Journal Philosophical Alternatives 5/2015
Topic of the Issue: KNOWLEDGE, CULTURE, IDEOLOGY
Issue editors: Yulia Vaseva and Valeri Lichev
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords
Abstract: The „computational theory of mind“ is outlined by T. Hobbes in Leviathan in a remarkably clear and convincing way. Subsequently, Hobbes' thesis underwent a long and productive evolution, passing through propositional calculus and being crowned with triumph at the success of present-day computer science and digital technology. This development would not be possible if the computational approach were not supplemented by a hierarchical methodology. Computation itself is powerless in the face of complexity. Complexity can be overcome only if its contents are previously adapted in a convenient computational form, and here lies the invaluable merit of the hierarchical approach. Two examples, one from the quantitative and the other from the qualitative spectrum of the applications of hierarchical methodology, reveal how it works in practice in complex and significant areas of scientific knowledge and social dynamics. Finally, the author formulates several hypotheses, related to hierarchical order, as to its specific nature and its methodological role and function.
Keywords: Thomas Hobbes, computation, hierarchy, methodology, control.
Stefan Dimitrov – Time and Cause
Abstract: This article is focused on the relation between time and cause in the perspective of the critique, in modern metaphysics, of the transcendentally established priority of time over cause. Due to a number of ontological existential reasons, this critique should make possible the restoration of the reverse interpretative perspective.
Keywords: cause, critique, metaphysics, ontology, time.
Angel S. Stefanov – The Paradoxes of Knowledge
Abstract: Four types of classical paradoxes are presented in the paper, all of which are related to knowledge: the paradox of omniscience, the preface paradox, the paradox of knowability, and the knower's paradox. The article considers the reasons for the appearance of these paradoxes as well as ways for finding rational solutions to them.
Keywords: paradox of omniscience, preface paradox, the paradox of knowability, the knower's paradox, kinds of solutions, self-referential inconsistency.
Valeri Lichev – Paradoxes, Logic, Belles-Lettres
Abstract:The founder of structural linguistics, F. Saussure, noted that language is a „peculiar algebra“. His followers developed this idea by borrowing elements from formal logical and mathematical languages. In this way, they attempted to reveal the deep structures underlying all texts, regardless of their genre.
The use of paradoxes in belles-lettres is motivated by the writers' desire to denote something without directly naming it. As Pierre Abelard noted, when someone says: „There is no rose“, what arises in the mind of the addressee is not the idea of nothing, but of a rose. The contemporary French philosopher J. Derrida dealt with the same problem: „How to say things without saying them“.
In Logique du sens, G. Deleuze pointed out the paradoxical nature of the beginning of communication. We find the same problem appearing in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. The Prince of Denmark , but in an encoded form that requires interpretation. The Ghost is forbidden to speak to the persons before whom he is allowed to appear, but he is allowed to speak to his son, to whom he is forbidden to appear. The solution to this problem is related to Horatio's attempt to speak to the Ghost: „If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, speak to me!“ According to Von Wright's logic of action, the apparition's silence does not indicate only inability of speech but also the refraining from the accomplishment of speech acts.
In an explicit form, Shakespeare introduces paradoxes in the conversation between Hamlet and the First Clown (gravedigger). The latter uses the two meanings of the verb to lie – 1) to be in a horizontal position; 2) to say something that is not true – in order to avoid the liar's paradox. On this basis, he tries to prove the statement that the grave he has dug belongs to him. Hamlet exposes his manoeuvre, but by his next question again finds himself in the pitfall of the sophisticated gravedigger's logic. His conclusion is that equivocations should be avoided because they „undo“ the speakers.
Other examples of paradoxes can be discovered in the works of R. Musil, T. Gautier, A. Schnitzler, S. Beckett, etc.
Keywords: communicative paradoxes, three-valued logic of action, speech acts, liars paradox.
Abstract: The essay discusses certain interpretations of the epilogue of the Book of Job. The author focuses on the final „restoration“ (when Yahweh blesses Job by giving him back twofold all his former possessions). Inspired by Ludwig Marcuse's Philosophy of Happiness, the text problematizes the happiness at the end of this famous biblical story and offers comments on Dostoevsky, Shestov, Kant, etc., as well as on Bulgarian authors.
Keywords: Job, restoration, Old Testament, New Testament, Yahweh, Ludwig Marcuse, Dostoevsky, Shestov, Kant, Carl Jung, Ivan Grozev, Emanuil Popdimitrov.
Anani Stoynev – Possible Approaches to the Study of Bogomilism
Abstract: This methodological article discusses the different approaches to the study of Bogomilism, which has been the object of diverse interpretations, even though data on this movement are scarce. Interpretations are divided into historical (Collingwood's „idea of history“, Gadamer's „historical horizon”), which, in this sense, are scientific, and non-historical, which in turn can be divided into artistic, publicist and formally scientific. This theoretical division is needed in order to make a distinction between the different writings devoted to the Bogomils and to provide a safeguarding matrix against the so-called „chalga history“.
Keywords: Bogomilism, Gnosticism, historical, non-historical, artistic, publicist, formally scientific.
Abstract: The article is focused on the complex relations between the double – the dark side of man – and the devil as the purest form of this dark side. The two concepts are related to the crisis of human identity. When the Self begins to doubt its own integrity, then dark motives, suspicions and insecurity come out into the light of day. Several impressive images, in which the Devil plays the main role, will illustrate his intervention in the life of the Self.
Keywords: double, crisis of identity, the dark half, the devil, the devil in literature.
Petar Plamenov – Sight and Hand. Aesthetical Rediscovery of the Body (Part 2)
Abstract: Paradoxically, sight and hand are instruments of the spirit. What is that within us that emancipates sight and hand from their sensory spontaneity and makes them instruments of aesthetic freedom? While the hand presents the body as volume and in relief, as performed space and tactile sensory availability, as flesh and skin, weight, etc., the eye speaks of the body in terms of light, distance and image. The body is created through sight. The body literally emerges from the eye to the other body. The flesh of the universe is not interpreted through the body, but is experienced immediately, directly and in a timely manner in the body.
Keywords: aesthetics, body, hand, sight, phenomenology, postmodernism, archetype, mirror, spirit, I-You relationship, flesh, game, image, otherness.
Erika Lazarova – Postmodernism as Playing with Nothing
Abstract: Postmodernism is the logical end of modernism and a dangerous rejection of traditional values. While it opens a Pandora's box particularly within art, every sphere of practical life likewise becomes infested with the sinister messengers of artistic charlatanry and human greed, of mercantilism and snobbery, of bad taste and manipulated taste, of ugliness that replaces beauty, of perversion and trashiness that lay claim to an equal position with the sublime, the good and the lovely. Behind the shield of pluralism and respect for otherness, postmodernism dethrones what merits respect in art and reality and turns creativity into „playing with nothing“
Keywords: postmodernism, change, novelty, values, pseudo-values, commodity, relativism, consumerism, humanism.
Snezhanka Stoyanova – Visual and Plastic Arts as an Educational Method in Schools
Abstract: The author studies the process of creativity in the visual arts as a method of achieving balance and self-awareness, and awakening the student's inner potential in the context of the education of children in schools, and of their parents. Basic principles of creativity are taught as a psychotherapeutic method. Various approaches are considered as ways to overcome the crisis and implement reform in school education; these approaches include: Waldorf pedagogy, suggestology, art therapy, analytic psychology, psychobiology, the psychological impact of colour and the aesthetic environment. The author discusses the process of inner exploration through art as a means of studying the laws of life, achieving self-awareness and integration, building integrity and well-being. In this process, the modeling of materials turns into an act of modeling human individuality.
Keywords: creativity, visual arts, school education, self-awareness, psychotherapy, Waldorf pedagogy, suggestology, art therapy, analytic psychology, psychobiology.
Abstract: The article discusses Stirner's life and philosophy. Major stages and facts of his biography are considered, as well as the relation between Stirner's lifestyle and philosophical endeavour. The article addresses the question whether the theoretician of egoism was an egoist? The article primarily analyzes Stirner's major work Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum (1844); besides the basic ideas in this book, the article probes into the various interpretations of Stirner's heritage and his significance to the further evolution of ideas. Key internal contradictions in Stirner's conception are identified.
Keywords: Stirner, Hegel, Young Hegelians, egoism, history, society, State, capitalism, ideas, liberalism, communism.
Karamfil Manolov – Inequalities in Entrepreneurship
Abstract: Social inequality in entrepreneurship is a problem that confronts society constantly and is continuously being reproduced. Undoubtedly, social inequalities stimulate development in society, but only when they are legitimate and accepted by people. Otherwise, they give rise to contradictions and clashes; unrecognized social inequalities are a source of conflicts.
In this study, the author argues that relations between entrepreneurs and other participants in entrepreneurship are far from ideal, because they are influenced by private interests, as a result of which inequalities are engendered.
The article lists the negative problems that entrepreneurs are confronted with. They fall into two basic groups – economic and institutional problems. The article argues the important role of state institutions for controlling contradictions related to social inequalities in entrepreneurship by enhancing the controlling and protective functions of the state.
In another aspect, maintaining loyalty and reliability in relations between participants in entrepreneurship is essential. When disloyalty becomes predominant, inequalities arise. On the basis of social survey results, the article shows that disloyal partners are most often wholesale and retail merchants, as well as some state enterprises. State institutions prove to be the most reliable partners.
While entrepreneurs suffer damages from unreliable partners, some entrepreneurs themselves often prove unreliable. For instance, entrepreneurs fail to pay the salaries of their workers and employees for months, do not pay social security contributions, and do not maintain the necessary conditions of safety at work.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, inequality, economic and institutional factors, disloyal partnership.
Emilia Chengelova – The Influence of Minimum Insurance Income on the Informal Economy
Abstract: The article discusses the minimum insurance income, which was introduced in Bulgaria in 2003 but in the last two years emerged as one of the most widely discussed and highly controversial instruments for influencing the labor market and economic development. The article presents and analyses empirical data from a social survey among employers and workers / employees (2014). On this basis, the major directions of influence of the minimum insurance income on the informal economy are identified and explained.
Keywords: minimum insurance income, informal economy, labor market, shady practices.
Abstract: This article deals with the contradiction between critical rationalism and Marxism. The general Marxist thesis is that there can be no alternative to capitalism or socialism. Karl Popper states that what is really important is gradual social engineering, which is equated with social reforms.
Keywords: Marxism; Critical rationalism; socialism; capitalism; social engineering.
Martin Tabakov – Marxism after the Collapse of the System (A Logical Side View) (Part3)
Abstract: Marxism was the official ideology, but a large share of the members of the BCP were conservative fundamentalists holding patriarchal values and morals, and gradually, most of them became conformist careerists. Regardless of the specific ideology the establishment in a totalitarian system of governance uses to justify its power, the basic ideological doctrine of the “system” becomes, in fact, statism, which, for its part, is incompatible with Marxism. When, after the sacrifices made by one or two generations, the goal of construction of the “Bright Communist Future” was substituted by “the ever fuller satisfaction of the needs of the working people”, then socialism lost its advantage in terms of ideals: what if “capitalism” achieves the latter goal better?
The fact that Fascism was the ideological enemy created problems for the “system”: by many indicators, the system was similar to that “enemy”. Alternatives of development were: Trotsky's “permanent anti-bureaucratic revolution”; the “perestroika” – to reform the system through glasnost and democracy and thus to save the leftist idea; and the Chinese system of capitalism kept under the control of the Party apparatus.
In Russia today, there is a militaristic Great Russian imperial chauvinism, oligarchic crony capitalism marked by extremely strong social stratification; so the “leftists” should not normally sympathize with it! The oligarchy originated out of the nomenklatura!
Justice is the basic value, and Equality is only the result, and mechanism for fulfillment, of that value. When overdosed, social policy becomes anti-social, begins to protect the “non-working people”, and leads to the exploitation of the working people and the middle class.
Keywords: Marxism, ideology, totalitarian system, statism, perestroika, Russia, capitalism, oligarchia, crony capitalism, equality, nomenklatura, middle class
Andrey Leshkov – Modernism as Local Specificity? The Conference Dr. Krastev and the Spirit of Modernism