The article analyses three issues. Firstly, how the culture of research universities in the series ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is designed based on the Honor Code Handbook of the California Institute of Technology. Secondly, the author observes the culture of pranks and jokes as an element of the tradition of American research universities — in comparison to cultural traditions of Russian universities. Third, he demonstrates, that one of the main patterns of constructing comic situations in the series is explaining the incommensurability of conceptual frameworks — the common language and the language of science.
A conflict between artificial intelligence (AI) researchers and phenomenologist Hubert Dreyfus arose in the 1960s and continued until the 2000s. The creators of the first AI programs believed that skill acquisition is a matter of solving problems by using particular mental representations,or heuristics. Dreyfus set out to prove that heuristics are not needed for skill acquisition because the human mind and body are capable of reacting to problematic situations in a flexible way without any mental representations. By clarifying the backstory of the conflict and analyzing the fundamental contradictions between the two theories of skill, the article shows how the phenomenology of skill acquisition originated from a critique of symbolic AI. Dreyfus developed his understanding of interconnections between mind and body in opposition to the associationism in the theories of Herbert Simon, Allen Newell and Edward Feigenbaum. He maintained that human beings have fringe consciousness, insight and tolerance of ambiguity and that they have a specific body structure and needs which make it possible to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant features in the environment and get a maximum grip of it. The author analyzes how theories of learning created within symbolic AI influenced Dreyfus’s five-stage model of skill acquisition. That model explained why programs by Simon and his colleagues achieved initial success, but it also exposed their limitations. To clarify the teleology of skill, Dreyfus explored how the idea of motor intentionality is connected with neural network modelling. Two perspectives on the role of Dreyfus in the history of AI are outlined together with the reasons why his philosophy had almost no effect on the AI community even though it was influential in the social sciences and humanities. Finally, current challenges facing the phenomenology of skill acquisition are explored.
The article analyzes the phenomenon of collective sexual violence, which was clearly manifested in Germany in connection with the influx of refugees and migrants in the last couple of years. In seeking to explain this phenomenon as the export of gendered forms of violence, the author explores its origins in the form of a secondary analysis of monitoring data, tracking escalation and discontinuities in the practice of applying sexualized violence associated with the political struggle during the two Egyptian revolutions. The intersectionality of gender, ethnicity, social problems and the crisis of power, considered in a number of studies in the monitoring mode, indicate bringing of political values into sexualized violence or about the instrumentalization of sexual violence by political forces in the struggle for power. In this context the practice of collective sexual violence called taharrush and its legitimation in the discursive space of modern Arab culture develops. Obviously, after a decade, this practice, directly and indirectly, through discursive legitimations, contributed to the masculine socialization of young generations of Arab men. This type of masculine socialization is built on certain social norms that justify the use of violence against "transgressors" the moral and religious boundaries of women, and is also associated with the performance of violent potential in public space. The experience of participation in Tahrir as a symbolic achievement of hegemonic masculinity made it possible to compensate for the gaps of masculinity for those who experienced economic deprivation due to unemployment, and thereby restored male hierarchies. Perhaps in the long term, recomposition of the Taharrush phenomenon in another, already western context of emigration, his explanation is not only the continuing economic, social, psychological, sexual deprivation of refugees from the Arab world, but also socialization through direct and indirect practices of taharrush.
This article describes the phenomenon of the celebrity, its emergence and development in cultural and historical context. The first part of the article provides a brief historical account of the beginning of modernity, when the cultural phenomenon of persons famous for something other than their military achievements, their inheritance, or their artistic talents first emerges. This part of the article addresses the heyday of cinema and television, i.e. the period between the start of the 19th century and the latter half of the 20th century. The second part of the article is dedicated to celebrities as objects of contemporary cultural and social research. As a discipline, celebrity studies is a relatively new sphere in US and UK universities, but an increasing number of researchers are taking up the study of celebrities each year. This is due to the fact that celebrities often embody a non-articulated public mood, and also because modern celebrity culture is based on the capitalization of names and thus perfectly illustrates many key processes taking in the cultural industry today. The article concludes by examining the phenomenon of internet celebrities, who used the representation of everyday practices in order to gain the attention of their audiences. This is a comparatively new phenomenon that has not been fully examined by academics. This phenomenon occurs when there is a reduction of design, expressed in the demonstration of sincerity and simplicity, resulting in a new sort of self-design. The audience’s demand for simplicity and naive sincerity generates two new trends that will prevail in the culture of celebrities in the coming years. On the one hand, stars will bet on the expansion of demonstrations of everyday life practices. On the other hand, new applications and platforms will emerge that are specifically designed to preserve privacy and the ability to participate in one-way data transmission without interactive connections with fans.
The article provides a brief overview of the history of understanding of war in European thought. Transformation of the perception of war as a socio-political phenomenon is traced in chronological order. Author focuses on the assessments of war from the standpoint of ethics and political theory. It is observed in the text how key questions that allow to give a moral assessment of war were raised in ancient philosophy. The duality of the attitude to war was fixed in the works of Plato and Aristotle. Assessment of war depended on the extent to which the conflict corresponds to natural justice. Later, in the works of Christian authors, the basis of this dichotomy rested on the idea of God as a source of justice. The paradigm of punitive war became the core of the Christian doctrine of just war. In modern history, the process of secularization of the philosophical perception of war had begun. Theological consideration of armed conflicts was replaced by legal one. The article considers the influence that Grotius and his followers had on the process of replacing the punitive paradigm of just war with the legalist paradigm. It is noted also that renunciation of war and search of perpetual peace appeared to be a popular genre in 18th century. Kant was given as an example on that matter. Further, the author refers to the legacy of Clausewitz in order to determine the main features of modern period views on war as a practice strictly assigned to the state. The article concludes with a comparative review of approaches to the evaluation of war by political realists and contemporary just war theorists.
Publications over the last fifteen years, including Heidegger’s so-called Black Notebooks, his lectures and seminars from 1933–1935, and letters to his brother necessitate a reappraisal of the “Heidegger case.” New clarity has been reached regarding the significance of the “political” for his philosophy, his place in the intellectual avantgarde of the National-Socialist movement and, finally, the meaning of his “confession” of historical error. The remaining ambiguities persist due to the radical difference between the usual conception of a normal political reality that is shared by his critics and defenders alike and the style of thinking which was typical for that earlier historical period. Our accustomed static interpretation of events with its focus on the formal, ideological, or institutional elements of a normal political process must be distinguished from a dynamic interpretation of the “political.” Interest in Heidegger’s legacy is warranted because he provides his readers with a logic of “proper language” which opens a path to self-knowledge. The price to be paid for this benefit is that readers lose the distinction between their own language and Heidegger’s. Heidegger committed a similar error himself when he was negligent about distinguishing his language from Hitler’s. The conceptual convergence of Heidegger and Hitler serves as a warning about the danger in the kind of salvation Heidegger’s language provides to his readers in their pursuit of self-knowledge. The claim that in some respects “Heidegger equals Hitler” is not equivalent to the simple fallacy of a reductio ad Hitlerum. Further clarification of the relationship between thought and tyranny requires a return to classical political philosophy with its distinction between “proper language” and “common language” and to a tragic conception of truth derived from instances of peripeteia in which binary oppositions are reversed.
This paper is a reply to D. Kralechkin’s review of my book “Political Logic of Plato and Overcoming of Platonism by the Post-Nietzschean wave” (2014). Against the reviewer’s opinion, my reason to discuss Plato’s legacy was not that I wanted to rehabilitate his name in the history of philosophy. I aimed at overcoming the dogmatism of the two dominant schools in the contemporary philosophy, i.e. the continental (‘post-Nietzschean’) and the analytical ones. My typological method of approaching the history of philosophy allows to see the implicit possibilities and the limits of the post-Nietzschean intellectual wave – its obsession with the problem of freedom and its ignorance of the problem of justice. Unlike the reviewer, I consider the shift in the key terminology from the notion of freedom to the notion of difference not as an independent development within the poststructuralism. It is rather a part of the global philosophic trend, whereby any exceptional speech of positive freedom is bound to inflate the old vocabulary and give incentives to the emergence of fresh metaphors. My interpretation of Plato’s political philosophy is not the same as my argument about the invariant problem of the political reality, which is the problem of the mutual untranslatability between the language of the anomic freedom and the language of the communal justice. As we focus of the latter issue, this problem has become invisible today due to the dominance of the two philosophical schools. This diagnosis of the contemporary situation in the philosophy is independent from my historical studies. Limiting the ramifications to Russia, it is safe to say that it would be nonsense for us to await salvation from a direct import of either continental or analytical political theories. Local constant distortion in favor of the continental thought proves the absolute compatibility of those allegedly radical ideas with the preservation of status-quo. The reason for that, as well as for the impossibility of any direct import of the normative political recipes, is the absence of what we may call the common language of thought in the local political community.
There are three phases in the research about authorship and free speech that have been essential to Foucault throughout his life. They can be associated with such texts as the three reports “What is an Author?” (the first phase), “What is Critique?,” and “What is revolution?” (the second phase), and the two lecture courses, “Fearless Speech,” and “The Courage of the Truth” (the third phase). Initially, Foucault merely describes “founders of discursivity” (hence, the “superauthors”), among whom he reckoned only Marx and Freud, as an exclusive alternative to his own conceptualization of “the author function,” which is a mass feature of the contemporary society. Then, he modifies his views on the “superauthorship.” Kant becomes his paradigm, and Foucault associates his concept of free speech with a critical attitude. However, Foucault claims only a half of the Kantian philosophical legacy that is related to the research into the “ontology of ourselves.” My hypothesis is that a sovereign use of free speech, which can be associated with the names of Marx and Heidegger and in general with the concept of “superauthorship,” becomes unacceptable for Foucault. During the third phase, danger of a tyrannical use of free speech compels Foucault to undertake a number of fruitful but questionable research decisions. He focuses on a single aspect of free speech, where a speaker is in a weaker position and therefore has to tell the truth despite fear of sanctions. Foucault associates this kind of free speech with the Ancient Greek notion of parrhesia, which according to his interpretation means “fearless speech;” however, this reading is not always supported by Ancient Greek sources. In the end of his research Foucault comes to a radical conclusion that free speech transforms into performative “aesthetics of existence.” For Foucault, the main motive behind this lifelong research was investigation into his own abilities and powers as an author.
This article focuses on hip-hop as a movement of popular culture. e arti- cle has two main aims. First, observa- tion and discourse analysis, which will identify the principal tropes and com- monalities through which researchers and critics of popular culture construct the unity of their analytical narration and subjects of research. It is argued that the achieved discursive unity (the unity of concepts, subjects or themes) does not allow researchers to capture hip-hop as movement in popular cul- ture in all its diversity and heterogeneity. It is argued that academic researchers and critics of hip-hop culture are trapped in representations of the fun- damental di erences between “mainstream” and “underground.” e article shows that research on this topic is dominated by a kind of narrative sce- nario shaped in the post-war decades that depicts subculture as growing into a cultural movement with potential for progressive liberation.
The second task of the article is pragmatic: to show why hip-hop is interesting in the current political cir- cumstances. is questioning allows the author to formulate the following theses: 1) the eclecticism of values and style in mainstream and under- ground music renders the di erence between them irrelevant; 2) the culture of hip-hop, with its aura of the local or the regional, is one of the manifesta- tions of the antimodernization momen- tum; 3) the masculinity of hip-hop, its racial identity pathos and romanticizing gangsterism are manifestations of young peoples’ conservative reaction to rapid transformations of their social milieu; 4) the protest culture of hip-hop di ers radically from youth protests against capitalism and bureaucracy of the 1960– 1970s, with its pathos of gender and race equality, preaching of love and non-vio- lence.
The paper examines Manuel DeLanda’s assemblage theory in order to show that two of its key concepts—flat ontology and the idea of emergence—are incompatible with each other. The philosophical context of assemblage theory is outlined with a brief consideration of different interpretations of Deleuze’s ideas and an examination of DeLanda’s reconstruction of Deleuze’s ontology, which served as the conceptual foundation for assemblage theory. The author then exposes key flaws in this reconstruction, in particular the conversion of the scientific ontology of dynamical systems theory into a univocal philosophical ontology and metaphysics of assemblages. When coupled with the universalization of relations of exteriority, this leads to numerous conceptual deficiencies ranging from infinite reductionist regress and mereological atomism to overlooking the relations of necessity between assemblages. The lack of such a relationship is key to evaluating assemblage theory. DeLanda interprets the concept of emergence as a product of exclusively exterior relations while ignoring interior relations. Consequently, he refuses to regard assemblages as ontologically dependent on each other. The existence of interior relations between parts of assemblages suggests that causal interactions between those parts precede assemblages with emergent properties not only, or not merely, as a matter of logic or chronology. They precede assemblages transcendentally as conditions of their possibility. This presupposes that there is ontological dependence between an assemblage and its elements, and this dependence itself presupposes a hierarchical structure in the world such that, for an assemblage to exist as a whole, its parts must also exist. This structure is incompatible with the main tenet of assemblage theory, which is the concept of flat ontology. In closing, the implications of the epistemological problems in assemblage theory are discussed, and a position that follows logically from solving these problems is considered. This position is the ontic structural realism of James Ladyman and Don Ross, and its main thrust is that mathematical structures describe all that really exists.
In this article, the author addresses the topic of bad cinema, referring to the basic concepts of aesthetic theory: the power and grounds of judgment. He comments on the need for researchers to investigate alternative cinema, beyond mainstream and art-house. The author aims to attract the attention of young humanitarians to bad cinema. The text discusses the following questions: When and how did discourse on alternative (bad) cinema appear in the Western public and academic spaces, within which themes in cinema studies are “bad films” typically studied, the grounds on which the subject makes a judgment of taste, according to which a particular film is good or bad. Borrowing the concept of “heterotopia” from Michel Foucault, the author points out that although “heterotopias of bad taste” supposedly let “utopia of good taste” to remain “a measure of quality,” in fact they they imply that good taste is impossible.
The article is a contribution to the ethical discussion of autonomous lethal weapons. The emergence of military robots acting independently on the battlefield is seen as an inevitable stage in the development of modern warfare because they will provide a critical advantage to an army. Even though there are already some social movements calling for a ban on “killer robots,” ethical arguments in favor of developing those technologies also exist. In particular, the utilitarian tradition may find that military robots are ethically permissible if “non-human combat” would minimize the number of human victims. A deontological analysis for its part might suggest that ethics is impossible without an ethical subject. Immanuel Kant’s ethical philosophy would accommodate the intuition that there is a significant difference between a situation in which a person makes a decision to kill another person and a situation in which a machine makes such a decision. Like animals, robots become borderline agents on the edges of “moral communities.” Using the discussion of animal rights, we see how Kant’s ethics operates with non-human agents. The key problem in the use of autonomous weapons is the transformation of war and the unpredictable risks associated with blurring the distinction between war and police work. The hypothesis of the article is that robots would not need to kill anyone to defeat the enemy. If no one dies in a war, then there is no reason not to extend its operations to non-combatants or to sue for peace. The analysis presented by utilitarianism overlooks the possibility of such consequences. The main problem of autonomous lethal weapons is their autonomy and not their potential to be lethal