On content and application of modern invariants of dialectical method in research

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №9 - 2017

Author: Chernyaeva Galina, Associate Professor of Personnel Management Department, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of public administration M. Lomonossov Moscow State University, Russia

The problem of cognition method as a way of constructing, explaining and substantiating knowledge systems was repeatedly posed by the twentieth century scientists of various, at times transforming into large-scale scientific discussions. The heat of the discussion of research methods, first of all, is due to the fact that cognition methods in many ways set the boundaries of the field of knowledge recognized as scientific, define the criteria of scientific nature. Secondly, the choice of method in many ways predetermines research approaches and vectors of scientific research. Thirdly, the applied method determines the structure of the vision, description, and understanding of the researched object by the researcher, as well as the nature of the explanation and justification of the research results.

Despite the importance of choosing a research method for each scientific work, there are many problems in the modern methodology of scientific research, beginning with the typology of research methods recognized as scientific today, ending with the criteria for identifying specific methods. These problems are also relevant in what concerns the dialectical method, which most researchers treat as a general philosophical method of cognition of reality, “he real logic of meaningful creative thinking”, reflecting the objective development of reality itself [1].

People attribute to dialectics as a method of scientific knowledge a number of basic characteristics, including the following:

- the world, nature, society, and man are recognized as objectively existing;

- the world, nature, society, and man are recognized as “regularly changing” [2];

- it is recognized that there are general patterns of “formation and development of reality, the internal source of which is defined as the unity and struggle of opposites”, hence a clear methodological approach to disclosure (identification and precise verbal description), and then - resolution (from minimizing the impact to overcoming) of contradictions of reality and thinking;

- there are three universal laws of development, formulated by G. Hegel (the law of unity and struggle of opposites, the law of the mutual transition of quantitative changes to qualitative and the law of negation of negation [3]);

- consideration and exploration of objects in their development is recognized as a strategic platform, the key principle of cognition;

- important is the principle of “historicity” - the requirement of a historical approach to the study of objects is considered of great importance;

- thinking approach and the principle of “ascension from the abstract to the concrete” (G. Hegel) are recognized as effective: “from general and poor in content forms to dissected and rich content, to a system of concepts that enable us to comprehend an object in its essential characteristics [4]” and its complementary principle of ascent from concrete to abstract;

- the requirement to study all phenomena and processes in their unity and interrelations is considered necessary, etc [5].

Some modern researchers based on the basis of the provisions of the “classical” dialectics formulate other principles of the dialectical method, for example, O. Zakhidov, following E. Ilyenkov, pointed to the principle of “actualism”, according to which the object should be studied in its most developed form, since it is this form that as an initial point of research can provide an understanding of its evolution and development as, and “offers an objective criterion and a key to its less developed forms” [6].

The application of basic assumptions, principles, research attitudes and methods of the dialectical method in studies in specific areas of scientific knowledge presupposes their specific subject-oriented interpretation. But generalized descriptions are also possible. For example, L.N. Mazur describes the implementation of the principles of dialectics in historical research in the following way: “1) the identification and analysis of internal sources and mechanisms of development associated with the structural and functional features of the object and the definition of internal opposition; 2) evaluation of quantitative and qualitative changes and diagnostics of transition states (leaps) leading to the appearance of a new quality; 3) the study of continuity, connection between the new and the old, recurrence in new stages of development of certain properties of the preceding states, which are evaluated in the context of the philosophical understanding as negation (the law of negation of negation) understood as transformation of one object into another with the necessary elimination of the first one [7].

It is obvious that even the briefly listed characteristics of the dialectical method show the relevance of the application of this method, its modernity and ample opportunities in comprehending objective reality. Some researchers so highly appreciate the possibilities of the dialectical method, which even today is called a higher method of cognition and the universal philosophical method. We share a more balanced, reasoned approach to the evaluation of this method presented, for example, in the article of I.A. Gobozov [8], who shows how carefully Hegel’s dialectical method was examined by the representatives of Marxism, including V.I. Lenin, which components of the dialectical method are effective, and what makes the dialectical method so fruitful in the current scientific research.

On the one hand, the popularity of the dialectical method of research and its invariants in modern Russian science is quite high, it is claimed as an applied method in many dissertational studies in the social sciences and humanities. On the other hand, frequent application of this or that method in many areas of social studies and arts is at least alarming and makes it necessary to ask questions about the reconsideration of the research capabilities of the method, the validity of its application and the extent of its universality. Therefore, it is interesting and relevant to identify modern scientists identify the content of the dialectical method, which principles of application of the method they declare (or substantiate) and what specific forms of its application they find.

The dialectical method is a very powerful method of research, which, on the one hand, inherited and accumulated methodologies of pre-Hegelian science, and on the other hand, it itself became the basis for developing methodological grounds for many modern scientific schools. Therefore, in many studies, the development of the dialectical method is difficult to separate from the research approaches and “postulates” of modern scientific research procedures. For example, in the dissertation research by Yu. Pushchayev, who carried out a comparative analysis of phenomenology and dialectics as methods of philosophical thinking in the writings of well-known philosophers of the second half of the 20th century M.K. Mamardashvili and E.V. Ilyenkov, it is shown that “in spite of the fact that phenomenology and dialectics are usually perceived as two competing philosophies or at least two philosophical directions or methods that are independent of each other, in the history of philosophy there are examples of combining dialectical and phenomenological attitudes by one and the same thinker. Dialectics and phenomenology are such broad philosophical movements that under certain conditions they allow the possibility of “meeting and synthesizing in individual philosophers [9]”. In his opinion, the philosophical views of G. Hegel, A.F. Lossev, J.-P. Sartre, E.V. Ilyenkov, M.K. Mamardashvili, etc. can serve as examples. Pushchayev comes to a conclusion that “between the phenomenology of consciousness and dialectics there are not only differences, but also deep similarities that are determined by the fact that these are the currents of philosophy of The newest time, containing the stimulation and awakening of the activity of the human subject”. Only in the case of phenomenology the emphasis is on the “I” level of the individual monadic subject, and in the case of dialectics the emphasis is on the collective “we” level or the so-called socialized subject [10]”.

O.A. Kuznetsova [11], referring to the approach of V.V. Orlov [12], insists on the need to emphasize the philosophical and ideological platform of the author in scientific research. According to her opinion, the author must directly declare which method he uses - the idealistic dialectics method or the materialistic dialectics method. In our opinion, a very important study by O.A. Kuznetsova, showing the mass authors’ desire to avoid such polarization, is precisely the evidence of the existence of a “methodological pause” in the development of the dialectical method.

For more than a century of active propaganda of Marxist ideas, dialectical and historical materialism, science and scientific methodology have significantly changed, narrow subject areas of scientific research have appeared that do not have a direct connection to global philosophical problems. Besides, dialectical and historical materialism has not been taught in universities for more than 20 years, and textbooks in history and philosophy of science for graduate and doctoral students published over this period do not offer any similar understanding of modern scientific principles and typology of modern research methods in social and human sciences, and the notion of a “dialectical method” is often not mentioned at all. Moreover, the analysis of types of knowledge, as well as types of truth and truth, is poorly represented, although modern methodologists distinguish between constructive truth, empirical and analytical, factual and logical, ideological [13], methodological and other types of truth. In this respect, it seems logical to conclude that young researchers simply do not have enough competence in this area, hence the reticence and confusion of the methods used, hence the increase of narrow positivistic tendencies. Therefore, the theme of philosophical and methodological rethinking of the content, methods and boundaries of the dialectical method in social and humanitarian studies appears relevant for us once again. The resumption of a scientific discussion about the philosophical method, or more precisely, about philosophical methods, is necessary for the development of philosophy itself; otherwise it may be completely outside the system of education and vocational training. Universities open Theology Departments that are very active; specialists of these departments are open to a dialogue and are ready to engage in the methodology of cognition.

There are also other approaches to explaining the methodological incompetence observed in modern scientific research. S.B. Pereslegin points out three reasons for the implicit opposition of the “inaccurate” dialectical-materialist method of cognition to the “exact” physical and mathematical” one: misunderstanding of the philosophical foundations of their sciences by naturalists; “negative historical experience” of the 30s - 50s of the XX century, and the fact that “the traditional formulations of the laws of Marxist-Leninist dialectics are not sufficiently consistent with the language of modern science [14]”. Based on the idea expressed by a number of researchers that “the synthesis of the dialectics of social development and the dialectics of the development of matter, the theory of its self-organization becomes one of the most interesting directions of modern thought [15]”, S.B. Pereslegin suggested updating the terminology of dialectical methodology and coordinating it with the terminology of modern systems theory. Expressing agreement with this point of view, we are ready to recognize a comparative analysis of author's descriptions of methods used in philosophy, starting with R. Descartes's “Discourses on the Method” as a promising line of research in philosophical methodology.

Another reason for the decline in attention to and frequency of use of the dialectical method was formulated by A. S. Kaznennov. He pointed out that with the expansion of the fields of scientific knowledge, when phenomenological and systemic methods were declared, “there appeared a situation in which for many researchers the dialectical method seemed to become obsolete, and as it were there appeared two seemingly new modern methods”, and since there are multiple representations of the system there are dozens of names of scientific methods and hundreds of variations of the system method [16]. Indeed, researchers often indicate that they used: system-logical method, system-structural analysis, system approach, analysis of functional systems, etc. Along with the invariants of the system method, often indicate analysis, analytical method, comparative analysis, similarity method, difference method, exclusion method, residue method, inductive and deductive methods, logical and historical methods, modeling method, statistical method and method of mathematical statistics and etc.

A.S. Kaznennov correctly emphasizes that one should be more careful with the names of methods and illustrates this with relevant example. Many researchers point to the use of the system method, but A. S. Kaznennov recalls that the word “method” in English does mean “system”, “order”, so the phrase “system method” is tautology and “the thing is, therefore, not in the systemic nature itself, but in the “truth of the system [17]”. And he further explains: “The point is not in novelty, but in the truth of the method. There is in fact only one true method – the conceptual one – a method of integrity (totality) of mental activity in strictly defined concepts [18]”. Continuing the logic of his reasoning, the philosopher-methodologist offers his name for the “general (philosophical, general scientific, theoretical) conceptual method, which alone was and is the only true universal method of scientific cognition. All other methods are the essence of particular methods or techniques, specifying the universal scientific method [19]”. This conclusion raises substantial objections. First, even Aristotle proved that in fact, scientific thinking is realized with the help of concepts, but not by concepts, but through using more complex constructions - judgments and conclusions. Secondly, there is still a problem of intuitive knowledge, insights and, so-called, non-verbal thinking. Thirdly, in our opinion, one should be extremely cautious with claims to the universality in general and universality of this or that method, including the claims of some philosophers to the universality and of the dialectical method. So I want to say: “We have been through it”.

A very illustrative study of what happens with methodology in contemporary Arts and Humanities is the empirical sample study of 100 abstracts of dissertation theses defended in the period from 2004 to 2014 in specialty 12.00.03 – “Civil law; business law; family law; international private law” held by O.A. Kuznetsova [20]. As a result of the research, it turned out that 100 authors of the theses surveyed in only one area of scientific knowledge declared the use of 64 research methods, of which “49 methods were used in no more than 6 studies, and 23 methods were generally used by only 1 researcher out of 100 [21]”. At the same time, only 7% of the authors specified how and in which part of the research they used the methods they claimed. This proves the following:

- inattention of researchers, the scientific community, dissertation councils and attestation bodies to the selection and substantiation of the application of scientific methods;

- weakness and incompleteness of scientific methodology;

- superficial description of the methods used;

- a widespread practice of groundless references to the application of scientific methods.

A secondary analysis of the data obtained by O. Kuznetsova allows us to conclude that a significant number of authors (67.0%) either indicates that general scientific or particular scientific methods of research have been used without clarifying the methods applied, or they simply enumerates the methods used, without attributing them to any category. In a word, typological characteristics of the methods are not given, but in 33.0% of abstracts, where such aspects are reflected, many methods are classified inappropriately.

It is noteworthy that in the modern scientific researches numerous invariants of the dogmatic method were claimed to be used [22] (dogmatic interpretation, doctrinal interpretation, doctrinal interpretation of positive law, method of grammatical interpretation, method of interpretation of law, systemic dogmatic interpretation, formally dogmatic, legal-dogmatic) - 10 cases of use. The invariants of the system method turned out to be most attractive for researchers (the method of system analysis, systemic-structural, systemic methods) - 61 cases of use. The dialectical method is used in 16 cases, and, as O. A. Kuznetsova points out, “15 abstracts single out the dialectical-materialistic method as universal, while the remaining methods are defined as “connected or arising from it [23]”. For comparison: the metaphysical method was used only by one researcher, the invariants of the historical method - by 26 researchers, the invariants of the logical method - by 38 researchers.

The secondary analysis shows that, in fact, among the authors of the theses surveyed, not all recognize the dialectical method as helping in carrying out scientific research. Priority turned out to be given, if we use the terminology of the authors, to invariants of systemic, logical and historical methods. It should also be noted that in 100 of the theses examined, more than 80 mentions of invariants of legal methods were identified. Against this background, 61 cases of the application of the system method looks like legal researchers perceive it if not as a general scientific method, then as an applicant for this status.

It can be assumed that things are somewhat better with the description and justification of the application of research methods in philosophical and sociological dissertational studies, at least as a result of the traditions of profound methodological training of graduates in respective programs, but even in these areas of scientific knowledge the powerful paradigmal influences make it difficult to use the names of methods, having solid ideological overtones.

Main conclusions. Both the theoretical analysis and the analysis of the results of empirical data show that the topic of philosophical and methodological rethinking of the content, methods and boundaries of the application of the dialectical method in social and humanitarian research remains urgent. Under conditions of a clear methodological pause in the development of the dialectical method and methodological chaos in the sphere of social and humanitarian research, it is necessary to update the description of the content, possibilities and boundaries of the dialectical method and revise and systematize the categorical and conceptual apparatus of philosophical methodology as a whole.

REFERENCES

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2. Gobozov, Гобозов, I.A. Sotsialnaya philisophiya: Dialektika ili Sinergetika? [Social Philosophy: Dialectics or Synergetics?] // Philosophy and society. - 2005. - №2 (39). // Philosophy and society. – 2005. – №2 (39). Retrieved from https:// www. socionauki. ru/ journal/articles/126760/ on 28.11.2017.

3. Zaretskiy, А.М. Handbook in History and methodology of legal science: Master's program in “Jurisprudence”. - Moscow: Moscow Financial and Industrial University "Synergy", 2011. - 90 p. Retrieved from http://www.e-biblio.ru/ book/ bib/ 02_ estestv_ nauki/ Istor_i_metodolog_yurid_nayki_mag/hb_ochnaya.pdf on 03.12.2017).

4. Zakhidov, О. Dialekticheskiy Metod v Philosophskom Mirovozzrenii E. Ilyenkova [Dialectical Method in Philosophical Worldview of E. Ilyenkov]. Retrieved from http://www. centrasia. ru/ newsA.php?st=1401908580 on 28. 11. 2017.

5. Kazennov, А. S. Dialektika kak Vysshiy Metod Poznaniya [Dialectics as the Highest Method of Cognition] – SPb: Polytechnical University Publishing, 2011. – 96 p. (ISBN 978-5-7422-3153-0) Retrieved from http:// www. rpw. ru/ lib/ kazenov. html on 28.11.2017.

6. Kuznetsova, О.А. Metody Nauchnogo Issledovaniya v Tsivilisticheskikh Dissertatsiyakh [Methods of scientific research in civil theses] // Bulletin of Perm University. Series: Juridical sciences. - 2014. - Issue. 4 (26). - C. 254-270. [Kiber Leninka] Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/metody-nauchnogo-issledovaniya-v-tsi vilisti cheskih-dissertatsiyah on 28.11. 2017.

7. Kurassov, V.S., Kutseyev V.V. Logika I Metodologiya Nauki [Logic and Methodology of Science]: methodological materials. – Krasnodar: KubGAU, 2011. Retrieved from https:// kubsau. ru/ upload/ iblock/ ce8/ ce8d0260109 f388c11c87193b50fe144. pdf on 03. 12. 2017.

8. Mazur, L.N. Dalekticheskiy Podkhod [Dialectical Approach] // Retrieved from http:// ponjatija. ru/node/9800 on 28.11.2017.

9. Moisseyev, N. N., Aleksandrov, V. V., Tarko, А. М. Chelovek i Biosphera [Man and Biosphere]. – М., 1985.

10. Novikov, А.М. Doktorskaya Dissertatsiya: Possobiye dlya Doktorantov I Soiskatelei Uchenoi Stepeni [Doctoral Thesis: Guidelines for Doctoral Students and Candidates for a Research Degree] – 3rd ed. – М.: “Egves” Publishing, 2003. – 120 p. Retrieved from http:// pedlib. ru/ Books/ 3/ 0221 / 3_0221-49. shtml on 28.11.2017).

11. Orlov, V. V. Osnovy Philosophii [Basics of Philosophy]. Perm state research university., 2012. Part 1. General philosophy. - Issue 1. - 197 p.

12. Pereslegin, S. B. Strukturnaya Formuirovka Zakonov Dialektiki. [Structural Formulation of the Laws of Dialectics] Retrieved from http:// www. igstab. ru/ materials/ black/ Per_Dialect.htm on 28.11.2017.

13. Pushchayev,Y. V.. Fenomenologiya I Dialektika v Tvorchestve Mamardashvili i E. Ilyenkova [Phenomenology and dialectics in the works of M. K, Mamardashvili and E. V. Ilyenkov]: doctoral thesis abstract in 09.00.01. – Ontology and Cognition of Knowledge. – М.: IF RAN, 2009. – 25 p. Retrieved from https:// www. google. ru/ url? sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc= s&source=web&cd=13&ved= 0ahUK Ewi Fudr Co-HXAhXMCJoKHQW-Ap44 ChAWCDUwAg&url = https % 3A %2F%2Fiphras.ru% 2Fuplfile% 2Faspir% 2 Fautoreferat% 2 Favtore ferat _ puschaev. doc&usg= AOv Vaw0tzSLz ThDK6o4OrEtWSgpU on 28.11.2017).



[1] Novikov, А.М. Doktorskaya Dissertatsiya: Possobiye dlya Doktorantov I Soiskatelei Uchenoi Stepeni [Doctoral Thesis: Guidelines for Doctoral Students and Candidates for a Research Degree] – 3rd ed. –М.: “Egves” Publishing, 2003. – 120 p. Retrieved from http:// pedlib. ru/ Books/ 3/0221/3_0221-49.shtml on 28. 11. 2017)

[2] Mazur,L.N.. Dalekticheskiy Podkhod [Dialectical Approach] // Retrieved from http: //ponjatija.ru/node/9800 on 28.11.2017

[3] For more information see Mazur,L.N..

[4] Novikov, А.М. Doktorskaya Dissertatsiya: Possobiye dlya Doktorantov I Soiskatelei Uchenoi Stepeni [Doctoral Thesis: Guidelines for Doctoral Students and Candidates for a Research Degree] – 3rd ed. –М.: “Egves” Publishing, 2003. – 120 p. Retrieved from http:// pedlib. ru/ Books /3/0221/3_0221-49.shtml on 28. 11. 2017

[5] For more information see Gobozov,Гобозов, I.A. Sotsialnaya philisophiya: Dialektika ili Sinergetika? [Social Philosophy: Dialectics or Synergetics?] // Philosophy and society. - 2005. - №2 (39). // Philosophy and society. – 2005. – №2 (39). Retrieved from https:// www. socionauki. ru/journal/articles/126760/ on 28.11.2017

[6] See Zakhidov,О. Dialekticheskiy Metod v Philosophskom Mirovozzrenii E. Ilyenkova [Dialectical Method in Philosophical Worldview of E. Ilyenkov]. Retrieved from http:// www. centrasia. ru/news A.php?st=1401908580 on 28. 11. 2017

[7] See Mazur L.N.

[8] See Gobozov I.A.

[9] Pushchayev, Y. V.. Fenomenologiya I Dialektika v Tvorchestve Mamardashvili i E. Ilyenkova [Phenomenology and dialectics in the works of M. K, Mamardashvili and E. V. Ilyenkov]: doctoral thesis abstract in 09.00.01. – Ontology and Cognition of Knowledge . – М.: IF RAN, 2009. – 25 p. Retrieved from https: // www. google. ru/ url?sa= t&rct=j&q=&esrc= s&source = web&cd= 13& ved= 0ahUKE wiFudrCo-HXAh X M CJ oK HQW-Ap 44 ChA WCDU wAg&url= https % 3A % 2 F % 2 Fiphras. Ru % 2 Fuplfile % 2 Faspir % 2Fautoreferat % 2 Favtoreferat  pus chaev. Doc &usg = AOvVaw 0 tzSLz ThDK 6o 4 Or Et WSgpU on 28.11.2017

[10] See Pushchayev,Y. V., p. 11

[11] See Zaretskiy, А. М. Handbook in History and methodology of legal science: Master's program in “Jurisprudence”. - Moscow: Moscow Financial and Industrial University "Synergy", 2011. - 90 p. Retrieved from http:// www. e-biblio.ru/book/ bib/ 02_ estestv_ nauki/ Istor_ i_ metodolog_ yurid_nayki_mag/hb_ochnaya.pdf on 03.12.2017

[12] Orlov, V. V. Osnovy Philosophii [Basics of Philosophy]. Perm state research university., 2012. Part 1. General philosophy. - Issue 1. - 197 p.

[13] Akhmedova , S.D. Metody Nauchnogo Issledovaniya I Problemy Istinnosty naniya [Methods of scientific research and the problem of the truth of knowledge: thesis abstract. Specialty: 09.00.01 - Ontology and theory of knowledge. Tashkent, 1991. - 18 p.] Retrieved from http://cheloveknauka.com/metody-nauchnogo-issledovaniya-i-problemy-istinnosti-znaniya on 28.11.2017

[14] Pereslegin, S. B. Strukturnaya Formuirovka Zakonov Dialektiki. [Structural Formulation of the Laws of Dialectics] Retrieved from http:// www. igstab. ru/ materials/ black/ Per_Dialect.htm on 28.11.2017

[15] Moisseyev, N. N., Aleksandrov, V. V., Tarko, А. М. Chelovek i Biosphera [Man and Biosphere]. – М., 1985

[16] Kazennov, А. S. Dialektika kak Vysshiy Metod Poznaniya [Dialectics as the Highest Method of Cognition] – SPb: Polytechnical University Publishing, 2011. – 96 p. (ISBN 978-5-7422-3153-0) Retrieved from http://www.rpw.ru/lib/kazenov.html on 28.11.2017

[17] Kazennov, А. S., p.11

[18] Kazennov, А. S., p.12

[19] Kazennov, А. S., p.17

[20] Kuznetsova,О.А. Metody Nauchnogo Issledovaniya v Tsivilisticheskikh Dissertatsiyakh [Methods of scientific research in civil theses] // Bulletin of Perm University. Series: Juridical sciences. - 2014. - Issue. 4 (26). - C. 254-270. [Kiber Leninka] Retrieved from https:// cyberleninka.ru/article/n/metody-nauchnogo-issledovaniya- v-tsivilisticheskih-dissertatsiyah on 28.11.2017

[21] See Kuznetsova,О.А.

[22] Names of methods are given as mentioned by thesis authors

[23] See Kuznetsova,О.А



Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №9 - 2017

  
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