Category Archives: PHILOSOPHY

THE MAIN ISSUES OF ANTIQUE AND HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY – 2021-2

In the writings of the philosophers of hellenistic judaism

Proto-archimandrite Fr. Shahe Ananyan,

Albeit the advanced studies in the history of Jewish thought, the Hellenistic Judaism is a relatively new phenomenon per se, and in this regard the discussions and theories on that issue continue to be in constant need of revision. The article discusses some basic issues and problems of the Antique and Hellenistic philosophies in the light of their interpretation and reception by the philosophers of Hellenistic Judaism. For this aim, the short introduction of the historical and cultural signification of Hellenistic Judaism is presented, taking into consideration the results of the recent historical, philological and archaeological studies in this field, as well.

The author discusses firstly the place and the importance of the Hellenistic culture both in Palestine and the Jewish Diaspora as a necessary framework and fertile soil for the development of the Jewish-Hellenistic thought in 4-1 cc. B. C. Secondly, in order to precise the limits of the interchanges between the Judaism and the Hellenistic philosophy, some aspects of the terms- and meaning-making processes are clarified on the basis of several examples of the Jewish Bible’s Greek translation (Septuaginta). In this sense the author deemed also important to point out the main ideas and qualifications with which the Antique and Hellenistic Greek authors used to perceive the image of Jews as a nation of philosophers, par excellence. This kind of attitude, regardless of the continuing persecutions of the Jews in the Seleucid and Roman empires, and the anti-Hellenistic dispositions among many Jewish communities and political groups, incited on its turn a new
wave of interconnections between the Jewish monotheism and the Hellenistic religious philosophy. One could even assume the evident influence of some Hellenistic philosophical movements, namely Stoicism on the Jewish biblical books, composed from 4 c. B. C. to 1 c. A. C.

However, within the large context of the Hellenistic oikoumené the Jews presented a remarkable exception. Confronted with Greek ideas, some attempted to combine Greek intellectual values with Hebrew ones; such efforts were especially successful in Egypt and in other parts of Jewish Diaspora, meanwhile being firmly ancred in the tradition of the Jewish monotheistic religion. The figures of great Jewish-Hellenistic thinkers such as Aristoboulos, Pseudo-Aristaeus and Philo of Alexandria were the result of that successful enculturation. Their ideas on the theory and methods of that synthesis which are analyzed in the article, are of primary importance for studying the Jewish-Hellenistic thought.

THE DEFINITION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE BY THE THEORETICAL–PRACTICAL EXECUTION (FULFILLMENT) – 2020-4

Summary

Romik Kh. Kocharyan, Anahit R. Jijyan
The social science presents itself as language-acquired human life just in its essential accomplishment. And the social science is presented as wisdom insighting and clarifying the genuine and own spiritual meaning of the past and present of human life, achievable to human understanding by God’s grace. Studying human life and by full disclosing in it virtues of human selfness and their activities with praising value judgment, as well as vices – with reprehension and partial disclosure, social science as such is presented inter-woven with its theoretical forming, just as active (practical) social science. In the presented investigation, from the viewpoint of “revealing the truth-of-being of social science” both the theoretical and practical components are present in their interconnected union. Such understood theory and scientific conception of social science have as its own aim and final result – “the explication of the truth of being-of-social science as such. The nature of social science or the truth of being-of-social science as such, its essential features summarily is revealed in the short formulated definition of social science. The article analyzes and diversifies the views of the classics of sociological thought such as Emil Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, De Roberti, Pitirim Sorokin and others in determining the subject of research and accomplishment (in Armenian “կատարում” – performance, execution) of social sciences. Along with many well-known theorists, the authors of the article analyzed in detail, in particular, the definitions of Pitirim Sorokin presented in his various works. According to the American sociologist of Russian origin and the author of the direction of “social and cultural dynamics”, the subject of social science research is the most general specific characteristics of socio-psychological phenomena, as well as the disclosure of the basic laws of human interaction. However, social science is engaged not only in revealing the truth of the actualized human being, which is often significantly descriptive, but also reveals the prime cause of these realities, their interconnectedness and cultural significance. In this article by revealing the essential and preferable features of social science and summing up the results obtained, so by revealing the nature of social science or the truth of being-of-social science as such – in formulas of thought are presented the definitions of social science by its subject and accomplishment (performance), separately as well as jointly. Social science and, in particular, sociology, is theoretical and practical wisdom that reveals the truth of the decline and rise of the virtues of human life, and therefore the possibilities of improving the human self, life and culture: studylover and researcher, creator and career human life-activity to the spiritualcivilizational good-order. Thus, sociology is the science of theoretical and practical wisdom, revealing the truth of human life and the possibilities for improvement towards spiritual-civilizational good-order. 

THE POSSIBILITY OF JUSTICE AND TRUTH IN THE POLITICAL-LEGAL SPHERES – 2020-1

Some difficulties and their solutions

Summary

Gevorg G. Hakobyan
The article discusses the possibilities of the existence of justice and truth in the political-legal sphere. These two conceptions – the justice and truth, being very important problems in philosophy, require comprehensive analysis, but the article presents a more theoretical-gnoseological approach. This approach stems from the above-mentioned goals of the article.

To answer this question, first of all, it is shown an essential aspect of the concept of politics, which is common to a number of classics. Based on classical comments, the definition of politics is formulated in such a way that reflects the relationship between politics, right and the distribution of the social good. Such a definition of politics allows discussion about the origin and development of the discourse on right and politics, which reveals the place and role of justice and truth in the political-legal sphere. When discussing the issue of demanding justice and truth, it turns out that justice is generally in demand if there is any conflict whose resolution is relevant. Thereby, it is concluded that the only possible place of justice is the political-legal sphere, and the main expression of justice reflects the political-legal discourse.

Continuing the argumentation, it becomes clear that the real facts – a true description that reflects some kind of real social situation – are necessary to construct and implement any concept of justice.

Besides the fact that it is extremely difficult to discover the only and real truth in the field of political-legal discourse, it is also very problematic itself within the frames of philosophy: firstly, the philosophical thought has historically been repeatedly stalled in the context of the problem of truth, and secondly, the absence of the adequate statement of history and the appropriate formulation of the problem of truth keeps philosophical thought in a relative impasse, and in the third, nowadays (and not only), many thinkers do not only think that the truth does not exist, but they also agree that the search for possible truth is simply useless.

Regardless of all this, from ancient times, it was stated that it is, principally, impossible to find the truth and simultaneously recognize that what was found is an authentic truth. All this implies and even compels a unique approach to the truth not only in the field of philosophy itself but also within the framework of political-legal discourse. Therefore, it is assumed that Karl Popper’s negativistic approach could be applied towards the discourse on right and politics as well, which with relative success works in a scientifical-philosophical discourse. Further, this approach is substantiated, not only referring to the difficulties that the development of political-legal discourse faces due to the essence of truth, but also to logical and historical facts, and finally the successful adoption of this approach in political-legal discourse.

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.