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THE CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
PLAN 1. Historical, social and cultural grounds of the formation of the Western philosophical thought in the 19 th – 20 th centuries. 2. The Romantic Movement. 3. Main currents of thought of the Western non-classical philosophy. 4. Variety of doctrines in XIX-XX centuries.
Contemporary philosophy Neo-Classical the idea of identity of divine and human, providing the importance of personality Personalism, Existentialism, Philosophy of life Non-Classical aimed to research man embodied in flesh, one who possessed plenty of passions and instincts, who was eager for love Sociocentrism, Voluntarism, Psychoanalysis
Non-classical Philosophy • In XIX-XX centuries it attempted to reveal the basics of human life burdened with sufferings and pains in unconsciousness that they expressed as transcendent, first impersonal and later illusive and symbolic standpoint. With the time passing this tendency would come to the statement of absurdness of human life. • This philosophy was pioneered by Feuerbach and opened such philosophical positions as Philosophy of Life, Philosophical Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, Positivism and Religious Philosophy which appeared in the XX century.
The difference between classical and non-classical philosophy • Philosophical approach to general and individual in human. Non-classical philosophy is oriented on individual dominating over general, the problems of human existence over theoretical awareness. Then human being instead of Universe being appeared in the focus of its interests. • Another fundamental difference is concerned their understanding of transcendental (Transcendental everything that goes beyond the borders of experience. In Christian culture it was God and immortal soul striving to him). In classical philosophy transcendental is a peculiar being that gives rise to empirical reality, being either estranged or identified with it. Classical philosophy insisted on the ontological character of transcendent. Non-classical philosophy replacing transcendental with a real being regards it as a symbol expressing realities of human mental and material life. It gives it the character of imaginations and illusions. That is why nonclassical philosophy is oriented on the human existence in empirical world as the only valuable reality.
Historical, social and cultural grounds of the formation of the Western philosophical thought in the 19 th – 20 th centuries: § The scientific and technological revolution revealed great perspectives to develop the earthly and cosmic nature but at the same time it discovered some global problems of the mankind: ecological, demographical, economical, energetic, the prevention problem of the world thermonuclear war. § There arose a new necessity for the philosophers of that period to reinterpret the eternal problem “man – the world” and hereby to define their attitude towards the classical philosophy. § The modern scientific revolution broke the classical Newtonian clarity of the conception of the world and the crisis processes in the society and catastrophes of the 20 th century undermined the faith in the historical mind and progress. § A reaction against classical rationalism became greater in philosophy. The accent was shifted onto the irrational aspect of the reality.
Common features of contemporary philosophy: • Despite their great diversity philosophies of the end of the XX century seem to represent the integral whole. • The global character of contemporary philosophy is manifested in the total contradictoriness of doctrines. • Modern globalization provides legal self-approval of national specificity of any philosophical doctrine. • Globalization of the XX century philosophy has got the highest top in man’s understanding his own historical mission, his uniqueness, his role and significance in the development of history; man is both the source and the creator of good and evil.
BASIC TENDENCIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRESENT DAY’S PHILOSOPHY Philosophy contrasts existential values and man’s rationality underlining their integral unity and interaction. Mans activity self ard the inw outward the self-contemplation, self-realization and self-control ultimate altering society, nature, man himself Reciprocal influence of national cultures and philosophies upon each other, interaction of modes of thinking and philosophizing. The significance of philosophy as of the universal integrator of culture is growing. Seeking the means to approve and strengthen national cultures and philosophies, national self-realization and sovereignty in philosophical systems. The most powerful tendency is to approve philosophy as a planetary thinking. Theoretical philosophy stimulates the development of a new practical philosophy entitled “Global thinking – local activity” aimed at the development of human reason.
The Romantic Movement was a revolt against received ethical and aesthetic standards. Prudence Intellect Romantics’ moral judgments Polished manners Restraint in the expression of passions The romantics did not aim at peace and quite, but at vigorous and passionate individual life. They had no sympathy with industrialism, because it was ugly, because money-grubbing seemed to them unworthy of an immortal soul, and because the growth of modern economic organizations interfered with individual liberty.
• The Romantic Movement is characterized, as a whole, by the substitution of aesthetic for utilitarian standards. • Romantics admired strong passions, of no matter what kind, and whatever may be their social consequences. Hence the type of man encouraged by romanticism, is violent and anti-social, an anarchic rebel or a conquering tyrant. • Revolt of solitary instincts against social bonds is the key to the philosophy of that period. • Philosophy, under the influence of German idealism, became solipsistic, and selfdevelopment was proclaimed as the fundamental principle of ethics. • The Romantic Movement, in its essence, aimed at liberating humane personality from the fetters of social convention and social morality.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel was a German poet, critic and scholar and his brother August Wilhelm were the critical leaders of the Romantic school. Of the two brothers, Friedrich was unquestionably the more original genius. He was the real founder of the Romantic school. 1772 - 1829 To him more than to any other member of the school we owe the revolutionizing and germinating ideas which influenced so profoundly the development of German literature at the beginning of the 19 th century
Rationalistic revolt of the XIX century • • Intellectual life of the XIX century was more complex than that of any previous age. This was due to several causes: the area concerned was larger than ever before; America and Russia made important contributions; Science, which had been chief source of novelty since the seventeenth century, made new conquests, especially in geology, biology and organic chemistry; Machine production profoundly altered the social structure, and gave men a new conception of their powers in relation to the physical environment; A profound revolt, both philosophical and political, against traditional systems in thought, in politics and in economics gave rise to attacks upon many beliefs and institutions that had hitherto been regarded as unassailable.
Marxism Theoretical sources Classic German Philosophy English Political Economy French Utopian Socialism Natural-scientific sources Law of conservation and preservation of energy The sell-structure of organic matter Darwin’s Evolutionary theory Socio-economic and political grounds Formation of the Proletariat Sharpening of contradictions Development of class struggle
Marxism K. Marx (1818 -1883) Fr. Engels (1820 -1895) K. Marx and Fr. Engels created: • A new historical form of dialectics – materialistic dialectics and a new historical form of materialism – dialectical materialism and the unity of these theory and method; • A dialectical view of historical processes based upon materialism interpreted through economic theory –materialistic understanding of history; • The notion of “practice” as human activity aimed at realization of man’s “universality” in the world; • The Problem of alienation as a result of social life spontaneous forces dominance; Marxism appeared to be a practical philosophy and a sort of revolutionary theory for proletariat.
Irrationalism A philosophical movement which was formed as a cultural reaction against positivism in the early 20 th century. These perspectives opposed or deemphasized the importance of the rationality of human beings. Instead, they concentrated on Kant's "noumenal realm", or the experience of one's own existence. Part of the movement involved claims that science was inferior to intuition. In this project, art was given an especially high place, as it was considered the gateway to the noumenon. The movement was not widely accepted by the public.
Arthur Schopenhauer His biggest and most famous work was “The World as Will and Representation” (1819) He criticized Kant for suggesting, however, that things in themselves give rise to phenomena. (1788 -1860) Schopenhauer pointed to the fact that in a way we do have direct experience of noumenae, but in an unexpected way. We are embodied beings who experience our activity from within. So by an analogical leap Schopenhauer used this notion to interpret the world. Likewise the world, which lies “behind” phenomena, or rather the screen of representations, is Will. Schopenhauer saw that primordial drive behind outside things as brute and without defined purpose.
Philosophy of Life In the end of ХІХ – the first quarter of ХХ centuries in Europe there became popular a worldview thought, which proclaimed life the basic subject of philosophy. The main representatives of this stream were: Nietzsche, Dilthey, Spengler, Bergson, Freud.
Friedrich Nietzsche His major works were “Human”, “All-too-human”, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, “Beyond Good and Evil”, “On the Genealogy of Morals”, “The Twilight of the Idols” and “Ecce Homo”. His book “The Antichrist” was part of a larger work he planed on the will to power, which he did not finish. God of weak is dead God of strong is alive Superman Dying away of will to life Will to power Wandering of mind Will to life Being experience (1844 -1900) Spirit Life Matter
Existentialism is a philosophical position of the XIX-XX centuries that put the concrete individual into the center of investigations. Existentialism of the XX century offered a new paradigm of man. The fundamental feature of it there became an understanding of man as a unique creature. This paradigm was called philosophy of man’s existence. Everyone’s being is considered by existentialists as the Absolute. We must pay attention to one more essential feature of existentialism - this is interpreting man beyond the bounds of his rationalism.
Existentialists • started out with a detailed description of the self as an ‘existing individual’, understood as an agent involved in a specific social and historical world. One of their chief aims is to understand how the individual can achieve the richest and most fulfilling life in the modern world. • hold that humans have no pre-given purpose or essence laid out for them by God or by nature; it is up to each one of us to decide who and what we are through our own actions. • believed that people decide their own fates and are responsible for what they make of their lives. Humans have free will to make their own choices. • are concerned with identifying the most authentic and fulfilling way of life possible for individuals. In their view, most of us tend to conform to the ways of living of the ‘herd’: we feel we are doing well if we do what ‘one’ does in familiar social situations. In this respect, our lives are said to be ‘inauthentic’, not really our own. To become authentic, according to this view, an individual must take over their own existence with clarity and intensity.
Theoretical source Soren Kierkegaard Existentialism Atheistic Religious (Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus) (Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel)
Martin Heidegger (1889 -1976) Martin Heidegger was something of a guru. His phenomenology of the individual is, though obscure and full of neologisms, interesting. First he saw the individual as thrown into his world — not the cosmos but the world for him, where things are “to hand”, to be used and treated. A person is a temporal being, reaching out beyond himself, but recognizing his finitude, for we are bounded by death. Dread of death and nothingness calls us towards authentic existence: only the individual in silence can come face to face with his nothingness and create destiny for himself. While Heidegger’s analysis, especially in his “Being and Time” (1927), saw the individual ineluctably made of time, it is not very much interested in history in the wider sense, though Heidegger looked on himself as in continuity with such a philosopher of history as Dilthey. He had his own sort of cultural nationalism, thinking that philosophy could only be done in Germany (though once it could be done in Greek). Like Wittgenstein He was a maker rather than primarily a thinker. The Cartesian picture of us being inside a cabin looking out with interest is not Heidegger’s.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 -1988) Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris and studied there and later at Freiburg with Heidegger. His major philosophical work “Being and Nothingness” (1944). He emerged as the leader of existentialism after the war, and with his novels, plays and philosophical writings became the most brilliant intellectual of his day. While he accepted Heidegger’s timebound view of the individual he added new qualities to the concept of authenticity. The human being is characterized by “being-for-itself”, while things have “being-in-itself”. So the individual is forced to think of himself as free, beyond the world of things into which he is projected, and beyond any definitions which may be imposed upon him by others. Such stark choices as we authentically make, then, are non-rational. Sartre’s existentialism is atheistic, but God’s absence is positive.
Karl Theodor Jaspers (1883 – 1969) Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry and philosophy. He draws largely upon the existentialist roots of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, and in part because theme of individual freedom permeates his work. In Philosophy Jaspers gave his view of the history of philosophy and introduced his major themes. Beginning with modern science and empiricism, Jaspers points out that as we question reality, we confront borders that an empirical (or scientific) method simply can not transcend. At this point, the individual faces a choice: sink into despair and resignation, or take a leap of faith toward what Jaspers calls Transcendence. In making this leap, individuals confront their own limitless freedom, which Jaspers calls Existenz, and can finally experience authentic existence.
Psychoanalysis is one of the methods of psychotherapy and a psychological doctrine, in the basis of which there lies a definition of a dominant role of unconscious in a human life. On the basis of psychoanalysis Freud offered his own philosophical conception of man and culture, which was improved and developed furthermore by the famous philosophers neo. Freudians Fromm, Horney and others.
Sigmund Freud (1856 -1939) Social consciousness Conscious SUPER EGO Unconscious ID Freud held than nothing we do is haphazard or coincidental; everything results from mental causes, most of which, we are unaware of. This unconscious is a reservoir of human motivation comprised of instincts. In general most of what we think, believe and do is the result of unconscious urges, especially those, developed in the first five years of life in response to traumatic experiences. A major psychic mechanism in Freudian theory is repression. Memories of events that were too powerful and traumatic are repressed they are pushed down into the unconscious. This is not the same thing as forgetting - for the Freudian, we forget nothing. The memories are still there, and they are still active, but they influence our psychic state and our behaviors without our being aware of them. Thus, in later life, the events that occurred before we were five years old continue to influence us. This, according to another powerful Freudian concept, is because we project our own wishes and needs on to others - we are never able to break completely free of our own “Family Romance” and see others as they are.
Philosophic Anthropology The philosophic anthropology of the XX century gave its rise in Germany and is connected with the development of a concept of man of such famous philosophers as M. Scheler, G. Plessner, E. Cassirer and others. Among the notable predecessors of the philosophic anthropology it is worth mentioning such philosophers as І. Kant, L. Feuerbach, А. Schopenhauer, F. Nietzsche. A considerable influence on the philosophical anthropology was made by Freud’s psychoanalysis, Husserl’s phenomenology and Heidegger’s fundamental ontology.
SCHELER, MAX FERDINAND He was probably the best-known German philosopher of the 1920 s. Always an eclectic thinker, he was strongly influenced by the life-philosophies of Dilthey and Bergson, and Husserl, the founder of the phenomenological movement, whose mature writings have a strongly phenomenological, as well as a Catholic impact upon him. Later he turned towards metaphysics and the philosophical problems raised by modern science. Scheler’s interests were very wide. He tried to do justice to all aspects of experience – ethical, religious, personal, social, scientific, historical – without doing away with the specific nature of each. Above all, he took the emotional foundations of thought seriously. Scheler described his ethics as ‘personalist’, and makes personal values supreme, sharply distinguishing the ‘person’ from the ‘ego’, and linking this with his analysis of different types of social interaction. In epistemology he defends a pragmatist approach to science and perception; thus philosophy, as the intuition of essences, requires a preparatory ascetic discipline. His philosophy of religion is an attempt to marry the Augustinian approach through love with the Thomist approach through reason. In his later work, to which his important work on sympathy provides the transition, he defends a dualist philosophical anthropology and metaphysics, interpreting the latter in activist terms as a resolution of the tensions between spiritual love and vital impulse. (1874– 1928)
CASSIRER, ERNST Cassirer is one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the twentieth century. He is known for his philosophy of culture based on his conception of ‘symbolic form’, for historical studies of the problem of knowledge in the rise of modern philosophy and science and for his works on the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Cassirer regarded symbol as the common denominator of all forms of human thought, imagination and experience. He delineates symbolic forms of myth, religion, language, art, history and science and defines the human being as the ‘symbolizing animal’. All human experience occurs through systems of symbols. Language is only one such system; the images of myth, religion and art and the mathematical structures of science are others. In the last period of his career he applied his philosophy of culture generally and his conception of myth specifically to a critique of political myths and to the study of irrational forces in the state. (1874– 1945)
Positivism is a philosophy that holds that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on actual sense experience. Metaphysical speculation is avoided. Though the positivist approach has been a 'recurrent theme in the history of western thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present day', the concept was first coined by Auguste Comte, widely considered the first modern sociologist, in the middle of the XIX century. In the early XX century, logical positivism — a stricter and more formal version of Comte's basic thesis — sprang up in Vienna and grew to become one of the dominant movements in American and British philosophy. The positivist view is sometimes referred to as a scientistic ideology, and is often shared by technocrats who believe in the necessity of progress through scientific progress, and by naturalists, who argue that any method for gaining knowledge should be limited to natural, physical, and material approaches.
Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) Auguste Comte was a French philosopher, the founder of systematic positivism and sociology. According to him, human development undergoes three stages. These are theological, the metaphysical, and the positive phases. The theological stage is divided into three substages: animism (or fetishism), polytheism (when the gods are more personalized) and theism or monotheism. The metaphysical stage when gods and Gods are transformed into abstractions: an inclusive Nature is postulated, along with such forces as ether or gravitation. . The final stage of of Comte’s trilogy is the scientific, or positive, one. Henceforth people give up the search for the real, and confine themselves to phenomena and descriptive laws, enabling prediction. As Comte would say, "from science comes prediction; from prediction comes action". It is a philosophy of human intellectual development that culminated in science. Comte coordinated these stages to forms of society. Both nature and society will be under human control.
Positivism: stages of development Positivism I stage XIX c. Formation of positive philosophy A. Comte J. Mill H. Spenser II stage XIX-XXc. Empiriocriticism or Machism E. Mach R. Avenarius III stage XX c. Logical positivism M. Schlick R. Carnap Logical negativism K. Popper Linguistic positivism B. Russel L. Wittgenstein A. Tarskiy
The Contemporary Philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the end of the 19 th century with the rise of analytic and continental philosophy. • • • Continental philosophy began with the work of Brentano, Husserl, and Reinach on the development of the philosophical method of phenomenology. This development was roughly contemporaneous with the work by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell inaugurating a new philosophical method based on the analysis of language via modern logic (hence the term "analytic philosophy"). The relationship between philosophers who label themselves "analytic" and those who label themselves "continental" is often a hostile one, but there are some contemporary philosophers who have argued that this division is harmful to philosophy and attempt a combined approach.
Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate in English-speaking countries in the 20 th century. The overwhelming majority of university philosophy departments identify themselves as "analytic" departments. Analytic philosophy An emphasis on clarity and argument, modern formal logic and analysis of language, and a respect for the natural sciences. Logical positivism of Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege
Religious Philosophy The Western modern religious philosophy has many streams and concepts concerning the understanding of man’s being. This philosophy was formed in different variants – depending on the peculiarity of this or that direction of the Christian religion (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant religious philosophies and others), There was showed a special character of thinking – more mystic (close to theological), or more rationalistic (close to science). From the end of the XIX c. and in the XX c. (in the epoch of some considerable improvements in social life and social psychological catastrophes) an interest towards religion increased greatly as a way to solve human problems. Religious and philosophic doctrines, which seemed to become a thing of the past, got the second wind, were reconsidered due to the needs of the present day and the present science. Neo-Thomism was considered the most typical stream of that kind – the present version of Aquinas’ teaching (XIII century).
Neo-Thomism Theoretical source Thomas Aquinas Neo-Thomism J. Mariten J. , E. Zhilson, J. Bohensky Principles Object Purpose Harmony of faith and reason. Science and philosophy are subjected to theology Being of God Proofs to God’s existence and man’s subordination to divine cause.
Neo-Thomism Neo-Scholasticism is the revival of medieval scholastic philosophy. It has some times been called Neo-Thomism partly because Thomas Aquinas in the XIII century gave to scholasticism a final form, partly because the idea gained ground that only Thomism could infuse vitality into XII century scholasticism. Neo-Scholasticism seeks to restore the fundamental doctrines embodied in the scholasticism of the thirteenth century. The essential conceptions may be summarized as follows: (1) God, pure actuality and absolute perfection, is substantially distinct from every finite thing: He alone can create and preserve all beings other than Himself. (2) As to our knowledge of the material world: whatever exists is itself, an incommunicable, individual substance. Each substance is in its nature fixed and determined. (3) Man, a compound of body (matter) and of soul (form), puts forth activities of a higher order -- knowledge and volition. All our intellectual activity rests on sensory function; but through the active intellect (intellectus agens) an abstract representation of the sensible object is provided. Hence the characteristic of the idea, its non-materiality, and on this is based the principal argument for the spirituality and immortality of the soul.
Jacques Maritain (1882– 1973) Jacques Maritain was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised as a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive St. Thomas Aquinas for modern times and is a prominent drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pope Paul VI presented his "Message to Men of Thought and of Science" at the close of Vatican II to Maritain, his long-time friend and mentor. Maritain's interest and works spanned many aspects of philosophy, including aesthetics, political theory, the philosophy of science, metaphysics, education, liturgy and ecclesiology.
Conclusions: Although members of different philosophical schools and streams share some beliefs, they vary in their approach to the issue of self. This variation may leave us affirming or denying the self, and viewing it as essentially rational, divine, mechanical, existential, or nonexistent. These views have dramatically different impacts on the self and its place in the world.
Questions for express-control 1. What is the name of the school refuting or bounding the role of reason in cognition, putting forward will, contemplation, feeling or intuition? 2. Who suggested “will” as the main principle of life and cognition? 3. Who was the founder of Positivism? 4. What philosopher was theoretical source of Existentialism? 5. What philosopher created materialistic understanding of history?