POSITIVISM AND PRAGMATISM OF THE XIX - THE BEGINNING OF THE...

POSITIVISM AND PRAGMATISM OF THE XIX - THE BEGINNING OF THE XX CENTURY

Positivism, , which is the direct heir of the Enlightenment, arises as an alternative to two ideological currents: on the one hand, pure mechanism in the spirit of Laplace (see paragraph 2.1); on the other hand, the classical philosophy of cognition of the XVII-XVIII centuries, considered above, - from Descartes and Locke to Kant.

The Age of Enlightenment views science as the quintessence of reason. And science XVIII-XIX centuries. really went from one triumph to another. This opened the way for the ideology of scientism, based on an orientation toward natural science as a model for solving all cognitive problems, combined with the belief that science can do it. The complication and specialization of rapidly developing natural science in the XIX century. and its straightforward, problem-free growth on the basis of the Newtonian program contributed to the fact that the complex reasoning of Kant and his heirs, who also did not give unambiguous answers, seemed to scientists "abstruse" and unnecessary. In all likelihood, the enormous success that fell to Spencer's share was due to this circumstance. Intellectual of the XIX century. (however, in the twentieth century, too) flattered that in the philosophical treatise he found judgments of common sense, to which he himself thought out, but only clearly did not express them. Finally, self-evident ideas were expressed, the understanding of which did not now require a special philosophical culture. " [1, p. 49-51].

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On this soil in the middle of the XIX century. there is a positivism of the Frenchman O. Comte and his English successors - J. Mill and G. Spencer. Simple (understandable for scientists) building positivists of the XIX century, besides extolling the natural sciences, were enthusiastically received both among the scientists themselves and among the numerous admirers of science, whose circle at that time was rapidly expanding.

Positivism passes through a series of phases, traditionally called the first (Comte, Spencer), the second (Mach, Duguem, Poincare), the third (Vienna circle, etc.) positivism. The latter, often called neopositivism and logical positivism (in Western literature often - logical empiricism, and sometimes simply "positivism"), in the late 1930s. comes into close interaction with American pragmatism - another important source of the main directions of the modern philosophy of science. This was stimulated by intensive emigration in the 1930s. in the USA, neo-positivist philosophers from Austria and Germany, where he was born and evolved. The general basis of all these trends is: 1) rejection of the "metaphysics" (which understood the classical philosophy of modern times - from Descartes to Hegel), combined with 2) empiricism , which goes back to F. Bacon, and 3) phenomenalism as a detour to criticism of Hume.

First positivism (Comte, Spencer)

The founder of positivism, the French Auguste Comte (1798-1857), declares the metaphysics, after the emergence of empirical sciences, a historical excess. "Following Saint-Simon, Comte developed the idea of ​​the so-called three stages of the intellectual evolution of mankind (as well as of the individual individual), ultimately determining the entire development of society. At the first, theological stage, all phenomena are explained on the basis of religious ideas; the second, metaphysical stage, replaces supernatural factors in the explanation of nature by essences, causes; The task of this stage is critical, destructive, it prepares the the last, positive, or scientific (highlighted by us. AL ) the stage at which the science of society arises that promotes its rational organization 112, p. 274).

To the second stage, Comte attributes almost all those described in the first chapters of persons, with the exception of F. Bacon and D. Hume. As for the latter, Comte and his followers adopt a simple initial formulation of F. Bacon's empiricism and Hume's criticism of empiricism. Overcoming it has become one of the main problems of the Western philosophy of science up to our time.

The achievements of "positive" (practically oriented) knowledge, especially knowledge of nature (including the achievements of medicine as a "positive" knowledge of man), appropriately organized and decorated, were now regarded as a genuine science designed to replace theology and the former philosophy ("metaphysics") [4]. A common feature of positivism (both the first and later) was the desire to solve problems characteristic of the philosophical (metaphysical) theory of cognition, relying on the "positive" natural science, opposed to metaphysics .

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One of the ways to exclude metaphysical aspects, as well as Hume's problem, was the statement that the goal of cognition is to describe phenomena, and not to search for metaphysical entities or causes. This is the essence of the position of phenomenology - departing from the question "why?" and restriction by the question "how?". Our mind henceforth refuses from absolute research (ie, the search for the causes and essence of phenomena.) AL ) ••• - > proclaims O. Comte - and concentrates his efforts in the field of actual observation ... Every sentence (which are statements about the cause and essence of phenomena - AL ) , which is not available for an accurate conversion to a simple explanation of a particular or general fact, can not represent no real and understandable meaning (this line will be developed positivism m. XX century - AL ) . We can really know, - said Comte, - only various mutual connections, without ever being able to penetrate into the secret of their education ... Our positive studies in all fields should, but essentially, be limited to a systematic assessment of what is, refusing to discover the root cause and ultimate destination " [7, p. 17]. We see that the basic nature of positive philosophy is expressed in the recognition of all phenomena subject to unchangeable natural laws, the discovery and reduction of their number to a minimum and is the goal of all our efforts ... We confine ourselves to precisely analyzing the conditions under which phenomena occur, and we associate them with each other by the natural relations of sequence and similarity ... [6, p. 556, 559-560].

According to Comte, neither science nor philosophy can and should not raise the question of the cause of phenomena, but only about "how" they occur. According to this, science, according to Comte, knows not entities, but only phenomena.

English > Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), who sought the "law of the cumulative redistribution of matter and motion, covering all changes (beginning with those that slowly transform the structure of our galaxy , and ending with those that make up the process of chemical decomposition) [7, p. 611], tried to solve the Hume problem in a naturalistic way, on the basis of the Darwinian evolutionary theory that appeared to him. Empirical truths are subsequently inherited and become innate. Spencer believed that knowledge (as well as biological characteristics of an individual) is inherited biologically. [1]. Science for Spencer is a means of adapting a person to the environment, it is a way to "achieve good and avoid harm" [1, p. 54]. "What we call truth, which shows us the path to successful activity and to the consistent maintenance of life, is simply the exact correspondence of subjective relations with objective ones ... [1, p. 54-55]. This line was picked up by the evolutionary epistemology of the second half of the 20th century.

Spencer continues Kont's phenomenalism, somewhat strengthening the role of mechanical concepts in it. He maintained that "the deepest truths that we can achieve only consist in the simple statement of the broadest uniformities in our experience concerning the relations of matter, motion and force" [1, p. 51].

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