Basic approaches to understanding the rationality...

Basic approaches to understanding the rationality of science

The problem of truth and rationality is the central problem of science, which is solved differently at various stages in the development of science, but the goal of scientific activity-the discovery of truth-remains unchanged. The achievement of this goal is closely related to the formation of standards of scientific rationality in each specific scientific paradigm.

The concept of rationality is polysemantic and historically variable. Most clearly the difference in the meaning of rationality is manifested in the comparison of this concept with its antonyms. The concept of rationality forms several binary oppositions depending on which antonym is opposed to it.

At least the following binary oppositions can be presented: "rational - irrational", "rational - irrational", "rational - irrational", "rational - sensual", "rational - meaningless", " "rational - contrary to common sense."

Such oppositions result in the following rationality:

- rational - reasonable, logical, meaningful with reason;

- rational - effective, optimal;

- rational - mastered with the help of forms of logical (reasonable) thinking;

- rational - for granted, not contrary to common sense;

- rational - having a clearly expressed meaning;

- rational - subordinate to a certain algorithm; etc.

Thus, the general solution to the problem of rationality essentially depends on the answer to a number of questions:

- What is intelligence, what is its essence?

- To what kindred and species of being is the idea of ​​rationality applicable?

- The essence of rationality is absolute and unchanging, or is it historically changeable?

- What is the typology of rationality?

- On what grounds could the typology of varieties of rationality be built?

The problem of rationality is to clarify the meaning of "reasonableness" as properties or characteristics applied to a particular object: being, action, relation, purpose, etc. On this basis, a number of authors distinguish the types of rationality. So, E. N. Shulga distinguishes the types of rationality, first, with respect to the types of objects about which there are rational statements; secondly, with respect to the kind of situation and, finally, by the type of criteria of rationality. In accordance with these grounds, it is proposed to distinguish:

1) rationality of thinking and rationality of action;

2) the rationality of common sense and scientific rationality;

3) rationality of values ​​and rationality of knowledge;

4) Ontic rationality;

5) rationality is formal and rationality is material;

6) epistemological rationality;

7) pragmatic rationality.

Thus, the idea of ​​rationality can be applied to various types and forms of being and consciousness. At the same time, a significant part of those considered with regard to rationality in general semantic meanings is rightly included in the concept of scientific rationality, which implies an analysis of the forms and manifestations of rationality in science. A number of researchers consider science itself as a special type of rationality and speaks of "science as a type of rationality".

The notion of the essence of scientific rationality changes along with the development of science and society. Thus, the logocentric paradigm of ancient philosophy was based on the belief in the absoluteness and immutability of the laws of the universal mind, in their own spiritual ability. As such laws were the laws of logic, which, according to Aristotle, are the fundamental principles of being and thinking. Thus, in Antiquity the idea is asserted: everything that corresponds to the laws of logic is rational. What does not comply with these laws is irrational; something that contradicts logic is irrational. However, the intelligence is not always the same as the "logicality", since completely meaningless "conclusions" can be logically correct. So, logically impeccable is the judgment "Some shmiks - glitches", obtained as deductive conclusion from parcels "All the biki-glitches", "Some shmyaki - biki", but this judgment is meaningless. Reasonableness can be characterized by expediency, efficiency, harmony and consistency of elements, etc.

There is an understanding of rationality as the ability to order the perception of the world, the ability to give the world definitions, rules, laws. With this understanding, both practical and mythological thinking activity is an algorithm for "bringing the world in order", so the myth can be regarded as a specific type of rationality, although culturally-social, but extra-scientific. However, from the historical period when science arose, it was scientific rationality that was the basis of rationality for other spheres of society.

The rationality of classical science, , perceiving the tradition of Antiquity and developing the idea of ​​logocentrism, implied faith in the ability of the mind to assimilate reality, into the identity of mind and being.

In non-classical rationality , this belief is replaced by a belief in the ability of science to comprehend the world and transform it.

In the post-nonclassical period, the self-reflection of science leads to a conclusion about the historical types of scientific rationality and, consequently, to the idea of ​​its pluralism. The post-nonclassical stage of scientific development is associated with a new qualitative leap in the content of scientific rationality. The latter includes in its content an understanding of the nonlinearity and historicism of systems studied by science (including natural and technical sciences), their human dimension.

The definitions of the types of rationality are correlated with what the French thinker M. Foucault (1926-1984) calls "epistemes", i.e. specific epistemological spaces (spaces of knowledge) of the order in accordance with which knowledge was constructed in each epoch.

M. Foucault distinguishes three rationalities in the European culture of modern times: the Renaissance (16th century), the classical (17th-18th centuries), and the modern.

Problems of historical types of rationality were widely developed in the domestic philosophical tradition. It should be noted the works of NS Avtonomova, Π. P. Gaidenko, VN Porus, VS Styopin, VS Shvyrev. Historians of United States philosophy refer to the classical work of MK Mamardashvili "Classical and non-classical ideals of rationality" and the joint article of MK Mamardashvili (1930- 1990), E. Yu. Solovyov (born 1934) and VS Shvyrev (1934-2008), "Classics and Modernity: Two Epochs in the Development of Bourgeois Philosophy." In these works, the difference between classical and non-classical rationality is revealed.

Thus, VS Shvyrev notes that classical rationality presupposes the orientation of consciousness on the "existing regardless of the subject of the world order, and the prerequisites for the reproduction of this world order in rational consciousness are not are the subject of a special analysis. " For modern , rationality is characterized by critically-reflexive setting "in relation to your own assumptions. The subject of rational consciousness is, therefore, activity in the elaboration of rational knowledge on the basis of available cognitive means and prerequisites. "2

Thus, the object of classical rationality is the world of wholeness and cognizable unity, and the subject that knows this world is an autonomous independent subject. In the classical type of rationality, the idea of the absolute sovereignty of the mind, prevails, aspiring to comprehend the true essence of things. The mind itself remains, as it were, an outside observer. Simultaneously, the possibility of constructing an absolutely objective picture of the world is assumed. This type of rationality is realized, in particular, in the Newtonian picture of the world, claiming a universal explanation of phenomena and events.

The modern rationality post-nonclassical type is caused by a situation in which a single universal explanation of the world is impossible. In the philosophy of science, the fact that the results of our vision depend on the way of looking (and discretion) is realized and justified. The modern type of rationality is based on the idea that only a relatively true picture of reality is achievable. The scientific community recognizes the fact that the content of theoretical knowledge depends not only on the specifics of the object, but is also determined by the features of the method by which this object is mastered.

M. K. Mamardashvili and VS Shvyrev analyze first of all the contemporary and the preceding types of rationality.

Q. S. Stepin was one of the first in the domestic philosophy of science to develop a typology of scientific rationality applied to the main stages of the development of science and formulated differences between the classical, nonclassical and post-non-classical types of rationality.

"Classical science believes that the condition for obtaining true knowledge about the object is elimination in the theoretical explanation and description of everything that relates to the subject, his goals and values, the means and operations of his activities. Nonclassical science (its model - quantum relativistic physics) takes into account the relationship between knowledge about the object and the nature of the means and operations of the activity in which the object is discovered and cognized. But the connections between intrascientific and social values ​​and goals are still not the subject of scientific reflection, although they implicitly determine the nature of knowledge (determine what exactly and how we allocate and comprehend in the world). The post-nonclassical type of scientific rationality expands the field of reflection over activity. He takes into account the correlation of the received knowledge about the object not only with the peculiarity of the means and operations of activity, but also with its value-target structures. At the same time, the connection of intrascientific goals with extrascientific, social values ​​and goals is explicated. "

The methodology proposed by VS Styopin is very fruitful, since it allows us to correlate the development of science not only with intrascience, but also with socio-cultural factors. As a result, a close connection of scientific revolutions with the social context of their implementation was revealed, and if this is true for natural science, such a methodology is even more productive for the social sciences.

In VS Styopin's works under scientific rationality (although it is not explicitly formulated), in fact, what is considered for the scientific community is taken for granted, that does not require additional evidence, because is generally accepted by the scientific community and amounts to initial positions for scientific As the criteria for distinguishing the types of scientific rationality, VS Stöpin considers first of all the representations of the scientific community about the nature of truth and the Lyady on the dialectic of subject and object, subjective and objective in the process of scientific research.

However, other criteria for distinguishing the types of scientific rationality can be put forward. Among them are representations about the role of scientific means in the cognitive process, the types of determinism, the influence of sociocultural values ​​on the process of scientific cognition.

Note that it is necessary to distinguish the rationality of science as a social institution and the rationality of science as a process of scientific research, on the one hand, and the rationality of scientific knowledge, on the other. In the first case, we are dealing with a rational (or irrational) organization of scientific knowledge, in the second case, with its result. However, in most publications this separation is not carried out, although in the work of VS Styopin, it is primarily about science as a social institution and the process of scientific cognition, and EN Shulgi - about the rationality of scientific knowledge.

A complex approach is possible that synthesizes the characteristics of the rationality of science from various points of its consideration. A similar approach, taking into account the ideas of VS Styopin, MK Mamardashvili, VS Shvyrev, and others, is implemented in Table. 5.1.

Table 5.1. Basic types of scientific rationality

Type of rationality






Autonomous, independent knowing mind, in fact epistemological machine

Subject + Tools

Social, value-weighted subject + tools






Pluralism and the axiological load of truth

Type of determinism




Inclusion of randomness and uncertainty in the content of determinism

The essential role of randomness in the processes of self-organization (synergetic approach)

Impact of Values ​​




The value of the tools of science

Close interconnection of axiology and epistemology

thematic pictures

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