The topic of the present research is to demonstrate the key transformations of the intellectual practice related to the development of such category as negativity (non-existence) in the modern philosophy. Historically, classical philosophical solution to the problem of negative was to place it in the domain of transcendential, i.e. to substitute it with God, noumenality, will, etc. However, the conclusion of the post-Hegelian reflections is that the negative should be reunited with the world through man, who ultimately represents a part of this world. This inclusion of negative into the structure of Being, i.e. basically the ontologization of non-being, allows for integration of praxis into the world. Human dimension in this case is no longer a side effect, a consequence of a primary autonomy of the world, but represents that form through which the world comes to existence. This strategy of thematization of negative as the bases for transition from fundamental ontology to fundamental anthropology becomes the key theme for a number of philosophical contexts of the 20th century (Kojève, Sartre, Heidegger). At the same time, this strategy might be countered by another alternative, when negative is understood in such a way as to fully implement its own differential instead of substantial mission. Study of many concepts conceived in the 20th century shows that the main principle of this alternative was grossly disregarded – various excuses were used to subject negative to inadmissible for nonexistent substantivization. Had we reserved the only role for negativity – to manage the movement of distinctions and to distinguish – we could have avoided both – the antinomies found in classical philosophy as well as disappointments accompanying philosophical thought of the modern period.
In the first book of Tusculanae Disputationes Cicero examines in a form of a dialogue between two unknown persons different attitudes towards the death. A considerable part of the dialogue is devoted to the study and the refutation of the belief that human souls after death do not have any form of existence. Cicero suggests his own interpretation of the Platonic theory of a soul. He proves that the death could be a blessing for a human being and that the soul is immortal. He also speaks about the celestial ascent of the soul. Apparently, these beliefs were based on the Platonic version of Stoicism provided by Posidonius. Cicero tries to produce a convincing evidence of the immortality of the soul, basing on the philosophical positions, but not religious. The authority of philosophy remains one of the main arguments for him.
A general theory of negation is suggested within the framework of algebraic opposition, where negation is characterized as a difference-forming operator. A theory of meaning is also proposed to motivate the variety of negations: it is a Question-Answer Semantics (thereafter: QAS), i.e. a non-Fregean semantics that underlies the resulting Boolean calculus of oppositions between objects while assu- ming that every meaningful object has a logical value (beyond the sole sentences).
After reviewing a number of philosophical puzzles about negation, the logical framework is described and applied to solve the previous difficulties. Three Appendices are supplemented to give some details about the technical results of QAS, with a special attention to the linguistic forms of negation and their logical analysis as opposite-forming operators.
The article analyzes the method of negative theology. The method of negative theology is described as apophatic (negation) and aphairesis (abstraction). The usage of negative cognition method is shown to be part of early religious and philosophical doctrines (Hinduism, Daoism, classic Greek philosophy, etc.). Despite the term, the method does not need to be directed to the supernatural substances investigation but is also applicable for geometric and ontological concepts analysis. However, the method specifics basically deal with what goes beyond thoughts and words as it shown in the analysis of its historical development. This aspect of method is also of common use by Wittgenstein in his research of «mystical» which exists beyond the language and therefore beyond the world.
Philosophy starts for Sartre with the problem of imagination the, i.e. problem which is technically based on the doctrine about mind’s negation with the adequate exposure recognized in, first and foremost, an artist’s creativity. In his early publications Sartre defines creative imagination as an act of neantisation (néantisation), and that’s why he finds in it the source of the beautiful. Imagination, according to Sartre’s conception, is not only detached from the reality reflection, but, on the contrary, is somehow opposed to it: the imagining state of mind occurs only upon condition of neatisation of a real object. Thereupon the creation of some works of art as esthetic's objects is explained entirely by the mind’s productiveness: it becomes the most constructive form of activity because the object of neantisation is the world itself. The mission of analyzing the imagination act’s creative constructiveness as a fundamental and transcendental condition of one’s mind is set in the article.
This article analyzes the basic models of "Negative Education" (pedagogical, heuristic and erotic) developed in the XVIII century on the border of philosophy, pedagogy and literature. "Don’t let arisen vice" - the main thesis of Rousseau’s doctrine, which is enough to follow for a successful education and the formation of a virtuous citizen. However, the theory of Rousseau does not exhaust the variety of interpretations of the goals and objectives of the isolation of the child in theories of "Negative Education". Examples of pedagogical novels discussed in this article give an idea of the diversity of these pedagogical experiments in the French social thought in the Enlightenment.
This article discusses how according to Aristotle one can understand the principles of non-being and non-existing and accordingly the possible ways of expressing it.
This paper examines ontological and phenimenological strategies of Buddhism in general and the Buddhist school (darśana) of mādhyamaka. The mādhyamaka’s “śūnyata” (emptiness), for example, is comparable with “Nothingness” in Western existential tradition (though they are not absolutely similar) and we can discover primacy of negativity in both cases. We also try to substantiate that the position of mādhyamaka was a radical nihilism and not scepticism contrary to the opinion of a number of modern buddologists. And what is also important for us is the problem of the “unhappy consciousness” (the Buddhist “duḥkha”) and different attitudes of thinkers towards it.
The article provides a close reading of passages from an early modern dissertation on the concept of nothing by Rudolph Goclenius and Cornelius Götz, defended in 1608 at the University of Marburg. The dissertation is interesting for two reasons. It provides an insight into how early modern school philosophers thought about the role of the concept of nothing across philosophical disciplines (metaphysics, natural philosophy, ethics). And it allows us to understand more fully strategies of citation in this period. The paper demonstrates not only that the concept of nothing was relevant for an analysis of creation or a more precise understanding of non-virtuous action. It also shows that citations could be used to resolve a seeming contradiction, to simplify a complex argument, or to argue against an opponent of one's own view. These practices are quite different from contemporary standards of scholarly practice - a difference that should be kept in mind when trying to unlock the philosophical content of texts from this genre.