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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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Kant and the Bible: Holy Scripture as an Object of Rational-Critical Reflection

Vasechko Vyacheslav
The article focuses on the specifics of philosophical consideration and comprehension of books that acquire the status of sacred within a certain sociocultural space. Both in contemporary philosophical discourse and in the discourse of many past eras, there is usually a distancing of professional philosophers from direct engagement with such texts. As a result, the sacred books end up being almost exclusive handled by intellectuals, who either ignore specifically philosophical research methods, or arbitrarily apply them to their opportunistic, pragmatic goals, or limit themselves to the traditional technique of interpreting and commenting on the Holy Scripture. However, for serious thinkers, many sacred books, examined from a specific perspective, turn out, to be very valuable material for testing the strength of their theoretical and methodological tools and the moral and ethical principles they adhere to, despite all possible and even inevitable risks. The article analyzes this problem on the example of Immanuel Kant’s interpretation of the Bible, which played the role of a fundamental culture-forming text in his era.It is shown how the philosopher opposes the rational-critical and doctrinal-theological approaches to reading the Bible, while leaving the reader the right of free choice. The main attention is paid to three small works by Kant, which make up a kind of philosophical trilogy. In the first of them – the “Conjectural Beginning of Human History” – the German thinker, based on the Book of Genesis, gives his own version of the reasons for mankind’s emergence from the state of nature and its transformation into a sovereign subject of historical action. In the second one – “On the Failure of All Attempted Philosophical Theodicies” – Kant, relying on the Book of Job, solves the problem of God’s goodness/non-goodness in the light of the evidence of evil and suffering as an ontological datum. The third work – “The End of All Things” – deals with the Book of Revelation and treats from a philosophical point of view one of the most important religious topics – the apocalyptic destruction of humanity (the Last Judgment, the end of the world, the cessation of historical time). The article demonstrates the heuristic potential of Kant’s rational-critical methodology, which has not lost its significance even today. 
Keywords: Kant, the Bible, rational-critical methodology, the Book of Genesis, the beginning of history, the Book of Job, theodicy, the Book of Revelation, the end of history
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Categories of the Beautiful, Proportionate, and True in Plato’s Doctrine as Prerequisites for the Formation of Legal Reality

Likhter Pavel
The article considers some ideal categories as foundations of legal reality. Taking into account the diverse potential prerequisites of law, the author focuses on three modifications of the good highlighted by Plato in the dialogue “Philebus”: the beautiful, the proportionate, and the true. The article argues the utility of employing such a concept of analytical philosophy as supervenience, which describes the determinacy of sets of properties in two complex systems, to explain the interplay between these prerequisites and legal phenomena. While traditionally used to describe the dependence of mental phenomena on physical grounds, supervenience also has a methodological relevance within legal science. Three modifications of the good as delineated in “Philebus” and their contributions to the formation of legal institutions are considered. For this purpose, several levels of aesthetics are distinguished, which not only encompass stylistic beauty, but also the substantive content of legal constructs. Special attention is paid to reader-response criticism, which studies the experience of perception of legal institutions by a subject of legal relations. According to this perspective,legal phenomena have to possess aesthetic appeal and justification in order to be accepted by recipients. This is especially important when consolidating constitutional values: the legitimization of fictitious axiological elements creates risks of legal anomie. The article further underscores the significance of the correspondence theory of truth for the ontology of law, justifying the priority of rational cognition of universals over empiricism. To solve research problems, legal-historical, logical, structural-functional, normative, dialectical, prognostic and comparative methods and approaches are used. Based on the findings of the study, the author concludes about the independent ontological status of legal phenomena that have a sign of reality as intelligible elements within the objective mental being of participants in legal relations. 
Keywords: legal reality, prerequisites of law, aesthetics, proportionality, truth, supervenience, objective idealism, ontology of law, reader-response criticism, Plato
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