Philosophical Alternatives 3/2024

Issue editors: Kristiyan Enchev
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & Authors in the issue

Anguel S. Stefanov (Corresponding Member at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
The Idea of Complementarity in Scientific Knowledge as a Style of Thinking
Abstract: The principle of complementarity, raised by Niels Bohr as a kernel of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, as well as the principle of equivalence of space geometries, raised by Hans Reichenbach, are critically discussed as epistemological approaches at achieving theoretical representations of complex objects of research, which stay far from the ordinary human experience. Both principles share a congenial style of thinking. I also point to theoretical ways that lead out of the grip of these principles.
Keywords: principle of complementarity; wave-particle dualism; quantum objects; equivalence of geometries; spacetime geometry

Plamen Damyanov (Associate Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
Space, Matter and Motion
Abstract: In my paper I consider the movement of objects in „space”, taking into account the idea of preserving and accumulation of change with time. I compare this view with Newton, Leibniz and Einstein’s ideas of movement, space and time. To illustrate this, I represent the movement of two objects along a straight line, as well as some dependences connected to it. I also pose questions as “Why and how the things exist?” in relation to characteristics like discernibility, equality, and change. I also address faith as an integral part of science.
Keywords: objects; space; time; change; preservation; accumulation; equality; faith

Doroteya Angelova (Associate Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
Fuzzy Logic in Artificial Intelligence – Philosophical Foundations and Areas of Application
Abstract: The article discusses and analyzes from a philosophical-logical and methodological perspective the importance of fuzzy logic and fuzzy set theory in artificial intelligence (AI). It is discussed whether and to what extent they have the capacity to contribute to the realization of AI's main goals. In this regard, some of their main areas of application in the mentioned shpere are presented.
Keywords: fuzzy logic; fuzzy set theory; artificial intelligence; applications

Elena Tsvetkova (Assistant Professor, PhD at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
Processing Degrees in Scalar Implicatures
Abstract: The article presents an overview of Grice’s notion of implicatures with a focus on the interpretation of quantitative (scalar) implicatures. Processing an implicature in the case of scalar implicatures is based on automatic understanding of expressions that are part of a linguistic scale. Such linguistic scales are sequences of terms where the use of the stronger term implies the weaker one or the use of the weaker term implies the negation of the stronger one. With examples that affirm the linguistic intuitions of members of a language community, it is illustrated that within these scales, the meaning of expressions is used with varying degrees of strength according to the speaker’s meaning.
Keywords: scalar implicatures; pragmatism; conversational implicatures; speech act theory

Rosen Lyutskanov (Associate Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
Opinion Pooling and Consensus Formation: the Logic of Disagreement
Abstract: The paper discusses the history of the development of different logical formalisms, explicitly modelling situations in which disagreement is present. It is structured as follows: (§1) sketches the distinction between two main traditions in logic, that have different relation to disagreement; (§2) presents Jaskowski’s discussive logic and its shortcomings; (§3) develops the doctrinal paradox in social choice theory. Then we come to (§4) the probabilistic model of Lehrer- Wagner; (§5) the bounded confidence model of Hegselmann and Krause and (§6) the agent-based model of Douven and Riegler. The aim of the paper is to show that the development of these formalisms raises many questions that are yet not solved in adequate manner.
Keywords: opinion pooling; consensus formation; disagreement; paraconsistency; agent-based models

Marco Crosa (PhD Graduate Student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.)
On Gods, Heroes and Men. A Comparison of Tolstoy and Vico's Philosophies of History
Abstract: While proceeding toward the end of War and Peace a reader can find itself startling and struggling to understand what kind of work is actually dealing with. The fictional narration is not yet concluded when L. Tolstoy (1828–1910) starts to lose himself in philosophical discussions regarding the nature of history as a science. Suddenly words such as god, heroes and men start to fill the pages recalling in the mind the language of a philosopher with at his back a history of long oblivion, the Italian G. Vico (1668–1744). The common terminology is only the triggering point for approaching a possible comparison between two authors that are so distant for time, context, interests, life and styles. A deep reading of their works however reveals some points of contact especially in a critique of their contemporary historicism, in their common interests on history as an objective science, on the analyses of events recollection and invention of tradition, in their overlapping instances of heterogeneity of ends and their reference to divine providence. A specific and different investigation might be necessary in order to understand whether those concepts somehow traveled along about one century and half from one to the other or whether they are just floating ideas of historical discourse. Nevertheless, starting from their commonalities the paper offers a clue on their inevitable divergences and a possible development of some of their central concepts. Being Tolstoy a writer of the ungraspable and indeterminate, concepts related to complex thinking will emerge during the reading.
Keywords: historicism; narration; presentism; social contract theory; multitude; complexity; indeterminism; theory of power

Nina Dimitrova (Professor, DSc at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS.)
Nietzsche and Christianity in Bulgarian reading (first half of the 20th century)
Abstract: The article is an attempt to trace the reception of one specific aspect of Nietzsche's ideas in the Bulgarian cultural space – his attitude towards Christianity, and, in particular, his differentiated attitude towards the personality of Jesus and that of the Apostle Paul, i.e. to the teaching and to the institution. The research is also motivated by the current interest in the significance of the work of the Apostle Paul on the part of prominent contemporary philosophers. Attention is focused on the fact that in the Bulgarian philosophical thought of the first half of the 20th century, two books appeared whose titles begin with the prefix anti – “Antichrist by Yanko Yanev (1926) and Anti-Nietzsche” (1931/1932) by Lyuben Kazandzhiev. The polemic surrounding Kazandzhiev's book shows the highly emotional attitude towards Nietzsche (respectively towards his attitude towards Christianity) among the Bulgarian intellectual circles of the first half of the XXth century.
Keywords: Nietzsche; Christianity; Apostle Paul; antichrist; philosophical thought in Bulgaria from the first half of the 20th century; Yanko Yanev; Lyuben Kazandzhiev

Silviya Mineva (Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.)
From Epic to Ethos with Hesiod: between Мythology and Morality
Abstract: The purpose of the article is to present the role and significance of Hesiod's poetry for the formation and development of the moral canon and the moral-philosophical thought of ancient Greece. For this purpose, the text traces and analyzes various biographical information, comments and evaluations about Hesiod's life and work. Special attention is given to the uses and meanings of the world ethos by Homer and Hesiod and their evolution under the influence of Hesiod's moral maxims (gnomes) in „Works and Days “. The main conclusion is that Hesiod's individualized, systematic and rational reading of archaic myths played a decisive role in the transition from myth to logos and the formation of the moral-philosophical views of ancient Greece about the happy life, the good person and the ideal state.
Keywords: Hesiod; Homer; epic; ethos; myth; heroes; gods; justice; gnomes; didactic poetry; morality

Yuliy Yuliev (Doctoral student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.)
Political Extremism and Its Implications: An Inquiry into Violence, Struggle, and Self-Sacrifice
Abstract: This research paper draws upon English novelist George Orwell’s observations on human proclivities toward struggle and self-sacrifice, as seen in his criticism of “Mein Kampf”, and uses them to explore the complex nature of political extremism. By analyzing the evolution of the political narrative since the 1970s, from economic to cultural issues, it investigates the foundations of extreme nationalism within contemporary liberal democracies. In order to show the features and motives of this phenomenon, the study observes several European far-right groups through the lens of extreme nationalism, uncovering similar themes of anti-globalization, immigration, and European Union views. It delves further into the examination of human beings by taking a closer look at the way culture shaped our development as a species and the fundamental urge for identification and belonging, providing insights into the psychological underpinnings of extreme beliefs and behavior. It also looks at the foundations of group violence, discussing it as a morally motivated behavior meant to maintain and preserve social ties and the concept of struggle as behavioral mechanisms exploited by extreme nationalists. To thoroughly assess the validity of Orwell’s ideas, the research combines the theoretical framework with a case study of the contemporary tendencies towards extremism in the U.S. political system. The analysis leads to the conclusion that George Orwell’s findings that the attractiveness of political extremism has its roots in basic features of human nature are still applicable in modern democratic societies.
Keywords: political extremism; extreme nationalism; George Orwell; David Sidorsky; civil society; political parties; identity politics; U.S. politics; human culture

Nikolay Mihaylov (Professor at Sofia Univarsity “St. Kliment Ohridski”.)
Immanuel Kant on Freedom as a Moral Category
Abstract: The article is dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great German thinker and philosopher Immanuel Kant and analyzes his conceptions of the moral category of freedom. Based on a review and analysis of the philosopher's ideas in the three "critiques" and his other writings, an attempt is made to determine the specificity of Kant's understanding of moral freedom, as well as to find the connections it makes to some modern dimensions of the problem. Comments of Bulgarian and foreign philosophers on the relevant topic, which enrich the existing knowledge on the problem, are also examined. Conclusions concern the enduring importance of Kantian ideas for modern notions of freedom, publicity, independence, and the significance of truth.
Keywords: Kant; freedom; critical philosophy; morality; metaphysics; public sphere; ethics