Библиографическое описание:

Рыкова Л. Х., Котлярова В. В., Гоголева М. А., Ершова С. И. Explication of an ideal of valuable and neutral science // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — №15. — С. 619-622. — URL https://moluch.ru/archive/119/32958/ (дата обращения: 20.04.2018).

The concept of valuable and neutral science was formed during formation of science when it was taken out from the general background of the culture as a kind of relatively independent social education, demanding vital space. During Modern Times the essence of the valuable attitude towards reality, the maintenance of an assessment, value, norm, an ideal, etc. were defined from logico-gnoseological positions; it is obvious while analyzing a range of problems, which generally were a subject of discussions of that time. In this article we carry out the axiological analysis of an ideal of valuable neutrality of scientific knowledge, having established the reasons of historical justification and the subsequent insolvency.

The representatives of the Rostov scientific school L. M. Kosareva and M. K. Petrov consider that the ideal of science, free from values, was formed in the 19th century by the efforts of the leaders of the British Association of the Advancement of Science (originated in 1831) that became a peculiar contribution to further formation of a positivistic image of science [1, pp. 71–72]. On the contrary, we believe that the leaders of the Association in a statement of value-neutral image of science were the first who emphasized the contrasting values and scientific knowledge. This image has been developed earlier — in the 17th century.

A very striking example of the valuable neutrality of science in modern literature is called «A new organon» by F. Bacon and his doctrine about «idols» as obstacles on a way to the truth. F. Bacon considers that discovery of scientific truth happens due to accumulation, systematization and generalization of the actual material and on their basis there is the establishment of regular invariant cause and effect dependences (laws) between the studied phenomena. These empirical laws can be opened only by systematic supervision of carefully planed experiments that will inevitably lead to a discovery. At the same time it does not matter who conducts researches, followings to standard instructions of application of the method «will work in any hands». Fruitfulness of a skilled method, in particular, is proved by progress of mechanics of that time which in the experiences was not guided by a metaphysical picture of the world, but left a possibility of practical application of knowledge.

To organize system of knowledge, so that with its help it was possible to identify the reasons of things was a task that F. Bacon faced, when he formulated the theory of distribution of sciences. An initial phase of this distribution he defined in categorical difference of theological knowledge from scientific knowledge as «One is the result of divine inspiration; the second is the sensory perception» [2, p. 199]. His statement that the science has nothing to do with religion is a confirmation of valuable independence of science.

F. Bacon always speaks about faith in God with a special piety. Scope of mind begins with research of attributes of God available to him and comes to the end with studying of the person. However, epicenter, the main object of appendix is the nature which, apparently, is least burdened with extra rational otherworldly influences.

The invention is the science purpose. But what, it is possible to ask, is the purpose of invention? It is obvious that service to the person. The science, which is not almost useful in the opinion of F. Bacon, is possible. Domination of the person over everything is the prime target of science. This domination is necessary to satisfy requirements of life to serve satisfaction of the person, to multiply pleasure and to increase the power that is the purpose of all knowledge. «The human science and force of human coincide», «The knowledge is force» — F. Bacon is not tired to remind. The person can only dominate over things, knowing them. To understand the world and to force to serve, we have to create acquaintance to it. This acquaintance consists in experience, and, therefore, experience is the beginning of science [3, p. 207].

But in order that people could reach right and correct knowledge of the nature, two things — a negative and a positive state are necessary; mind has to be cleared of all prejudices, and it has to occur by a gradual method of supervision and induction from private to more general facts. And mind has to be free from all assumptions. F. Bacon calls these errors of thinking and judgment «idols» which he allocates: «There are four types of idols which keep reason of the person in a siege.... We will call the first look idols of a sort, the second — idols of a cave, the third — idols of the area and the fourth — idols of theater» [4]. There are several ways of classification of idols of F. Bacon. For example, the first way of classification, is called qualitative. Idols of a sort and a cave concentrate on human nature more than on human knowledge; while idols of the market and theater are making bigger impact because of social aspects of knowledge and influence of scientific community or education. The other way to classify idols — conditionally called quantitative — consists in distinguishing what parts of these idols influence certain scientists (idols of a cave) who influence the collective (idols of the market, theater) and who influence the individual as a part of collective (sorts, the areas).

F. Bacon claims that a problem of science and philosophy is that they do not trust feelings completely and accumulate either senseless data, or one reason and from several or senseless data create the wonderful systems claiming that they have reached pure forms or universal axioms which actually are unjustified and false. F. Bacon finds that two leading approaches — experiment and induction — have essential shortcomings, but he also considers that, by their association it is properly possible to compensate some imperfections. Bacon says that feelings only «the judge of experiment while experiment the judge of the nature». F. Bacon considers science as social education, he provides actions, which can create conditions for the best science, and because F. Bacon proves the idea of the best society founded on the best science, his epistemology represents the central part of his anthropology [5].

We support this point of view and consider, firstly, declaration of valuable neutrality of science — it is also a valuable definition since, refusal of values, commitment to anti-values or quasi-values is a peculiar valuable orientation (in more detail about it is stated in M. S. Kagan's work) [6, pp. 67–72].

Secondly, in the conditions of the 16–17th centuries release of science from values was equivalent to recognition of freedom of scientific creativity. Usually, when in literature estimate installation of science on neutrality in relation to values, this function is defined as a little absolutely incorrect. But, applying historical approach, we believe that in certain conditions, especially at initial stages of development of science, this installation deserves just a positive assessment, despite the illusiveness. Science, approving the non-participation in everything that happens in society of the 16–17th centuries, thereby we offered that and «society remained not privy to events in the sphere of knowledge that it did not interfere with internal affairs of science» [7, p. 12]. Such «ideology» of valuable and neutral science can be justified for those times also because it did not serve as an obstacle, did not put an obstacle to studying of the nature.

Thirdly, as well as in Renaissance, in the 17–18th centuries there is also no uniform theory of values as idea of beauty, good and justice remained peripheral for that type of consciousness. The knowledge of the nature and the place of the person that in turn the forefront puts forward power of Reason, scientific thinking becomes a dominant in outlook of the person instead of religion, having pushed aside mysticism and mystical representations, and also having been the basis for natural sciences mathematical knowledge [8, pp. 71–73]. It is obvious that in these conditions the science, first of all, had to protect itself from interventions of religion which could not recognize world outlook reorientation, scientific knowledge by the person of the world and achieve recognition of the rights in temporal power, to become accepted for society.

Fourthly, approach on science took place also from the magic-hermetic movement. The idea of valuable and neutral science which «became an exit from a circle of these problems... appears not as reality, and as the social and beautiful methodological myth which has developed in quite certain social conditions and there was reflection of difficulties of science at a certain stage of its development» [9, p. 63]. And this concept carried out, first of all, protective functions, gave the chance to the movement of process of the statement, a science institutionalization, the right for existence and freedom of researches.

So, the concept of valuable and neutral science represented one of options of interpretation of an axiology of scientific knowledge, carrying out important function, namely — function, protective in relation to science, during its formation. And this idea during this period, as well as the principle of dual truth in medieval philosophy, had progressive character. In the assumptions we also rely on opinion of the known Russian axiology, the author of the term «culture axiology» G. P. Vyzhletsov according to which «not only post-and non-classical types of scientific rationality possess valuable characteristics, but also classical type, and in his most strict mathematical option» [10, p. 23].

The idea of valuable and neutral science developed in works of many thinkers subsequently. For example, M. Weber considers that it is impossible to demand from science answers to all questions because it is not in its competence to open a question of meaning of life and to become means of the stay. But, on the other hand, the positive contribution of science to practice of life contains that it develops mechanisms of «mastering life» and thinking methods corresponding to them [11, p. 808].

As the Canadian scientist R. Vellen (R. Wellen) notes, in M. Weber's works «as it is paradoxical, «free from values» social the science is represented as the enterprise in which confrontations of critical and estimated positions are irreplaceable» [12].

The idea of valuable and neutral science in modern post-nonclassical science has undergone considerable changes. The considerable part of modern scientists shares opinion that extremely important aspect of methodology of socio-humanistic knowledge is the axiological neutrality. The concept of valuable and neutral science is developed by the American philosopher H. Lacey convinced that the scientific method is connected with a justification context, but not opening [13, p. 51].

In the 20th century the image of science has significantly changed. Inclusion of human measurement in structure of knowledge that is a direct antithesis of an old ideal of «the uninterested subject», purely objective maintenance of knowledge in which for the world of the person there is no place left became the characteristic sign of a new ideal of scientific character.

Philosophers understand knowledge of axiologization differently, and the majority inclines to reconsideration of a role of the personal moment in science.

Feature of a current state of a methodological reflection of science is that the value of scientific knowledge is comprehended in the general context of formation of culture thanks to what informative function of science takes the place of honor in universal system of valuable opportunities of thinking.

Understanding of huge valuable leads to the fact that in methodology of modern science the ideal of objectivity and valuable neutrality of knowledge is cardinally reinterpreted.

Attempts to combine the principle of an autonomy of science and the principle of its moral responsibility are presented by the Italian philosopher E. Agazzi who distinguishes science as knowledge and science as activity — if activity can and even has to be guided by moral regulative, then knowledge is morally irrespective.

But the knowledge as activity can and in many cases has to be regulated by moral requirements.

Refusal to recognize science as a human activity, neutral concerning values have caused cardinal shifts in a solution of the problem of values in scientific knowledge. In the second half of the XX century the new section of philosophy of science appeared, a science axiology which becomes the arena for discussions concerning a role and value of values in science, disputes between supporters of an internalism and externalism, scientism and anti-scientism are formed [14, p. 439]. Respectively, the perspective of research of a problem of sense in philosophy of science moves from a subject and methods of knowledge to purposes and prospects. The focus of researchers is the definition of the role and the place of values, motivation, and a goal-setting in development of science.

It is necessary to notice, as in understanding of autonomy of science accents have changed a little. In modern science, as well as in classical, the requirement of an autonomy of science from ideological intervention (content of scientific knowledge it should not be corrected to please to «the political order») remains, but there is a new aspect which was almost not actual for classical science — namely, a problem of possible application of scientific knowledge.

The concept of valuable and neutral science was essentially unrealized. First of all, it is connected with theoretical loading of the facts when it has turned out that the facts act as result not of «pure experience», and result of theoretical processing, empirical data are interpreted through a prism of a certain theory. Also character of empirical data has a little changed — in modern science at supervision and experiments the difficult equipment is often used, that is the researcher deals not with the pure phenomena, and with their indirect reflection by means of the devices designed according to certain theoretical notions. Though distinctions of empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge are kept by sense, however the idea of the relation between these levels has changed: there is an interrelation between them, but not the unidirectional dependence of theories on experiential basis as it was supposed in a classical ideal.

In modern understanding the axiological neutrality can be defined as conscious refusal of the researcher of own practical estimates of the studied reality. According to it, the subject is the researcher of socio-humanistic spheres. Having allocated object and subject of the research, we should not consider them as values or anti-values from the point of view of certain morals or ideology, and to belong to them impartially, deliberately, objectively. For this purpose it is necessary to separate a practical assessment of the studied reality from theoretical definition of belonging to category of values.

Thus, the ideal of valuable neutrality of knowledge was characteristic of classical science. Its relevance was caused by the need of release of scientific knowledge from influence of ideological institutes, first of all religions. In this context of the value-laden judgment opposed judgments of the facts, which have to be objective and admit all people, irrespective of their valuable installations. The purpose of knowledge was achievement of truth, which represented object as it exists in itself, irrespective of the subject. Such installation assumed the requirement of elimination of everything, connected with subjectivity of researchers. At the same time valuable neutrality was considered as important not only informative, but also axiological principle which serves as means of understanding of carriers of different views, but valuable load bore threat of imposing of the subjective, particularistic point of view.


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  3. T. Great recovery of sciences. Division of sciences / F. Bacon; [N. A. Fedorov's translation, Ya. M. Borovsky] // Compositions; in 2 volumes. Volume 1. Moscow: Thought, 1977. Page 207.
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  16. Ivin A. A. Modern axiology: some actual problems / A. A. Ivin // Philosophical magazine. 2010. № 1. Page 66–78.
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Ключевые слова

стоимость, аксиология, Концепция ценной и нейтральной науки, научные знания


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