The article summarizes material from the thematic issue of Logos on the study of war. The author notes that, contrary to Hannah Arendt’s prediction, it is wars rather than revolutions that accompany human social activity in the twenty-first century. And because war is such a ubiquitous phenomenon, philosophers have tried to gain an understanding of it. Despite the great variety of arguments about war, we can distinguish three theoretical discourses each focused on its own separate topic. The first discourse is an attempt to rehabilitate the military thought of Carl von Clausewitz, the first theorist of “modern” war; the second is the just war theory, which concentrates on issues of applied ethics (whether it is legitimate to start war, how to conduct warfare, what to do after the conflict, etc.); the third is the discussion on “new wars.” The author maintains that the second discourse is too instrumental and that the just war theoretical apparatus often lags behind the empirical realities. The first approach can at best be an abstract and theoretical one, but it is not by any means useful as an applied theory. Hence, the most important of these discourses for practical philosophy is the third one, that is, the debate about “new wars.” That is why developing and elucidating the theory and ¾ most important of all—the practice of new wars demands attention. The conclusion is that the social theory of (post)modernity would enrich the new wars discourse, and further areas for study are therefore mapped out.
The article examines a problem besetting social theory and theory of culture: the problem of using postmodernism as a language for describing the 21st century. The author resorts to the umbrella term “post-postmodernism” to indicate the more complex theories that focus mainly on the analysis of the latest forms of capitalism rather than the concepts that offer themselves as direct alternatives to postmodernism even though they ignore the link between postmodernism and capitalism. The author takes up the idea, first argued for by the American Marxist philosopher Fredric Jameson, that postmodernism is the cultural logic of late capitalism and then uses Jameson’s approach in an attempt to retrace the continuity of new concepts of capitalism. The discussion begins with the theory of capitalist realism developed by leftist British thinker Mark Fisher. Fisher recognizes Jameson’s merits but takes exception to the term “postmodernism,” although the entire philosophical apparatus that Fisher uses is borrowed from Jameson’s work. The article then bridges the gap between capitalist realism and the latest left-wing theories such as accelerationism and post-capitalism. After tracing the close connection between the work of Mark Fisher and Nick Land, who worked together in the 1990’s at the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) and the ideas of Nick Srnicek, the author asks why Srnicek and his colleagues are put off by Fredric Jameson’s postmodern theory. The answer is that postmodernism does not permit contemporary leftists to speculate about the future. However, as the author points out, Jameson’s ideas about postmodernism at the “genetic level” are implicit in Srnicek’s concept of post-capitalism, which makes Srnicek’s theory “post-postmodernist,” although as a negative variation (in contrast to Mark Fisher’s positive one).
The article examines contemporary philosophical and theoretical trends that lead to the dispersion and fragmentation of theories and research methodologies and even of the subject of inquiry. vis process is dismantling the basic ontological distinctions that have long determined both the epistemological and the cultural characteristics of European society and science. These theoretical leanings have their own social and cultural roots in the rapidly increasing complexity of modern civilization. That civilization is relinquishing what Max Weber saw as a crucial distinguishing feature of modern society: its ability to comprehend the structure and functioning of the surrounding world. The author finds that one result is the emergence of a “new naivety” in which insurmountable diculties in attaining rational understanding justify postulation of the ontological independence of actors, objects, etc., as well as the resurgence of various forms of metaphysics. The importance of an emotional relationship toward the world, which increasingly manifests itself as a universe of singularities, is expanding in step with the loss of a rational horizon for subjectivity in modern society. ve historical perspective of the institutional approach has several epistemological advantages for dealing with these tendencies. ve institutional approach maintains continuity with the project of modern historiography as such by concentrating on phenomena that have a comparable duration and sustainability and by facilitating examination of problems in the sociology of knowledge, for which a wide range of analytical techniques has been developed in order to analyze the interaction of institutions with different scales (for instance, within the framework of organizational institutionalism) among others. ve historical analysis of institutions also has a significant practical value by disabusing us of a naive view of the world (including the natural world) as some kind of natural and unmediated given and by making us aware of the contingency of our historical existence. ve institutional approach and modern historiography share a common mission as an emancipatory exercise in selfknowledge.
The Cambridge School of political thought embraces several historians (John Pocock, Quentin Skinner, John Dunn) who began working at Cambridge in the 1960s and offered a unique approach to the study of social-political ideas. These authors insisted that political thinking is historical in its nature, and for that reason it should be studied in historical and ideological contexts. They also insisted that political ideas should not be considered as concepts that are separated from life or as a “tradition” which has persisted from Plato to the present. In recent years there have been attempts to adapt the method of the Cambridge School to a Russian context. The author insists that there are specific reasons why this is nearly impossible to achieve. This becomes obvious when the activity of the Cambridge School is situated in different contexts — in the context of the social and philosophical thinking in Britain of the 1960s, in the context of American political theory from the last quarter of the 20th century, and in the context of republican social philosophy of the early 20th рcentury. One then finds first that the methodology of the Cambridge School went through considerable transformations as early as the mid-1970s; and second that the interests of scholars shifted either to political theory or to history for which their approach is not applicable for certain reasons. The author concludes that a continuation of the project of the Cambridge School is possible at best only in the field of contemporary social and political philosophy and not in the study of European political thought of the 15th through 17th centuries or American political thought of the 18th century.
The article analyzes the problem of the representation of one of the greatest cultural traumas of the twentieth century — the Holocaust — in various Jewish museums (Washington, Berlin, Moscow). They are united by the important social function of perpetuating and edification, but each museum has its own context and creates its own form of representation, rhetoric and measure of the performance and memory about the events of Jewish history. Concepts and exposure of these museums are immersed in a context of general social debate about the trauma, its principal expressibility, mediatization and visualization. The research field of trauma contains an internal contradiction. This contradiction is inherent, on the one hand, the idea of which came from the psychoanalysis of inexpressible injury (T.Adorno, Jean-François Lyotard, Sh.Felman, D. Laub, Caruth C. et al.), and, on the other hand, the opinion of globalization and mediatization injury (V.Kansteiner, E.Kaplan, J.Aleksander, A.Hyussen). The discourse about the Holocaust is globalized, but the memory of the Holocaust victims is functioning glocal, taking into account the specific local context of traumatic events. As a consequence, museumfication of Holocaust generates diverse field of aesthetic representations. The article stresses the peculiarity of these museums focus on sensual work with the past called for the exchange of experiences and emotions in addition to rational knowledge, an invitation to identify. In comparison of museums, it becomes evident that modern museum exhibitions and performances to varying degrees provoke the visitor to identify with the collective subject of history through a simulated experience of the suffering of others, which is impossible without emotions, sympathy and working memory. But the therapeutically simulated traumatization through acquaintance with the phenomenon of the Holocaust is not justified in any socio-political and cultural context
This paper is a review of the recent Russian translation of Philip Pettit’s 1997 book “Republicanism”. The Russian translation comes to light on the wake of the global political shift, which compels to re-evaluate the shares of realism and idealism in the republican theory. The discussion of the book itself is preceded by a review of Pettit’s many contributions to analytic philosophy. In Russia, understanding of Pettit’ philosophical republicanism is complicated due to low familiarity of the audience with the normative approach to politics in general. This may result in overrating the republican criticism of liberalism; it is more appropriate to speak about republicanism correcting or upgrading, than refuting liberalism. A purely logical demonstration of the priority of the republican concept of freedom as non-domination over the liberal concept of freedom as non-interference is hardly possible. Rather the difference between liberalism and republicanism points to their disagreement over the nature of the underlying political reality: whereas liberalism distrusts the state and the “big government”, republicanism embraces it. Pettit’s version of republicanism is a normative theory, which strategically seeks to translate political agendas of various groups into the common republican language. The principle of nondomination functions as the touchstone of normalization for the political spaces. The pluralistic ontology of the republicanism excludes every kind of metaphysical unities, from the indivisibility of the sovereignty to the individuality of the isolated citizen, considering them to be potential sources of domination. The book remains silent about the role of philosophy in politics, as well as about the power of the normative reason in the community, where it enjoys prioritization over direct democracy and majority rule. Finally, “the people” itself emerges in the process of the appropriate republican education.
The article discusses the ambivalent phenomenon of the selfie - a self portrait taken with a digital camera and published on the web. It is argued that the selfie is a new languege of self-description in society which can be interpeted through the ideological background of the authors. The selfie is presented as a factor in democratization of media, but also as a possible tool for depresonalization and commodification of internet users. This is duscussed in context of femenist's narrative on selfies.
We analyze the Complaints and Suggestions Journals maintained at the dining cars in trains run by Soviet Railroads in the early 1930s. A certain level of hostilities has arisen between customers and the personnel following the emancipation of service employees, who started being viewed by consumers as an obstacle to be overcome rather than assistants in obtaining access to goods and services. Both sides armed themselves with numerous regulations, ordinances, instruction manuals, and booklets. One side was mastering the art of composing complaints, the other was improving the phrasing of formal replies and runaround response patterns. The complaints reveal daily life problems as well as eating habits and gastronomic preferences of some categories of passengers, also indicating their tolerance level beyond which they considered the situation unacceptable. Mostly written by members of the middle class emerging in the cities, lower levels of Soviet civil servants, bosses of various scales, and servicemen, the complaints represent an important source for every-day life and social history studies. They allow reconstructing a number of rules observed in communications between customers and stuff, and reveal the improvised ideological grounding invoked in an attempt to catch the attention of authorities. We claim that the widespread popularity of the genre of complaints was a side effect of mass literacy, and the ideological interpretations were the result of the struggle for justice. The paper is based on Materials of the People’s Commissariat of Supplies, previously unpublished, and the regulatory documents, manuals, and booklets of the 1930s–1940s specifying rules for the provision of passenger services and for the writing of complaints.