THEME 11.Social philosophy. Anthropology. Philosophy of culture.
Social philosophy is characterized by what could be called a new anthropocentrism. The older classical anthropocentrism is being replaced by a new concept of man living in a world created by himself. Man once again returns to the "centre" only through his activity, creative work, cognition, and his ability to perceive the processes going on in nature and society, and to transform them by the methods heretofore unknown. New social philosophy, reflecting a feedback between man and the world created by him, endows the human "centricity" with only vectorial meaning. Man is perceived as being in the "centre" of the world only for the sake of the idea of practice.
According to new anthropocentrism, man is the creator of his world and of himself; he is resolved to improve his situation, and capable to of perpetual renewal of himself and of changing, renovating and improving the world. This is homo creator.
The idea of activities, of practice, which has brought man to the "centre" of the material (real) world, implies also the image of an open, incomplete, changing, becoming and developing world. The whole Western reasoning, which since the times of R. Descartes has absolutely opposed the man-subject to the world of the objects is bound for renewal. As man had been explained on the bases of the principles of a closed system, philosophical structuralism, which was particularly sensitive to the inadequacy of this kind of explanation, actually declared the "disappearance" of man as a whole, as the subject, his "death" (see M. Foucault, 1966). Presently this inadequate explanation is being replaced by another conception of man, explained on the grounds of the principles of open systems. Man as a social being is regarded as an open system of what only a relation with the environment (society and world) is a prerequisite (essence).
The process of becoming and the activities as a process of man can be reflected only by processes or by open theories. The purposefulness of contemporary social philosophy is obviously non-dogmatic and open theory.
The goals of philosophical theory change. Instead of these raised by classical philosophy, namely, to preserve personal identities and humaneness in itself, the goal of present-day philosophy is to reveal how the persons (man) should behave so as to preserve the humaneness in another person beside himself, i. e. to preserve the mankind and the world.
Thus, the goal of social philosophy can be defined as the attempt to elucidate the process of humanization: what basic actions create, preserve, change or destroy humaneness? Therefore contemporary social philosophy searches for the most common foundations that explain the processes of person’s and society’s humanization, bearing in mind that "essences" most often do not be on the surface and manifest themselves not directly, but indirectly.
OBLIGATORY READING MATERIALS: 15 (p – 235-345)
ADITIONAL READING MATERIALS: 12 9p – (45-67)
The principles of contemporary social philosophy.
Most general issues of social philosophy.
Contemporary philosophy as the means of both thinking and action.
The methodological role of principles of the contemporary social philosophy.