Philosophical Alternatives 1/2018

Issue editor: Martin Tabakov
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords

Angel Stefanov, Andrey Leshkov – The Policy for Science and Education: Notes Concerning the Need for a Change
: The article aims to analyze three observable obstacles facing the systems of science and education in Bulgaria, and, based on a relevant assessment of the intrinsic cultural and practical role of the two institutions for the prosperity of society, to propose adequate reforms in government policy for improving their functioning.
Keywords: science; education; governmental policy for the two; normative base of the two.
Mihaela Pop – The conflict of aesthetic values in contemporary art
: Beauty was considered a fundamental category in classical European art ever since the time of Ancient Greece. However, during the 19th century, artists began to reconsider this aesthetic value. Baudelaire expressed his preference for the “bizarre, dynamic and everyday beauty” (Baudelaire 1992: 261), rather than heroic and mythological beauty as treated in classical art. Many of Baudelaire's ideas were further developed in the 20th century, especially by artists of the avant-garde. Today, performance art, conceptualism or digital art seem to plead in favour of new aesthetic values such as action, direct experience (or immediacy), artistic rational thinking, which excludes the aesthetic dimension, or even the contribution of new media. In this situation, we may ask ourselves whether there is still any place left for aesthetic beauty, or has it rather become a chimera of the past. This is the question the author of the article attempts to answer.
Keywords: beauty; aesthetic categories; values; contemporary art.

Miglena Vladova – Art Conceptions: “Morphology of the Folktale”

Abstract: The objective factor in this article, which is related to a famous scientific study, applies a theoretical and practical perspective in order to analyze the impact of the showcase as part of visual merchandising and design, and precisely where a connection is made between the client and the fairy tale. Folktale components and archetypes, used in designing showcases, send messages that have an impact on the behaviour of consumer groups, and guide their practical use in visual communication. Scenes from famous fairy tales, recreated in showcases, are a mixture of different realities in terms of faces, prototypes, geography, language, shapes, magical tools and the imagination of the designer. They represent a successful advertising strategy and approach to the consumer groups, whereby a clear and apt form of communication is created. The task of folktale characters is to achieve a symbiosis between the customer and the popularity of the brand.
Keywords: visual communication; merchandising; design; folktales; archetypes; consumer groups.
Georgi K. Marinov – Intelligent Design and the Historical Roots of the Invasion of Pseudo-science
: Creationism in general, and the theory of Intelligent Design (ID) in particular, have so far mostly remained outside the mainstream discourse in Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries, in contrast with the perpetual controversy they generate in the United States. However, this situation may change in the near future as active initial forays are being made here to assert the presence of creationism in society. Albeit, based on a superficial reading of its recent socio-political history, this may seem counterintuitive, a fertile intellectual soil for creationism seems in fact to be present in this part of Europe, a circumstance that requires closer examination. The discussion carried on in this journal regarding the scientific credibility of ID has been quite informative as to the factors underlying the vulnerability of Bulgarian society to pseudo-scientific ideas. In this article, the author analyses the pro-ID argumentation presented in one of the articles in the series (Gagov 2016), first, from a scientific and philosophical point of view, and then in the larger socio-historical context from which ID is derived. This is then used as an illustration helping the reader to understand how the current situation developed. The article highlights the dangers to the intellectual health of society by making a comparison with analogous phenomena in the past and their consequences.
Keywords: intelligent design; evolution; religion; creationism; pseudoscience.

Hristo Gagov – Evolution and Faith – A Short Historical and Social Overview

Abstract: This article is a response to another article published in this journal (Marinov 2018). Here the author presents historical, social and psychological arguments in support of the presence of spiritual influences upon social life. The role of religious beliefs as factors of “rational” and “non-rational” social processes is discussed.
Keywords: new religions; corruption; globalization; history.

Martin Tabakov – Is the Study of the Emergence and Development of Life on Earth a Non-Classical Field of Science?
: Questions related to the emergence and development of life on Earth are basically of a philosophical kind and are more complicated than the superficial assessment that “Evolutionary Theory (ET) is science and Intelligent Design (ID) is pseudo-science”. From a Hegelian viewpoint, it may be considered that ID is a “negation of the negation” of creationism, i.e., a positive development of the latter, a “synthesis between it and ET”. The sharp criticism aimed by scientistic thinkers at ID can also be explained by their perception of it as a treacherously veiled creationism. It is necessary to show the theoretical constructs used by ID and ET. In ET, they are related to the vague, and hard to explicitate, concepts of “natural (development)” and “intervention”, concepts that go beyond the fields of particular branches of science. The basic question is, “Is it possible, using means that are internal to a system, to show that this system is self-organizing and self-structuring, and that no significant external influence has been exercised upon it?” Science claims to have a monopoly on Truth, but every monopoly is dangerous and holds the risk of misuse, especially if the verification and falsification of ID and ET are presented only by proponents of one of the two theories. In the history of science, there have been many mistaken, incomplete theories that, nevertheless, were predominant in their time. The study of the emergence and development of life on Earth is a non-classical field of science, and for some questions, science might not have a good explanation at the present stage of its development. The a priori rejection of the idea of rational participation in the emergence and development of life on Earth underestimates the possibilities of the development of science and civilization, and the potential power of reason. After 70 years of aggressive atheism, the rejection of atheism and the imposition by the government in Russia of a strict, archaic, old-ritual Orthodoxy is indirectly a blow aimed at ET as well.
Keywords: Evolution; Evolutionary Theory; Intelligent Design; synthesis; creationism; constructs; natural; development; verification; falsification; Science; atheism.

Stephan Penov – Creation – Evolution – Intelligent Design, or: The End of a Discussion in Defense of Philosophy
: We will nowise deny the principles of progressive development, change, and movement, insofar as it is in them that life and the arising of the new consists. The concept of an Intelligent Design is no worse than Creationism and is better than an evolutionism based on materialistic determinism. The opposite would be peace, steadiness, degradation, miracle or death. Here we consider and pay attention to the leading principles of philosophy and to certain scientific laws that cannot be ignored and are far from a primitive and tabular Neo-Darwinian evolutionism. The same principle applies to the concept of the Big Bang and the development of the Universe. Specifically, we emphasize that the controversy of creationism vs. evolutionism is both scientifically outdated and philosophically one-sided and ill-considered. Philosophy, as a third factor, is the truth to which religion and science are subordinated. Process philosophy – for example, that of A. N. Whitehead – retains substances and provides the opportunity for development. Whether some like it or not, it does not exclude the idea of Creation.
Keywords: creation; evolution; intelligent design; development; dirigisme; determination; information; philosophy-science-religion; logic; ontology; epistemology; physics; biology.
Georgi Naydenov – Yes, Indeed, What Is Happening to Marxism and the Marxists after the Collapse of the System?
: The article is a Marxist's response to the questions raised in the third part of the study by Prof. DSc Martin Tabakov on Marxism and the Marxists. First, the article comments on four of Tabakov's theses with which this author agrees. After that, the article discusses the analogy between Fascism and Communism. Two basic questions are analyzed: were the repressions carried out under the two regimes ideologically motivated or not; or was their motivation of another kind? Are the objective functions of repressions under the two regimes the same or different? Then the author analyzes the political regime in Russia and the role of “Putinism” in the world today. “Putin's regime” in Russia is studied through the prism of the present cardinal transformation of the world's economy and of international relations, through the prism of the rivalry between the old center of world trade, the US, and the country aspiring to be a new center, China; and in terms of Russia's role – traditional for the country – of arbiter in the rivalry between the old center and the new aspirant.
Keywords: Marxism; Marxists; origin of capitalism; functions of repressions under “Socialism”; evolution of the world market; Kondratiev's long waves; westward movement of the world market's center.
Kamen Lozev – The Linguistic Turn and the Logical Analysis of Language: Gottlob Frege (1879–1890)
: Accepting in principle Michael Dummett's view that the linguistic turn was first taken by Gottlob Frege in Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik, § 62, 1884, the article argues that de facto the specific “mentality” of the linguistic turn was formed in Frege's thought earlier, during the years 1874–1879, while he was reading philosophical and mathematical texts, criticizing then current views on number and arithmetical truths, and preparing his Begriffsschrift for publication. The article surveys the logical breakthroughs made by Frege and argues that, during the years 1879–1890, Frege was practicing logical analysis of language mainly in the form of functional-argument presentation of conceptual contents and sentences, anticipating his own important writings from the beginning of the 1890s, when the concepts of Sinn and Bedeutung were introduced and a new semantic theory was formed, which further affected his analysis of language.
Keywords: Frege; the linguistic turn; analysis; Begriffsschrift; the context principle.
Nikolai Obreshkov (1958–2017)
Nonka Bogomilova – Bogomilism as a Discourse on Identity

Hristo Hristov – The Human Body as Expressing the Idea of Personal Inviolability

Veselin Bosakov – Untimely Whims. Epigrams