Category Archives: PHILOSOPHY

DID THERE EXIST A NOMINALISTIC DIRECTION IN THE MEDIEVAL ARMENIAN PHILOSOPHY? – 2019-3

Summary

Seyran A. Zakaryan
Since the 50-60s of the XX century the Armenian philosophy shapes a methodological paradigm according to which nominalism was born and developed in the Medieval Armenian philosophy of the XIII-XIV centuries. The Soviet Armenian researchers separated the nominalism as a philosophical trend based on the assessment of the philosophical directions (nominalism was viewed as progressive, “the first expression of materialism’’, and realism was viewed as a regressive direction), as well as on the misinterpretation or the confusion of the general issues including the differentiation between the importance of the individual and the general, the element and the many, the part and the whole. The issues of the universals do not refer to the importance of an individual and the whole, but rather to the status of the existence of the universals. According to the Armenian researchers, the Medieval Armenian philosophers (Vahram Rabuni, Hovhan Vorotnetsi, Grigor Tatevatsi) were nominalists because they defended the statement according to which particular things are primary to the universals and are the basis for their existence. Accepting the primary importance of particular things over the universals (genus and species) does not mean that the existence of the universals is being denied. On the contrary, the notion stated that the universals exist after the individual things and thanks to them. Based on the fact that Medieval Armenian philosophers not only accepted the real existence of the universals, but also developed the triple formula of their existence (the universals exist before the things, in the things and after the things), and as they follow the Aristotelian hylomorphic ontological and epistemological tradition, we can state that they are not nominalists, but rather moderate realists and in the Medieval Armenian philosophy they developed not a branch of nominalism but that of the moderate realism. In this regard, the ideological and dogmatic conflict of the XIV century between the ideologists of the unitary movement and the Armenian Church is solved alike. The reason lies under the explanation that the representatives of both directions are Aristotelians and they both treat the problem of universals in the same way. The difference between their points of view is in the interpretation of the relationship between the individual and the general and that of the single and the many. If the representatives of the unitary movement emphasized the priority of the general over the particular and by that they tried to explain the priority of the Catholic Church of Rome over the particular national churches, in the case of the Armenian Church they defended the self-sufficiency of the individual things and the notion of the priority of the particulars over the general and, thus, proved the autocephaly and the right of honorable existence of the Armenian Church in the family of the Christian churches.

THE PECULIARITIES OF REINTERPRETING THE HISTORY – 2019-2

In the Context of Enlightening Paradigm of the Armenian Identity

Summary

Nane S. Movsisyan

Key words – historical past, national identity, self-awareness, historical-scientific and philosophical attitudes, Enlightenment paradigm.

The historical past in the project of the Enlightenment of the Armenian identity is viewed from two percpectives: historical-scientific and philosophical. The scientific-historical approach views the historical past from the perspective of development of history and emergence of historical facts. With the help of revival of the uninterrupted events it values national identity and affirms the unique place and role of the Armenian history (religion, language, art and science) in the history of world civilization. From the point of view of philosophy which views the historical past in the light of civilization not for the sake of just depicting certain facts at a certain period of time but to praise the history and assigns a civilizational value to it, and in the contrast to scientific-historical approach discusses historical past from the perspective of evaluation and is not just confirming it chronologically. The Armenian music, language, literature and philosophy are endowed with educational and civilizational capabilities. And the aim of this approach is to revive only those very facts and events which are and can be considered as cornerstones for the development of patriotism and love towards one’s own nation. The philoisophical approach is also guided by the idea of creating national ideals based on historical past.

THE COMPARATIVE MONISM OF YERVAND FRANGYAN IN THE CONTEXT OF EARLY XX CENTURY CHALLENGES OF ARMENIAN LIFESTYLE – 2018-3

Summary

Sophia N. Ohanyan

Key words – the history of Armenian philosophy; Positivism; Synthetic Monism; the principle of mutual addition of ideas; Historical Realism.

Doctor of philosophy, eminent Armenian thinker of the early 20th century Ervand Frangyan (1878-1928) aiming to analyze the ARF worldview, disclose the ideological sources of the stated world view, study the role of the party in social political dogmas and in the Armenian national existence turns to the second positivism, that is, to one of the most important schools of philosophy. In his view the ideas of the founders of the school Mach and Avenarius best express the synthetic character of ARF worldview. The principle of mutual addition of ideas underlies Frangyan’s Synthetic Monism or critical-realistic philosophy, which is demonstrated in epistemology, psychology, social and historical philosophy. Nevertheless, historical realism as a theoretical basis of ARF worldview is of particular importance in Frangyan’s philosophical system. According to historical realism, historical process should be considered as an entity with a realistic assessment of the place and role of each party involved in this process.

THE ENLIGHTENING PARADIGM OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE ARMENIAN PSYCHOLOGY – 2018-3

Summary

Nane S. Movsesyan

Key words – Identity; self-awareness; Enlightenment paradigm; ethnic self-awareness; national “I”; public and spiritual “We”.

In terms of ethnopsychology the Enlightenment paradigm of Armenian mentality was characterised by three stepwise approaches. In the first stage a critical approach to public “We” (M. Baghramian) was adopted as a basis followed by consideration of spiritual “We” in the light of ethics (Kh. Abovian). The second stage of ethnopsychology was characterised by a cognitive and critical (M. Nalbandian, Raffi, G. Artsruni) approach that studied the reasons of the main faults of national “We”, revealing lack of self-awareness and awareness about others, as well as, devastating consequences of national idealism. The third stage of selfawareness was first characterised by conjugative approach (Kh. Alishan) which affirmed that an Armenian was not only a bearer of national “I” with either faulty public or only spiritual “We”, but bothof them that survive inside him simultaneously uniting those “I”s in one system and thus creating the image of national “I” and collective “We” the main characteristic and peculiarity of which is the contradictory essence (H. Asatryan).

ON AN EMANCIPATORY VISION AND THE ARMENIAN EXPERIENCE OF ITS APPROPRIATIO – 2018-2

Naira Zh. Mkrtchyan
The ideas of emancipation (or liberation) and closely related emancipatory (or liberation) struggle are widely articulated in the discourses concerning social and national, as well as, local and global issues. What opportunities are opened for these ideasin some contexts, what opportunities do they make available in terms of formulation of problems and modulation of themesare questions which certainly need more detailed and empirical researches for each case separately. Here is the consideration of Armenian case, as the ideas of emancipation (or liberation) and related emancipatory (or liberation) struggle are among the most articulated ones in Armenian discursive reality at least of the last two centuries. Most probably it will shed light on how that reality has been constructed and actually operating.

NATIONAL IDENTITY In modern conditions of transformation of value system – 2018-1

Summary

Movses H. Demirtshyan

Key words – culture, identity, nation, tradition, transformation, globalization, modernization, morality.

The paper analyzes the process of globalization in terms of the impact on the system of self-identification, in particular, on the transformation of national identity. It is known that it is in danger of extinction due to the leveling and aggressive distribution in traditional societies’ global (uniform) system of consumer values. For national identity in this context, there is only one way to survive – the transformation of nation from traditional to political. The process of modernization is also indicated by the fact that the core of this modernization is the modernization of the nation’s moral, which involves the construction of a new hierarchy of values. It is high-lighted that such modernization can take place only under the influence of a targeted system of self-identifications on the society (nation), resulting in possible formation of a political nation – a new community of people for whom the ethnic, religious, and cultural differences in the future are less important than the resolution of common social problems.

However, as a rule, this process of formation of a new identity is initiated by the political power that comes to the realization of the need to build a system of social relations based on new principles and relevant objectives, but, as the experience of post-Soviet countries shows, this need may go unnoticed. As a result, the society begins to form not transpersonal values (to what are the concerns and values of the political nation), but more personal, consumer, which are characterized as bourgeois. They are a direct threat to national identity, as depriving the system of self-identification of such unites transpersonal orientation as the experience of the past, traditions, culture and history, national and state interests and goals are. The threat to national identity in the system of bourgeois values exist on the ontological level, because the spread of bourgeois values (as opposed to national) facilitated by the fact that in a consumer society more viable are exactly the bourgeois values that contribute to a more well-being.

Considering the fact that during historical development the traditional nations transform into political nations, a number of theses are put forward, affirming that moral representations, norms of behaviour, ideals make the spiritual core of any nation. These factors are particularly obvious in the so-called agrarian states, where the rural way of life is a favourable basis for strengthening traditional morality. At the same time, the transformation of a traditional nation into a political one inevitably implies changes in traditional moral dispositions and the critical evaluation of the latter in terms of suitability for developing the society, overcoming stereotypes and forming a new ideology focused more on the state and the person rather than on the nation and collectivism. In this case, ‘political nation’ means a socio-political community endowed with general ethno-cultural consciousness. It is supposed that a traditional nation is successfully transformed into a political one when the society is intellectualized.

THE IDEA OF HISTORICAL (IN)JUSTICE AND THE APOCALYPTIC TRADITION – 2017-2

Summary

Naira Zh. Mkrtchyan

Key words– historical (in)justice, discourse, apocalyptic eschatology, time, event, truth, delusion, the nodal point

There are close interconnections between the Jewish-Christian understanding of history, apocalyptic tradition based on the procedures of distinctions between truth/delusion, good/evil, friend/enemy, justice/injustice and the idea of historical (in)justice. The concept of ‘justice means to give each his due’ is at the foundations of the idea of historical (in)justice. It is enormously important with regard to the present predominant public discourse in Armenia and its practical implications as the idea of historical (in)justice plays the role of a nodal point in that discourse. As a nodal point it partially and temporarily fixes the meanings of all so-called floating signifiers-security, democracy, social justice et c. Depending on that fixations and actual meanings social reality is not only represented in a certain way but also provides an amplitude of social opportunities and restrictions.

HISTORICAL-PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL VIEWS OF VAHRAM RABUNI – 2016-4

Summary

Seyran A. Zakaryan

Kay words – Vahram Rabuni, Historiography of Middle Ages, History of Philosophy, History of Armenia, Church, Historical Memory, Godliness, Legitimacy of State, Inheritance law.

This article demonstrates that the central idea of historical-philosophical and political views of the 13th century outstanding philosopher and politicalstate actor Vahram Rabuni is the fortification and strengthening of the Armenian statehood of Cilicia. Rabuni “revolutionizes” the structures of historical memory and national identity and puts both historical investigation and the understanding of events of his time for the increase of legitimacy and social authority of the state and not the church. He stresses the importance of preconditions of statehood perseverance (legitimacy, godliness, and wise application of authority), moreover he highlights the creation of a united front of Christian churches, solidarity of all social classes and activities contributing to improvement of statehood. Unlike many Medieval thinkers, Rabuni subordinates spiritual power to worldly power by ascribing ancillary function to the religious class and requiring that the church pay taxes to the state.

INTERPRETIVITY OF HISTORY AND THE HISTORICAL-SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTION OF MOVSES KHORENATS’I – 2016-3

Part 2: History as the interconnection of thought-process towards truth and wisdom

Summary

Romik Kh. Kocharyan

Key words – history, historical-scientific conception, philosophy of history, hermeneutics, interpretation, truth.

This paper presents the problematic of understanding and interpretation in the realization of the genuine destination of history and, thus, in the being-oftruth of history. Understanding and interpretation are necessarily interwoven in the being of history as such. Into this problematic are necessarily and preferably involved both the historian author – during all stages of his history-creation (selecting and collecting historical material, research and exposition) and the reader – in his perusal relatedness with the historical text. In the historicalscientific conception of Movses Khorenats’i history is the understanding and interpretation of the genuine sense (meaning) and spirituality of the narrated in itself essential and significant bygones or yores of the world and in it also of mankind’s self-identity, life and culture, and as such it is a message to a “reading-lover” striving for understanding wisdom, valiance and heroism, every virtue and good-orderliness. And in its inner interrelation with history hermeneutics builds the foundation, forms the adequate construction, improves and leads to the completion of its necessary and preferable fulfillment the truth of the being of history as such and the sense, which reveals that truth.

INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHICAL CONCEPT OF MOVSES KHORENATSI – 2016-1

Part one. History as culturally significant presence of the past of short-lived life

Summary

Romik Kh.Kocharyan

Keywords – history, language, being, Movses Khorenatsi, hermeneutics, understanding, culture, meaning, historical text.

This paper presents the problematic of understanding and interpretation in the realization of the genuine destination of history and, thus, in the being-oftruth of history. Understanding and interpretation are necessarily interwoven in the being of history as such. Into this problematic are necessarily and preferably involved both the historian author – during all stages of his history-creation (selecting and collecting historical material, research and exposition) and the reader – in his perusal relatedness with the historical text. History is the understanding and interpretation of the genuine sense (meaning) and spirituality of the narrated in itself essential and significant bygones or yores of the world and in it also of mankind՛s self-identity, life and culture, and as such it is a message to a “reading-lover” striving for understanding wisdom, valiance and heroism, every virtue and good-orderliness. And in its inner interrelation with history hermeneutics builds the foundation, forms the adequate construction, improves and leads to the completion of its necessary and preferable fulfillment the truth of the being of history as such and the sense, which reveals that truth.