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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 18, Issue 11/12, 2008
Philosophy of Nature Today

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Displaying: 1-10 of 20 documents


1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Małgorzata Czarnocka Editor’s Note — Philosophy of Nature Rebuilt Anew
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Włodzimierz Ługowski Philosophy of Nature Today. Introductory Remarks
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The subject of the paper is the social function of the philosophy of nature. The author presents briefly his own position in this topic and gives an evaluation of the literature on the philosophy of nature in the recent decades. According to him, the opposition against the abuse of science for the purpose of social mystification stems mostly from (philosophizing) scientists themselves and sociologists of knowledge. Academic philosophers—regardless of the variety of their ontological orientations—are prone rather to cultivate the metaphilosophical mythology (of positivistic origins).
meta-philosophy of nature today
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Viacheslav S. Stiepin Philosophy of Nature and Post-Nonclassical Rationality
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In modern European culture the explication and the understanding of nature is determined by the specific traits of systemic objects investigated by science. The paper singles out three types of systemic objects, i.e. simple (mechanical) objects, complex self-regulating, and complex self-developing systems. Categorical structures accounting for each of these types are analyzed.The paper shows that the investigation of every new type of systems changes the type of scientific rationality (classical, nonclassical, post-nonclassical).
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Andrzej Łukasik Atomism Today. Classical and Quantum Concepts of Elementary Particles
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Atomism is the programme explaining all changes in terms of invariant units. The development of physics during the 20th century may be treated as a spectacular triumph of atomism. However, paradoxically, changes and conceptual difficulties brought about by quantum mechanics lead to the conclusion that the ontological model provided by classical atomism has become inadequate. Atoms (and elementary particles) are not atomos—indivisible, perfectly solid, unchangeable, ungenerated and indestructible (eternal), and the void is not simply an empty space. According to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, there is no unchanging substance at all. If we want to understand contemporary notions of matter and develop an ontological model of the world, consistent with contemporary natural sciences, we should probably go beyond the conceptual framework of atomic philosophy.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Helena Knyazeva, Sergey P. Kurdyumov Synergetics: New Universalism or Natural Philosophy of the Age of Post-Nonclassical Science?
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The modern theory of the self-organization of complex systems, or synergetics, is considered in the context of historical traditions of natural philosophy. It is substantiated that it is unfairly to treat synergetics as a modern “speculative physics”, i.e. the natural philosophy of a new type. However, there is no doubt that on the basis of synergetics a certain worldview is built, and this worldview oversteps the boundaries of basic scientific disciplines and reaches a meta-scientific level of research. The paper presents an attempt of a critical analysis of the claims of the theory of complex systems selforganization (synergetics) and the interdisciplinary generalizations and the universal efficacy of its models. The grounds of synergetic models transfer to different disciplinary fields are discussed. It is argued that synergetics is rather a mental scheme or a heuristic approach to exploring the complex behavior of systems, and not a universal key of solving concrete scientific problems. Some prospects of the development and the possible future of synergetics in the next decades are estimated.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Danuta Sobczyńska Goethe and Ostwald. Die Farbenlehre in the Interpretation of an Artist and a Scientist
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The paper concerns the science of colors (die Farbenlehre) on which among others J.W. Goethe and W. Ostwald were focused. The first part of this essay describes the science of colors in the period from antiquity to late Renaissance. In the pre-scientific phase it was intervened with philosophical speculations as well with symbolism of magic, religions and customs. Since Newton’s time there are distinguished the colors of light and the colors of objects. J.W. Goethe’s Farbenlehre, discussed in the second part, connects empirical studies and metaphysical vision of the light and colors. W. Ostwald, a distinguished chemist and philosopher-energetist, attempted to construct measurable Farbenlehre. He is a creator of a strict colors’ taxonomy, but his soul of artist (he was also a painter) “crept into” his study of colors. The discussion of Ostwald’s deliberations is contained in the third part of the paper.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Lidia V. Fesenkova, Aleksandr V. Pankratov The Noospheric Mode of Thinking and Modern Philosophy of Nature
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The authors investigate the contemporary idea of noosphere (the conceptual and ideological basis for considering the coming ecological crisis). The authors arrive at the conclusion that the concept of human plays the central role in ecology as all the ecological problems rest upon the problem of mankind’s moral imperative. Therefore the authors claim, applying among others Vernadsky’s views, that the idea of human in the field of ecology should be today revised.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Teresa Kwiatkowska The Natural. So Ambiguous a Word
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The term natural has long been one of the key concepts within environmental ethics discourse, environmental legislation, policy and practice. A central issue of many theoretical disputes and conservation/restoration practices revolves around the “naturalness” of living organisms, species or ecosystems. Many argue that natural things, whether they are organisms or inert matter, have intrinsic value that obliges humans to morally consider plants, animals and ecosystems. The ethical questions thus raised lead in turn to metaphysical inquiries about what makes a thing natural. This paper confronts the existing, often colliding, views and understandings of this contested concept.
nature and human values
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Boris G. Yudin Understanding Human Being. Constructivism versus Naturalism
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Two different value orientations with regard to nature are presented. The first orientation corresponds to the naturalistic worldview. It emphasizes the need for protecting the environmental order of things. The second value orientation situates our interests and desires above the imperatives of the nature preservation. Nature is grasped, first of all, as raw material to be more or less radically changed. The distinction of two value systems is relevant for our position not just regarding nature around us, but regarding human nature as well. The current bioethical debates on therapy versus enhancement reflect the opposition of these two sets of values.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 18 > Issue: 11/12
Andrzej Elżanowski Toward a Scientific Axiology of Life
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Values are relational properties that can be defined only in relation to a goal-directed system. Biological values originated with living systems and subjective values originated with the origin of vertebrate (and possibly others’) mind through a conversion (subjectivization) of biological values. While this conversion is understandable in adaptive (functional) terms, the evolutionary mechanism whereby positive and negative meanings in the mind were assigned to molecular and/or neuronal configurations in the brain, so far defies our comprehension. Whatever their origin, the primary subjective values are experienced by most if not all vertebrates, and the hominid conceptual values are all ultimately derived from experiential values.