SOCIAL ONTOLOGY AND SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Sotsialnaya ontologia i sotsialnaya epistemologia
Author(s): 
Ilya Kasavin
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No. 2 (Vol. 40)
Pages: 
74-84
Abstract: 

Dynamic, creative ontology of knowledge is a conceptual horizon against which knowledge is produced. The horizon is not a one-dimensional mathematical line but rather a complex layered structure, in which consciousness, activity and communication intertwine with each other. It sets the boundaries of the reality and is a prerequisite for understanding as a creation of meanings. At these borders the theoretical mind is drawn to himself, taking the form of philosophical reflection and posing the eternal problems of universality and locality, reality and cognition, the subjective and the objective. The construction of this ontology is an ambitious theoretical task requiring parallel rethinking of realist assumptions and conceiving every picture of the world as a product of the social-reflexive endeavor outside pre-critical philosophy of nature. This ontology reveals in itself a particular picture of social/cultural reality, which is taken by social epistemology to be a basis for every epistemological reconstruction and interpretation of particular cognitive situation. In its turn it requires the new interrelation of culture and sociality as diachronic and synchronic, dynamic and stable, temporal and spatial dimensions of the human existence. The structure of social ontology is conceived as consisting of three types of sociality - external, internal and open ones, which in turn correspond to three human types: “a common sense man”, the owner of social competence; “a pragmatist”, the practical implementation of professional qualification; “a man of creativity”, professional generator of ideas and images. These types do not have simultaneous embodiment in a particular individual or collective subject. However, they may represent successive stages of development (degradation) or toggle (complementary) modes of social/cultural being. The role of philosophy in constructing social ontology of knowledge is hard to overestimate. It is philosopher who arranging and inspiring interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue provides a synthesis of theoretical approaches although the latter appears not as theoretical system but rather as new context of evidence gradually and tacitly accepted by the intellectual communities.

Keywords: 
Social ontology, social reality, social epistemology, knowledge, understanding, ontological turn, relativism, value, meaning, philosophical reflexion.
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