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Philosophy of Science

Science, Development and Humanity

V. Mantatov, I. Lambaeva
East-Siberian State University of Technology, Ulan-Ude, Russia

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ABSTRACT: The formation of a new scientific picture of the world is connected with the necessity of subjectivity. This subjectivity posits no limits for the scientific aspects of cognitive processes, but embraces a comprehensive world of spiritual activity. To choose the most effective model of social behavior, it is important to have an adequate knowledge of reality (i.e., the objective regularities of the surrounding world). Modern science reflects the vagueness of reality and, in consequence, the impossibility of using classical approaches. Increasingly, the negative phenomena of the surrounding world reflects the complexity of natural and socio-natural systems, especially on the global scale. Restrictions of the classical approaches to this complexity can be overcome within the synergistic theories or hierarchical systems theory that are becoming more and more popular. The necessity of appeal to modern theories, initiated as the result of ecological crises, stimulates the processes of new paradigm formation in science, acting often in spite of the needs and motives of society.

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The role of scientific world cognition in the history of Humanity is not considered to be unequivocal. One must not overestimate it's significance in man's living being improvement, raising it's status, expansion of it's rights, but one should confirm the development of science only, and further more, the appearance of technical inventions completely changed the relations between the man and the world surrounding him, generating ecological crisis. On the other hand, the problem of Humanity future development is extremely complex, it's solving is only with the use of scientific potential.

Attribute of Mind, giving a man the right to be crowning point of nature determined the direction of the Planet history development several centuries ahead. To great extend, rationality, as well as the science itself is the result of Age of Enlightenment and it caused upheavals in Europe and influenced further world development.

The Picture of world during New Age was seen as if the event was determined exactly by the starting conditions. According to Laplas Principle of determination one could recall the past and predict future in details in case if one possessed the total combination of data at any moment of time. In scientific view of New Age laws of nature were given their own status, differed greatly comparing with the laws expressing models of relations between people, determined by the norms and values of religion and morals. Thus, Ch.Snow's mind, premises for existence of "two culture's conflicts" appeared. This opposition was intensified by dogmatic doctrine of methods of conditions infallibility, settled in philosophical consciousness.

The changes of the XXth century undermined New Age world outlook, formed under classical science influenced. Thermodynamic approach in analyzing physical processes and phenomena, i.e., from the point of view of stream and exchange of energy, coincided with the moment when accents in mutual influence of social and scientific thinking started changing. Science accepted idea having been only the objects of philosophical thought before . And the philosophical notions of the world themselves were under significant changes.

Cognitions of the world during New Age is the research of it's structure, substance of the world, attributes and moduses. This world is subjected to logical laws, for it is the best one from the possible worlds, but it's likely it doesn't contradict the laws of logics (Leibnits). For existence of God had hardly significance as a constant representation in the world, but it brought about it's functioning by optimum laws as absolute, as absolute substance of God himself. This optimal being inspired with optimism, as well as acknowledgment of external Reasoning of the world functioning showed the problem of inner contradictions useless.

Laws of nature are measures, images, determinations, projected at the real world by substance of God resulting in material substance splitting acquiring discreteness. A set of this laws is self-sufficient and absolute for the one who projected it. The task of thinking is cognition of these laws, cognition of being. In case these laws are self-sufficient, they themselves can act as reasoning and meaning of existence. If God is reason of himself, so nature is self-provided. Reasoning connection between idea and matter starts splitting.

According to empiricism of Hume and Lokke the beginning of idea is supposed to be a subject, capable to unit them overcoming individuality of idea by means of naming conferment. The first step of cognition is in perception. Knowledge of thing is not a priori but it is originated from experience sensation. Perception is the capability of mind, and, hence, essence cognited is absolutely verbal, terminological. But aspects are dependent on the names only, given by people, and borders of aspects also are man-made up . Cognition of world is cognition of laws according to which this world exists. Self-exclusiveness and self-sufficience of cognitive actions and, hence, the world cognited found their radical reflection showed on it's social philosophy as well in empiricism at Lokke.

Self-exclusiveness of thinking construction of empiricism and subjectivity contradicted with the reality, new horizons of natural scientific knowledge. The tendency of subjectivity, found in Dekart's, Lokke's works first, was worked out in Kant's philosophy. Parallelism at mind and matter made Kant admit the existence at mind only. Matter gives only sensation, but mind regulates this matter in space and time, creates notions necessary for realization at the notions. Reasons of our sensations are not cognitive, they are gists of "thing in itself," not responding to depiction with the help of notions and they leave the limits of interaction with our mind. Phenomenon is a product of mind activity as the subject itself gives the object qualities, not trying to find in it manifestation of higher intentions. Thus, a scholar himself creates universal laws which are similar to God and confirmed by experience, i.e. a priori conditions of experience existence at the same time. Man becomes a subject, the world becomes a picture (Heidegger).

Philosophical system of Shelling including it's organismic image of nature applied to other perspectives of world viewing differed greatly. Dynamic and whole unity of opposites in nature was presented as a source of self-motion and self-development of natural world. Philosophy of life taking will as irrational foundation of life following Shelling's natural philosophy reflected anthropological tendencies in science in general , and , an interest to nature of human spirit specifically; it was formed in general context of development of scientific knowledge about the world. According to philosophical concept of Schopenhauer world is chaos, in which World Will is manifested as a basis of destructive beginning. The whole Universe is unified natural life, which devours itself. Nature of suffering of World Will is in fact that it's impossible, to achiev it's aim. Will, or desire constantly thirsts for it's performance though borders, as well as cognition, always draw back, like the lines of horizon, never bringing satisfaction. Pessimism of Shopenhauer was born by despair of a man, having understood unattainable state of world harmony, inevitability of constant broadening the borders of the world under cognition. Will as a base of world never attains it's logical aim, and constant striving and constant absence of satisfaction is inherent in world.

Shopenhauer created thinking constructions of reality and expressed in his system that thing, which had been generated by means of empirical ways of cognition in natural scientific picture of world. World Will as irrational beginning of life, as well as the notion of entropy, reflects inner potential of nature, capability to transfer into other states, to posses other qualities. If strength in Newton's mechanics illustrated external starting of natural mechanism, the notion of energy reflected the capability of natural machine to perform independent action.

Crisis of classical rationality is probably connected first of all, not so much with the way of scientific cognition as with sense content of scientific activity. The formation of new scientific picture of world is connected with the necessity of inclusion of category &#laquo;subjectivity&#raquo;, having no limits for scientific aspects of cognitive process, but embracing comprehensive world of spiritual activity. The principle problem of nowadays is the problem of contradiction between science of spirit and science of nature, estrangement of science from spirit , from a man is in the fact; science is not able to understand limits and sense of it's own development and therefore it can hardly reveal human being, his values and universality according to Heidegger's point of view. Thus, the possibility to form new picture of world on the base of classical rational type of cognition is worth arguing. The direction of scientific knowledge development is determined by the requirement to orient for social essence, spirituality, subjectivity.

Quantum relativistic physics revealed the dependence of measuring result of observer, postulated nonstandard situation, where interaction of object and subject cognited take place by means of actualization at subject being. At first sight this fact has a pure physical, utilized sense, but it initiated the system of scientific presentation of subject being category , influenced the whole picture of world. N. Winer and W. Eshby introduce a subject into their model of reality. I. Prigozhin speaks about the new dialogue of Man and Nature.

System ontology of Bertalanfy reflects replacement of world outlook orientation, which took take place after system's turning into new paradigm of science, or as Bertalanfy says, "new philosophy of nature." Unlike reductionism, he considered science as one of a "man's perspectives" with his biological, cultural and linguistic talent and restriction as well created for interaction with the world , which includes him. New subject being caused the necessity to appear categories of system epistemology, i.e. interaction, regulating organization. From general system approach a personality is presented as an active system both in behavioristic and cognitive aspects.

Thus, we consider the picture of world depicted from modern scientific world outlook positions represents systems depiction of reality as non-linear medium, filled individual subject being, in which due to self-organisation chaotic movement and causality of complicated system behavior stipulating in vagueness and unpredictedness of irreversible process development are overcome.

The world, imagined by modern science, is becoming more vivid, volumetric, holographic, it's existence is determined by the presence of Mind in it. Destruction of organism, system or birth of new structure are physical world development stages, representing by itself within modern science neither closed cycle, nor unequivocal movement from the lowest to the highest ones (the model of "progress"), but multi-measured process of irreversible character, absorbing the unity of stability and instability, sustainability and unsustainability, matter of chance and determination, order and chaos. This dialectics of being, i.e., the dynamic balance of opposites, is most adequately expressed by the notion &#laquo;Sustainable development&#raquo;.

To choose more effective model of sustainable social development it is important to have adequate knowledge of reality, objective regularities of the surrounding world. Increasing human incapability to influence and operate natural systems depends on inadequate notion of reality, of natural systems. This incapability is overcome by the process of science development itself, in which it is matured understanding at first vagueness of reality , and in consequence, impossibility to use classical approaches. Secondly, increasing negative phenomena in the surrounding world reflects complexity of natural and social natural systems, especially on a global scale. Restrictions of classical approaches to the complexity can be overcome within synergetic theories or hierarchical system theory, etc. The necessity to appeal to modern theories, initiated at the result of ecological situation in crisis, stimulates the process of new paradigm formation in science.

Demands made on science by virtue of the sustainable development of Mankind is in containing in it more volumetric and deep knowledges and methods, allowing to reflect features on reality, natural systems and a man in it's depiction.

We consider the following demands:

  • capability to embrace the whole complexity of the real world, the process of its self-organisation;
  • capability to depict conditions of vagueness and indetermination, matter of chance of natural systems and processes, to estimate and predict risk in the process of development;
  • access to social factors influence;
  • involvement of valuable components.

During last ten years methods of explaining notions being complicated from the point of view of dynamic system theories, general theory of systems, theory of catastrophe, theory of chaos, theory of emergent systems, theory of hierarchical systems were worked out in science.

Complexity of real world depends on level of organization of system. The elements of complex system are connected each other, and this system possesses "intention intellect." Simultaneously, concerning the notion of self-organization the ideas of theleology, purposefullness and purpose-relying of development revert to scientific understanding of reality. The theory of self-organization doesn't give an answer whether inner direction to choose development exists , how much the choice of bifurcation tree route is causal; independent behavior of system or organism itself is characterized by some incompleteness, and this fact needs the creation of new theories.

Among other features New Age differs from the last ones for it's necessity to take &#laquo;interests&#raquo; of biosphere into consideration. History of social development represents itself the history of the society and person interests' clash. Now the perspectives of development depend upon the fact which route will be chosen for solving the contradiction between ecological and social interests. Hierarchical nature of the complexity causes the necessity to accept hierarchy of the values at continuous existence under their contradictions. Ethic dilemma as regards to priority of a man and nature interests is solved by moral imperatives, proclaiming the value of interests for future human generations.

But principle vagueness and unpredictedness of reality, shown in the theory of dynamic systems, brings into prediction, calculation and modelling, based on the methods of scientific apparatus at modern science, a good deal of risk. Hence, aspects of development with aim of sustainability are produced. First, thoroughly elaborated rules of behavior in the situations of insreased danger and risk should be developed. Second, profound meaning acquires the problem of moral responsibility of mankind for the future. It's urgent for human mind to be able catch and hear in himself rhythms of the Universal being self-organizing and be involved in creation, but not in destruction.

We consider sustainable development to be a law of Universe and the tasks facing science is to coordinate human thoughts and actions with cosmic order and reason. We associate the perspectives of sustainable human development with wide use of science-based potentials.

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