Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Studies
Despite the fact that culture, aesthetics, and art were some of the main concerns of early classical sociology (e.g., Simmel’s essays are probably the most popular reference in this regard), later culture has become a matter of interest of a sub-discipline, that of the sociology of culture. The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries brought a radical transformation of sociological understanding of culture, and it was Jeffrey Alexander who revived the notion and proposed a new understanding of sociological theory drawn on this notion. According to Alexander, culture should be treated as an autonomous realm being able to act and contribute to the social order. In (re)turning to this understanding, Alexander draws upon a variety of now-classical theories, but mainly on Durkheim’s theory of religion as explicated in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Clifford Geertz and his idea of thick description is one of the sources for the renewed cultural sociology. In Art as a Cultural System (1976), he wrote that “to study an art form is to explore a sensibility” and “such a sensibility is essentially a collective formation, and that the foundations of such a formation are as wide as social existence and as deep”. The special issue of the RSR is dedicated to empirical and theoretical discussion of how art can serve as a source of sociological imagination.
This book, a philosophical consideration of Soviet socialism, is not meant simply to revisit the communist past; its aim, rather, is to witness certain zones where capitalism’s domination is resisted—the zones of countercapitalist critique, civil society agencies, and theoretical provisions of emancipation or progress—and to inquire to what extent those zones are in fact permeated by unconscious capitalism and thus unwittingly affirm the capitalist condition.
By means of the philosophical and politico-economical consideration of Soviet socialism of the 1960 and 1970s, this book manages to reveal the hidden desire for capitalism in contemporaneous anticapitalist discourse and theory. The research is marked by a broad cross-disciplinary approach based on political economy, philosophy, art theory, and cultural theory that redefines old Cold War and Slavic studies’ views of the post-Stalinist years, as well as challenges the interpretations of this period of historical socialism in Western Marxist thought.
The text traces the rise of the intelligentsia, from the 18th century to the present day, at the same time problematizing its central ideas. Beginning with this historical background, the book proceeds to investigate the distinctive intellectual, spiritual and biographical opposition of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in relation to the history, character and fate of the Russian intelligentsia.The present is indeterminate and, just as we did three hundred years ago, we Russians once again find ourselves searching for answers to the question of who we are, as we attempt to defend our own sense of distinctiveness in a multipolar world, and to produce a differentiated narrative of our own identity. The precariousness of the present geopolitical situation lends a particular urgency to these questions.
This third edition of Moral Constraints on War offers a principle by principle presentation of the ethics of war as is found in the age-old tradition of the Just War. Parts one and two trace the evolution of Just War Theory, analyzing the principles of jus ad bellum and jus in bello: the principles that determine the conditions under which it is just to start a war and then conduct military operations. Each chapter provides a historical background of the principle under discussion and an in-depth analysis of its meaning. More so than in the previous editions, there is a special focus on the transcultural nature of the principles. Besides theoretical clarifications, each of the principles is also put to the test with numerous historical and contemporary examples. In Part three, Just War Theory is applied in three specific case studies: the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in World War II, the Korean War (1950-53), and the use of armed drones in the "war on terror." Bringing together an international coterie of philosophers and political scientists, this accessible and practical guide offers both students of military ethics and of international relations rich, up-to-date insights into the pluralistic character of Just War Theory.
Featuring scholars at the forefront of contemporary political theology and the study of German Idealism, Nothing Absolute explores the intersection of these two flourishing fields. Against traditional approaches that view German Idealism as a secularizing movement, this volume revisits it as the first fundamentally philosophical articulation of the political-theological problematic in the aftermath of the Enlightenment and the advent of secularity. Nothing Absolute reclaims German Idealism as a political-theological trajectory. Across the volume’s contributions, German thought from Kant to Marx emerges as crucial for the genealogy of political theology and for the ongoing reassessment of modernity and the secular. By investigating anew such concepts as immanence, utopia, sovereignty, theodicy, the Earth, and the world, as well as the concept of political theology itself, this volume not only rethinks German Idealism and its aftermath from a political-theological perspective but also demonstrates what can be done with (or against) German Idealism using the conceptual resources of political theology today.
The book focuses most of all on women's and partly on men's agency, to discuss variant ways in which women and men actively use their scopes of action - through political activism, protest, movements, in the military. The book is aiming to dicuss variant perspectives on these issues in different contexts witin Eastern Europe. How do these in change affect conservative societies and the concepts of masculinity?
The volume is structured in four parts:
I) Floating concepts of Femininities and Masculinities
(essentially this is a discussion on the role of feminism in the transformation period in Eastern Europe)
II) Political Activism
(this part deals with political participation of women - also within conservative parties - and of variant forms of protest)
III) Nationalism and Militarization of societies
(also papers on violence)
IV) Social Roles and Concepts of Women and Men
The book analyses the modes and methods of argumentation between the opponents in the ancient world.
Liberalism in Russia is one of the most complex, multifaced and, indeed, controversial phenomena in the history of political thought. Values and practices traditionally associated with Western liberalism—such as individual freedom, property rights, or the rule of law—have often emerged ambiguously in the Russian historical experience through different dimensions and combinations. Economic and political liberalism have often appeared disjointed, and liberal projects have been shaped by local circumstances, evolved in response to secular challenges and developed within often rapidly-changing institutional and international settings. This third volume of the Reset DOC “Russia Workshop” collects a selection of the Dimensions and Challenges of Russian Liberalism conference proceedings, providing a broad set of insights into the Russian liberal experience through a dialogue between past and present, and intellectual and empirical contextualization, involving historians, jurists, political scientists and theorists. The first part focuses on the Imperial period, analyzing the political philosophy and peculiarities of pre-revolutionary Russian liberalism, its relations with the rule of law (Pravovoe Gosudarstvo), and its institutionalization within the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets). The second part focuses on Soviet times, when liberal undercurrents emerged under the surface of the official Marxist-Leninist ideology. After Stalin’s death, the “thaw intelligentsia” of Soviet dissidents and human rights defenders represented a new liberal dimension in late Soviet history, while the reforms of Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” became a substitute for liberalism in the final decade of the USSR. The third part focuses on the “time of troubles” under the Yeltsin presidency, and assesses the impact of liberal values and ethics, the bureaucratic difficulties in adapting to change, and the paradoxes of liberal reforms during the transition to post-Soviet Russia. Despite Russian liberals having begun to draw lessons from previous failures, their project was severely challenged by the rise of Vladimir Putin. Hence, the fourth part focuses on the 2000s, when the liberal alternative in Russian politics confronted the ascendance of Putin, surviving in parts of Russian culture and in the mindset of technocrats and “system liberals”. Today, however, the Russian liberal project faces the limits of reform cycles of public administration, suffers from a lack of federalist attitude in politics and is externally challenged from an illiberal world order. All this asks us to consider: what is the likelihood of a “reboot” of Russian liberalism?
This book examines the function and development of the cult of saints in Coptic Egypt, focusing primarily on the material provided by the texts forming the Coptic hagiographical tradition of the early Christian martyr Philotheus of Antioch, and more specifically, the Martyrdom of St Philotheus of Antioch (Pierpont Morgan M583). This Martyrdom is a reflection of a once flourishing cult which is attested in Egypt by rich textual and material evidence. This text enjoyed great popularity not only in Egypt, but also in other countries of the Christian East, since his dossier includes texts in Coptic, Georgian, Ethiopic, and Arabic.
This book consists of previously unpublished manuscripts by Vygotsky found in the first systematic study of Vygotsky’s family archive. The notebooks and scientific diaries gathered in this volume represent all periods of Vygotsky’s scientific life, beginning with the earliest manuscript, entitled The tragicomedy of strivings (1912), and ending with his last note, entitled Pro domo sua (1934), written shortly before his death. The notes reveal unknown aspects of the eminent psychologist’s personality, show his aspirations and interests, and allow us to gain insights into the development of his thinking and its internal dynamics. Several texts reflect the plans that Vygotsky was unable to realize during his lifetime, such as the creation of a theory of emotions and a theory of consciousness, others reveal Vygotsky’s involvement in activities that were previously unknown, and still others provide outlines of papers and lectures. The notes are presented in chronological order, preceded by brief introductions and accompanied by an extensive set of notes. The result is a book that allows us to obtain a much deeper understanding of Vygotsky’s innovative ideas.
The Working Paper focuses on possible impacts of related technologies, such as machine learning and autonomous vehicles, on international relations and society. The authors also examine the ethical and legal aspects of the use of AI technologies. The present Working Paper of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) includes analytical materials prepared by experts in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous system, as well as by lawyers and sociologists. The materials presented here are intended to contribute to the public dialogue on issues of artificial intelligence and the possible consequences of using this technology.
The concept of sacred insanity is widespread among many religions of the world and through many ages and cultures. The present volume collects the contributions of the symposium Holy Fools and Divine Madmen, held in Munich in 2015. Employing interdisciplinary approaches, these studies cover a wide geographical and cultural range, from Byzantium westward to Italy and Ireland, and eastward to Islamic Iran, and to India and Tibet
What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent.
Unity and Aspect has been short-listed as a finalist for the 2019 Prix Mercier.
What is first philosophy today? In Unity and Aspect, the questioning begins with a new (old) approach to metaphysics: being is implied; it is implied in everything that is; it is an implication. But then, the history of philosophy must be rethought completely – for being implies unity, and time, and the other of time, namely, aspect. The effect on the self and on self-understanding is radical: we can no longer be thought as human beings; rather, reaching back to the ancient Greek name for us (phos), Haas seeks to rearticulate us as illuminating, as illuminating ourselves and others, and as implicated in our illuminations. Unity and Aspect then provokes us to problematize words and deeds, thoughts and things – and this means reconsidering our assumptions about history and survival, meaning and universality, sensibility and intimacy, knowledge and intentionality, action and improvisation, language and truth. And if Haas suspends the privilege enjoyed by our traditional philosophical concepts, this has implications for fields as diverse as ontology and phenomenology, ethics and aesthetics, education and linguistics, law and politics.
Review of Unity and Aspect by Mark Tanzer:
“Haas’ book is unique...his own foray into metaphysics...an original metaphysics written in a way that is designed to afford a unique angle on the problems of metaphysics, specifically in their ineluctably problematic character”.
Alongside the Arab Spring, the 'Occupy' anti-capitalist movements in the West, and the events on the Maidan in Kiev, Russia has had its own protest movements, notably the political protests of 2011–12. As elsewhere in the world, these protests had unlikely origins, in Russia’s case spearheaded by the 'creative class'. This book examines the protest movements in Russia. It discusses the artistic traditions from which the movements arose; explores the media, including the internet, film, novels, and fashion, through which the protesters have expressed themselves; and considers the outcome of the movements, including the new forms of nationalism, intellectualism, and feminism put forward. Overall, the book shows how the Russian protest movements have suggested new directions for Russian – and global – politics.
The book considers how to make the methodology of business ethics more scientific, especially its normative branch. Storchevoy explores the attempts of economic theory to contribute to the scientific normative analysis of economic behavior, particularly the welfare economics of 1910-1950 and methodological discussions of economics and ethics from 1980-2015. He then examines the development of the methodological structure of business ethics in general since the 1980s and the scientific validity of normative business ethics, including stakeholder theory, the separation thesis, integral social contract theory, corporate social responsibility, virtue ethics and other frameworks. He concludes by suggesting an additional step to make business ethics a more systematic discipline by developing a typology of moral issues and dilemmas. Business Ethics as a Science will be a thought-provoking resource for students and practitioners of business ethics and economists alike.
The editorial introduction outlines the theoretical framework of the special issue by indicating main ideas that shape the research agenda. Alexander Filippov and Nail Farkhatdinov provide the grounds for the cultural sociological understanding of the arts and literature in relation to the problems of sociological knowledge. The editorial is completed with the overview of the contributions.
The modern theory of complex systems changes our view of historical processes, accompanied by uncertainties, instabilities and ambiguities. The knowledge of this theory allows us to master a system or holistic thinking, and to understand the laws of functioning and growth of not just structural, but dynamic complexity. Uncertainties and chaotic elements that indicate any state of crisis are not only negative factors that we should beware of and not without fear to worry about them. We can learn to manage them and use them in the way of renewal of social systems, producing innovations. The strategic vision of complex systems evolution becomes an effective tool for decision making and scenarios planning based on our participatory activities with alternative futures. The article examines the case of Shell Corporation, which has been using scenario thinking technologies since the early 1970s, which has given it incredible competitive advantages and incentives for rapid growth and transformation into an international energy giant.
The introductory article to the special issue “The Strategic Management in the Context of Dynamic Complexity” substantiates that models and representations of the theory of complex systems are becoming the most relevant science-based background, which allows us to respond to the challenges of our time. The increasing complexity of social and economic development processes, accompanied by uncertainties, instabilities, unexpected turns, digitalisation in the economy and the birth of Industry 4.0, the growing importance of network structures in business activity, new environmental standards associated with the need to switch to circular processes in the economy - all this requires changes in the management strategies of firms and corporations. Unconditional advantages are received by those firms that embed the principles of systemic, holistic, and non-linear thinking in their business philosophy.
Gregory Palamas has faced a problem of compatibility of two theological provisions within his doctrine based on the distinction of substance and non-created activities in God: these are, firstly, that God is unalterable, and, secondly, that He acts accordingly with time in relation to the created world, in particular, having made the created being. This background caused polemical argumentations on the possibility of signifying the divine activities as accident. The notion of accident here refers to the context ascending to the Peripatetic tradition, yet modified in writings of such Christian authors as Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria and John Damascene. Palamas addresses this topic in two of his works, Antirrh. c. Acind and Capita 150, written within the interval of five or six years. We see that Palamas is moving towards a more detailed notion of accident while considering its applicability to divine activities: this is him moving to the notion of inseparable accidents. But even in this sense, the accident, compliant to Palamas, must not be attributed to God and divine activities, though the Church tradition used to do this. Palamas finds a solution of this tension by pointing out that the notion of accident was used by the Church tradition in an improper sense. Meanwhile, his ally David Dishypatus takes a more subtle position: he admits a possibility to apply the notion of accident to the divine activities, but minding core restrictions of the human language, which speaks of God only within the horizon of human nature.
The conventional reading of the “ancient” chapters of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita attributes the role of an active moral subject to Pilate and a largely passive role to Ieshua. Proceeding from this assumption, the encounter between these characters is interpreted as an ethical event, in which Pilate is sup- posed to make decisions based entirely on his own will. This paper challenges this reading by arguing that Ieshua, generally considered the epitome of love, is the actual source of the events in which Pilate is involved. This idea is demonstrated by a comparison with the early Christian experience that views divine love as prior to power and intellect. The analysis traces Pilate’s inner transformation caused by the impact of proactive love and of the actual person of Ieshua, rather than his ideas, which clarifies the meaning of the encounter of these protagonists in Bulgakov’s novel.
The present paper discusses perspectives of Activity Theory (AT) in the context of contemporary globalizing world, describing which we refer to the notion “De-structuralized modernity” (Sorokin & Froumin, 2020). Radical changes in everyday life challenge social sciences and humanities. Approaches are in demand, which have the potential to comprehend the changing human étant and éntre. We argue that Activity Theory has the potential to face these challenges. Leontiev’s AT grounds on the idea of qualitatively new mental features arising to deal with novel environmental challenges, which is much in line with J.M. Baldwin reasoning on evolution. AT also offers a method to prognosis the upcoming neoplasms. In the same time, applying classics of AT to the current reality, “De-structuralized modernity”, entails the need for new theoretical elaborations of the latter, stemming from the radical transformation of the relations between individual and socio-cultural environments. A unique societal context emerges on the global level, which, on the one hand, requires individual to adapt constantly to changing socio-cultural reality, and, on the other hand, dramatically expands his/her potential for proactive actorhood transforming surrounding structures. We argue that the major and novel challenge for the individual is the task of maintaining the integrity and coherence of the a) Self-identity and b) system of links in and with the socio-cultural environment - in their dynamics and unity. The notion of “culture” has particular relevance and importance in this context because it allows grasping simultaneously two dimensions in their dynamic dialectical interrelations. First, the “internal” (“subjective”, “in the minds”) and “external” (“objective”, material and institutional environment) realities. Second, individual (“micro”) and societal (“macro”) scales of human activities. Discussing the ways to understand these dynamics, we dispute the popular “constitutive view” on personality and refer to the concept of the “ontological shift” (Mironenko & Sorokin, 2018). We also highlight how technological advancements change and “expand” human nature making it capable to deal with the outlined new tasks.
The pragmatic notion of assertion has an important inferential role in logic. There are also many notational forms to express assertions in logical systems. This paper reviews, compares and analyses languages with signs for assertions, including explicit signs such as Frege’s and Dalla Pozza’s logical systems and implicit signs with no specific sign for assertion, such as Peirce’s algebraic and graphical logics and the recent modification of the latter termed Assertive Graphs. We identify and discuss the main ‘points’ of these notations on the logical representation of assertions, and evaluate their systems from the perspective of the philosophy of logical notations. Pragmatic assertions turn out to be useful in providing intended interpretations of a variety of logical systems.
Peirce’s linear versions of the language of his Existential Graphs (EGs), presented in 1902, are examined. Differences between linear and non-linear languages are explained by permutational invariance and type- vs. occurrence-referentiality: Standard EGs are permutationally invariant with respect to linear EGs, while the Beta part of the system, which corresponds to first-order quantificational theory with identity, is occurrence-referential. However, occurrence-referentiality of Beta graphs constitutes a defect of expressivity: since the meaning of a quantifier is inextricably connected to the meaning of the sign of identity, certain complex assertions cannot be expressed in the language of Beta graphs without a new extension of its standard notation.
The article proposes a discourse analysis of Fazliddin Muhammadiev’s novel Dar on dunye (In the Other World), first published in 1965 in Tajik language, then translated into multiple languages, and republished numerous times in Russian. It was the only published fictional hajj account based on a real journey from Dushanbe via Moscow to Mecca in the post-war Soviet Union. How do we explain this novel’s strange origins and success? What were its intended message and audiences? What narrative tropes did the author use to achieve his goals? And why would Soviet officials support the publication of a hajjnāme, let alone encourage its frequent re-publication? We should not assume that Soviet readers would have focused on the anti-religious aspects of the novel. Denunciations of religion had largely become a routinized discourse by the 1960s. What would have been completely new to Soviet readers, whether Muslim or not, were the descriptions of the hajj, which, for all of the author’s satire, are also highly detailed. The author’s direct, journalistic style, which he uses to try to show the “true” nature of the capitalist world and religion, also makes it possible for a Soviet reader to imagine what it would be like to go on such a journey, although only a handful of them would ever have such an opportunity. The Soviet Union strove to show that it could be respectful of cultural traditions associated with religion even as it sought to eliminate religious practice. Travel to the Soviet Union was one way of accomplishing this goal. The audience for this kind of outreach was not the pious or the committed foes of socialism, but rather progressive post-colonial elites who the Soviet Union hoped could be won over to the Soviet side in the Cold War. Ultimately, Muhammadiev is only partially successful in his attempt to reconcile the needs of Soviet foreign policy, Soviet atheism, and Soviet nationalities policy. The novel is hardly subtle in the way it satirizes religion, piety, and the pious. But the novel nevertheless proved successful. This can be explained in part by the author’s successful use of the travelogue to show local Soviet elites and citizens a world they would have almost no chance in encountering otherwise, but also because the novel’s characters are complex enough that the overall story remains compelling. The novel’s limitations speak to the larger contradictions of Soviet nationality policy, religious policy, and foreign policy. Intermediaries like the author and his narrator/alter-ego Qurbon Majidov may have felt empowered by the system and taken pride in their role within it. Yet the encounter with the outside world for which they recruited always threatened to challenge their authenticity.