Philosophical Alternatives 4/2022

Issue editor: Galin Penev
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & Authors in the issue

Aneta Karageorgieva (Professor, DSc at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Why Is It So Important to Know That We Cannot Know What It Is Like to Be a Bat?
Abstract: The commentary on the translation of T. Nagel's famous article “What is it like to be a bat” describes the place of the arguments developed by the author within the debate between physicalism and dualism in regards to the mind. These arguments are quoted to this day because they point to the deepest problems in the knowledge of mind. The example of the supposed subjective experience of the bat shows the irreducibility of the first person point of view to that of the objectively minded science. The commentary reconstructs Nagel's main argument, which does not deny physicalism, but tries to show that we (nearly half a century after the publication of the article) still do not know exactly how to apply physicalism to the problem of the mind's nature.
Keywords: mind; physicalism; dualism; experience; objective; subjective.

Gladys Ogorure (PhD student at Department of Philosophy, University of Benin, Nigeria)
Baruch Spinoza on Evil and an African Condition: A Philosophical Reflection
Abstract: This paper examines the problem of evil which has to do with the presence of pain, suffering, cruelty and wickedness in this world. The reality of evil is difficult to accept when we observe the presence of a God that is all powerful, all good: if God is all powerful then why not destroy evil immediately so all can rest? If God is all good then why tolerate what is not good? Does it mean God is not powerful enough or good enough? This is the logical problem of evil which we shall examine using Spinoza’s argument and an African condition. Our finding is that there is the evidential argument that seeks to convince us of a good God and a manageable world despite the uncontestable damaging presence of natural and moral evil across the earth. So we struggle to reconcile logic with reality. Since Spinoza removes God that is absolute, complete and perfect from evil that is finite, relative and a distraction and if true, then does it mean that what is evil may depend on how one sees it or who is affected? Can we say this for all categories of evil? We recommend a principled stand against evil through a definitional and contextual analysis that paves the way for a solution through key human values.
Keywords: Spinoza; evil; Nigeria; God; human nature; perfection; terrorism.

Polina Kyosseva (Architect, part-time lecturer and PhD student at University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia)
Dematerialization and Atectonizing of Architecture in the Context of the Information Age
Abstract: In the Information Age abstract knowledge received through media dominates over empirical knowledge derived through experience. This leads to a process of disintegration between man’s mental world and his physical environment. As architecture reflects human’s concept of the world through the current cultural paradigm, an architectural tendency towards disintegration between its ideal and its material aspects is observed today. The first part of the article examines how architectural image today tends to follow neither function, nor structure, but goes independent from them. Examples of this tendency are presented and analyzed. The term “architectural dematerialization” is classified into three types. In the second part an explanation of this tendency is proposed, together with short historical parallels from the Middle Ages to the age of Modernism. The importance of the ritual for the integration between abstract ideas and sensory experience is clarified, as well as its impact on architecture. A comparison is made between the architecture of Baroque and Modernism as a reflection of mental-sensory integrity and the world concept of these two epochs.
Keywords: architecture; Information Age; dematerialization; knowledge; media; 3D mapping; abstract; empirical; image; structure; function; disintegration; ritual; Middle Ages; Baroque; Modernism; glass farm; MVRDV.

Nikolay Alexandrov (Doctor of Philosophy of Law and Politics, Doctor of Journalism at Veliko Tarnovo University 'St. St. Cyril and Methodius')
John Stuart Mill's Liberal Reformism and the New Concept of Freedom, Property, and Government
Abstract: The article is devoted to a key moment in the history of British liberalism, when, under the influence of the Industrial Revolution, the need arose for a revision of the classical liberal doctrine developed in the Enlightenment. Thus, on the border between classical and social liberalism stands the figure of the British philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill, who attempts to update the basic tenets of liberal ideology. Taking into account the socio-economic reality of his time, Mill set out to revise the foundations of liberal ideology, rethinking in modern times the problems of freedom, property and governance, expanding their perimeter in favor of the masses. As a harbinger of social liberalism, John Stuart Mill argues that the state must take care not only of order and tranquility, but also of the social security of its citizens. Mill's concept of individualism and collectivism in the context of freedom and the right to self-determination is also detailed here.
Keywords: individual; society; industrial revolution; liberalism; distribution of wealth; freedom; individualism.

Emilia Chengelova (Professor, DSc at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
The new Faces of Undeclared Employment: Nature and Determinants
Abstract: The current text is dedicated to revealing the newest faces of undeclared employment, viewed through the prism of the new forms of supply and implementation of employment that have emerged in the last ten years. The analysis is based on a desk research, which examined an impressive number of European regulations, analytical reports and studies. On this basis, eleven new forms of employment have been identified. At the next stage, the analysis is focused on identifying the factors that create risks of undeclared work in the implementation of new forms of employment. A methodological innovation is the Matrix of 24 indicators operationalizing the concept of “employment”, constructed especially for the purposes of the analysis. With the help of this Matrix, the new forms of employment are subjected to a detailed analysis, as a result of which are highlighted the weaknesses leading to the emergence of undeclared work. The analysis has a high management value, as it suggests key directions and areas for designing policies and measures for reduction and prevention of undeclared work.
Keywords: undeclared work; new forms of employment; factor determination of undeclared work.

Ani Dimitrova (PhD in Political Philosophy at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
NATO Expansion – Ukraine as a Catalyst for Its Implementation
Abstract: The North Atlantic Alliance's cooperation with Ukraine allows the Treaty to redefine the basic principles on which it exists and operates. This paper traces the dynamics of NATO's relations with the former Soviet republic, covering the relations since their emergence after the collapse of the USSR. The main method used is content analysis, reviewing numerous documents that address both the original objectives that were set with NATO's founding as well as the organization's transition and its adaptation to contemporary challenges. This paper highlights the importance of Ukraine in the expansion of NATO as a community of values – a community that continues to grow and encompasses not only Eastern Europe. Since Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, the Pact has been deepening its cooperation with Ukraine while at the same time expanding to include the northern European states of Sweden and Finland, the message of the Alliance being that it is precisely due to the cooperation with Ukraine that NATO is ready to develop its potential for expansion including in its borders even the successor states of the Soviet Union. Through its relationship with Ukraine, NATO is also proving to be the most effective and robust link between Europe and North America, which share common interests and values in developing their political and strategic positions. The conclusion drawn is that despite the requests and the increased cooperation, a conservative forecast should be made regarding the possibility of Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Alliance as a full member.
Keywords: NATO; North Atlantic Alliance; Ukraine; expansion; collective security and defense.

Svetlana Alexandrova (Assistant Professor, PhD at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Social Environment, Public Attitudes, and Political Process: The Bulgarian Context
Abstract: The article is an attempt to address and link the issues of public opinion and political development in Bulgaria in recent decades. The research efforts are aimed at highlighting the peculiar transition from socialism through pluralism to populism, where the meaningful participation of public opinion is equal and proportional to political representation. Public opinion is predominantly formed under the pressure of media, but also political (dis)information, in conditions of prolonged crisis of trust in institutions and low efficiency of communication with them, lack of sustainable authorities, underdeveloped political and civic culture, low levels of self-confidence and the sense of having lost the ability to influence the course of public issues and the making of decisions. The formation of Bulgarian public attitudes largely depends on the impact of deficits in the public sphere, the defects of the educational system in terms of building political and civic culture, lack of critical thinking and education, and the internalization of conformist and authoritarian practices in society.
Keywords: public opinion; civic participation; pluralism; populism.

Liuben Sivilov (Professor, DSc at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
The Bishop and the Philosophers: Békésy (Part One)
Abstract: In a series of six articles the reactions of philosophers to the epochal achievement of Bishop Berkeley, set out in his “An Essay Towards A New Theory of Vision“ are followed. The comments to the theory of Berkeley became the occasion for the modern reader to focus on overwhelming conclusions about the philosophical life and philosophical education in Bulgaria. The fifth article deals with Georg von Békésy.
Keywords: ear; unity of senses; inhibition.

Ivo Minkov – Hristo Hristov's Monograph on the Philosophy of John Rawls