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THEME 10.Contemporary philosophy. West philosophy within the context of XX – beginning of XXI centuries’ culture.

Contemporaryphilosophyis represented by following schools: existentialism, scientism, structuralism, pragmatism, positivism.

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existing. Existentialism is also an outlook, or a perspective, on life that pursues the question of the meaning of life or the meaning of existence. It is this question that is seen as being of paramount importance, above both scientific and other philosophical pursuits.

Pragmatism originated in the United States in the late 1800s.

Like any philosophical movement, the nature and content of pragmatism is a subject of considerable debate, whether it is one of exegesis (determining what the original pragmatists thought it was) or subtantive philosophical theory (what is the most defensible theory that satisfies certain goals).

Scientism is a synonym of positivism, a common ideology in the 19th and 20th century which places its trust in scientific progress and only in scientific progress. However, while positivism may sometimes be used in a neutral way, scientism is always pejorative. It refers to the ideology of science as the only legitimate truth and to a conception of social progress as necessary and brought forth by technological development. Techno-utopianism and techno-progressivism, for example, have been accused of constituting a form of scientism, as well as the darker eugenicist movement or the Raelian cult which advocates the massification of cloning.

Structuralism, theory that uses culturally interconnected signs to reconstruct systems of relationships rather than studying isolated, material things in themselves. This method found wide use from the early 20th cent. in a variety of fields, especially linguistics, particularly as formulated by Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson. Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss used structuralism to study the kinship systems of different societies. No single element in such a system has meaning except as an integral part of a set of structural connections. These interconnections are said to be binary in nature and are viewed as the permanent, organizational categories of experience. Structuralism has been influential in literary criticism and history, as with the work of Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault. In France after 1968 this search for the deep structure of the mind was criticized by such “poststructuralists” as Jacques Derrida, who abandoned the goal of reconstructing reality scientifically in favour of “deconstructing” the illusions of metaphysics (see semiotics).

OBLIGATORY READING MATERIALS: 1 (p – 234-345), 11,15 (p – 56-78)



Pragmatism and scientism in philosophy.

Personality in contemporary philosophy.

Søren Kierkegaard as the "father of existentialism".

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 1953

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