Kovalevsky Maxime Maximovitch
Kovalevsky Maxim Maximovich a prominent Russian scientist, lawyer, historian, sociologist-evolutionists and public figure.
Main concepts and models of the modern theory of self-organization of complex systems, called also synergetics, are generalized and formulated in the book as principles of a synergetic world view. They are under discussion in the context of philosophical studies of holism, teleology, evolutionism as well as of gestalt-psychology; they are compared with some images from the history of human culture. The original and unfamiliar (to the Western readers) research results of the Moscow synergetic school which has its center at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences are expounded in the book. Complicated and paradoxical concepts of synergetics (structure-attractors, bifurcations, blow-up regimes, non-stationary dissipative structures of self-organization, fractals, non-linearity) are translated into an intelligible language and vividly illustrated by materials and examples from various fields of knowledge, starting with the laser thermonuclear fusion and concluding with mysterious phenomena of human psychology and creativity. The style of writing is close to that of popular-science literature. That's why the book might be of interest and is quite comprehensible for students and specialists in the humanities. It is shown that the development of synergetics entails deep changes in the conceptual net through which we comprehend the world. It means a radical shift of paradigm, a conceptual transition from being to becoming, from stability to sustainability, from images of order to chaos generating new ordered evolving structures, from self-maintaining systems to fast evolution through a nonlinear positive feedback, from evolution to co-evolution, reciprocal evolution of different complex systems. The new synergetic way of thinking is evolutionary, nonlinear and holistic. This is a modern stage of development within the traditions of cybernetics and system-structural analysis. However, many elements of the latter have undergone important changes since their appearance.
Bogdan (Feodor) Alexandrovich Kistiakivsky legal scholar, philosopher and sociologist-neo-kantianist.
Paying the due respect to the historical importance of the intellectual revolution caused by Ch. Darwin and his «Origin of species» (1859) one should not misunderstand its place in our current scholarly life. The complex development of science is based on production of new facts and theories in the course of negotiations allowing us to tell facts from their interpretations, «real» facts from systematic observational errors, to formulate, test and reshape theories, etc. Darwin is a wrong partner for this negotiation process. One can not any longer force him to accept the current standards of scientific validity, to reconsider his views, or to put them into other words. The whole world of facts and theories changed over the past 150 years. Some scientific concepts taking their origin from the works of Darwin are present in the now current theories of evolution in such a form that would not be intelligible and, perhaps, even agreeable for Darwin and his contemporaries. The notions of selection and competition attained a far higher degree of counterintuitivity and mathematical sophistication than one could imagine in the nineteenth century. Some ideas, e. g., Darwin's vague views of heredity, were completely rejected. Two principal fallacies in the treatment of Darwin's heritage are thus identified: the dogmatic literalism infollowing his views, and the readiness to engage in a scholarly debate with «Darwinism» by criticising or denigrating Darwin's original ideas. The dogmatic literalism in following Darwin's views on heredity was characteristic, e. g., for the infamous Trofim Lysenko and his adherents. On the other hand, those who are now seriously involved with criticising Darwin are performing their scholarly duties poorly. Darwin's works should remain where they are, in the history of science, situated in the culture of the nineteenth century. The current debate should be centered upon the current theoretical problems. What is no less important is that the scientists should play a more active role in reshaping the public understanding of science, introducing the increasingly complex new World to the general public.
The chapter traces the history of evolution of Russian liberal thought in the span of the 19th century and explores how Russian liberals conceptualized the phenomenon of imperial diversity and related to the context of empire in thinking about potentialities of progressive Russian politics. The author explores the history of importation of blueprints of liberal universalism in Russian liberal thought and the development of the paradigm of national liberalism in reposnse to the challenges of the modern empire. The author argues that the idiom of national liberalism was not the only one. A different paradigm was in existence that may be called imperial liberalism. The chapter finds out how this alternative paradigm helped Russian liberals assume a significant place in public politics in the late imperial period, when the odds of mass politics were against classical liberalism. The chapter introduces the author’s finding of the transnational genealogy of Petr Struve’s program of “Greater Russia.”
Main concepts and models of the modern theory of self-organization of complex systems, called also synergetics, are generalized and formulated in the book as principles of a synergetic world view. They are under discussion in the context of philosophical studies of holism, teleology, evolutionism as well as of gestalt-psychology; they are compared with some images from the history of human culture. The original and unfamiliar (to the Western readers) research results of the Moscow synergetic school which has its center at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences are expounded in the book. The heuristic value of the synergetic models of evolution and self-organization of complex systems in epistemology and cognitive psychology, education and teaching, futures studies, social management activities and systems of global security is shown in the book. The book is addressed to a wide circle of readers: students, teachers, scientists who are specialized in different fields of natural sciences and the humanities as well as to all readers who strive for using recent results of science for reflections and achieving success in their own life.