Philosophical Thought - rubric Philosophy of technology
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Philosophy of technology
Bylieva D.S., Lobatyuk V.V. - The image of the digital future of society through the prism of the pandemic pp. 11-23


Abstract: The Covid19 pandemic turned out to be a challenge that forced civilization to demonstrate how modern technologies are able to protect human biological vulnerability. Considered by the authors as the main object of research, digital technologies have taken on a huge burden of maintaining public relations and processes. The analysis of social processes and cases made in the article revealed the main trends, opportunities and dangers. The threat to existence has accelerated the process of digitalization many times, leaving virtually no options for dissenters, forced to expand the use of existing information and communication technologies, accelerate the creation of new ones. Constant presence on the web becomes an absolute psychological and in many cases an objective necessity. For many organizations, the choice was between ceasing to exist or going digital. Humanity has largely been prepared for the "digitalization" of its existence from the point of view of technological solutions, and to a much lesser extent from the point of view of psychological and social. The article identifies three main functions of information and communication technologies that united people during the pandemic: information/infodemia, digitalization of activities and control. Information and communication technologies set the agenda, enable a person to work, study, have fun, and communicate. Physical connections between people are being replaced by digital ones. The information circulating in the system can both contribute to the harmonious interaction of people, and poison and infect the most vulnerable parts of society. A variety of digital solutions from centralized total control to self-regulation based on mobile information, adopted in different countries to control and prevent the spread of the virus, demonstrate options for possible management of the emerging bioinformatic system.
Zelenskii A.A., Gribkov A.A. - Ontological aspects of the problem of realizability of control of complex systems pp. 21-31



Abstract: The article deals with the management of complex systems. The general definitions of the concepts "control" and "control system" are formulated. It is stated that the control system in its basis is an information system, for which the most important characteristics are performance and rapidity. Definitions are given and differences between these characteristics are revealed. The problem of realizability of control of complex systems is stated, which consists in the necessity of providing sufficient rapidity, at which the whole necessary complex of control operations is placed in the control cycle. The relationship between the control parameters: the complexity of the control object, the duration of the control cycle and the rapidity of the control system is investigated. As a result, a number of significant dependencies are revealed: the duration of the control cycle is approximately inversely proportional to the complexity of the control object; the rapidity of the control system is approximately proportional to the square of the object complexity. It is stated that within the framework of the general theory of systems there are two main options for increasing the stability of a complex system: the option of monocentrism with a central element, or by increasing the number of links in the object. The first option does not allow increasing rapidity. The second variant of stability can be implemented in practice in the form of a decentralized system. The latter option is universally realized in living systems and is promising for the control of technical systems.
Dushkin R. - To the question on identification and differentiation of a philosophical zombie pp. 52-66


Abstract: This article examines the task of identification and differentiation of a so-called “philosophical zombie” in order to form a set of operational criteria for determining the agency of artificial intelligence systems. This task can be viewed as one of the possible ways towards solution of a “hard problem of consciousness”. Despite the fact that the proposed approach alone does not solve the “hard problem”, it reveals certain aspects of neurophysiology, cybernetics and information theory towards its solution. The relevance of this task results from the more extensive implementation of artificial cognitive agents in human life – the boundary that distinguishes an intelligent creature from an artificial cognitive agent, endows an object with agency. Therefore, the development of more complicated artificial cognitive agents (artificial intelligence systems) would ultimately lead to a contentious debate on the topic. The author attempts to introduce the procedure of identification of a philosophical zombie and its restrictions, as well as explores the idea whether or not the artificial cognitive agents would obtain qualia. The article is valuable of those interested in artificial intelligence in all of its aspects, as well as in the philosophy of consciousness.
Popova A.V. - Impact of the idea of simple universal language for description of the world and calculation of thinking upon emergence of the project of Internet pp. 59-67


Abstract: The subject of this research is the idea of simple universal language for description of the world in its relation to the so-called calculative thinking. The idea of simple universal language became one of the core philosophical ideas that led to the emergence of the project of Internet. Most remarkable incarnation of the idea became the Characteristica universalis of Leibniz, intended as a project for clarification of the precise names of things in existence. Development of the project led Leibniz to the work with binary calculation, which is imparted with ontological meaning within the framework of correspondence of the philosopher with the missionary in China – Father Bouvet. The article analyzes the critical perspective upon Leibniz's philosophy as the representative of the new European calculative thinking. Research methodology is based on the correspondence of Leibniz and Father Bouvet, as well as retrospective analysis of evolution of the idea of universal language. The main conclusion consists in the thought that the idea of creation of simple universal language for describing the world through the number of historical interactions strongly affected origination of the Internet. Leibniz brings under deliberation the binary system of calculation, which he considers ontological and reflects the divine harmony of the world. The article also examines the criticism towards calculative new European thinking, formulating a conclusion that the attempt to replace reasoning with calculations and formalization does not always mean leveling things in existence to the state of objects, but rather represents one of the core vectors of thinking of the European man, and is associated with the ideas on the “great chain of existence”, completeness and continuity of all in the world.
Baeva A. - The concept of D. Bairds material epistemology pp. 62-66


Abstract: This article makes an attempt to reconstructs the main positions of the concept of material epistemology of the contemporary scholar D. Baird on the example of his book “Thing knowledge: A Philosophy of Scientific Instruments”. In modern scientific research, knowledge is understood as a homogenous field of propositional forms of perception, but rather a heterogeneous field of dynamic elements existing in the nonlinear and historically variable relations of coordination. Renunciation of the attempt to describe science as a whole leads, on one hand, to elimination of the problem of searching for the unified foundation of scientific knowledge allowing to focus on the particular scientific practices, namely laboratory practices, which are not reduced only to propositional form of the perception of knowledge. On the other hand, such renunciation problematizes the sociocultural factors of the formation of scientific knowledge. Instrumental realization of theoretical constructs becomes an intrinsic part of experimental science of Modern History: new equipment and technologies ensure science with actions that are not subordinate to nature beyond the tuned optics. Baird’s concept of material epistemology is based on the idea about knowledge that belongs to the thing themselves: equipment and instruments of scientific knowledge. This materialized knowledge defies the propositional description similar to the practices of the formation of knowledge. In terms of radical augmentation of the research objects and increase of the orders of reflection, instrumental epistemology becomes inseparable with the material ontology, perceiving the “thing knowledge” as a certain research artifact.
Yastreb N.A. - Work practices with technical knowledge: epistemological analysis pp. 68-74


Abstract: The subject of this research is the practices of production and application of the technical knowledge that underlay the cognitive situations in the area of modern technologies and undergone substantial changes if compare to the traditional technologies. The main focus falls on the modern technical objects, as well as the specificity of knowledge related to these objects; and transformed compared to the preceding stages of development of the technical knowledge epistemic procedures that occur in the sphere of modern technologies. Special attention is given to examination of the phenomenon of knowledge as an object of technical research. Methodological foundation includes the technical-scientific approach, in the context of which knowledge is viewed in unity of the fundamental and applied aspects, as well as epistemological analysis. The article demonstrates that the most significant transformation of cognitive situation within the modern technical knowledge caused by the progress of modern technologies consists in the fact that the knowledge itself becomes a technical object. Technical knowledge is no more limited by the sphere of design and use of machinery and mechanism, this must be comprehended in a broad sense, as such knowledge that allows obtaining the planned result based in the causal relationships. Cognitive activity in the area of modern technologies is described as a combination of epistemic practices, in other words, methods of work with technical objects aimed at increasing the efficiency of such knowledge that they are structured upon. The author determines the universal for modern technical knowledge epistemic practices of the reverse engineering and cyclic verification.
Strel'nikov D.O. - Biotechnological design of "soldier of the future": transhumanistic vector of military activity pp. 85-95


Abstract: Military technologies developed on the basis of transhumanistic ideas on the possibility of designing a human with given physical, mental, intellectual and other qualities that are able to influence the content of armed struggle in modern military conflicts. Biotechnological expansions and technical interventions in the physicality of military officers, on the one hand reduce the individual risk during combat operations, significantly increase functional indicators of the body, and maintain stable mental state; while on the other hand, increase the probability of application of military force and pose urgent social, anthropological and ethical problems. The subject of this research is the aspects of military activity associated with the projects of biotechnological expansion of the capabilities of the military. The article aims to assess the degree of impact of transhumanistic ideas upon military activity, as well as outline the consequences of biotechnological intervention in the physicality of military officers The theoretical-methodological framework leans on the systemic analysis; views of B. G. Yudin, P. D. Tishchenko and O. V. Popova on biotechnological improvement of a human. The scientific novelty lies in the statement that human is reasonably considered the weakest link in functionality of the complex military-technical systems; based on this factor and the effect from the growing NBIC-convergence, military science contributes to the rapid growth of projects on biotechnological improvement of the military. Biotechnological design of "soldier of the future" is justified by the desire to achieve military-technological superiority over the potential enemy. The advanced research in this area are carried out by scientific organizations of the US Department of Defense and are mostly secret. In this regard, there is no grounds to believe that the developers of military technologies, relying solely on pragmatic reasons of combat effectiveness, would not cross the fine line that separates human improvement and transmutation. The accompanying risks are critical, unpredictable changes in the military affairs and the nature of armed struggle. The constraining measures imply the development of international standards of human improvement for military purposes.
Kim D.S. - To the question of the impact of scientific and technological progress upon formation of human ontology pp. 88-96


Abstract: The subject of this research is the impact of scientific and technological progress upon comprehension of human ontology. Emphasis is made on the problematic related to the development of the relevant methodology for studying science and technology. It is ascertained that there is no general theory for considering the technological problem within the framework of modern civilization as an integrated whole of scientific-philosophical objectives. The author’s main contribution to the research consists in the statement that the establishment of ontological model of the universe at the current stage and in such form as deemed by the supporters of technocratism is merely possible. And due ti the fact that the elements of scientific understanding exist mostly on the level of collective consciousness and are speculative in their essence, the objective to modern challenges worldviews as the ethics have not been formed. The author analyzes the questions of human ontological orientation in the world based on scientific implications of the sociology of knowledge, cultural anthropology, and philosophy of technology in the currently topical relativistic methodology. The scientific novelty centers around the thesis that the greatest threat to mankind consists in the material transformation of the surrounding world; the uncontrollable process of technological development inevitably sets the new bars for cognition, entailing a significant transformation of the moral-ethical principles. Therefore, the author speaks not so much of the problem of “primacy” of ontology and gnoseology in human life, as the problematic of formation of the new ethical behavior models.
Galanina E.V., Akchelov E. - Virtual world of a videogame: cultural philosophical analysis pp. 97-111


Abstract: This article is dedicated to the relevant problem of cultural philosophical study of the phenomenon of videogames. The subject of this research is the virtual world of videogames. The authors analyze the essence of the notions “virtual”, “virtual reality”, “virtual world”, “and virtual world of a videogame”. The work presents the results of the conducted analysis of the foreign and Russian literary sourced, dedicated to the questions of examinations of the virtual worlds. The author trace the evolution of the notion “virtual world” within the scientific literature, as well as formulate a generalized definition of the virtual world as a computerized three-dimensional or two-dimensional environment that simulates the real world, and in which the users represented by the avatars are capable of synchronized and simultaneous communication. It is noted that the ability of implementation of a similar definition in examination of the non-computer virtual worlds is limited within the cultural philosophical aspects. The scientific novelty consists in the fact that for the first time the definition of the “virtual world of a videogame” is being formulated. The work also gives definition to the notion “virtual world”, which can be applied not only to a cultural philosophical research of the virtual worlds constructed by videogames, but also to the analysis of the essence of the virtual worlds of non-computer origin.
Rozin V.M. - Two Concepts of Artificial Intelligence: Realistic and Utopian pp. 102-114



Abstract: The article analyzes modern concepts of artificial intelligence. The author suggests distinguishing between two main ones: utopian and realistic; in the first, it is argued that it is possible to create machines that think like a person and even better than him, in the second, intelligence is presented as a kind of psychobiological computer. An excursion into the history of the development of artificial intelligence is made, within the framework of which three approaches are considered that have had a serious impact on the development of this phenomenon: the reducinalist approach, psychological and computer. Artificial intelligence is compared with natural intelligence, the latter is considered as a complex semiotic, cultural and social education, involving human communication, development, filiation of ideas and techniques. The conclusion is made and justified, according to which the utopian concept of artificial intelligence cannot be implemented, although efforts to implement it will continue for a long time. One of the arguments here are contradictions in the ethical interpretation of artificial intelligence, which is discussed in the form of a virtual dialogue between the author and the designer of modern robots. On the contrary, the realistic concept is implemented in the form of a permanent project. There are practically no anthropological claims in this concept, and the concept of intelligence is reduced here, i.e. intelligence means imitation of only those established intellectual processes that can be modeled and algorithmized, which is a necessary condition for programming.
Vetrov V.A. - Sociohumanitarian issues of preconception genetic screening programs pp. 124-137



Abstract: Preconception genetic testing for carriage of recessive mutations is an important genetic test that allows for better planning of the method of conception (natural or IVF), the course of pregnancy, and the need for additional screening of the developing fetus. Despite the obvious benefits that ECS brings to public health, uncertainty about issues and concepts such as determining disease severity, the social consequences of routine screening, and target setting create ethical controversies in defining conditions appropriate for inclusion in a screening panel. The development of a large-scale screening program exacerbates uncertainties and requires methodological elaboration. The author identifies and reviews problem areas of pre-conceptual genetic carrier testing not from the side of ethical implications, specific (or perceived) cases, but looks for their source in the underdevelopment of basic concepts and intuitions in assessing the severity of genetic disease. Analytical and empirical tools in this situation appear to be insufficient. The author concludes that a satisfactory consensus can be reached only with the participation of socio-humanitarian scientists in its development, including epistemological, existential, sociological and other humanitarian dimensions in the analysis. Sociohumanitarian expertise is a necessary element for finding a systematic solution for pre-conceptual genetic screening programs.
Samarskaya E.A. - Technocratic Power and Fortunes of Democracy pp. 590-624


Abstract: This article is a response to Critique of Technocratic Reason by Marcos Garcia de la Guerta published in Paris in 1996. Marcos Garcia de la Guerta discusses the idea that democracy is needed for overcoming technocratic tendencies. The author makes an assumption that in order to fight technocratic tendencies, it is enough to understand that technology is what makes politics and ideology. As a result, his work does not reflect all the influence of technology on democracy and social life in general. Agreeing with some ideas of Guerta and disagreeing with the others, the author of the given article describes different forms of technocratic reason (that view technology as a neutral device, political and ideological phenomena or an expression of the state institution structure). In this article the author expresses an idea that technocratic reason creates a threat for democracy because it substitutes political demands dictated by human interests with scientific targets. In the end, the author discusses particular ways of confrontation to technocratic reason and technocratic power suggested by Herbert Marcuse, Jacques Ellul, Cornelius Castoriadis and Jürgen Habermas.
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