The main thesis of the article is that revolution and corruption are structurally and genetically related to the process of state building (étatisation). Basing itself on Michael Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the state, the article demonstrates that revolution and anti-corruption agitation are derived from a “normative pressure”, resulting from the generalization of the fiction of raison d’Etat. In the conclusion of the article this thesis is considered in the context of recent protest movements in the US and Russia which impose a demand on the “new norm”. The fact that the normative initiative walked away from the governments to protest movements suggests that current models of political representation are undergoing a deep crisis.
The article analyses the term “meme”, its history, ideological and theoretical background. The article aims at revealing the meaning of the term in different scientific and philosophical interpretations.
Meme was introduced by Richard Dawkins who tried to embed culture into his theory of gene evolution. Hence its meaning was similar to “gene” in Dawkins interpretation. The term became popular in research culture, popular science, and common sense. It is often used to describe the online phenomena of quickly spread funny pictures and phrases.
The scientific use of the term supposes a specific ideological background. It is atheistic, technocratic, media-oriented and sets human being as a prosumer. This approach did not develop richly in scientific fields of anthropology or sociology. However it became widely used in research related to contagious news or messages diffusion.
The article claims that meme popularity is an attempt to conceptualize text and context in a new way stressing pragmatic aspects of messages exchange. The process inherits McLuhan and other media theorists idea of communication leading role. The content of memes is similar to what Claude Levi-Strauss named “bricolage” and the social situation refers to Benjamin mechanical reproduction.
Finally the meme is compared to theories of popularity and celebrity and recognized as a conceptual language to describe the practice of consumption that is close to production. The key feature of meme in this context is that it does not produce new meanings and only reproduces the old ones.
The purpose of this essay is to explore the prospects for the use and development of Thompson Clarke’s ideas from his well-known paper, “The Legacy of Skepticism.” The paper is particularly concerned with Clarke’s criticism of the so-called “standard human-conceptual constitution,” which provides a ground for the distinction between plain questions of ordinary life and a philosophical intellectual quest. In support of Clarke’s criticism, it is compared to Donald Davidson’s criticism of scheme-content dualism. Moreover, the paper provides an assessment of G. E. Moore’s arguments against philosophical skepticism, which can be applied to a critical study of metaphysical preconditions in contemporary epistemology and for elaborating on the extended conception of “ordinary.” The main conclusion of the paper is that skepticism, being the logical result of these preconditions, mostly depends on the distinction between pure logical and epistemological possibilities, which is presupposed by the very idea of a conceptual scheme. This distinction is the basis for drawing radical and intuitive skeptical conclusions.
Thompson Clarke’s paper marked the beginning of the revival of the interest to the problems of philosophical skepticism in the early 70’s. In his paper Clarke raises the issue of skepticism’s relevance to the philosophical inquiry and provides a new interpretation of the traditional skeptical problems. Also Clarke points out the significance of G. E. Moore’s defense of common sense. Particularly, he shows that the lack of ordinary contexts does not make skeptical questions and Moore’s attempts to answer these questions are meaningless, as philosophers of ordinary language claimed. However, skeptics and their opponents usually share a theoretical presupposition - the idea of standard human-conceptual constitution. As Clarke points out, this constitution supposedly determines the limits and content of the human knowledge about the world. The notion of objective knowledge and the conception of philosophy itself are based on the idea of such a constitution. However, Clarke, by applying the concepts of dream and hallucination, illustrates that this idea contradicts the functioning of the concepts we use to learn about and understand the world.