Topic of the issue: CULTURE AND ЕTHICS
Issue editors: Erika Lazarova and Nikolay Mihailov
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords
Abstract: The article discusses the ethical problem of the common good. It examines Augustine of Hippo's concept, in which the highest good – summum bonum – is equated with God. The difference between God and the world that He has created is the basis of morality. The earthly good is incomplete, only the Divine good is highest. Therefore, without the grace of God, happiness is impossible. According to Saint Augustine, evil in the world is manifested by the violation of the measure of good and good. Thus, in his concept of the common good, Saint Augustine posits morality as the basis of religion.
Keywords: Common good, religion, good, evil, moral choice, history of ethics.
Tatiana Batuleva – The Ethics of Difference and the Two-Subject Culture in the Works of Luce Irigaray
Abstract: As resistant hierarchical structure, the patriarchal order creates a crippled world in which the diversity is reduced to the One and the difference is assimilated or pushed as inferior. One of the most important contemporary thinkers and leading figure in the feminist theory, Luce Irigaray opposes her thesis for a relational and open to new configurations identity that becomes a way not only to the rehabilitation of women, but also to a new type of education and spirituality.
The article discusses some cardinal points in the works of Irigaray (sexuated difference and ethics of difference; double male-female subject and being-two) as consecutive levels in the creation of space of reciprocity, love and sharing. It aims to prove that Irigaray does not limit her deconstruction to refutation, but proposes alternative solutions: original reading of the possibility to overcome the universal subject by opposing it with a different subject; positive strategy for a new type of sociality, built upon the non-hierarchic relation between two subjects of equal value.
The autor makes a comparison between Irigaray's „being-two“ and Levinas' „being-for-the-Other”: Lйvinas refers to hypostasis of the self in the other, while Irigaray asserts that each of the two independent and different subjects has its own boundaries, and these boundaries contribute to their drawing close together; in the framework of Lйvinas's ethics of responsibility the hypostasis of the self is final, while in Irigaray's ethics of difference, the transgression of the self is temporary and counterbalanced by loyalty to oneself; the two subjects remain open to new shared worlds and new returnings to oneself.
Keywords: ethics of difference; being-two; relational identity; feminine speech; feminine writing; otherness; sexuated difference.
Silviya Mineva – The Dichotomy Morals Vs. Law in the Context of Freedom as an Ethical Category
Abstract: People are creatures that live according to different types of order. Two of the orders are essential and equally important, because they are not reciprocal. These are morality and law. We communicate and live according to our morals, but we act according to the norms of law. We need to differentiate between them, in order not to forget that our life does not occur in just one order: we live simultaneously in different ones. The norms of law are not identical with moral norms. This requires making a distinction between them and not confusing them. If we confuse them, the result will be tyranny. To avoid this, neither should be underestimated. Freedom is not identical with absolute autonomy or permanent sacrifice for others. The criterion of freedom is the importance of others in our lives. Their importance depends on the values we share in the communities in which we live together with other people. Our values provide the basis for the restriction of human behavior by the law and for personal self-restraint in accordance with morals. The right choice is not to oppose the two but to combine them. Today the dichotomy of morals vs. law means the following: in order to have law, we need morals, and conversely. Only then will we feel respect based on morals and ethics, not on terror and with terror.
Keywords: ethics, law, freedom, choice, humanity, community, autonomy, moral monopoly, values.
Veselin Bosakov – Traditional and Modern: Islam in a Secular Context
Abstract: The genuine problem concerning democracy is located in Europe, where it is an internal problem. The problem consists in the necessity of integrating an increasingly large number of angry young Muslims in a way that would not provoke an even more angry response on the part of extreme right-wing European populists. Two things must be done for this purpose. Firstly, some European countries should reconsider the multiculturalist policy they have been conducting until now, which essentially represents a haven for radicalism. Secondly, these countries must reformulate their own definitions of national identity in terms that will provide room for people of non-European origin as well. Modernization in the contemporary Muslim world would hardly be possible without integrating Islam, in one form or another, into social life. Not only the religion itself but also the traditions linked to Islam stand in very complex mutual relationships with development and democracy; drawing sharp dividing lines between them is often misleading: it simplifies analysis and leads to schematic conclusions. Regretfully, a full-bodied democracy, in which the Muslim voice will be just one of many voices, and where a moral equality exists between Islam and other perspectives, is till perceived as dangerous for the Muslim community but also for the secular lifeworld of the modern European.
Keywords: Islam, modernity, tradition, identity, neighbourhood, democracy, values.
Abstract: The work Das Heilige by the German theologian and philosopher Rudolf Otto was published in 1917; it marks the beginning of the mature period in Otto's works. In this book, Otto developed philosophy of religion as a philosophy of the holy. For this purpose, Otto used Kantian critical philosophy in three main points: a priori, schematism and the sublime. This article analyses the influence of Kant's critical philosophy on Das Heilige.
Keywords: the Holy, critical philosophy, Rudolf Otto, Immanuel Kant.
Krasimir Delchev – Hegel and Rudolf Otto on the Holy
Abstract: The article summarizes Hegel`s and Rudolf Otto`s views on the holy.
Keywords: Hegel, Rudolf Otto, the holy.
Abstract: The presence of the dualist heresy on the territory of present-day Austria has been mentioned only sporadically in relevant literature, where it has been viewed as a local episode of history. Yet research on data regarding „Christian dualists“ in the Austro-Hungarian Empire has considerably enriched our idea of the scope and importance of the Bogomil-Cathar philosophy, which prepared the general change in thinking that took place during the long period from the 11th to the 13th century. References to the Austrian „medieval dissidents“, as Moore calls them (1994), are usually made in the context of manifestations of the „false doctrine“ among the Western Slavs, most often those of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia. But of particular significance, and suggesting new interpretations, are the data contained in chronicles, such as that of the Abbey of Melk or the monasteries of Saint Florian and Klosterneuburg, which testify to the presence of considerable numbers, and even whole communities, of heretics in the lands of present-day eastern Austria, particularly the regions of Kren and Kдrnten.
Keywords: Bogomils, Cathars, Waldensians, dualist Christianity, alternative Christianity in Austria, South Slavs, Western Slavs, the Bosnian Church, chronicles, Austrian provinces.
Todor Tsigov – Architecture, Urbanism, Seeming Laws Abstract: The article sums up the cultural context, including the Bulgarian one, of the author's idea regarding an Orthodox analogue – logoptics/word-look – of feng shui and vaastu. The facts have endless causes: the relations of the hypostases reflect the Universe, but we notice only the valences that concern us. A different interest would mark other valences/laws: facts. The respective behaviour links them to cultural identity. Architecture that accords with that behaviour suggests them figuratively. It is as if form introduces the real seeming laws into the functional past non-existence: imaginary stories (from which the form „follows”) continuing into the future. Thus, St. St. Cyril and Methodius created the Slavic-Bulgarian alphabet and the first translations from Greek of theosophical texts that had had almost two millennia of literary development by that time. In order to correspond to this literature, the Slavic-Bulgarian language was transformed in the course of translation in such a way that our culture continued to develop as if it had had a similar literary past: formal changes determining a more favourable alternative future and presetting the Bulgarian Renaissance. Thesis: the Second Signal System – language, reason – presupposes traditional culture, emphasizing the qualities and merits that stabilize society. The tradition is historical, and architecture corresponds to it: buildings emerge in time, forming figuratively a simultaneous diverse-time that reflects history, suggesting the respective qualities. Antithesis: money forms a Third Signal System, superimposed on the Second one and presupposing trade culture. The weaknesses (market requirements), stabilized technologically and financially, are emphasized. Urbanism, corresponding to money, plans (unlike architecture) the streets initially and builds the neighbourhoods according to a master plan. Not following history but the master plan, the buildings form not history's simultaneous diverse-time but a timelessness, inhibiting the tradition, merits and qualities. However, trade culture does not endure the weaknesses eternally, which requires a new superstructure. Synthesis: the Fourth Signal System presupposes architectural-urban and psychic synthesis: by means of architecture, merits and qualities that overcome urbanism and weaknesses. Logoptics can be a Bulgarian practice for figurative stimulation of the future Fourth Signal System by means of an artificial living environment. Our National Revival ensembles have similar indications, conceptually described by architect Georgi Berberov as a double helix enfilade.
Keywords: logoptics (author's term), architecture, urbanism, real seeming laws, signal systems, traditional and trade culture, Bulgarian tradition.
Andrei Konchalovksy – From the „Black Square“ to the Black Hole
Abstract: The article by A. Konchalovsky is a brilliant challenge to the art critics who are afraid to say that „the emperor has no clothes“, a challenge to the commercialization of modern art and trade in works of art, pursued as an investment that promises returns over time. What has become important is not the creative achievements and aesthetic innovations but the scandal effect and pseudo-innovativeness, which aim to turn the work of art, and even its author, into a high-priced and prestigious commodity. Ranging from Marcel Duchamp's „Fountain“ to Malevich's „Black Square“, experimentation with art technique, and with the viewers' esthetic taste, have staked on the simplicity and snobbishness of the public, but actually lead to a decline of art and art's spiritual dimensions.
Keywords: art, modernism, commodity, artistic experimentation, provocation, hierarchy of values, humanism, dehumanization of art.
Abstract: The study deals with Marx's Kreuznach manuscript (summer, 1843). The manuscript has two basic layers of analysis: a general philosophical one and a specific one related to social theory; they are interconnected but not of equal value. The author argues that Marx's general philosophical scheme, regardless of Marx's claims, does not differ in principle from the Hegelian one; this is a source of great conceptual difficulties, which are latent in this manuscript but, logically, appear in later works as well. From a contemporary point of view, the value of the manuscript lies in its social theoretical analysis, which includes ideas on the structure of history, of modern society and of modern democracy.
Keywords: Marx, Hegel, Kreuznach manuscript, civil society, private property, monarchy, aristocracy, bureaucracy, democracy.
George Reisman – Classical Economics vs. The Exploitation Theory
Abstract: One of the most popular economic doctrines in the world has been the exploitation theory. The influence of the exploitation theory has served to advance the cause of socialism. Despite the support which it historically gave to the exploitation theory, classical economics provides the basis for turning the exploitation theory upside down. The rise in the standard of living is not attributed to capitalism, but precisely to the infringements which have been made upon capitalism.
The purpose here is to show how classical economics can actually supply the basis for a fundamental and radical critique of the exploitation theory. A new view about critique of Keynesianism and the currently dominant views on monopoly and competition is proposed. the fundamental place to challenge the exploitation theory is not over the labor theory of value or the iron law of wages, but here, over its conceptual framework—over the doctrines of the primacy of wages and the deduction of profits from wages. Wages are not the primary form of income in production. Capitalists do not impoverish wage earners, but make it possible for people to be wage earners.
it can be shown how socialism, with its universal state monopoly on employment and supply, is the economic system to which the exploitation theory actually applies.
Keywords: exploitation theory, economics, capitalism, industrial revolution, keynesianism, socialism, wages, business, marxism, private property, Adam Smith, profits, employment, economic system.
Georgi Naidenov – Marxism and Leninism
Abstract: This article is connected to the discussion, begun in the first issue of Philosophical Alternatives, on the nature of official „Marxism“ and the interpretation of its perspective on „socialism“ and the „transition“. The author discusses the paradigm (launched at the start of the transition) of „bourgeois revolution, state capitalism, group property“, which is an alternative to the official paradigm of „socialist revolution, socialism, public property“. Answers are given to the main questions raised in the introductory article. It is indicated where the arguments relevant to those answers may be found in the author's works. The author discusses the role played by Lenin's paradigm of „socialist revolution, socialism, public property“ in world science after 1929. The author has also considered the hypertrophied emphasis on the discontinuity of historical development, and ignorance of its continuity aspect, which resulted from the predominance of Lenin's paradigm. The article makes an „inventory“ of Bulgarian authors who, after 10.11.1989, have tried to go beyond the official ideology and, in their research, have revealed the aspect of continuity in Bulgarian history.
Keywords: official paradigm; alternative paradigm; classical Marxism; economic, political and social continuity; revolution; break in historical development; genesis of capitalism, Soviet state capitalism.
Abstract: The author proposes certain possible historical-logical and philosophical approaches to the study of semantic structures in various logical systems. The character of these systems is independent of modal specification of operators and syntactic structure. There are three levels of semantic analysis here – a purely logical, a historical and a philosophical. Through these ways of research, it may be possible to ground an effective approach to the construction of certain interesting systems of formal phenomenology.
Keywords: logical systems, semantics, ontology, phenomenology.
Abstract: The thoughts presented here are related to the assertions of the classics in philosophy. Considering these statements, I offer possible interpretations.
Keywords: philosophy, sense, morality, conscience, life, death, thinking, language, existence, truth, man, nature.
Veselin Bosakov – Åpigram with Ìoral Âessons by the Êilogram