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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)


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Phenomenal Minimalist Ontology of the Self

Tourko Dmitry
The article discusses the problem of whether the self, or the subject, is real. There are several realist and anti-realist solutions to this problem. The author interprets all possible positions concerning this issue as conceptions of a certain relationship between the phenomenal self (our experience of ourselves as subjects) and the ontological self (the referent of our self-representations as it exists apart from our self-experience). In line with what is called phenomenal, or experiential minimalism, the author concludes that the experiential dimension of the self is sufficient for it to be real without qualification. Providing an argument against anti-realism, the author differentiates between strong and reductive realism and maintain that selves criticized by anti-realists like Metzinger are things of strong realism (substantial and causally autonomous entities), while in fact selves might turn out to be the things of reductive realism (things emergent on other things). The author suggests a solution to another problem of the ontology of the self, namely the problem of characterization (What is the self, specifically?). By endorsing minimalism, the self is characterized as the experiential faculty. According to the suggested version of minimalism, having experience is a necessary and sufficient condition to be a self or a subject. All other properties ascribed to subjects in philosophical literature (such as self-awareness, moral agency, second-order desires or the ability to create autobiographical narratives) are contingent. Properties like these are of course attributes of subjects, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient for subjectivity. A subject who loses these properties does not cease to be a subject. On the contrary, a thing which has lost its experiential ability ceases to be a subject. In addition, there are non-human subjects who may lack all subjectivity-related features, except for the experiential faculty, and still be considered subjects. Phenomenal minimalism is a solution to the problem of the reality of selves. Subjects, or selves, are real as things with the experiential faculty. Finally, the author rejects pluralism (the idea that every subject is many things) and conventionalism (there is no non-contractual truth-apt proposition which serves as a solution to the characterization problem). Instead, essentialist realism is endorsed (the self, in a fundamental sense, is what is necessary for survival). 
 Keywords: self, subject, ontology, phenomenalism, minimalism, realism, anti-realism, experience, self-consciousness, philosophy of consciousness.


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Paradigmatic Transformations of the Western European Theory of Knowledge: From the Formal Distinction ‘Classical – Non-classical’ to Search for Meaningful Definitions

Ryabushkina Tatyana
The article is aimed at revealing the key features of epistemological paradigms, which change each other in the process of development of Western European thinking. The need for such a study is due to the fact that the distinction ‘classic – non-classic’, which is accepted in Russian philosophical literature, has a formal character. The non-classical paradigm is defined by indicating the absence of certain features of the classical (Cartesian) paradigm, such as, for example, fundamentalism, self-centrism, science-centrism, but not by finding the internal principle of each paradigm, on the basis of which its secondary features and the structure specificity of the conscious world of the corresponding epoch could be derived. In search of the basis for paradigm differences, the author turns to the analysis of the classical paradigm. As the analysis shows, it is determined by a change in understanding of the key epistemological opposition – the opposition of our knowledge of reality and reality itself. Тhe ancient and medieval opposition of the sensible and the supra-sensible is replaced by the opposition of subjective and the objective. Thus, the distinction between our knowledge of reality and reality itself is moved into the area of the conscious (sensible) world, which gives rise to the process of autonomization of this world from another world. This key feature allows us to outline the classic epistemology and answer a number of debatable questions, for example, the question of whether I. Kant and G.V.F. Hegel are the classical philosophers. As the subject-object relation becomes a key epistemological relation, the further paradigm shifts are determined by changes in understanding of the character of this relation and its role in cognition. The author of article shows that the non-classical paradigm, the formation of which begins in the works of A. Schopenhauer, brings with it a denial of the division of the conscious world into subjective and objective contents and the transformation of the relation ‘subject – object’ into the correlation ‘objectification – object’, which implies the exclusion of the subjective from the sphere of consciousness. The analysis allows us to conclude that, contrary to M. Heidegger, the age when the world becomes a picture is not the classical, but the non-classical epoch. It can be called the epoch of total objectivism, the reverse side of which is subjectivism. The next paradigmatic shift is prepared by the transformation of the world-picture into the world-text, in which the subject-object relation loses its structure-forming role in the conscious world. As the study shows, the change of the cognitive attitude that determines the structure of the conscious world is carried out through the assumption of a new distinction between the known and the unknown.
Keywords:classical theory of knowledge, non-classical theory of knowledge, the cognitive attitude, the conscious world, the sensible, the supra-sensible, the subjective, the objective, Rene Descartes, German idealism, subjectivism, objectivism, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein.
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