In the Conceptual History Latin notion respublica is one of the most complex and disputable issues of research and translation. In spite of its fundamental significance for political thinking and political philosophy of Antiquity and Middle Ages, the evolution of the meaning of respublica stays underinvestigated for the most of its stages. The present paper is devoted to the Latin respublica in French political thinking of 14th century. Political vocabulary of this time was beginning to be controlled by laic courtly intellectuals instead of clerics and universities. In that way, both spiritual and laic aspects, Aristotelian philosophy and Ciceronian rhetorics constitute the context for all the dominant political notions of the time, and so it is for the Latin respublica. The research is based on the political pamphlet A Dispute between a Priest and a Knight, its reception and French translation at Charles V’s court. The mutual comparison of respublica’s semantical function in different versions of the treatise in the context of other key political notions like people (populus) or common good (bonum commune) allows us to trace the evolution of its interpretation from the principle of political life to a material object. Thus, the concept of Latin respublica is being objectified and earthed within the framework of gallicanist project on the base of late medieval Aristotelianism.
This is the first Russian translation of the treatise of Adelard of Bath «On the Same and the Different» (about 1110 AD). This prosimetrum, made according to the Boethius’ model (“Consolation of Philosophy”), is an example of the medieval Latin Platonism and it demonstrates how educational system in the 12th century copes with the disciplines of trivium and quiadrivium. The philosophical problematic and dramatic form which embodies this problematic makes Adelard of Bath one of the major predecessors of the School of Chartres.
This essay challenges the widely accepted principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. The author considers situations in which there are sufficient conditions for a certain choice or action to be performed by someone, So that it is impossible for the person to choose or to do otherwise, But in which these conditions do not in any way bring it about that the person chooses or acts as he does. In such situations the person may well be morally responsible for what he chooses or does despite his inability to choose or to do otherwise. Finally the author considers certain suggestions for revising the principle he rejects or for replacing it with a principle of an altogether different kind.
The article provides an overview of the creative evolution of well-known logic Alexander Karpenko (1946-2017), which held the position of head of the Department of logic Institute of philosophy Russian Academy of Sciences for seventeen years. I focus on his recent philosophical interests, in particular, on the most important idea of many possible worlds. Also, I take the liberty to note some key milestones of his life.
Translation: Basilius von Caesarea. Homilien Zum Hexaemeron. — Berlin : Akademie Verlag, 1997. — (Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller Der Ersten Jahrhunderte (NF) ; 2).
Academic report: Second International Conference ‘HSE Semantics & Pragmatics Workshop’ : Moscow, September 4–5, 2018
This article is devoted to Harry Frankfurt's seminal paper "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility." First, it describes the philosophical context of Frankfurt’s paper and explains the main features of the conditional analysis of the ability to do otherwise proposed by G. E. Moore as a possible solution to the problem of free will. Secondly, it reveals the general intuitions that motivate Frankfurt’s criticism of the principle of alternate possibilities. Thirdly, it examines Frankfurt’s account of free action based on the distinction between the desires of different orders in the structure of the motivational system of the agent. Fourthly, it explores some ways to criticize Frankfurt's thought experiment and some particular conclusions that were drawn from this experiment. The first strategy seeks to reveal some hidden alternates in Frankfurt's thought experiment that are enough robust to ground the moral responsibility of the agent. The second strategy uncovers the hidden assumption of Frankfurt’s experiment: it presupposes but does not prove that determinism is compatible with moral responsibility. The third strategy concerns the new formulation of the principle of alternate possibilities. This new principle is supposed to be immune to the Frankfurt-type cases. This third strategy is further elaborated in the W-defense proposed by D. Widerker, who raised the question of whether we are morally justified to expect that the agent would do something else than he actually did in Frankfurt-type cases.
Nayas (Sanskrit, “points of view”), are invariably included by historians of Indian philosophy in the number of methods of reliable knowledge. But in Jainism they have the second aim also: they serve as the effective means of refutation of the opponents of Jīna Mahāvīra’s teachings. The article presents arguments in favor of mainly polemical aims of nayas, because they aren’t as obvious as their cognitive function. The author of the article sees them as the means of polemics because they are mentioned already in the most ancient parts of the Jain Canon, which were composed much earlier than a theory of instruments of valid knowledge (pramāṇavāda) appeared, and also because, according to the instructions of Jain authors, nayas complemented the teaching of changeable reality (anekāntavāda) and they were used along with the sevenfold paralogism (saptabhaṅgī) for to demonstrate the false absoluteness of non-Jaina metaphysical positions. If we would consider the totality of these methods only as a means of obtaining reliable knowledge about the changing reality, this methodology looks like an unfit tool for two reasons at least: the variability of reality, relativizing any claims about it; and the uncertainty of the methods themselves, preventing the rapid acquisition of the required knowledge. This makes it possible to see the main purpose of using the method of points of view in proving Jain thesis that their opponents do not possess the absolute truth of any objects, which implies the insolvency of their claims to possess metaphysical truth, and it is an indirect justification of Jain metaphysics.
This article is devoted to the concept of autocracy (“samoderzhavie”) in the version of the Russian intellectuals and the higher bureaucrats in the late XIX – early XXth century. The research is based on the great variety of historical sources – published and archival. It is stressed that the Slavophile conception of autocracy calls for dramatic changes of the political regime and the great institutional reforms. Actually it camouflaged the opposition intentions of the Russian rulers who could not be very frank in the declaring of their political view. It was a rhetoric of the mock loyalty. It meant the definitive rejection of the concept of the absolute monarchy that was an ideological core of the Russian statehood of that time. The followers of the Slavophile political vision criticized the institutions of Polizeistaat that – from their point of view – had no strong roots in the Russian life. That way they approached to the idea of the constitutional limitation of the tzar power. They supposed that the state could not be the only actor in the Russian history. They insisted on the necessity of the strict frames of its activity. The Slavophle rhetoric was widely spread in the Russian intellectual life – among the convinced the Slavophiles and either among those who could accept the Slavophile rhetoric to hide their constitutional way of thinking. It was not a secret for many higher bureaucrats of that time who did not accept the Slavophile point of view and who were too far from the Slavophle rhetoric. And the Russian emperors statements mainly were far from the Slavophile rhetoric, too. Although the canonic way of the understanding of autocracy belonged not to the tzars, but to the Slavophile thinkers who worked in the editorial offices of Moscow newspapers and magazines or in the Ministry offices in Saint-Petersburg. One more time it proves the political loneliness of the monarch power that could not expect any support even from the part of its officers – bureaucrats or courtiers.
This article presents methodological foundations for the history of Russian political languages. Authors draw on the key insights of the Cambridge school of intellectual history while highlighting some new methodological moves based on applying this approach to the studies of the Russian history. The article provides definitions of the key methodological concepts and reviews selected illustrative cases from the Russian and Western history. In general the history of political philosophy in this perspective combines two imperatives: (a) privileged attention to available (sub)languages and idioms of the given period; (b) analysis of authors’ intentions and rhetoric moves in the historical context, framed by linguistic conventions and discourses of other participants in the debate. While applying this methodology to the Russian past (and present) we have identified several relevant issues which were mostly taken for granted by the main founders of the Cambridge school: the degree of familiarity and trust of the ruling elites with the written tradition of the political philosophy; institutions of public debate; and, finally, regimes of publicity structuring political discussions.
In the present article, I propose the following thesis: most of the problems related to the ethical choices in moral philosophy are false. This thesis might be illustrated with an example of the novel "Sophie's Choice" by William Styron. The main character of the novel (Sophie) faces a difficult choice being held in Auschwitz: she has to decide which of her two children to save; the other one will be sent to the gas chamber. At first sight, the question here is about ethical choices; however, there is no ethical choice in an authentic sense. We will consider four strategies to solve this problem, which provides by Kant, Hegel, Schelling and Wittgenstein. Hence, all attempts to find a philosophical solution to the problem of choosing between two valuable alternatives are hopeless. In this case, we either have to withdraw this issue from the purview of philosophy and bring it to the other fields of knowledge (e.g., evolutionary psychology explains Sophie's choice, using Darwin's theory), and to recognize the impotence of the Reason and assign the problem a regulatory status, as if it indicates the boundaries of what we can know in the field of moral philosophy.