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Автор(ы) публикации: Viktor Kirsanov
Сайт автора(ов): http://kirsanov-vn.narod.ru/AIN/str_ain.htm

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Viktor Kirsanov

kirsanov-vn@narod.ru

 

To the Death of Philosophy

 

One bearded sage concluded: there's no motion. 
Without a word, another walked before him.

(Pushkin)

 

At all times, love to wisdom (philosophy) served hand and foot to the human race. Its origin is neither in the ancient Greece nor in the archaic Egypt nor in barbarity or human wildness, but in human savagery. Philosophy helped the human beings master their environment as far ago as they had been getting control over fire and poking-stick. Human beings’ entrance into historical life itself is the result of their expression of the superior love to wisdom unavailable for the surrounding animals. And now, they say, it’s dead.

Why? Is it because that during last four hundred years, philosophy has reduced to the human “Self”, whose existence precedes his subject matter. It’s not surprising, that being between life and death, passing to the better world, he invented the thought about the death of philosophy.

To say that the news of the death of philosophy was unexpected would be cunning because only a blind one could not see that during last 150 years it has been constantly decaying due to complete decadence and exhaustion of its conceptual construct caused by perversions of philosophasters welcomed by stupidity promoters. It’s good that the terms were still saved, e. g.: Being, Substance, Matter, Consciousness, Time, etc. As for their meaning, it’s epic fail. Being unable to understand their main point, one part of philosophers was milling the wind, dropping their eyes, while the others, like the fox from Aesop’s fable, cunningly admitting their inability, abandoned their classic definitions and filled them with new meanings. Of course, under a specious excuse of the necessity of their development, like Heidegger did:

 

“The question of the meaning of being must be formulated…

The question to be formulated is about the meaning of being. Thus we are confronted with the necessity of explicating the question of being with regard to the structural moments cited…

The question of the meaning of being was not only unresolved, not only inadequately formulated, but despite all interest in “metaphysics” has even been forgotten…

The question must first be asked whether and to what extent in the course of the history of ontology in general the interpretation of being has been…”[1].

 

The spell is followed by monkeying around:

 

“As ways in which human beings behave, sciences have this being’s (the human being’s) kind of being. We are defining this being terminologically as Da-sein…

Da-sein is a being which is concerned in its being about that being. The “is concerned about…” has become clearer in the constitution of being of understanding as self-projective being toward its own most potentiality-for-being. This potentiality is that for the sake of which any Da-sein is as it is. Da-sein has always already compared itself, in its being, with a possibility of itself. Being free for its own most potentiality-for-being, and thus for the possibility of authenticity and inauthenticity, shows itself in a primordial, elemental concretion in Angst. But ontologically, being toward one’s own most potentiality-for-being means that Da-sein is always already ahead of itself in its being.

Da-sein is always already “beyond itself”, not as a way of behaving toward beings which it is not, but as being toward the potentiality-for-being which it itself is. This structure of being of the essential “being concerned about” we formulate as the being-ahead-of-itself of Da-sein.

But this structure concerns the whole of the constitution of Da-sein. Being-ahead-of-itself does not mean anything like an isolated tendency in a wordless “subject”, but characterizes being-in-the-world. But to being-in-the-world belongs the fact that it is entrusted to itself, that it is always already thrown into a world. The fact that Da-sein is entrusted to itself shows itself primordially and concretely in Angst. More completely formulated, being-ahead-of-itself means being-ahead-of-itself-in-already-being-in-a-world”[2].

 

Stirner with his “Ego” is no match for it looking how his ideas founded on “Nothing” are promoted; how the number of his followers multiplies, in whose discussions (as what he confessed in relation to his ideas):

 

“…when the idea itself disappears, the word loses its meaning, too”[3].

 

And this happens when, for the first time in human history, within the whole country, the exploited class defeated the exploiting one and started successfully building a fair society being often founded on Marxism theory popular at that time, that, among other things, told about the priority of being and consciousness. Heidegger is not alone in his scientific blindness, deafness, forgetfulness, his desire to start from zero point. Such intention is always anti-scientific and, as a rule, dirty. The truth of this sentence is confirmed by one of the funeral crew members:

 

“Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Dewey, - Husserls, Sartres, and others, I’ll add – V. K., -  are in agreement that the notion of knowledge as accurate representation, made possible by special mental processes, and intelligible through a general theory of representation, needs to be abandoned. For all three, the notions of “foundations of knowledge” and of philosophy as revolving around the Cartesian attempt to answer the epistemological skeptic are set aside. Further, they set aside the notion of “the mind” common to Descartes, Locke, and Kant - as a special subject of study, located in inner space, containing elements or processes which make knowledge possible. This is not to say that they have alternative “theories of knowledge” or “philosophies of mind.” They set aside epistemology and metaphysics as possible disciplines. I say “set aside” rather than “argue against” because their attitude toward the traditional problematic is like the attitude of seventeenth century philosophers toward the scholastic problematic. They do not devote themselves to discovering false propositions or bad arguments in the works of their predecessors (though they occasionally do that too). Rather, they glimpse the possibility of a form of intellectual life in which the vocabulary of philosophical reflection inherited from the seventeenth century would seem as pointless as the thirteenth-century philosophical vocabulary had seemed to the Enlightenment. To assert the possibility of a post-Kantian culture, one in which there is no all-encompassing discipline which legitimizes or grounds the others, is not necessarily to argue against any particular Kantian doctrine, any more than to glimpse the possibility of a culture in which religion either did not exist, or had no connection with science or politics, was necessarily to argue against Aquinas’s claim that God’s existence can be proved by natural reason. Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Dewey have brought us into a period of “revolutionary” philosophy (in the sense of Kuhn’s “revolutionary” science) by introducing new maps of the terrain (viz., of the whole panorama of human activities) which simply do not include those features which previously seemed to dominate.

The aim of the book is to undermine the reader’s confidence in “the mind” as something about which one should have a “philosophical” view, in “knowledge” as something about which there ought to be a “theory” and which has “foundations”, and in “philosophy” as it has been conceived since Kant.

I present Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Dewey (Husserls, Sartres, and others, I add – V. K.) as philosophers whose aim is to edify - to help their readers, or society as a whole, break free from outworn vocabularies and attitudes, rather than to provide “grounding” for the intuitions and customs of the present”[4].

 

From philosophy of being to philosophy of life, from philosophy of life to philosophy of existence, from philosophy of existence to philosophy of death – this is a natural result of philosophy decay. In recent years, due to getting excessively feeble and, I dare say, decaying, it started moving from narrative to tongue-handing. Incredible as it may seem: within a short time (by historical standards) the triumph of mind was replaced by repose, live ideas were sprinkled with dead water.

It was just yesterday that philosophy was moving the needle of the humanity as the science of all sciences:

 

“The whole of philosophy, Descartes wrote in 1647, is like a tree. The roots are metaphysics, the trunk is physics, and the branches emerging from the trunk are all the other sciences, which may be reduced to three principal ones, namely medicine, mechanics and morals”[5].

 

Hegel, too, has the same point of view, seeing philosophy as the center of not only all sciences, but of all the truth, which he expressly stated in his speech at the opening of readings in Berlin on October 22, 1818:

 

“In this University, in this central University of the country, the science that forms the center of the whole spiritual culture, of all sciences, and of all the truth, i. e. philosophy, has also to find its proper place and be treated with most care”[6].

 

 However, almost two hundred years after Descartes, he already noticed growing of antiphilosophy:

 

 “We shall see, he told, in the History of Philosophy that in other European countries in which the sciences and the cultivation of the understanding have been prosecuted with zeal and with respect, Philosophy, excepting in name, has sunk even from memory, and that it is in the German nation that it has been retained as a peculiar possession”[7].

 

The grandparents saw the past; the grandchildren see the present. Now the Germans are not left even the dim idea on the essence of philosophy. Their practical mind showed here, too. Being “unable” to confront antiphilosophy, they led it. As Swassjan noted in the lecture that he read on May 25, 2005, in Moscow University in the course of IV Russian Philosophy Congress:

 

“There are external features (sings) indicating the death of philosophy with the same certainty as any other death. These signs shall better be looked for in German examples, supposing that if fish rots from its head, where shall the philosophy start rotting if not in Germany! Just look through curriculums and programs of German universities in the subject of “philosophy” to understand what I mean. The only thing that resembles philosophy here is a variety of sporadic compilations of historical and philosophical sense focused rather on originality than on objectivity, where, for example, Plato comes next to Wittgenstein, and Sartre is next to Gregory of Nyssa. As for other things, they can be called philosophy only in state of affection of inadequacy. For example, such blockbuster: Text-Body-Simulacrum-Sexuality-Power. I proposed a more refined version in one of the universities once: Text-Body-Hypercomplex Numbers-Phallus-Lacan, and the project was reviewed with considerable enthusiasm, though with a grain of salt (my colleagues obviously doubted my ability to manage the topic)”[8].

 

It shall be noticed, that talking about the death of philosophy, Swassjan is not so much upset about its awful state that he notices as an external observer, but rather about the colleagues’ doubts concerning his ability to manage the topic Text-Body-Hypercomplex Numbers-Phallus-Lacan. In my turn, as a sign of comfort for Swassjan, I can tell that, having reviewed his above work, I have absolutely no doubts about his abilities. Moreover, I represent and warrant that his potential is much higher, and he can easily involute the mentioned topic. Whatever, in this mournful moment, I am not in the mood to expose Swassjan.

However, let’s continue.

Consciousness of growing power over the nature by the human being armed with mathematics, physics, and other sciences led to hosannas for science and blaming of philosophy. Massive success of natural science of modern history with the relatively down time in philosophy fostered the human’s confidence in the ability of achieving well-being exclusively through scientific progress. However, the idea of modern history is neither growing of productive power nor development of science nor generation of new knowledge (including in philosophy), but forming a new human being. The modern history is the history of two interconnected ages in human history: Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. Both are anti-feudal. Not meaning that their representatives were against a little number of scythes, hooks, and other appliances, incorrectly countered number of stars in the sky, or a false theory of the revolution of celestial bodies, but rather meaning that their representatives stood for throwing down philosophical, religious, and political leaders that had not corresponded to the grown social consciousness of the time. Both focused on the social transformation of the society based on the level of knowledge achieved by it. General knowledge, and not just scientific one. Scientific knowledge, as a part of the whole, as a unit of the comprehensive knowledge of the society, as well as, for example, the knowledge developed by art, is just one of the instruments of the world exploration.

The confidence in achieving well-being exclusively through scientific progress leaves the human beings without philosophy. References to Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, etc., are unintelligent, because their discoveries and inventions are not individual results of leisure activities of their minds and phantasy, but base on their knowledge of the past and the present or even are a climax of this knowledge integration (as in the case of heliocentric system).

And what about today? Today, not considering separate ideas in the benefit of philosophy, like:

 

“Though developed philosophy is connected with sciences — it presupposes sciences in that state of development that they had reached in a certain period of time, — however, it gets its sense from other origin. It appears before any science where a human being appears”[9].

 

- formulated rather intuitively, - which guarantee is their authors’ burning striving for disavowal of the said, ­- the voices of philosophy opponents multiply and get stronger. Occasional breakthroughs sink in a flow of fiction, errors, and deliberate misrepresentation. Antiphilosophical metastases, as some people convince, have already led to the destruction of philosophy.

What are they guided by, what underlies the state of death of philosophy?

  1. Self-sustainability of science.

The most absurd point of view, which makes it popular.

The main argument for self-sustainability of science is: philosophy has dissolved in science. They say that mathematics, physics, and other sciences, having had originated from philosophy, destroyed it, like parts of a broken construction, destroy the whole. It is equal to the declaration of the death of science itself, because its termination is declared. In fact, science is inherent in philosophy, like a hole in a donut. Philosophy giving birth to science does not mean breaking the connection between them. Philosophy becomes pregnant with science due to concentration of knowledge of a particular subject of exploration. Delivering the science, it gives the science the complete control over all the details of the field of knowledge and thus gets free from the necessity of being distracted by the “details”. This is what comes first.

Secondly, because, and only because, science exists along with philosophy, it is not burdened by either indication of social importance of its results or assessment of their application. Whether a particular scientific achievement is to the benefit or in prejudice to the humanity, and whether it should or should not be applied, science does not care about it, it does not fall into its sphere of responsibility.   

Next, in order not to reinvent the wheel, continuing to prove the failure of proponents of self-sustainability of science, I will quote two Hegel’s statements. The first is:

 

“Bearing in mind this first period of thought, the period of mere generality, we may safely say that experience is the real author of growth and advance in philosophy. For, firstly, the empirical sciences do not stop short at the mere observation of the individual features of a phenomenon. By the aid of thought, they are able to meet philosophy with materials prepared for it, in the shape of general uniformities, i.e. laws, and classifications of the phenomena. When this is done, the particular facts which they contain are ready to be received into philosophy. This, secondly, implies a certain compulsion on thought itself to proceed to these concrete specific truths. The reception into philosophy of these scientific materials, now that thought has removed their immediacy and made them cease to be mere data, forms at the same time a development of thought out of itself. Philosophy, then, owes its development to the empirical sciences. In return it gives their contents what is so vital to them, the freedom of thought – gives them, in short, an a priori character. These contents are now warranted necessary, and no longer depend on the evidence of facts merely, that they were so found and so experienced. The fact as experienced thus becomes an illustration and a copy of the original and completely selfsupporting activity of thought”[10].

The second:

 

“Now the inadequacy of the thought-determinations used in physics can be traced to two points which are closely bound up with each other. (α‎‎) The universal of physics is abstract or only formal; its determination is not immanent in it and it does not pass over into particularity. (β‎‎) The determinate content falls for that very reason outside the universal; and so is split into fragments, into parts which are isolated and detached from each other, devoid of any necessary connection, and it is just this which stamps it as only finite. If we examine a flower, for example, our understanding notes its particular qualities; chemistry dismembers and analyses it. In this way, we separate colour, shape of the leaves, citric acid, etheric oil, carbon, hydrogen, etc.; and now we say that the plant consists of all these parts.

If you want to describe life and gather its meaning,

To drive out its spirit must be your beginning,

Then though fast in your hand lie the parts one by one

The spirit that linked them, alas is gone

And “Nature’s Laboratory” is only a name

That the chemist bestows on't to hide his own shame.

 

As Goethe says. Spirit cannot remain at this stage of thinking in terms of detached, unrelated concepts (Verstandesreflexion) and there are two ways in which it can advance beyond it. (α‎‎) The naïve mind (der unbefangene Geist), when it vividly contemplates Nature, as in the suggestive examples we often come across in Goethe, feels the life and the universal relationship in Nature; it divines that the universe is an organic whole and a totality pervaded by Reason, and it also feels in single forms of life an intimate oneness with itself; but even if we put together all those ingredients of the flower the result is still not a flower. And so, in the Philosophy of Nature, people have fallen back on intuition (Anschauung) and set it above reflective thought (Hegel meant nature philosophy of Shelling and his followers – Ed.); but this is a mistake, for one cannot philosophize out of intuition, (β‎‎) What is intuited must also be thought, the isolated parts must be brought back by thought to simple universality; this thought unity is the Notion, which contains the specific differences, but as an immanent self-moving unity. The determinations of philosophical universality are not indifferent; it is the universality which fulfils itself, and which, in its diamantine identity, also contains difference.

The true infinite is the unity of itself and the finite; and this, now, is the category of philosophy…”[11].

 

No doubt, looking back from today, we could upgrade Hegel. But why? Those who has not understood anything yet, cannot be helped.

  1. The denial of philosophy as a source of incorrect and useless knowledge.

The first one who did not discover any practical importance of philosophy was the father of now fierce philosophic cretinism - E. Husserl. Getting or – as his followers will later discover based on his “method of intentional analysis, and especially in its disclosure of intentional implications” and idea of “life-world as a field of subjective phenomena”, - being “thrown into a world” and existing as the “Being-in-the-world” in the grip of modern history (disparaging philosophy, on the one hand, and praising science, on the other hand), he took care to assigning a status of science to philosophy. From the first lines of his work Philosophy as Rigorous Science we learn:

 

 “From its first beginnings philosophy has claimed to be rigorous science, and in fact to be the science that satisfies the highest theoretical needs and enables, in an ethico-religious respect, a life governed by pure rational norms. This claim has been made sometimes with more, at others with less energy, but has never been completely abandoned. Not even at those times when interests in and capacities for pure theory were in danger of atrophying, or religious powers stifled the freedom of theoretical inquiry.

In no epoch of its development has philosophy been able to satisfy the claim to be rigorous science. Not even in the last epoch, which despite all the variety and contrariety of its philosophical trends has proceeded in an essentially unitary line of development from the Renaissance to the present”[12].

 

Next, an ode to psychology and phenomenology follows, whose symbiosis, in Husserl’s opinion, has to lead philosophy to science. In the end, he resumes:

 

 “Our age wants to believe only in “realities.” Now, its strongest reality is science, and thus philosophical science is what our age needs most. But if, interpreting the sense of our age, we turn to this great goal, then we must also realize that we can achieve it only in one way, namely if with the radicalism belonging to the essence of genuine philosophical science we accept nothing given in advance, accept nothing as a beginning that has been handed down nor allow ourselves to be blinded by any names, no matter how great, but rather seek to gain the beginnings through free devotion to the problems themselves and the demands radiating from them. Certainly we also need history. Not, to be sure, after the manner of the historians, losing ourselves in the developmental contexts in which the great philosophies have grown up, but in order to allow the philosophies themselves, through their own spiritual content, to have a stimulating effect on us. Indeed, out of these historical philosophies philosophical life flows towards us with the entire wealth and strength of vital motivations, provided we understand how to look into them, to penetrate to the soul of their word sand theories. But it is not through philosophies that we become philosophers. To get bogged down in the historical, to busy oneself with it in a historical-critical activity, and to want to achieve philosophical science by means of an eclectic treatment or an anachronistic renaissance: that results only in hopeless attempts. Not philosophies but the things and the problems are the point from which the impulse to inquiry must issue. But by its essence, philosophy is the science of the true beginnings, of the origins, of the ριζώματα πάντων (roots of everything – as Ancient Greeks used to say – V. K.)”[13].

 

Prejudiced and scrappy mode of thinking is obvious. What is the basis of Husserl’s statement, that from its first beginnings philosophy has claimed to be rigorous science, is unclear. The blank leaf, on which he sciences philosophy, takes spiritual contents of the great philosophies of the past, and philosophy disparaged by him turns to be a science of true origins, sources, roots of everything, - i. e. the reason for his unnecessary fuss. Nevertheless, it’s not what’s important here. What is important is that however Husserl would paint philosophy: either theoretic or scientific thing, - it’s devoted by him to destruction by default. He needs the talk about philosophy to come to the initial grounds, to the true origins, to the source, to the roots of everything, speculating with the difficulties of philosophy, and to claim the advent of Messiah of knowledge - phenomenology. It is not unexpected that he resumes his work with the words:

 

  “Since in the most impressive sciences of modernity, the mathematical-physical sciences, the greatest amount of work by far was done by indirect methods, we are only too inclined to overestimate indirect methods and to misjudge the value of direct seizing upon. Yet it lies precisely in the essence of philosophy, insofar as it returns to the ultimate origins, that its scientific work moves in spheres of direct intuition, and it is the greatest step our age has to make to see that with philosophical intuition in the right sense, the  phenomenological seizing upon essences, an endless field of work opens up and a science that, without any indirectly symbolizing and mathematizing methods, without the apparatus of inferences and proofs, nevertheless obtains an abundance of the most rigorous cognitions, which are decisive for all further philosophy”[14].

 

Two years later, a new Husserl’s work, Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. First Book, was published where he, announcing the continuation of the discussion in Second Book and Third Book, - states with fanfare the end of philosophy and triumph of phenomenology:

 

“A Third and concluding Book is devoted to the idea of philosophy. The insight will be awakened that genuine philosophy, the idea of which is the actualizing of absolute cognition, is rooted in pure phenomenology; and rooted in it is a sense so important that the systematically strict grounding and working out of this first of all genuine philosophies in the incessant precondition for every metaphysics and other philosophy “that will be able to make its appearance as a science”[15].

 

Unfortunately, Husserl had not published neither Second Book nor Third one. He was obviously irritated by something, and so strongly, that, for example, he cancelled publication of Second Book twice. But after Husserl’s death, the works left after him started being promoted by his environment, - where Heidegger, among others, grown up from, - without any thinking over. As a result, we have what we have – philosophy in a coffin. One people became the death of philosophy by promoting Husserl’s ignorance, while others did by promoting ignorance and criticizing those who was promoting Husserl’s ignorance. The former suffered from lack of existentialism, while the latter suffered from extra positivism. Among the latter, Carnap played an important role. His positivism proclamation states:

 

 “There have been many opponents of metaphysics (philosophy – V. K.) from the Greek skeptics to the empiricists of the 19th century. Criticisms of very diverse kinds have been set forth. Many have declared that the doctrine of metaphysics is false, since it contradicts our empirical knowledge. Others have believed it to be uncertain, on the ground that its problems transcend the limits of human knowledge. Many anti-metaphysicians have declared that occupation with metaphysical questions is sterile. Whether or not these questions can be answered, it is at any rate unnecessary to worry about them; let us devote ourselves entirely to the practical tasks which confront active men every day of their lives!

The development of modern logic has made it possible to give a new and sharper answer to the question of the validity and justification of metaphysics. The researches of applied logic or the theory of knowledge, which aim at clarifying the cognitive content of scientific statements and thereby the meanings of the terms that occur in the statements, by means of logical analysis, lead to a positive and to a negative result. The positive result is worked out in the domain of empirical science; the various concepts of the various branches of science are clarified; their formal-logical and epistemological connections are made explicit. In the domain of metaphysics, including all philosophy of value and normative theory, logical analysis yields the negative result that the alleged statements in this domain are entirely meaningless. Therewith a radical elimination of metaphysics is attained, which was not yet possible from the earlier antimetaphysical standpoints…

Our thesis, now, is that logical analysis reveals the alleged statements of metaphysics to be pseudo-statements…

Let us now take a look at some examples of metaphysical pseudo-statements of a kind where the violation of logical syntax is especially obvious, though they accord with historical-grammatical syntax. We select a few sentences from that metaphysical school which at present exerts the strongest influence in Germany. (Carnap remarks, “The following quotations (original italics) are taken from M. Heidegger, Was Ist Metaphysik? 1929. We could just as well have selected passages from any other of the numerous metaphysicians of the present or of the past; yet the selected passages seem to us to illustrate our thesis especially well” - V. K.)…

“What is to be investigated is being only and — nothing else; being alone and further — nothing; solely being, and beyond being — nothing. What about this Nothing? . . . Does the Nothing exist only because the Not, i.e. the Negation, exists? Or is it the other way around? Does Negation and the Not exist only because the Nothing exists? . . . We assert: the Nothing is prior to the Not and the Negation. . . . Where do we seek the Nothing? How do we find the Nothing. . . . We know the Nothing. . . . Anxiety reveals the Nothing. . . . That for which and because of which we were anxious, was “really” — nothing. Indeed: the Nothing itself — as such — was present. . . . What about this Nothing? — The Nothing itself nothings."

The examples of metaphysical statements which we have analyzed were all taken from just one treatise. But our results apply with equal validity, in part even in verbally identical ways, to other metaphysical systems. That treatise is completely in the right in citing approvingly a statement by Hegel (“pure Being and pure Nothing, therefore, are one and the same”). The metaphysics of Hegel has exactly the same logical character as this modern system of metaphysics. And the same holds for the rest of the metaphysical systems, though the kind of phraseology and therewith the kind of logical errors that occur in them deviate more or less from the kind that occurs in the examples we discussed.

It should not be necessary here to adduce further examples of specific metaphysical sentences in diverse systems and submit them to analysis. We confine ourselves to an indication of the most frequent kinds of errors...

Having found that many metaphysical statements are meaningless, we confront the question whether there is not perhaps a core of meaningful statements in metaphysics which would remain after elimination of all the meaningless ones.

Indeed, the results we have obtained so far might give rise to the view that there are many dangers of falling into nonsense in metaphysics, and that one must accordingly endeavor to avoid these traps with great care if one wants to do metaphysics. But actually the situation is that meaningful metaphysical statements are impossible. This follows from the task which metaphysics sets itself: to discover and formulate a kind of knowledge which is not accessible to empirical science…

Logical analysis, then, pronounces the verdict of meaninglessness on any alleged knowledge that pretends to reach above or behind experience. This verdict hits, in the first place, any speculative metaphysics, any alleged knowledge by pure thinking or by pure intuition that pretends to be able to do without experience. But the verdict equally applies to the kind of metaphysics which, starting from experience, wants to acquire knowledge about that which transcends experience by means of special inferences (e.g. the neo-vitalism thesis of the directive presence of an “entelechy” in organic processes, which supposedly cannot be understood in terms of physics; the question concerning the “essence of causality”, transcending the ascertainment of certain regularities of succession; the talk about the “thing in itself”). Further, the same judgment must be passed on all philosophy of norms, or philosophy of value, on any ethics or esthetics as a normative discipline”[16].

 

Not advertising a thorough analysis of this casuistic pathetics here, I will mention: one can throw together any awkward patchwork from statements of anyone, even more so, of statements of a talkative person, including Carnap. Breaking a glass and pretending the pieces are a pile of rubbish presents no special problem. Yes, Heidegger’s style leaves to desire better. But he can and has to be understood, at least because a negative result is still a result. By the way, it was prophesied already by Carnap’s predecessors of the second positivism represented by Avenarius and Mach talking about “pure experience” and “economy of thought”. Besides, Carnap is blatantly careless with quotations, which allows him to extrapolate his conclusions, fulled with Heidegger’s pieces, to Hegel.

It is difficult to say whether anyone of them had read Hegel, but he had grounded the thesis mentioned by Heidegger before its formulation:  

 

“A Being

Being, pure being, without any further determination. In its indeterminate immediacy it is equal only to itself. It is also not unequal relatively to another; it has no diversity within itself nor any with a reference outwards. It would not be held fast in its purity if it contained any determination or content which could be distinguished in it or by which it could be distinguished from another. It is pure indeterminateness and emptiness. There is nothing to be intuited in it, if one can speak here of intuiting; or, it is only this pure intuiting itself. Just as little is anything to be thought in it, or it is equally only this empty thinking. Being, the indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing, and neither more nor less than nothing.

B Nothing

Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with itself, complete emptiness, absence of all determination and content − undifferentiatedness in itself. In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned here, it counts as a distinction whether something or nothing is intuited or thought. To intuit or think nothing has, therefore, a meaning; both are distinguished and thus nothing is (exists) in our intuiting or thinking; or rather it is empty intuition and thought itself, and the same empty intuition or thought as pure being. Nothing is, therefore, the same determination, or rather absence of determination, and thus altogether the same as, pure being[17].

 

For Carnap, it is obviously awkward to bring logic violation home to Hegel directly. But he had the assurance to bad mouth him behind his back, and in the dirty way. Serious people do not act like this, good things are not done like this.

  1. Philosophy has no object of cognition.

A contradiction to this statement is implied by the above. I hope there is no need to chew the little pieces over. It is more important to answer the question, “Had there been the boy at all?”.

Of course, he had been, is, and, undoubtedly, will be there. The object of philosophical cognition is the whole world. Philosophy has always focused, focuses, and will focus on it. Syncretically in the past, discriminatingly in present. If philosophy does not shout from the housetops, it does not mean that it has lost the thread. It is just that today, compared e. g. to the times before Christ, not only the division of the object of philosophical cognition into parts multiplies but also the visibility of connection between them narrows, including as a result of it (connection) being mediated by science. It is a completely different matter that in each historical period of human development philosophy pays special attention to vital, actual issues, both new ones included in the agenda due to the further differentiation of the object of cognition, and old ones, if they are actual for the present.

Physics evidence that we cannot do without philosophical apprehension of human achievements in other fields of knowledge. For example, Einstein:

 

“The present difficulties of his science force the physicist to come to grips with philosophical problems to a greater degree than was the case with earlier generations”[18].

 

 “Science without epistemology is — insofar as it is thinkable at all — primitive and muddled”[19].

 

 “I was very interested in your publication. For me, it was one more evidence that today philosophic ideas have a great influence on attitudes to physics”[20].

Or, let’s say, Born:

 

Physics free from metaphysical hypotheses is impossible”.[21]

 

“Both in the smallest and in the largest systems, both in atoms and in stars, we discover events absolutely different from the events familiar to us, that may be described only through abstract concepts. Here, no tricks can help us avoid the question about the existence of an objective world independent of any observer...”[22]

 

But a philosophizing nihilist does not need it all. Meanwhile, the funeral ceremony goes on. The coffin is surrounded by indifferent people in black, all of which are authors of sensational philtasies. Among them representatives of England and the USA in scientist mantles and square bobble hats stand alone. Not even a shadow of heavy heart shows on the faces of the audience. Instead of grief and sorrow, there is hidden joy revealed by smiles barely repressed due to exhaustion in the tedious waiting not so much for the end of the funeral as for the accomplishment of the commenced work. Inside themselves, they have buried philosophy long ago. Now they want to convince others of its death.

The speakers are non-talkative. And what can they say? They have already said everything they wanted to say. And now: never speak ill of the dead. Hence there is the ringing silence broken occasionally by dull words “thanks God”, “at last”, “it’s past time”...

Rorty soothes the most sensitive visitors standing at a distance:

 

“Whichever happens, however, there is no danger of philosophy's “coming to an end”[23].

 

The absence of funeral wreaths and delegations from Asia, Middle East, and Russia draws attention.

I do not know about Asia and Middle East, but in Russia, the apperception has not revealed any similarities between philosophy in general and the buried philosophy, in particular. Russia undoubtedly evidences soundness of philosophy. Of course, here it is also exposed to miasmas of philosophy grave diggers, but it is alive.

Modern Russian philosophy is a far cry from the one that had been flavored with dialectic and historical materialism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the love to wisdom in Russia started weakening. Having lost its Marxist and Lenin’s ground and having changed its party identification from working class to nonsocialist, Russian philosophy became again religious, romantic, and artistic. Being was replaced by living. Bible stories, romantic scenes, artistic images and their characters and authors are popular again. What discourages is that this quality reduction is represented as originality of Russian philosophy, philosophy of the Russian world in general. Varava’s book Unknown God of Philosophy published in 2013 by Letny Sad publishing house reveals the sorry state of Russian philosophy; in this book, the author, continuing Russian philosophers’ tradition, looks for originality of Russian philosophy and, like them, finds it in religious commitment, morality, and literature-centrism. Here is just some of his howlers:

 

“The pendency of the question about the essence of Russian philosophy is the essence of Russian philosophy itself”[24].

“In Russia, I can say, philosophizing is exactly the dominating factor, but not philosophy as a certain form of theoretical cognition, commonly found only in West-European philosophic culture”[25].

“…It was already proved and demonstrated that Dostoevsky is a Russian philosopher of global level”[26].

“…Russian philosophy is religious prior to every religion and moral prior to every ethics; it is religious and moral by default because it is philosophy, just philosophy, philosophy as it is”[27].

 

Russian philosophic society in general regarded Varava’s ideas positively. Critics differed in details. Evlampiev and Kolychev expressed the contents and the direction of the discussion to the fullest extent in the magazine Issues of Philosophy:

 

“It is exactly the intention to restore the true teachings of Jesus, constantly usual for Russian philosophy (which is obviously shown in P. Ya. Chaadayev’s Philosophical Letters), that makes sound grounds for its definition as religious philosophy. We cannot agree with the critics of its definition in V. V. Varava’s book. He means that Russian philosophers had been assigning philosophy to the grounds of “official” religiousness, i. e. traditional orthodox Christianity, which led to misinterpretation of the essence of philosophy. In support of such interpretation, the author references to the works of N. Poltoratsky and N. Zernov (see pp. 196–197), but, in our opinion, today they cannot be recognized as to any extent adequately reflecting the true intentions of Russian philosophy. In fact, devotion to the “official” religiousness can be found only with some, and not nearly the most important, representatives of the Russian idea, while the main trend of its development relates exactly to the understanding of Christianity (the true teaching of Jesus Christ) supported by Varava, understanding it as “philosophy”, as an existential act revealing the mystery and incomprehensibility of human essence. We shall remember that Russian thinkers had to live and work in the environment of strict church censorship and pressure of conservative society, therefore few of them dared to confront the “official” religiousness directly; that is why we often see the tragic swinging from “heresy” to “canon” in their works. V. V. Varava correctly notes that the most important ideas in Russian philosophy are connected to outstanding thinkers like F. Dostoevsky, L. Tolstoy, N. Fedorov, A. Platonov who were beyond the frame of strict rationalistic philosophy, and who absolutely obviously confronted the “official” religiousness. But combining these thinkers to a special tradition of “moral (literature) philosophy” and, moreover, distinctly opposing them to representatives of the “religious philosophy” (i. e. to all the most known Russian philosophers), like Varava does in the book (see pp. 192-194), seems to us incorrect and not helping understand the sense and laws of development of Russian philosophy in general.

But let us return to the main thesis of V. V. Varava – to the definition of philosophy as the primary existential act where a human being constitutes, creates himself and comprehends his position in Being. In view of such understanding, philosophy acts as an integral and the most important element of life experience of any person (regardless whether he understands it or not), moreover, in this case we have to admit that philosophy is the grounds for all the forms of culture and creativity, because the said existential act, being the basement for human essence, supports also all forms of his creativity. Therefore, the decay of philosophy, common for the last fifty years, also became to a large extent a sign and a reason of a growing crisis of culture, in fact – disappearance of culture in its substantial spiritual form that had existed for many centuries. Due to philosophy degradation, the human loses his essence, his deepness, becomes “one-dimensional”, lightweight, and his knowledge, his art, his faith become as lightweight missing the true creative and existential deepness.

But, as the true Russian thinker should do, V. V. Varava, stating the extent of decay of a modern human being and modern culture, still believes that renaissance and transformation is always possible”[28].

 

This is the full range of issues of Russian philosophy, this is the full profundity of thought of Russian philosophers. That's the limit. However, experts like Swassjan, skilled in foreign practice of phallus juggling, may be unable to follow my views…

Meanwhile, the funeral has come to the end. Last handfuls of soil have been thrown into the grave.

Well, the West is no stranger to burying philosophy. In the beginning of the 6th century A. D., Byzantian emperor Justinian, wishing to liquidate the love to wisdom and to state religious dogmas as unshakable beliefs, closed all philosophic schools, including Plato Academy in Athens. Since that, the development of the West, driven by mysticism and scholasticism, had been stuck during almost one thousand years. Anyone who thought beyond the framework of the Bible was destroyed physically, preferably in public, drown, hanged, burned, etc., in order to teach not to do so. It is only down the ages that the West rediscovered philosophy, studying works of Arabic philosophers.

Who knows, perhaps the modern resettlement of peoples from the East to the West is ancestorial to renewal of Western philosophy having failed to resist neither to the ruining of traditional family by homosexual marriages nor to contamination of art by exhibitions of toilet bowls full of shit nor other decay of western civilization. Besides, Syria had also something to do with it then…

One thing is clear: dead is the philosophy to which the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Dewey, Carnap, Sartre, Jaspers, Rorty, and their supporters were dedicated. Inevitability is unforgiving. But however great was the role played by the deceased in the West, its death does not make an end of Western philosophy in general, and certainly does not make an end of philosophy in its entirety, which is guaranteed by sound philosophy in Russia, Middle East, and Asia. The sooner they realize it in the West, the sooner Western philosophy will be filled with sound ideas of both national philosophers and philosophers from other regions of the world.

 

If consciousness is crowded by ideas,

And cloud of thoughts is overflowing the head,

If our mind is striving for the knowledge,

Then the philosophy is still not dead!

 

 



 

[1]  M. Heidegger, Being and Time (Ad Marginem, Мoscow, 1997), pp. 5, 21, 23

[2]  Ibid., pp. 11, 191-192

[3]  M. Stirner, Ego and Its Own (Osnova, Kharkov, 1994), p. 196

[4]  R. Rorty, Philosophy and Mirror of Nature (Novosibirsk University Press, Novosibirsk, 1997), pp. 5, 9

[5]  R. Descartes, Principles of Philosophy. Selected Works (Moscow, 1950), p. 421

[6]  G. Hegel, Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Volume 1: Philosophy of Nature (Mysl, 1974), p. 80

[7]  G. Hegel, Writings (1932), Volume 9, p. 4

[8]  К. А. Swassjan, On the End of History of Philosophy, Bulletin of Russian Philosophical Society (4 (36), 2005), p. 33

[9]   K. Jaspers, Introduction to Philosophy, translated and ed. by A. A. Mikhailov (Propilei, Minsk, 2000 (Scholium)), p.10

[10]   G. Hegel, Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Volume 1: Science of Logic (Mysl, 1974), p. 98

[11]  G. Hegel, Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Volume 2. Philosophy of Nature. (Mysl, 1975), pp. 21-22

[12]  E. Husserl, Selected Works, collected by V. A. Kurenina (Terriroria Budushchego Publisher, Moscow, 2005), p. 187

[13]  Ibid., p. 239

[14]  Ibid., p. 240

[15]  Ibid., p. 247

[16]  R. Carnap, The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language (translated by A. V. Kezin) (originally published in Bulletin of Moscow State University, ser. 7 Philosophy (6, 1993)), pp. 11—26

[17]  G. Hegel, Science of Logic. In 3 volumes. Volume. 1. (Mysl, Moscow, 1970), pp. 139-140

[18]  A. Einstein, Writings. In 4 volumes (Nauka, 1967), Volume 4. Remarks on Bertrand Russell's Theory of Knowledge, p. 248

[19]  Ibid., Remarks concerning essays, p. 310

[20]  Ibid., Letter to Herbert Samuel (October 13, 1950) (p. 327)

[21]  M. Born, Physics in My Generation. Collected Essays (IL, Moscow, 1963), p. 226

[22]  M. Born, My life and my views (Moscow, 1973), p. 125

[23]  R. Rorty, Philosophy and Mirror of Nature (Novosibirsk University Press, Novosibirsk, 1997), p. 291

[24] V. V. Varava, Unknown God of Philosophy (Letny Sad, Moscow, 2013), p. 79

[25]  Ibid., p. 82

[26]  Ibid., pp. 116-117

[27]  Ibid., p. 140

[28]  I. I. Evlampiev, P. M. Kolychev, Book review: V. V. Varava, Unknown God of Philosophy, Issues of Philosophy (10, 2014), pp. 183-184

Orphus

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