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What is to Be Done? Art Practice, Theory and Criticism in Russia during the Long Nineteenth Century
Kant famously claims that we have all freely chosen evil. This paper offers a novel account of the much-debated justification for this claim. I reconstruct Kant’s argument from his affirmation that we all have a price – we can all succumb to temptation. I argue that this follows a priori from a theoretical principle of the Critique of Pure Reason, namely that all empirical powers have a finite, changeable degree, an intensive magnitude. Because of this, our reason can always be overpowered by sensible inclinations. Kant moreover holds that this necessary feature of our moral psychology should not have been the case: We ought to instead be like the divine human being, for whom the moral law yields a greater incentive than any possible temptation. On Kant’s view, we are thus responsible for having a price, and the synthetic a priori fact that we do proves that we each made an initial choice of evil.
Does Kant hold that we can have intuitions independently of concepts? A striking passage from §13 of the Critique of Pure Reason appears to say so explicitly. However, it also conjures up a scenario where the categories are inapplicable to objects of intuition, a scenario presumably shown impossible by the following Transcendental Deduction. The seemingly non-conceptualist claim concerning intuition have therefore been read, by conceptualist interpreters of Kant, as similarly counterpossible. I argue that the passage in question best supports an underappreciated middle position where intuition requires a pre-conceptual use of the understanding. Such preconceptual use of the understanding faces both textual and systematic objections. I show that these objections can be rebutted.
In this article I analyse retrospectively main directions in the interpretation of the notion sobornost’ in modern Russian philosophical thought. Key for religious Russian Philosophy on the border of the XIX - XX centuries, this term hasn't lost its importance today, but it has acquired some new senses and significations. Religious-philosophical and epistemological notion first and foremost, it was transformed into ontological and anthropological category, what allowed to describe the Russian national current community as "conciliarity" corresponding to “Russian idea”.
Context • Recent decades have seen the development of new branches of semiotics, including biosemiotics, cognitive semiotics, and cybersemiotics. An important feature of these concepts is the question of the relationship between linguistic and extralinguistic reality; in particular, the constructivist question of the role of observation and the observer in semiosis.
Problem • Our understanding of the observer’s role in the framework of second-order cybernetics is incomplete without understanding where in the observation the significant activity, semiosis, takes place. By describing this mechanism, we see that semiosis has the structure of an eigenform. In this article I will concentrate on linguistic semiosis, and will illuminate the role of the sign and interpretation, emphasizing the scheme and logic of this process.
Method • I use theoretical and conceptual methods of argumentation, such as logical (deductive) and philosophical (phenomenological) proofs and thought experiments.
Results • This research explores the importance of including the interpretation (via the observer) in the process of signification, and maintains both the reciprocal connections between all three elements and their cyclic nature. I apply this approach to show that semiosis works according to the principle of an eigenform because of the cyclic and recursive nature of semiotic interpretation.
Implications • My conclusions have productive implications for epistemic theories, linguistic theories, philosophy of language, theories of semiology, and semantics.
Constructivist content • Radical constructivism claims that we do not have access to a mind-independent world. It considers knowledge to be the ordering of experience to cope with situations in a satisfactory way.
This paper revisits the rhetorics of system and irony in Fichte and Friedrich Schlegel in order to theorize the utopic operation and standpoint that, I argue, they share. Both system and irony transport the speculative speaker to the impossible zero-point preceding and suspending the construction of any binary terms or the world itself – a non-place (of the in-itself) that cannot be inscribed into the world’s regime of comprehensibility and possibility. It is because the philosopher and the ironist articulate their speech immanently from this standpoint, that system and irony are positioned as incomprehensible to those framed rhetorically as incapable of occupying it (the dogmatist or the commonsensical public). This standpoint is philosophically important, I maintain, because it allows to think the way the (comprehensibility of the) world is constructed without being bound to the necessity of this construction or having to absolutize, dogmatically, the way things are or can be.
Malevich has usually perceived as revolutionist and iconoclast, and completely not as divine worshiper. Meanwhile, those are two interconnected sides of his intellectual activity, and probably his way of glorification of God demanded revolutionary form at his time. In this article, I would like to show Malevich not only as art theorist, as it ordinarily applied, but as metaphysician, and even religious metaphysician. Still it can be said, that Malevich’s theoretical legacy haven’t been understood properly. The situation is this because only ten years has passed since the most complete collected edition of his works by the editorship of Alexandra Shatskikh have seen the light of the day.
In this article it is shown that in some theories defending the non-reductive nature of the first-person perspective a not very consistent attitude to this perspective may be found. Such theories are related by the author to a so-called moderate naturalism. The article shows the difference between moderate and radical naturalism. Radical naturalism completely abandons the idea of subjectivity as unobservable from a third-person perspective. On the contrary, moderate naturalism defends the irreducibility of subjectivity, but believes subjectivity to be a part of the nature. As a case of moderate naturalism, the article considers the approaches of L. Baker and T. Metzinger. Using their approaches to the first-person perspective as an example, it is shown that in case of certain work strategies focused on the first-person perspective, it is possible that a so-called description error may appear, by which a description error of subjectivity – when it is placed in the world on the rights of a part of nature, according to the laws of which it exists – is understood. The logic of this error points to one of L. Wittgenstein's statements about the incorrect placement of the eye in the perspective of the eye view itself. If the first-person perspective is introduced as a point of view (or a point of observation), then its subsequent shift to the observation result area leads to description error. If there is no observation, as well as no viewpoint, we lose the very idea of first-person perspective and actually take the position of radical naturalism.
The paper deals with St. Basil's distinction between κήρυγμα (kerygma) and δόγμα (dogma), which has been the subject of much discussion over the last sixty years (Spir. XXVII.66-67).
Hans Blumenberg’s Legitimacy of the Modern Age makes a powerful case for the autonomy of modernity with regard to the preceding Christian epoch – but it also emphasizes at least one continuity between the two, which can be framed via what Blumenberg casts as their common enemy: Gnosticism. Far from being external or secondary, this opposition to Gnosticism structurally defines both of these epochs as their task. What is, however, at stake in this common task? Reading with and against Blumenberg – and following his own account of the epochal shift to modernity – we will shed light, first, on the genealogy and, secondly, the political theology of Blumenbergian modernity, its structure of sovereignty, and key related concepts, such as the world, position, possibility, legitimation, theodicy, immanence, and self-assertion.
The article is a transcendental phenomenological research for the phenomenon of life that shows how from the point of view of theory of knowledge it is possible to explain the consciousness of the difference between animate and inanimate objects, as well as changes in the understanding of this difference in the development of West European thought.
The analysis of Kant's conception of a “natural purpose” and Husserl's conception of the “lived body” shows that the living being differs from the inanimate object by the special character of causality. However, Kant's apriorism can’t explain the existence of various types of objects, such as the animate and the inanimate, in conscious experience that subjects to general a priory forms. Kant is forced to admit that it is impossible to cognize a priori the special causality of the living beings – causality, which is not reduced to the “efficient cause” that determines the objective order of phenomena. Husserl fails to show that the phenomenon of life is rooted in subjectivity, i.e. he fails to understand the phenomenon within the framework of the phenomenological project of understanding consciousness as the single field of sense-giving. Moreover, the late reflections of the philosopher demonstrate the impossibility of constituting the animate object within passivity – the deepest layer of sense accomplishments that precedes ego’s synthetic activity.
S. L. Frank’s studies show that the basis of the spiritual unity is the unity that goes beyond the sphere of consciousness. It allows Frank to prove that there is an inseparable connection between life and knowledge, but his understanding of life as absolute being cannot be considered as proved.
Clarifying the relationship between the concepts of “life” and “knowledge”, the author shows how the change of cognitive attitudes brings a new understanding of the place and role of life in the human-conscious world. First, there is a change from the identification of truth and life, from the recognition of the world as an alive world to the assertion of the existence of not only animate but also inanimate things, then, there is a reduction of life to the organism – the subject of biology, and finally – the gradual disappearance of life from consciousness, erasing the semantic boundary between a living being and a machine.
The article discusses one of the most rapidly developing projects of modern philosophy, namely, the integration project of phenomenology and naturalism. The article highlights the first-person perspective as instrumental for such integration. The author outlines two key directions: neurophenomenology (F. Varela) and enactivism (S. Gallager). Explanations are given on how exactly the first-person perspective is going to be included in the cognitive research of science.
The article examines the methodology of the project, whether it based on the methods of the classical phenomenology of E. Husserl or on the understanding of phenomenology in analytical philosophy of consciousness. The feasibility of the integrated methodology is discussed. The author expresses doubts whether the actual implementation of the project is going to comply with its phenomenological program. In particular, we observe the certain obscurity in the use of natural and transcendental attitudes, the difficulty of interpreting the “external” and “internal”, the ambiguity of deduction of the body from the “bodily experience”, etc. Special attention is given to the idea of transcendental first-person perspective and non-representation of the first person in the world.
Friederike Moltmann has recently proposed an account of truth-bearers that draws on Kazimierz Twar- dowski’s action/product distinction. Her account is meant to provide a third way between the dominant view of primary truth-bearers as mind-independent entities and the recently revived construal of them as mental or linguistic acts. This paper argues that there is no room for Twardowskian accounts because they are based on a notion of “nonenduring product” that defies comprehension, and no need for them because the linguistic data that Twardowskians take to refute the act-theoretic approach can, in fact, be handled by that approach.
This is my review of the 'Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and the School of London' exhibtion at the Pushkin Museum
Two years ago, the International Laboratory for the study of Russian and European
intellectual dialogue was established in the National Research University
“The Higher School of Economics” by professor Vladimir Kantor on the Russian
side and by the German professor Leonid Luks on the Western European side. In
the two years of its work the Laboratory has organized six international conferences.
The first three events were held under the auspices of the commemorative
project “Russia one hundred years after the revolution of 1917,” which analyzed
and discussed not only the spiritual, cultural and social-political causes of the
emergence of the revolutionary situation in Russia, but also its historical and civilizational
consequences for the fate of Russia, Europe and the world. A review of
these conferences was published in the first issue of the journal Zeitschrift für
Slawistik in 2018.