural foundations, parameters, application and results.
Keywords:  synergetic philosophy of education; synergetic school pedagogy; self-transformation; philosophical mindset; transcultural approach; life story; narrative; narrative technique in education.

Lyuba Spasova – Hate Crimes as a Boundary Action. The Normalization of Deviance
Abstract
: The article analyzes the effects and distinctive aspects of hate crimes and their possible conceptualization as a boundary action. The dual boundary aspect of hate crimes – in terms of the boundaries within social hierarchies and the boundaries of societal norms – determines their distinguishing characteristics as well as their specificity as an intersection point in the dynamic interaction between structure and action. Determined by social rules and the hierarchies of social stratification, hate crime in turn transforms them: it transforms the rules by blurring the borders of norm, and the hierarchies, by solidifying the borders between groups and strata.
Keywords: hate crimes; normalization; constructivism; border action.

Nikolai Alexandrov – John Rawl's New Theory of Justice as an Attempt to Revise the Liberal Doctrine
Abstract
: The article examines the basic principles of John Rawls' theory, which not only explores the problems of justice, freedom, and equality, but also attempts to revise liberal teachings in following the work of such prominent representatives of socio-philosophical thought as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The article presents John Rawls' views on a number of key concepts of liberal theory, such as “natural state”, “civil society”, “negative and positive liberty”, “political society”. It is underlined that Rawls examines justice not only as a theoretical concept but also in the context of the activities of major public institutions. The concept of practical reason, which is fundamental to the acceptance of the principles of justice as a basis of public interaction, is analyzed.
Keywords: liberalism; society; citizen; rights; justice; freedom.
Plamen Antov – The Mode of Language: Heidegger and “Human Dignity”. The Second Version
Abstract
: This article looks at the anthropological core of the ontology of the “second” Heidegger, after die Kehre, and in particular, the dual position of man within the Sein. It is argued that, even in his passive position as a “servant” (Knecht) in relation to the things constituting Being, man retains his role as master (Herr), albeit in a negative way. Heidegger's ontology is set out in the classic Neo-Platonist scheme of “human dignity” (Mirandola): man as a medial figure between his animal-natural origin and a supreme transcendence, logical and creative, which he occupies. This triad is recognized in the article on Hцlderlin and the essence of poetry (1936), which proposes a concept of “human dignity” that further develops and nuances another concept, proposed a little earlier in the lecture course Basic Concepts of Metaphysics (1929–1930). The article is part of a monographic study on Heidegger's “second” philosophy.
Keywords: “second” Heidegger; Sein; “human dignity”; animal–man.

Aleksandar Lozev – Aristotle's Categories: Why 10?
Abstract:
: Aristotle's categories are presented as a system relying on logic and syntax instead of on meanings. His square of oppositions is found to be of crucial importance.
Keywords: Aristotle; history of philosophy; categories.

Kamen Lozev, Lazar Koprinarov, Tsocho Boyadjiev
– The Art of Philosophical Translation. (A Conversation between Three Philosophers-Translators)
Abstract
: This publication is devoted to the specificity of translating philosophical texts. Important issues of philosophical translation are presented in the course of a conversation between three authoritative Bulgarian philosophers and translators of such texts; these issues include the translation of the texts into a modern version of the language, the use of philosophical concepts in accordance with the context, the difference between ordinary and philosophical translation, the connection between the translator and the text being translated, the purpose of different translations of the same classical philosophical work, etc. One of the important achievements of a philosophical translation is when the translator has grasped the meaning and ideas of the translated author ant text. The participants in the discussion are Prof. T. Boyadjiev, Prof. L. Koprinarov, and Assoc. Prof. K. Lozev.
Keywords: philosophy; philosophical text; philosophical language; hermeneutics; dialogue.
Lyuben Sivilov – The Bishop and the Philosophers: Kцhler
Abstract
:In a series of six articles, the author traces the responses of philosophers to the epoch-making achievement of Bishop Berkeley, set out in his An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision. The comments on Berkeley's theory serve as an occasion for the modern reader to focus on some overwhelming conclusions regarding the life of philosophy and philosophical education in Bulgaria. The third article deals with Wolfgang Kцhler.
Keywords: Gestalt; insight; pseudoproblems.
Plamen Bobokov – Corporate Social Responsibility as a Functioning Ethical Mechanism for Reducing Corruption Practices
Abstract
: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been established as an effective self-regulation practice applied by modern companies to create and maintain mutually beneficial cooperation with civil society and the institutions. One of the sectors in which CSR has a significant potential to deploy effective actions is counteraction of corruption. The article reviews the main challenges that corruption poses to society and the corporate world, as well as the main theoretical models by means of which CSR can be used as a functioning ethical mechanism for reducing corruption in the most sensitive social spheres.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility (CSR); corruption; ethics; anti-corruption policies; stakeholders.