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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, Issue 4, 2019

Irina A. Gerasimova
Pages 8-20

Uncertainty in Cognition and Social Practices

The article discusses the theoretical status of the category of uncertainty. Instead of the classical definitions of uncertainty as an ontological or epistemological concept, a composite theoretical construct is proposed. In classical science, the objectivist representation of the subject of research was preferred. With the nonclassical type of rationality, there rises problem of including subjective elements in a theoretical description. Attention to subject-subject-object methodologies is increasing due to the complication of communicative interactions in science and society in the digital era. One of the consequences of active innovative projective activity on a planetary scale and increasing risks is the perception in the public mind of uncertainty as a challenge. The author considers it appropriate to study the uncertainty-certainty as a paired category. The category of uncertainty was considered in philosophy, science, and management. The status of uncertainty as infinity and formlessness was recognized by Greek natural philosophers. Classical science developed the methodology of knowing the “infinite limit” through the construction of theoretical schemes (forms) and types of empirical testing. The paradox served as a means of destroying dogmatic schemes. In the context of increasingly complex communications in science, the importance of cognitive problems in the study of collective thinking and the personal beginning of creativity is increasing. Modern economic positivism is distinguished by its rejection of objective uncertainty, and the installation of the ability to efficiently manage exclusively accurate calculations is brought to extremes.

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