ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Bifurcations of humanitarian scientific theories: historical and actual analysis

Stepan Stepanovich Sulakshin

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 6 - Law Building, Room 022
Date: 2012-07-10 03:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Last modified: 2012-06-06


The prospects of transition to the new paradigm of humanities are substantiated in the report on the basis of retrospective analysis of scientific theories’ replacement.
From the historical point of view, the replacement of a scientific paradigm was a result of the crisis, which we define as cognitive bifurcation, i.e. inconsistency between theory and reality. At the same time, there was the connection between the replacement of humanities theories and scientific revolutions, which were the natural process of the development of science.
The first scientific revolution in the XVII-XVIII centuries led to the domination of the mechanistic world view and the triumph of liberalism and universalism in humanities. The second scientific revolution in the XIX century overcame the static character of the previous explanatory model of the universe and generated the Marxian theory of “scientific communism” in social science. In relation to communism liberalism seemed as the out-of-date scientific paradigm, although the confrontation between two these theories in the form of global struggle, which enveloped communist and capitalist systems did not cease during the whole XX century. The third scientific revolution was due to the Einsteinian theory of relativity based on the ideas of plurality and variability.
However, the triumph of this concept as the paradigm of the world view did not take place. Contemporary world is unipolar. The domination of the neoliberal theory as the prevailing humanitarian paradigm of the Modernity is nothing but the recovery of the first scientific paradigm of liberalism-universalism. This corresponds neither to the logic of the development of the scientific knowledge, nor to the challenges science and society face in the XXI century. The methodology of liberalism was based on the idea of unknowability of the object of humanitarian cognition. In fact, gnoseologial agnosticism led to the rejection of the established factorial cause-effect relations and the elimination of the science’s cognitive potential.
In the epoch of domination of the criterion of practical adaptability of knowledge such a situation seems to be strange. From our point of view, the search of new paradigm of humanities should develop in the field of the fourth scientific revolution started in 1970-s. As the key method of cognition it advanced the synergetic approach, i.e. synthesis of fragmented knowledge in the form of interdisciplinary approach. New humanities should get rid of agnosticism and isolationism and turn into science in the true sense of the word.