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L. E. Balashov


Philosophy


L. E. Balashov

Philosophy: textbook.


M., Dashkov & K, 2004, 2006, 2007. — 608 p. © L. E. Balashov, 2004, 2007


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Table of contents


1.1. Love of Wisdom 5

1.2. The Subjects and “parts” of Philosophy 12

1.4. Practical philosophy 17

2.3. Early greek philosophers 19

13.1. Life. The meaning and the purpose of life 27

The Meaning of Life 27

The purpose of life 29

13.9. Human’s happiness 31

Interconnection between the point of living and happiness 31

What does happiness mean? 31

Happiness: the result of luck, and the result of struggle-labor 32

Happiness is the unity of satisfactory and unsatisfactory 33

The basic of happiness is in the unity of personal and common 33

Can people be made happy? 33

  34

13.10. Love 39

Love and Sex 39

Love is the sun of life 40

14.2. Liberalism 44

15.19. Современность, история и будущее человечества. Глобальные проблемы. 47

“Our time ” and false objectivism 47

16.8. Consciousness 51

Unfortunate and criminal consciousness 51

18.9. Game activity 55

18.10. Art (art activity) 56

18.11. Sports 58

Why to study philosophy?

(Wherefore one should study philosophy)


1. Each one philosophizes and each one solves vital and really philosophic problems (like attitude to the world, meaning and aim of life, occupational choice, good and evil, etc.). Then why not to learn philosophy from others, instead of wandering in the labyrinth of challenge?

Imagine that you learn skiing. The snow is deep and friable. You hardly can move your legs. But someone have made a ski-track nearby, and you stand on it and at once it becomes easyer to advance. Gradually you master the art of pace, and then you can go your own way independently. Now you have less chance of breaking through snow or halt. The same is about philosophy.

2. Philosophy is the collective intellect of people. To be an expert in collective intellect is as important as to have the intellect. And the intellect is the concentrated expression of a human being.

It's not accidental that the scientists-biologists call human being «homo sapiens».

Philosophy makes a person feel himself being a ciziten of the world, be abreast with the mankind and even with the world as a whole.

3. Philosophy helps a human being to recognize himself truly as a person. Not a woman, not a man, not a representative of some ethnicity or religion, not an expert-professional.


Particularly, it helps an expert to overcome his professional narrowness, i.e. philosophy protects him from the so-called professional idiocy (narrow-mindedness). Let’s recall what Kozma Prutkov said apropos of this: the specialist is similar to the gumboil, its fullness is one-sided.

A person must be comprehensively educated, cultured and developed. It is achieved by studying of speciality sciences, reading of scientific and cognitive literature, fiction, newspapers, magazines, developing of musical and artistic tastes, practical skills and abilities. Philosophy so to speak is in the middle of all this stream of educational and pedagogical tasks.

In the 18th century the Prussian minister Tsedlits “commanded his subordinates respect to philosophy”; he believed that “a student must learn that after completing the course in sciences he will have to be a doctor, a judge, a lawer etc. only several hours a day, but for the whole day he will have to be a person. That’s why high school must give a considerable philosohlical grounding along with the speciality knowledge. (see A. Guliga. Kant M., 1977. p. 95).

4. Owing to philosophy the mental outlook enlarges uncommonly, the breadth of mind appears and develops. The breadth of mind helps a person to understand the others, teaches to be tolerant, not to be afraid of the strange, i.e. guards against xenophobia.

5. Philosophy inculcates a taste for abstract thinking, and not to a lesser extent than mathematics does.

In contrast to mathematics philosophical abstraction is filled with the meaning of life; it’s not a distraction from the diverse but the diverse unity. Suffice it to mention such abstractions as “world as a whole”, “space”, “time”, “matter”, “spirit”.

6. Philosophy provides a person with strength and fearlessness.of mind, Thanks to philosophy a person gets rid of dangerous feeling of ant, who rushs about the huge roots of trees with no point.

7. Philosophy develops the mind, the ability to think. The study of philosophy is the true school of creative thinking.

8. Philosophy teaches criticism, critical thought. After all the first condition of philosophizing is to take nothing on trust. Thus philosophy helps to get rid of prejudices and mistakes.

(Translated by Popova N.) (Попова Наталья, студентка РЭА, май 2007 г.)


1. What is the philosophy?

^

1.1. Love of Wisdom



The name “philosophy” comes from the Greek words “phileo” — “I love” and “sofia” — “wisdom”, which means love of wisdom.

Even today wisdom remains an integral definition of philosophical thinking. Philosophy is wisdom, but not of a separate human being, but ofajoined Mind of man. How are we to understand this?

Firstly, philosophy is precisely thinking — not learning, not feeling, not faith, not will, not action.

Secondly, philosophy is not just thinking, but co-thinking, i.e. thinking which assumes reflective communication of people or people thinking together. Philosophy is collective thinking just as science is collective learning, art is collective feeling, religion — collective faith, moral-politics-law — collective will, economics — collective production- allocation, etc.

Thirdly, the starting and ending point of philosophy is not knowledge, nor good, nor beauty, but thought — a thought with meaning and a point for many people, first and foremost the philosophers themselves. Of course, collective thought is exercised in science, art and all other areas of human life as well. But this collective thinking is only a secondary element of scientific research, art, etc. It is philosophical to the extent at which it is personally independent, not connected directly with creation of knowledge, beauty, material benefits, etc. In philosophy the collective thinking is self-sufficient, is as much as possible removed from the decision of discovery-art-practical problems. The territory of philosophy is the territory of pure, self-sufficient thought.

Philosophy the highest display of a living thing’s ability to delay its action or reaction, the answer from considering how it would be best to act. The base behaviour is based purely on reflex, when there is a minimal time difference between the sensation and the action (for example, jerking your hand away from a hot object right after contact). The behaviour of the person becomes more complex as the time distance (delay) between perception and action, knowledge and practice increases. Philosophers are representatives of the human race who to the greatest degree personify-materialize this delay. If philosophers offer something to non-philosophers, then it’s not completely ready answers-recipes, but half-finished products. After all, a thought-idea always a half- finished product...

Earlier some philosophers, writers and scientists suggested the position of philosophy as the science of sciences. This position, correctly emphasizing the special role of philosophy in comparison with selective sciences as a general world outlook, methodological, ideological basis of scientific learning, at the same time has one significant flaw. It declares philosophy a science and it establishes rigid communication between philosophical ideas and scientific theories. In fact, philosophy is a special form of thinking. It includes an element of science, but is not reduced to scientific forms of learning. Science is the form of collective knowledge, whereas philosophy is the form of people’s collective thought.

(In brackets I shall point out that just as in the opinions of correlation between philosophy and sciences there is a certain misconception [when philosophy is represented a science], likewise is there in the question of the correlation between thinking and learning - the first is frequently given as a part, a type or a form of the second).

Moreover, philosophy, unlike a science, cannot oblige, order, specify “what should be”, be a law maker. Its positions possess only recommendatory force with respect to other branches of human activity. The expression “philosophy is the science of sciences” reflects the attempt to present philosophy as a law maker for the sciences, dictating to them the way it wishes them to be.

The specified expression is also wrong in the sense that it limits the mutual relation of philosophy with other branches of human activity only with area of its relationship with sciences. Philosophy as a form of collective thinking has the direct relationship with science, and art, and material practice, and to management of society, and to a single person’s individual experience. It reflects all forms of activity, taking the central or focus position towards which all forms of human activity converge. In other words, philosophy is the center of all human searches and aspirations.

In our country philosophy was for a long time (and still is) strongly adhered to the state and science. Philosophical researches are conducted greatly within the jurisdiction or under the aegis of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The non-differentiation of philosophy from science leads its unjustified “scientification”, certain philosophical scientism. The use of science-like language in philosophical books and articles is a rather widespread phenomenon. As a result, one expects the same from philosophical research and considerations as from scientific research. The other aspect of such an approach, i.e. the attempts to “scientify” philosophy is that one expects from it concrete scientific results, ready answers to the questions put forward by life. As this expectation is not fulfilled, there comes disillusionment with philosophy.

Science, as was already said, is engaged in knowledge; whereas philosophy learns nothing. It only analyzes the course and results of learning (and not only learning, but also practice, arts, all human experience in general). To a science that of science, and to philosophy — that of philosophy*! Science generates knowledge. Philosophy develops ideas. No more than that. The philosophical idea is the idea of ideas: scientific, art, practical, etc. Accordingly, philosophizing does not directly serve knowledge, practice, art, but rather indirectly.

Philosophy in our country should find its identity and free itself, at last, from external bonds. Nobody, not scientific authorities, not the state, not religious figures, should interfere with the business of philosophy.

An example of philosophy’s “scientification” is the attempts of some philosophers and philosophical schools to express the basic philosophical positions in the form of laws. Since science discovers laws, that means philosophy can, too. The most remarkable example of the invention of philosophical laws is the Marxist laws of dialectics. The way I see it, only science can apply for the opening and the research of laws of a subject domain. In philosophy “law” is only one of many categories, coupled to the “phenomenon” category, and to name the same some philosophical basics with the same term it is a logical mistake. Either we should recognize that a “law” is the highest category of dialectics, or state that the word “law” in the case of it being a question of “the law of dialectics “, has a different meaning than when it designates one of the categories of dialectics. In the second case there is a danger of the ambiguous use of the term “law”, which leads only to confusion of concepts and to various distortion of thinking.

One of the reasons for Marxist philosophy using the concept ‘law” with respect to some of its key positions is precisely the free or involuntary drawing of parallels between philosophy and a science.

When I said that philosophy learns nothing, I meant, that the “ecological niche” of philosophy as special type of culture is not learning, but thinking. The purpose of philosophizing is not the finding of truth, but wisdom. After all, philosophizing is, in fact, sophistication (in good sense of this word). Only science “has the right” to be engaged in learning. This is its specialty, its “bread”. One could say, and what about the expressions “philosophical knowledge”, “philosophical science” and so forth? To this I shall answer:

the words “knowledge” and “science” with reference to philosophy are used in a different sense, rather than when speak about a science as a type of culture and about learning as branches of human activity. In fact, in theology, too, quite often the expressions “theological knowledge”, “theological science” are used. And yet nobody sees “theological knowledge” as scientific knowledge, and “theological science” really as a science like physics, biology, sociology.

When we speak about philosophical knowledge, we keep in mind not that knowledge which is obtained through a process of scientific learning. Scientific knowledge is the result of getting to know the real world, the world as object of study. Philosophical knowledge is the result of intraphilosophical streams of information going from one philosopher to another. If I have read through Plato’s compositions and understood them, then I have received knowledge of Plato’s doctrine, his ideas, opinions, etc. The Sum of philosophical knowledge is first of all knowledge of the basic philosophical doctrines- ideas of the past and the present. Philosophical knowledge is similar to scientific knowledge in the sense that it, as well as scientific knowledge, more or less is adequately, accordingly displays the subject matter, in our case the doctrine, ideas, thoughts of another philosopher (other philosophers). A philosophically educated person is a person who has more or less adequately understood and taken in the basic ideas of past and the present philosophers. Philosophical education is the basis for philosophical learning and professionalism. Words “learning” and “scientist” with reference to the philosopher mean only that the person had thoroughly studied philosophy. Almost the same thing can be said about words “scientific character” and “science”. With reference to philosophy these words mean the learning of philosophy. Besides, the word “science”, combined with the adjective “philosophical” (philosophical science) means a section of philosophy, which has separated itself to a rather independent philosophical discipline, into branch of philosophical knowledge. Philosophical sciences are considered to be ethics, an aesthetics, logic...

In recent years, another extremity measure has made itself known: antiscienticismirrationalism. It is definitely a reaction to previous decades of philosophical scientismrationalism. The liberated philosophers suddenly have started talking as theologians, mystics, psychics, prophets...

Neither scientism, nor antiscienticism make the philosopher a philosopher. We, philosophers, must learn to speak with our own voice, without scientism on the one hand, and without religious-mystical, prophetical rhetoric-airs on the other.

(Translated by Gladkih O.) (Гладких Оксана, студентка экономич. фак-та МГУИЭ, май 2007 г.)


Вариант перевода:


^ 1. What is the philosophy?


1.1. Love of wisdom


The name "philosophy" comes from the Greek words “phileo” - I love and “sophia” - wisdom that means love of wisdom, wisdom-loving.

Wisdom still remains an essential definition of philosophical thinking. Philosophy is wisdom, but not of a separate person but of the incorporated Mind of people. In other words Philosophy is a collective thinking. How can it be understood?


First Philosophy is thinking not knowledge, not feeling, not belief, not will, not action.


Secondly, Philosophy is not simply thinking but co-thinking, i.e such a way of thinking which assumes an intellectual dialogue of people or mutual thinking of people. Philosophy is a collective thinking like science - collective cognition, art - collective feeling, religion - collective faith, morals-politics-law - collective will, economy - collective manufacture-distribution, etc.


Thirdly, initial and a terminal point of philosophizing is not the knowledge or blessing or beauty, but an idea having sense-value for other people, first of all for philosophers.

Certainly, it’s collectively thinking in science, art and all other spheres of human activity.

But this collective thinking is only a subordinated moment of scientific-cognitive, art activities and so on.


It’s philosophic only in that measure in what it is internally free. It is not connected directly with manufacture of knowledge, beauty, material benefits, etc.

In philosophy the collective thinking is self-sufficient, is as much as possible removed from the decision cognitioning, art and practical problems. The elements of philosophy are elements of a pure, self-sufficient idea.


Philosophy is the maximum display of ability alive-human to a delay of reaction, action, the answer for that considering how is better to operate-act. The bare behaviour is certainly reflex, when the minimal distance between sensation and action (for example, drawing back quickly hands from a hot subject right after the touching). The person’s behaviour became more difficultly, when the distance between perception and action, knowledge and practice is wider. Philosophers are such representatives of humans who in the greatest degree personify materialize this delay.

If philosophers offer something to a person who isn’t a philosopher that is not ready answers-recipes but their semifinished items, because the idea is always a semifinished item...


Earlier some philosophers, writers and scientists put forward regulations about of philosophy as sciences of sciences. This position correctly emphasizes a special role of philosophy in comparison with private sciences as general world outlook, methodological, ideological basis of scientific knowledge. But at the same time it suffers essential defect. It declares philosophy like a science and thanks to that fact it arranges the communication between philosophical representations and scientific theories. Actually the philosophy is the special form of thinking. It includes an element of scientific character, but is not reduced to the scientific form of knowledge. The science is the form of collective knowledge while the philosophy is the form of collective thinking of people.


(In brackets I’ll note, what a certain mess is in the sights at a parity of philosophy and sciences [when the philosophy is represented as a science], so in a question about a parity of thinking and knowledge the first quite often represent as a part, a kind or the form of the second. See about it below item 17.1, p. 510).


Besides the philosophy, unlike a science, cannot oblige, order, specify “as it is necessary”, be legislator. Its positions possess only recommendatory force in relation to other branches of human activity. Expression “philosophy is the science of sciences” reflects attempt to present philosophy legislator of sciences, dictating to them the will, how conduct yourself.


The specified expression is wrong and in the sense that limits mutual relations of philosophy with other branches of human activity only area of attitudes with sciences. The philosophy as the form of collective thinking has the direct attitude both to a science, and to art, and to a material practice, and to management of a society, and to individual experience of the person. It reflexes in occasion of all these forms of activity, borrowing position of the center or focus in which forms of human activity converge all. Differently, philosophy is the concentration, the center of all human searches and aspirations.


In our country the philosophy long time was (and while remains) strongly fastened to the state and a science. Philosophical researches are spent largely within the limits of or under aegis of the Russian Academy of sciences. Pseudoscientific language in philosophical books and clauses is quite widespread phenomenon. As a result from philosophical researches and reflections wait for the same, that from scientific researches.


Science as already was spoken, engaged knowledge; the philosophy learns nothing. It only comprehends a course and results of knowledge (and not only knowledge, but experts, arts, in general all human experience). The Science makes knowledge. The philosophy develops ideas. No more that. Philosophical ideas are ideas of ideas: scientific, art, practical, etc. Accordingly philosophizing does not directly serve knowledge, practice, art, but rather meditated.


The philosophy in our country should find the person and be released, at last, from external пут. Anybody, neither scientific authorities, nor state, religious figures should not interfere with business of philosophy.


Example studying philosophies is attempts of some philosophers and philosophical schools to express the basic philosophical positions in the form of laws. Scientists open laws in a science, means and in philosophy it is possible to do it. Most a vivid example of the invention of philosophical laws are Marxist laws of dialectics. As it is represented to me (as I see), only the science can apply for opening and researching of laws of a subject domain. In philosophy "law" is only one of categories, a steam room of a category "phenomenon" and to name the same term some philosophical foundation is a logic mistake. Or we should recognize, that "law" is the maximum category of dialectics, or to recognize, that a word "law" in case of when it is a question of “ the law of dialectics ”, has other sense, than when it designate one of categories of dialectics. In the second case it’ll a danger of the ambiguous use of the term "law", the leader only to mess of concepts and to various skews in thinking is created.

One of the reasons of using in the Marxist philosophy of concept "law" with reference to its some substantive provisions is served just with free or involuntary carrying out of analogy between philosophy and a science.


Speaking about that philosophy nothing learns, I meant, that “an ecological niche” philosophies as special type of culture is not knowledge, and thinking. The purpose of philosophizing is not comprehension of true, and wisdom. In fact philosophizing also is sophistication (in good sense of this word). Only the science "has the right" to be engaged in knowledge. It is its feature, its "bread". Some people can tell: how to be with expressions “ philosophical knowledge ”, “ a philosophical science ” and i.e. I can’t answer: words "knowledge" and "science" with reference to philosophy are used in other sense, rather than when speak about a science as type of culture and about knowledge as branches of human activity. In divinity quite often use expressions “theological knowledge”, “a theological science”. But in fact nobody considers “theological knowledge” as scientific knowledge, and “a theological science” really science similarly to physics, biology, sociology.


When speak about philosophical knowledge mean not that knowledge which is got during scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is result of knowledge of the real world, the world as object of knowledge. Philosophical knowledge is a result of intraphilosophical streams of the information going from one philosopher to another. If I have read through Platon's compositions and have understood them has received knowledge of Platon's doctrine, of its ideas, sights and i.e. The item the Sum of philosophical knowledge is first of all knowledge of the basic philosophical doctrines and ideas of the past and the present. The philosophical knowledge is similar to scientific knowledge in the sense that it, as well as scientific knowledge, more or less adequately, accordingly displays a subject, in our case is the doctrine, ideas, and ideas of other philosopher (other philosophers).


Philosophically formed person is a person who more or has less adequately apprehended and has acquired the basic ideas of philosophers of the past and the present. Philosophical formation is a basis of philosophical learning and professionalism. Words "learning" and "scientist" with reference to the philosopher mean only that, the person thoroughly studied in philosophy. Almost the same it is possible to tell about words "scientific character" and "science". With reference to philosophy these words mean learning philosophies. Besides a word "science" in a combination to an adjective "philosophical" (the philosophical science) means this or that section of the philosophy which have allocated in rather independent philosophical discipline, in branch of philosophical knowledge. Philosophical sciences name ethics, an aesthetics, logic...


Last years other extreme measure has an effect: untiscientism and rationalism. It definitely reaction to previous decades of philosophical scientism and rationalism. The liberated philosophers suddenly have started talking as seminary students, mysticism, clairvoyants, prophets...


Neither scientism , nor ant scientism do not do the philosopher by the philosopher. We, philosophers, should learn to speak the voice - without scientism, on the one hand, and without religious-mystical, prophetical rhetoric-airs on another hand.

Translated by Budenkova Ekaterina (Буденкова Екатерина, РЭА, гр. 714 ИЭФ)
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