Letter to UNESCO
This letter with requesting to notify me of its receipt I posted about 10 days ago, to Mr. Moufida Goucha (m.goucha @ unesco.org) - head department of the Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy and Pierre Sané (philosophy & human -sciences @ unesco.org) - Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO. After that I resubmit it an interval of 3 days to two more times, each time from three different my e-mail addresses (mailboxes). Since I still have not received any notification of receipt of this letter and as I am long (and especially last time) "under the hood," i.e., many of my emails do not reach their destination and vice versa, I have to do this open letter in the hope that in such a way it will reach the goal.
I also appeal to those, who understand the importance of the problem affected me in a letter, with a call to help me bring it to the addressees and to the philosophical community at large, especially to the representatives of those schools of philosophy that I can make out and deny it in my philosophy, and are mentioned in the this letter.
I am writing to you about the World Philosophical Forum,
Unfortunately the vast majority of papers presented at the Forum, discussion and, finally, resolution of Forum turned this Forum into a parody of what he was supposed to be, to diminish in the eyes of the people the idea of the Forum, damaged the image of UNESCO and the UN and the only exacerbated the crisis state of mankind, to solve which the Forum was going.
Over all, that manifested itself in the resolution of the Forum. It has a list of problems facing humanity, long known and widely discussed before, but there is no understanding of the causes of the current crisis state of humanity. There is only a repetition of familiar and worn-out phrases like the need of justice, morality, values, etc., without specifying what exactly is meant by equity, ethics and values, what kind of morality to adhere to and why this and not another. And as way out of the crisis is offered to all to strive for these very uncertain justice, morals and values, and if some values are called, it is unknown why these and not others.
I claim, wrote about it in many articles and claimed that at the Forum, the main reason for the crisis state of modern humanity lies in the absence of a common language among representatives of humanities, philosophy, above all, and as a consequence, in the absence of a common language between people of different ideologies, cultures and religions on the planet. Natural sciences have used such language, developing steadily. In them, some hypotheses are taken over by the world community of scientists as proven theory, while others are rejected also by the entire international community of scholars. While in philosophy (similar to psychology, etc.), which divided into many schools, like the Christian denominations and other religions, that have no common language among themselves, there is no forward movement occurs. If in the natural sciences, alchemy, phlogiston theory, and so forth have long abandoned and forgotten, in philosophy there is no one theory since the ancient Greeks and today, which would have been rejected (or vice versa adopted) by all international philosophical community. There are new platonists, new kantianists, new nitsheanists etc. and they all exist in philosophy on an equal footing, though they could issue from diametrically opposed assumptions and come to diametrically opposite conclusions and do not have between them no common language. Without a common language it's impossible to solve the above global problems of mankind, which are basically philosophical problems (to you as to the head offices of UNESCO, gave the welcome to this forum, it is well know). Endless conferences and forums that are overload with speeches about the need for values and morals, but without any progress in this direction - a wonderful illustration of this. And even if it will be proclaimed some set of values and moral standards as the universal, it does not mean that, not being grounded on a common method of substantiation, adopted by all the philosophical schools, it will be all enacted. And even if it is accepted by all, it does not mean that it will be correct, optimal, and its adoption will lead to good, to prosperity, peace, stability, and not vice versa. And the same common method substantiation of theories, this is precisely the one common language, which is missing today in philosophy and other humanities. Besides that the lack of a common language between different schools of thought leads to a lack of it between countries with different cultures and religions, thus exacerbating the state of conflict on the planet. Finally, this situation makes it difficult to break a new high of philosophy, of much-needed humanity today. All this I explained, and repeated in my speeches at the Forum but all of my performances were drowned in a vacuum, does not generate any reaction from the audience. No one spoke either for or against, did not ask for anything to clarify or explain further. But the empty speeches, for example, on the theme of that philosophy it's good, not bad as someone out there thinks (although the hall was no one there who thought so), caused a rapid interest and discussion.
The question arises whether there is a unified method of substantiation of scientific theories, and whether it can be used in the humanitarian field? The prevailing today in the field of epistemology post positivist school of philosophy (Quine, Kuhn, Feyrabend, Popper, Lakatos and others), which relativize science basing on the paradoxes and contradictions of physics, claims that this method does not exist in a rational science, and that it changes method of substantiation passing from one of the fundamental theory (paradigm) to another. On the basis of my theory of knowledge ("Неорационализм",
Taking into account the appeal of Paris Declaration for Philosophy «to
establish the exact definition of concepts used» it is important to note that as
part of my theory of cognition and the unified method of substantiation I have
developed, the theory of concepts. In it I show that rational science has a
method of single meaning definitions, and describes what it is. This method, as
well as all the unified method of substantiation, was developed in the course
of development of natural science and also so far not been presented
explicitly, and therefore did not accurately fulfiled
and within the natural sciences. But in the humanities and especially in
philosophy it does not known and has not yet been applied, and the post of
positivists such as Kuhn, denying even the possibility in principle of
achieving precise unambiguous definitions of scientific concepts. As the result,
the philosophy of today suffers from vagueness of the concepts up to exactly
the opposite. Examples of such vagueness can observe from the classics of
philosophy (and I quote them in my various articles), they are filled with all
sorts of philosophical forums in the Internet and they are full of articles,
presented on the website of the Forum. And often to such an extent that it is
unclear whether the author understands what he wants to say. As rightly stated
in the «UNESCO Strategy on Philosophy», in today's world is growing interest in
philosophy. It grows due to the growing number and importance of problems requiring
philosophical resolution. But when people,
especially young ones, are beginning to get acquainted with the philosophy, the
vagueness of concepts, operated by philosophers, pushes them away. I
know that from communication with the students of philosophy departments. And
this situation can not be repaired until it is not adopted in the philosophy of
a method of substantiation.
In light of the aspiration of UNESCO for freedom of opinion for all of the philosophers it is important to note also that the unified method of substantiation in itself does not define what is justice in a particular case, what morality should be taken as universal, etc. It only provides a tool for founding a particular point of view on this and any other issues. And this tool can use the philosopher of any school and must use it to between philosophers from different schools could be a genuine dialogue leading to a result, humanity so need of which.
Next I showed the possibility of using this method with appropriate adaptation in the humanitarian field ("The problem of justifying morality", "Bioethics and the optimal Ethics”, “Герменевтика», and others) and in particular, in based on this method the optimal theory of morality ("Неорационализм", Part 4). Finally, on the basis of this method I have developed the beginning of macroeconomic theory, in particular, has formulated a formula crisis-free development of the economy (about 20 articles). All issues for which I refer above, published in the press and unpublished and many others, can be found at website of my institute: www.philprob.narod.ru).
However, the recognition of my philosophy and a common method of substantiation in particular is hampered due to the situation described above. Philosophy is divided into many schools, which have no contact with each other and do not wish nor publish nor discuss the works of other schools. And since my philosophy (including a common method of substantiation) does not belong to any of these schools, it is found in a philosophical vacuum.
It should be added that because of the absence of a recognized method of substantiation today rather decreased the average level of professional philosophers. Since there are no accepted criteria validity, then we can make a career in the scriptures, built on idle speculation and abundant mention of famous names and fancy terms. And this kind of philosophers either do not understand the common method of substantiation, and therefore avoid the discussion, prevent the publication of papers on it, etc. Or do the same thing from selfish motives, because the recognition of method can damage their career. It is a vicious circle: on the one hand philosophy and humanity as a whole need the common method of substantiation, with another the absence of the recognized common method in philosophy makes it virtually impossible for his recognition.
My philosophy and a common method of substantiation formulated by me for over 10 years ago, no one disputed. They are simply ignored it. Even when I refute writings of famous philosophers, representing the world-famous schools of philosophy, such as those mentioned above or J. Pollock - representative of the American school that calls itself “Contemporary theories of cognition”, or the Russian philosopher V. Stepin, who heads the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, I'm not getting any response from the these philosophers, nor from their colleagues and journals to which I send my articles, return them without explanation. Once again that was confirmed at the Forum.
There was literally a couple of attempts on the part of the official representatives of philosophy to argue with me, and I easily refuted arguments of opponents and from further attempts to defend their position, they refused. Both of these attempts to challenge my work I have described in articles (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Smirnov.htm; http://world.lib.ru/w/woin_a_m/voin328.shtml).
I said above, the Forum has not been attempted to argue with me, and any
discussion of what I said was not. And the whole history of my participation in
the Forum, starting with an invitation to me to participate in it, is good illustration
of the situation in modern philosophy.
I received the invitation to participate in the Forum from vise president I. Kondrashin, without being previously acquainted with him, even in absentia, and with someone else from the leadership of the Forum and did not know before about the Forum itself. It was logical to take it as recognition of the significance of my philosophy. After the third article of mine " The formation of public morals " (I named it "The problem of justifying morality", but Kondrashin changed the name, what shows that he did not quite understand the subject: justifying or substantiation and becoming - not the same things and even "justification" is the key word for modern philosophy, which turns into a flood torrent, without justification), was posted at the site of the Forum, I received a proposal from the leadership of the Forum to become a member of the Program Committee of the Forum. At the same time I received a proposal to submit to the website of the Forum three of my previously published works, translating them into English. But when I presented the first of them ("The Place of the Spirit in the rationalist world-view"), Kondrashin rejected it as not appropriate for the Forum topic. It was only after I appealed to the President of the Forum I. Demirtzoglou, requesting to explain, how ordered for the Forum work after translation into English can become not suitable for the subject, the article has appeared on the site. The last article that I submitted to the website of the Forum "The problem of interpretation of Sacred Scriptures and the conflict of the Islamic fundamentalism with the West”, Kondrashin also rejected, and I did not fight for it, because this was no time before the beginning of the Forum. How this issue may be important for the Forum and, most importantly, for humanity in the present situation in the world, is seen from its name. And how much it really matters, you can judge, go and get it: http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Interbible.htm
In the first two days of the Forum, when the meetings were attended by a representative of UNESCO, organizers, Kondrashin in particular, often gave me to speak and introduced me to the public in the most flattering terms. But after a representative of UNESCO, left, receiving, according Kondrashin, a good impression on the Forum, the situation has changed and I was strongly restricted in the speeches and participation in discussions. The discussions, which and before that did not shine richness, then almost stopped, and the Forum has been reduced to the classical for such events routine procedure, when each of the participants have 5 minutes to speak, and the discussion quickly stopped for to give the opportunity to speak to all. The resolution was adopted by the leadership after the Forum was finished without taking part in its adoption of the Program Committee members. More precisely all participants were invited to send their amendment to the resolution to leadership, but the decision which ones to take, was not a product of discussions and it was only an act of volition leadership of the Forum. Here is the text of the amendment, which I sent to management:
the modern world has lost
its credibility and has ceased
to play any
role in determining
how to release
humanity from the global crisis
and the direction
of its further
development. This is due to
the fact that modern philosophy,
broken into many schools of
thought, has no common language,
it is a method
of justifying the theory and
its conclusions, which would allow
different schools of philosophers to agree among
themselves and some of the
to take, and other then
discard by the entire international
community of philosophers, as it is done
in the field
of natural sciences. As a consequence of that the different
philosophical schools offer different systems of human
values and norms of moral,
or deny the
possibility of developing and adopting common to all humanity
basic values and moral norms.
The absence of a common language among representatives of different schools of thought, combined with the lack of shared by all and sound system core values and moral norms deprive also politicians and public figures of common language and thus makes it impossible to resolve all of these and other global problems of mankind and dooms it to inevitable ruin. Therefore, production and acceptance of a unified method of substantiation of the humanities and in particular the philosophical theories and doctrines should be considered as the main task of philosophy today, whose solution is necessary for the survival of humanity in modern conditions and finding the best ways for its further development.
Given these circumstances, the Forum participants believe that all appeals for peace, friendship among peoples, calls for spirituality, morality, justice, wisdom, reason, common sense, and so on and so forth, ending with the resolution of all such forums, congresses, conferences, symposia and workshops, which are full performances of politicians and the media, have no meaning as long as there is no worked out and adopted a general method substantiation of theories and doctrines in the humanitarian sphere. Without it, all words like "peace", "morals", "justice", etc. everyone understands differently, and any consent to the adoption of such a vague morality, peace and justice to nothing lead. Or in case, when each one determines his understanding of the terms, becomes clear that consent can not be achieved due to absent the common language, it is the common method of justifying. Since this method of substantiation (based on the method actually works in natural sciences, though not presented until now explicitly) developed and proposed by a member of the Forum A. Voin, and he also proposed the theory of optimal universal morality, developed on the basis of this method, the Forum call upon all philosophers, as well as all the politicians, public figures and artists to participate or contribute to the widest possible discussion of the method of A.Voin.”
As is evident from
its text, I say, that without this amendment, the resolution makes no sense and
all the Forum turns into a deception of mankind. But in the final resolution,
my amendment is not taken into account. And I have not received from the
leadership of any reasoned explanation as to why it does not want to accept it.
But then I was taken out of the program committee and after a while the
committee itself was abolished. After all that
hard to shake off the impression that the real purpose of the leaders were far
from the officially stated purpose of the Forum, and they themselves are not
well suited to the role of the leaders of the philosophical forum under auspice
of UNESCO .
In conclusion, the question arises, what can be done to get out of the above vicious circle that emerged today in philosophy, and what exactly can do in this case the leadership of UNESCO. I understand that the leadership of UNESCO can not give instructions to all the philosophers to adopt a unified method of substantiation, or at least to discuss it. But in general, I think, the leadership knows its way better than me. I allow myself to make just one suggestion. I think it would be helpful if my International Institute of Philosophy and Problems of Society (NGO) would be included in one form or another as part of UNESCO and would be able to publish the issues of his staff. This would provide a good incentive for representatives of various philosophical schools to respond to my philosophy, and to the unified method of substantiation in particular, and either challenge it or admit it.
I believe that you are genuine servant to truth and humanity and will not from the fact, that I pretend on so much, to draw out the conclusion, that my pretentions are vain, before you read at least such my articles: http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Problem.htm http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Justmoral.htm;
Please also notify me about getting this my letter, since my writing is not always reach their destination, not only from the first, but with the second and third times.
Alexander Voin, PhD, head of the International Institute of Philosophy and the Problems of Society