World philosophy and dialectic thinking: an analysis of institutional contexts and development prospects
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018
Author: Gusseva Nina, Doctor of Philosophy, Chair of the East Division of Kazakhstan Philosophical Congress, Head of the International Center for Methodological Research and Innovation Programs, Member of the Academy of Acmeology.
The East Division of Kazakhstan Philosophical Congress, The International Center for Methodological Research and Innovation Programs, Kazakhstan
Modern world philosophy is represented by a wide variety of
philosophical views, concepts and trends. Its field of interest includes
consideration and study of various forms of human social and individual being
and consciousness, which, firstly, have developed and function within the
framework of certain civilizational processes and, secondly, are in a state of
an ongoing progress in the development of culture.
Institutional consciousness always expresses and fixes the content
and meanings of the civilizational functioning of a man in the society in the
forms of language, logical schemes or results of completed processes. It
differs significantly from the non-institutional consciousness, which expresses
the living "fabric" of human activity, from which the culture is
formed and the corresponding world views .
The schematics of institutional consciousness are convenient for any
form of its use, including not only its preservation, transmission,
replication, etc., but also its management. In this regard, the schematics of
institutional consciousness is also a form present in such socio-civilizational
realities as transformed, “matrix”, ideological, etc. formed on its basis forms
of understanding of the world.
The leading direction of the development of philosophy is always
essentially connected with the study of the processes of emergence and development of human social and individual being and consciousness. This orientation in the
development of philosophy characterizes its classical branch. At the same time,
the study of the functioning of established institutionalized forms testifies
to the existence of the “ballast” part of philosophy, that is, the part that
doesn’t reflect the real processes of cultural development, the quintessence of
which, in fact, should be philosophy. This “ballast” part becomes a phenomenon
of civilizational manipulations, uses, etc., in which they retain their
identity as some kind of institutionally developed ready-made knowledge,
matrices, norms, schemes, etc., which are not subject to any form of
development, but available for general use with certain consumer goals,
external to any processes of development and self-development of both a man and
The development of dialectics from one historical stage to another:
from the dialectics of the ancients to the dialectics of German classical
philosophy and, further, to the materialistic dialectics of K. Marx and F.
Engels can be called an example of the development of the classical branch of
philosophy - philosophy as a cultural phenomenon. In this development, the philosophy
is aimed to the disclosure of the fundamental foundations and laws of being,
the disclosure of the essence, integrity, universality, inherent not only in
being, but also in knowledge, human world-relations, and social development.
Philosophy as a civilizational phenomenon is represented by a
wide variety of concepts, in which the choice of their bases is made
externally, while formally organized systems of the concepts are built to
reflect the interaction of these concepts in relation to the chosen base. The next step in such an image of “development” of philosophy is the
introduction of a certain system of statements expressed in proclaimed concepts
and dedicated to one or another institutionally dependent and certain problem
and interest known in society that cause a wide public response and institutional
support. Starting with the external choice of grounds and following the above
mentioned stages of developing a philosophical concept of a “civilizational
type”, the same process takes place. Its essence (logic) does not depend on the
specifics of a particular concept.
Thus, for example, an external choice can result in the recognition
as the basis of a “philosophical” concept of any of the visible,
institutionally known, recognized, and even ordinary characteristics of the
world in which a man exists, which is filled with his everyday being. Everyone,
especially the professionals in the field of philosophy, is aware of such concepts,
and the grounds on which they were built. For example, we can recall the concepts
which are based on phenomena known to everyone and causing visible associations
in each person: life, will, intuition, utility, consciousness, action, behavior,
fear, existence, knowledge, text, language, etc. [12, 9, 10].
In this regard, we pay our attention to the following. Each of these
phenomena as the basis of a certain concept in philosophy is essentially
presented as a result of its abstraction from what characterizes a man’s
world, his life in society. At the same time, the authors of these concepts
either do not realize the abstract nature of their chosen foundation, or
take this as their due. In the second case, in that of recognition of an
abstract approach to the choice of the basis of a philosophical concept as due,
there is a deliberate nihilism. With such an approach to understanding the
foundations of philosophy, the general palette of philosophical knowledge turns
out to be represented by unrelated parts, like a patchwork quilt. This has its
consequences. One of such consequences is the notion of the irrelevance of
philosophy, its senselessness and the need to further strengthening of the
abstract approach, which requires choosing from one set of abstract bases all
the same and thereby putting an end to the vast arrays of different
interpretations regarding what philosophy is and what it should explore.
Hence, there is an impossibility to solve the problem of incoherence by making
choice, leading to the idea of the tragic fate of philosophy as such and even
The basis of such "tragic" conclusions is not the
analysis, as would be expected, of the insufficiency of the abstract approach,
but the analysis of the alleged insufficiency of the ontological status of each
of the many phenomena that are viewed as the foundations of philosophical
concepts. The substitution of the analysis of deficiencies in thinking by the
conclusion that the ontological status of each of the selected phenomena is
insufficient as grounds ultimately leads ever new turns of absolutization and
sublimation of subjectivism, striving to impose its position, in fact,
by extra-philosophical methods.
The origins of using extra-philosophical methods and conclusions in
such cases are also known. They characterize the social state of the society,
the strength of certain social institutions that are interested in taking
advantage of certain mental configurations and preferences to justify their
positions. So, it is not by chance, for example, that the position expressed by
Nietzsche in his philosophy of life turned out to be quite usable and highly
demanded for Hitler. Such a link between the “civilizational” image of philosophy
and the needs of social institutions can be traced by referring to each of the
existing philosophical concepts focused on civilizational choice.
Dialectical thinking  as a problem manifests itself when
philosophy as a cultural phenomenon turns out to be in the same line of
evaluation with philosophy as a civilizational phenomenon. Under the conditions
of a civilized choice in the field of philosophical research of reality, dialectical
thinking appears as alien, becomes unclaimed, incomprehensible, unnecessarily
divorced from immediate situations. The positivist ideal of direct empirical research
becomes the principle of assessing whether it is needed or not of what is
called “philosophy”, implying its “civilizational” image. At the same time, it
is not noticed that the most important thing would disappear from such an
investigation: revealing the essence, integrity, and method of forming what is
A long-term fascination with such a method of “philosophizing”
ultimately leads to a situation in philosophy when the question of the state of
the world as a whole, of its laws, is generally closed. Instead, chaos, text, language, etc. become the subject of its consideration as independent entities
that dictate to a man his positions and ways of understanding the world,
understanding oneself, his own historical value and cognitive orientations,
while thinking which treats dialectics as its logic [1, 6, 8], as a tool to
discover the laws of development of the world and the man in this case becomes
an excessive phenomenon. This basic orientation, is replaced by the popular
rejection of such concepts as morality, truth, beauty, etc., which have
always constituted the image of man and human being. The “civilizational” image
of philosophy, for example, allows considering empirical verification
sufficient for the determination of the scientific nature of knowledge,
considering ugliness as a form of beauty, considering chaos as a manifestation
of a certain kind of harmony, etc.
The only way out of the deadlock in modern philosophy is the return
to the fold of dialectics [1. 7]. On this path, the classical tradition of
philosophizing opens up new possibilities for the development of the man, the
society, and philosophy itself [1, 4, 5, 11]. This is the ways to discover new
forms of development, not those of decline. This is the way of elevating the
human spirit  and understanding its purpose. This is the way in which a man
does not allow himself to be identified with a thing among other things inside
the world chaos. This is the path to new dimensions of human life, the path of
creativity and creation.
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018