ECLECTICISM AND SYNCRETISM: ON SYSTEMACY OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Eklektika i sinkretizm: k voprosu o sistemnosti nauchnogo znaniya
Author(s): 
Lyudmila Mikeshina
Moscow Pedagogical State University
Issue number: 
No. 1 (Vol. 39)
Pages: 
60-78
Abstract: 

The paper examines how eclecticism and syncretism got their various assessments in the history of natural sciences and the humanities. For instance, R. Boyle “collected ideas and facts all over the world”, and I. Newton was not only a creator of mechanics, but also a theologian and an alchemist. This is an example of large  scale syncretism, not of a mixture of the heterogeneous, but of co            existence of scientific texts and other texts which have no relation to science or made contrary to its principles. Sebastian Franck’s eclectic writings (the 16th century) induced W.Dilthey’s ideas about this historian, “the first person of the New times”, and A.Koyre’ґ s reflections on the formation of historical studies, their eclecticism as a combination of philosophical, scientific and theological thoughts. J. Donne’s eclectic “metaphysical poetry” (17th  century, England) was highly esteemed by Th.Elliot and J. Brodsky, its history is also considered. U. Eco is treated as the author of the “opera aperta” concept, a form of syncretism and eclecticism that transfers his interpretation of syncretism to the level of transcendentality, an infinite variety of communicating meanings represented in knowledge of the humanities. All in all, it is shown how assessments of syncretism and eclecticism were changing in the history of European culture, where demands of theology, philosophical systems, classical sciences, and mainly of European logocentrism dominated. This is connected with rethinking of cause and effect, structural dynamism, “rejection of static and syllogistic perception of the world order”, with understanding that values are historical. Instead the “true-false” binary relation there finally came uncertainty, relativity, discontinuity, the variety of concepts, the overcoming of philosophical systems’ and the very systemasy’s domination in philosophy. It happened in the period of modernity and postmodernity, when assessments of syncretism and eclecticism were rethought.

Keywords: 
syncretism, eclecticism, natural sciences, I. Newton, the humanities, A. Koyreґ, W. Dilthey, U. Eco, the modern, the postmodern
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