Issue 2(10) /2014

FROM THE IDEA OF PROGRESS TO THE IDEA OF CRISIS

by Leszek Kopciuch

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From the Editorial Board fulltext.pdf (in English)

  Leszek Kopciuch, Introduction fulltext.pdf (in English)

 A  R  T  I  C  L  E  S:

Andrzej Niemczuk, A critical analysis of the idea of historical progress  fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German) 

This article presents a critical analysis of the idea of historical progress. The analogy between that idea and the notion of progress in individual lives, as well as its axiological context, is demonstrated. The necessary conditions for a practical realization of this idea are also indicated. Progress itself is defined as an axiological increase in the harmonization of different life practices. The article concludes that the idea of progress cannot be lawfully applied to the historical process, because in history there is no singular subject that might consciously and deliberately harmonize various areas of that which is historical.

Keywords: historical progress, the subject of history, practices of life


Sławomir Raube, The Recurring Myth. The Idea of Regress in Ernst Cassirer’s Philosophy of Culture fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

In his The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms and An Essay on Man, Ernest Cassirer casts mythi-cal thinking as one way in which human beings understand the world. He did so as an impartial scholar, proposing that myth is an inalienable component of human culture-making. Myth, or a mythical interpretation of reality, co-exists with other forms of understanding the world, such as art, science, or language. When Cassirer wrote about mythical thinking as a positive function of the mind, before Nazism stepped onto the stage of history, he had little inkling that myth can have not only poetic and imaginative power, but may also unleash the worst instincts in humans. Following Hitler’s coming to power, Cassirer realised that myth may precipitate destruction, and produced an attenuated, “mild” interpretation of myth. It is this corrected understanding of myth in Cassirer’s later thought that this text elaborates.

Keywords: Cassirer, political myth, politics, regress, Nazism


Adam Nobis, Globalisation as progress and a crisis fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Many concepts of globalisation regard it as progress or as a crisis. These concepts come with their axiological entanglements. The text poses the question about the influence of these axiological entanglements on the understanding of globalisation. It considers whether references to certain values are crucial, or whether the way these are recalled is decisive. I analyse selected concepts of globalisation: those of Thomas Friedman, Im-manuel Wallerstein, Saskia Sassen, David Landes, Ulf Hannerz and others. I conclude that whether globalisation is considered progress or a crisis, good or evil, depends not the values which are called upon but rather the way in which this is done. What is crucial is action strategies, the contexts of reasoning and argumentation, and the role ascribed to values.

Keywords: globalisation, crisis, progress, values


Michał Bohun, The Mortal Civilization. The Russian Antioccidental Catastrophism and European Paradoxes fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The aim of this article is to show the paradoxical nature of the idea of the fall of Western civilization and its Russian reception. Two fundamental problems are considered: why so many European thinkers and artists constantly ponder the death of the West and why their ideas took such a strong hold over among Russian philosophers of history. I attempt to formulate a hypothesis of “civilization resentment”, which I interpret as a fragment of theory of modernization. I consider and connect three conceptions: (i) Isaiah Berlin’s idea of “pursuit of the acclaim” as the source of nationalism; (ii) Jan Kucharzewski’s interpretation of Russian revolutionary thought; (iii) Fedor Stepun’s vision of the relations between German romanticism and Russian slavophilism.

Keywords: death of civilization, theory of historical catastrophe, Russian thought, nationalism, romantic, modernization


Halina Rarot, The reverse side of progress. The crisis of the West as a philosophical category in Russian philosophy fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The notion of “the crisis of the West” has for a century been an important element of humanist and socio-economic discourse of Westen Europe. Reflection over the “twilight” or the “fall” of the West gave rise to “crisisology”, or a philosophical reflection over the crisis of our culture. The article outlines Russian thought on the “crisis of the West”, less known in Western discourse, which complements the analysis of this important issue.

Keywords: progress of the Western civilisation, the crisis of the West, Slavophilism, Russian religious philosophy from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, new Christian civilisation, Cosmism


Cezar Jędrysko, Two symbols. Two concepts of progress and N. F. Fedorov’s diagnosis of the crisis of the modern fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

F. Fedorov is the author of an extraordinary project, the so-called “the common task”, which combines a rural and anti-progressive vision of society with technological utopia. In this paper I will consider his concept of the development of civilizations in terms of its two determinants: the diagnosis of the crisis and the idea of progress. At the beginning I will present the symptoms of the crisis and the reasons which, according to Fedorov, underlie it. I will then contrast two ideas of progress. First of them can be described as the primacy of the new over the old. It is represented by the World Expo event, and leads to the foundation of the civilization of death. The second must be regarded as a maturing of culture and awakening of an awareness of the common debt of humanity to its ancestors. It is symbolically depicted by the old Russian tradition of raising a church over a day by a local society in case of natural disasters.

Keywords: Fedorov, crisis, progress, Russian philosophy


Barbara Grabowska, The changes of men-animal relations fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Changes of men-animal relations show that progress sometimes has high cost. The seventeenth century conception of animal-machine formulated by Rene Descartes was a response to purposes of contemporary scientists. It contributed surely to new scientific discoveries and the development of more productive systems of farming. Simultaneously it brought down to the lowering of our moral sensibility in relations with creatures of other species. Only in the 60’s of the twentieth century started the debate about fundamental change of our attitude to animals. Animal liberation means next, important step towards the moral progress.

Keywords: progress, animals, Animal Liberation Movement, speciesm

 

R   E   V   I   E   W   S:

Barbara Czardybon, In direction of acquainted praxis. Review: Filozofia jako sztuka życia. Teorie, modele i wzorce dla doradztwa filozoficznego, ed. by A. Woszczyk, D. Olesiński, Expol, Katowice 2013 fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

Krzysztof Rojek, Freedom as a scandal in philosophy. Review: Bob Doyle, Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy, I-Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2011 (458 p.) fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

R  E  P  O  R  T  S :

Krzysztof Trojnar, Report of the Conference “In contexts of Witkacy. Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and the crisis of metaphysics”, Zakopane, 22-25 May 2014 fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

Jolanta Zdybel, Report of the Conference “Contemporary challenges for Creativity”, Lublin, 11-12 June 2014 fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

Piotr Konderak, Report of the International Conference “Language, Culture and Mind”, Lublin, 23–26 June 2014 fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

 

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