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54.Журнал Сибирского федерального университета. Сер. Гуманитарные науки №7 2013

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Humanities & Social Sciences
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Working of Indian Parliamentary Democracy in the 21st Century:
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 943-956
УДК 81’42
Triptych Approach: Cognitive, Social
and Linguistic Perspectives
for Analyzing Academic Writing
Ana Pujol Dahmea,
Valentina A. Kononova * and Liliana Tolchinskya
Universitat de Barcelona
585 Corts Catalanes, Gran Via de les,
08007 Barcelona, Spain
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Received 20.12.2012, received in revised form 11.02.2013, accepted 07.06.2013
Academic writing has several functions and allowing the integration of their members into different
discourse communities is one of them. Students have to cope with the specialized language of their
discipline from the very first steps of their educational path. The overall aim of this paper is to
review some studies on the research article; we will focus on argumentation frameworks to assess
their strengths and weaknesses for knowledge representation, and also two main approaches based
on discourse analysis. One of them studies the internal organization of texts by means of qualitative
methodologies. And the other approach focuses on language use; studies of this kind have been
quantitative on a large scale, based on corpus methodologies.
In doing so, first, we highlight some gaps in the literature, and second, we attempt to show, that what
we call a triptych approach to the analysis of academic writing can shed some light on the structure
of the argument, the organizational pattern and the linguistic features of scientific texts written by
Keywords: triptych approach, academic writing, research article, argumentation, moves, clusters.
Circe gave the potion to the sailors of Ulysses turning them into pigs,
who forgot their homeland, the ability to argue (Bordes, 2011).
Academic writing has several functions:
communicative, epistemic, dialogic, and
constructive of social identity and social
integration. The communicative function of
writing allows people to discourse together,
informally or formally, through publishing
works in different media that persist over time
(Bazerman, 2005). In an academic context
it involves the transmission of knowledge to
other members of a specific community, e.g.
scientific community (Swales, 1990, 2004).
Academic writing also opens a problem
space functioning as a tool for learning more,
an epistemic tool. Writing transforms and builds
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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up knowledge: a set of cognitive activities are
mobilized to clarify and enrich the understanding
of a topic, ideas are modified because they need
to be organized and synthesized (Bereiter &
Scardamaglia, 1987, Gallbraith, 1999).
Language plays a mediating role in the
social construction of the mind. Thus, just as the
mind is formed dialogically, texts adopt a stance
of polyphony or dialogism (Bakhtin, 1981).
The writer identifies himself with a particular
discourse community, therefore, social identity
(e.g., as a researcher or academic author) is
discursively constructed (Berkenkotter & Huckin,
1995; Ivanic, 1998; Lillis, 2001). As the writer
identifies himself with a discourse community,
he uses its texts as a source and these, in turn,
are related to previous text by intertextuality1 (
Kristeva ,1980). But intertextuality is not just a
reference to other texts; it also indicates how the
writer is positioned to make his own statement
(Bazerman, 2004; Prior, 2006).
Hence, writing is a medium to participate in
society. From primary school (Tolchinsky & Simó,
2001) beyond university level, written language
allows the integration of scholars into different
discourse communities. Each community has its
own discursive practices, that is, their members
use written language according to certain
purposes and epistemic values (Bazerman, 2004;
Carlino, 2005; Ivanic, 1998; Prior, 2006).
In Catalonia, one of the autonomous
communities of Spain, high school students, at the
age of 17-18 years, must complete a research paper
as an academic requirement of their curriculum.
The research article is an outcome of guided
personal research which must be submitted in
a written form. This assignment allows them
to develop general skills to investigate, argue
and express their ideas, much like in scientific
discourse communities. Further, at the university
level, students must submit a research paper when
they complete their master studies.
So students, from very early on, have to
train their skills for research. They have to work
on a problem space, that is, mobilize cognitive
skills, enriching the understanding of the topic.
Likewise, they must quote and use other texts
(intertextuality) to attempt to become part of a
scientific discourse community. In this attempt,
the use of specialized language and genre, i.e.
the language of the community of reference,
is essential. The acquisition by students of the
specialized language is reflected in their textual
But which are the distinctive characteristics
of the specialized language in research articles
and how do they relate to these aspects analyzed
in students’ texts? We aim to show that a
simultaneous use of three different approaches
is useful to attain this characterization: (1) a
discourse analysis focusing on the argument
structure, that shows how writers construct the
evidence in their research articles through the
fundamental steps of any argument, that is, how
general claims are supported by specific data
through warrants; (2) an analysis of the general
pattern of the organization of the research article,
through its moves and steps and ; (3) a corpusbased analysis of the linguistic features, that
characterize the texts, such as clusters, that
account for the audience awareness.
This triptych approach is based, in a broad
sense, on a discourse analysis perspective;
discourse is a generic term, which has three
dimensions: communication of beliefs (cognition),
interaction in social situations and language
use (van Dijk, 1997). As we focus on a specific
genre, the research article, we take a genre based
approach with a corpus linguistic methodology
into account. By genre is meant a group of texts,
which represents how writers use language in
recurring situations. The cognitive dimension of
genre relates to how the information is organized.
In research articles knowledge is represented in
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the form of arguments. The social dimension of
genre relates to how the information follows the
requirement of a specific discourse community
(Bruce, 2008). Specifically, the use of moves and
steps (Swales, 1990) which are characteristic of a
particular genre relates to context or disciplinespecific content. Besides the global organization
realized through moves and steps, a number of
linguistic features, like clusters may serve also
as distinctive genre. Furthermore, these clusters
differentiate novice from expert writers and they
can give some evidence of how the awareness of
audience develops.
The article is organized as follows: Firstly,
we focus on argumentation frameworks.
Secondly, we point out some studies that have
analyzed the internal organization of texts in
terms of moves in research articles. Thirdly, we
highlight research on linguistic features, such as
multi-word expressions. Fourthly, we make some
remarks about our “triptych” approach.
In doing so, we attempt to show that a
synergistic approach to the analysis of academic
writing can shed some light on the structure of
the argument, the organizational pattern and the
linguistic features of research articles written by
1. Argumentation models
In the following lines, we present some
rationale for focusing on argumentation. As
pointed out by Sampson and Clark (2008) scientific
inquiry is a knowledge-building process in which
the development of explanations is essential, to
make sense of data and, for its debate, revision
and critique by the scientific community (Driver,
Newton, & Osborne, 2000; Duschl, 2000).
So, scientific inquiry has two steps, one is a
knowledge -building process and the second is a
discursive mode of argumentation that is tied to
epistemic goals valued by a discipline (Sandoval
& Reiser, 2004).
The whole inquiry process can be described
as follows: formulating a problem or asking a
question, formulating a hypothesis or answering
the question, the design of the research,
collecting and interpreting the data and drawing
conclusions. Therefore, scientific inquiry can be
summarized as a process of asking questions,
generating data through systematic observation
or experimentation, interpreting data, and
drawing conclusions (White & Frederiksen,
Once the inquiry process has ended, the
findings of the process should be communicated
to the scientific community for its debate.
This communication is done by means of
research articles through argumentation. So,
argumentation is the discursive mode directly
linked to the research article to successfully
inquire into any discipline. Novice members
must acquire not only the ability to generate a
convincing argument, that is, be consistent with
the epistemology criteria used by the scientific
community (Sampson & Clark, 2008; Sandoval
& Reiser, 2004) but, they also have to know the
formal properties and schematic structures of
this kind of genre, the research article, used for
the scientific communication. Therefore, below
we will mention some properties of the research
article (i) and then its discursive mode, the
argumentation (ii).
(i) Swales (1990) defines the RA as follows:
The research article or paper is taken to be a
written text (although often containing non-verbal
elements), usually limited to a few thousand
words, that reports on some investigation carried
out by its author or authors. In addition, the
research article will usually relate the findings
within it to those of others, and may also examine
issues of theory and/or methodology. It is to
appear or has appeared in a research journal or,
less typically, in an edited book-length collection
of papers (p. 93).
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Research articles are characterized, generally,
by a fixed structure in their organizational level
(macro-structure): Introduction, Method, Results
and Discussion (IMRD) which follow the steps
of the research process and give coherence at the
rhetorical level. In the Introduction section the
text is organized through a transition from the
general topic to the particular aim,
by describing an inadequacy in previous
research that motivates the present study. So,
it contains the essential elements of context,
focus and justification. In the Method and
Results section the information is presented on a
particular level: the former, detailing the steps,
which were used to obtain the fi ndings and the
latter, providing evidence with the own data.
The Discussion section like a mirror reflects the
introduction section, by moving from specific
fi ndings to wider implications of the topic
(Swales, 1990).
(ii) As we mentioned before, the discursive
mode of the research article is commonly the
argumentation. So, for the purpose of this review
we clarify what we mean by argument and
argumentation and its functions in academic
contexts. Following Kuhn and Udell (2003) we
use the term argument for the product, a piece
of reasoned discourse and argumentation or
argumentative discourse for the social process or
activity. Science use analytical, grounded in the
theory of logic, dialectical, which are part of the
informal logic domain and rhetorical arguments.
But dialectical and analytical, due to focusing on
evidence are more exacting and representative of
high quality scientific argumentation (Duschl,
Arguments like other modes of discourse,
i.e. narration and exposition, have a specific
structure, which accomplish a particular
function, in this case, convince the scientific
community. Standards such as consistency with
theoretical knowledge of the discipline and the
use of appropriate methods make the discourse
coherent, because they respond to the expectations
of the reader, the community of peers (Sandoval
& Milwood, 2005). An argument has both an
individual and a social meaning and there is a
link between them (Kuhn, 1993).
The individual meaning refers to any piece
of reasoned discourse, that is, the development
of a point of view (Billig, 1987). This reflective
thinking unfolds critical thinking, because it’s a
way to seek evidence for beliefs (Siegel, 1992).
It also has a component for emancipation, as it
enables students to understand themselves and
the world and this provides them the capacity to
transform society (Freire, 1970).
The social meaning refers to the debate
of different positions between people.
Argumentation that occurs in a social dialogue
enhances the higher order thinking by
externalizing internal reasoning (Erduran &
Jiménez-Aleixandre, 2008). As argumentation
puts its emphasis on claims which are supported
by specific data through warrants, it enables
students to develop epistemic rational criteria,
because they have to choose among theories or
positions and that underpins the enculturation
in the scientific community (Duschl, Erduran,
Jiménez-Aleixandre, Sandoval & Milwood,
2008). Epistemic practices are the ways members
of a community propose, justify, evaluate
and legitimize knowledge claims within a
disciplinary framework (Kelly, 2008).
Despite the retreat from hard distinction
between rhetoric, the study of persuasion, and
dialectic, associated with ideals of reasonableness
(van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson & Jacobs,
1997) for our approach, we will highlight the
importance of making the distinction between
argumentation as persuasion and as knowledge
justification. The former involves rhetorical
moves and the latter commitment to evidence
(Erduran & Jiménez-Aleixandre, 2008).
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Argumentation as persuasion is related to
rhetoric as it deals with arguments based on the
beliefs and preferences of a particular audience.
This kind of argumentation is meant to get
audience acceptance by generating non-reflective
emotional reactions. Therefore, as rhetoric uses
the assumptions of a particular audience, it
cannot be called universal and it is ineligible to
be considered an ethical discipline, which means,
the responsibility to be rigorous, relevant and
honest (Bordes, 2011).
Instead of that, argumentation as justification
addresses any audience and is universal in nature,
as it tries to convince by means of reason, so it
represents a commitment to evidence.
Further, Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca
(1958) distinguished persuasive argumentation,
which only claims validity for a particular
audience, from convincing argumentation,
that presumes to gain the adherence of every
rational being and is universal in nature. For
these authors the strength of the argumentation
depends on the writer’s knowledge and his
adaptation to the audience. The writer has a
mental representation of the audience to whom
he addresses the argumentation. The universal
audience will assent to good arguments and
reject poor ones.
Hence, based on Perelman’s theory that
there is a close link between the writer’s thinking
and his representation of an audience which
conditions their argumentation, in our approach
we propose to separate the rhetorical moves from
the argumentation structure. In doing so, we
can assess through the product, the RA, some
cognitive processes, such as the representation
that have students of the addressee.
We would see in the moves if students
have appropriated the discursive practices of a
particular audience, the scientific community.
And in the argumentative structure, with its
justification of claims and on the coordination
among claims and evidence, we would see if
students have addressed to a universal audience,
which implies the quality of the argument.
We will discuss the way to analyze the
rhetorical moves in section 2 and in the following
lines we explain some empirical research, which
have described and evaluated students’ arguments
in their structure.
Argumentation has been recognized as
an essential part of the formal educational
process, because of the functions described
above (Erduran, Simon, & Osborne, 2004; Kelly
& Crawford, 1997; Sandoval & Reiser, 2004;
Zohar & Nemet, 2002). To see how students’
argumentation, in terms of quality, differs from
those ideally employed by scientists, some
researchers (Bell & Linn 2000; Kelly & Takao
2002) have developed analytical frameworks for
examining students’ argumentation in writing.
In the review made by Sampson and
Clark (2008) they showed how each of the five
frameworks revised by them can inform us about
the quality of students’ arguments. The authors
used each methodology for analyzing the quality
in a sample argument. We only point out three
of them, those which represented the continuum,
from structural to content analysis. Despite these
frameworks have focused on issues of structure,
content, and justification, much research on
argumentation in science education have centered
their attention on argument structure, in terms
of the distinction of claims and justification, to
determine quality. According to classical logic,
an argument consists of two propositions: one of
them is a set of premises, in form of statements,
which are used to justify a claim: the conclusion
(Bordes, 2011). But the pattern which has
mostly influenced science education research is
Toulmin’s (1958) argument structure of claims,
data and warrants.
For example, studies in the science discipline
(Bell & Linn, 2000; Jimenez-Aleixandre,
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Rodriguez & Duschl; 2000) which are based
on Toulmin’s argument pattern (1958), consider
that the quality of an argument is given if it
includes the following structural components:
data, warrants, backing and qualifiers to show
the validity of the claim. But, as the interrater
reliability is hard to achieve, because the
structural components could be classified
into multiple categories, the usefulness of this
framework for studying students’ arguments in
science is questionable (Duschl, 2008; Kelly,
Druker, & Chen, 1998).
A significantly different way of thinking
about structure is the framework presented by
Kelly and Takao (2003), because it does not
make a fundamental distinction in terms of
claim/justification dichotomy. It distinguishes
between structural components in terms of
epistemic abstractness, that is, a higher level
which appeals to theory within a particular
domain and the connections between individual
propositions, that is, lower level descriptions of
data. This framework does not measure content
quality directly, but it is an intermediate focus
on content. The examination of epistemic status
of knowledge claims could show how students
adhere to the genre conventions. One limitation
of the framework is that they not include
appraisal of the sensibility of the links between
propositions and the scientific accuracy of the
propositions. The absence of these evaluations
makes it difficult to determine whether students
understand the theories or how well the data
support the conclusions. Kelly and Takao pointed
out this limitation in their own analysis (Sampson
& Clark, 2008).
At the end of this continuum from structural
to content analysis, there is Sandoval’s scheme
(2003) to analyze the quality of high school
students’ argumentation. It focuses on justification
and content and offers a mechanical specificity in
terms of content quality. He uses a software tool
ExplanationConstructor which provided facilities
for students to link data that they considered as
important evidence for their claims into the text.
But the subject-matter-specific nature of this
framework makes it difficult to adapt to other
This research highlights the difficulties
students have to engage in productive scientific
argumentation. For example, they struggle with
coherence and linking ideas (Kelly & Bazerman,
2003) or do not support their claims with multiple
justifications (Sandoval & Millwood, 2005).
Through the review of the different
frameworks made by Sampson and Clark
(2008), these authors point out that the decision,
if students have generated a high quality
argument, depends on the framework chosen
for their analysis. They state, “These differing
assessments result from both the divergent foci
of the frameworks in terms of relative weights
placed on structure, content, and justification as
well as differences in how the frameworks define
structure, content, and justification” (Sampson
& Clark, 2008, p.469). They also point out the
need of approaches which do not focus only on
atomized aspects of arguments, but also in a more
holistic form, like in content, structure, epistemic
and social aspects.
In the following section we focus on the
rhetorical moves, which could account for social
aspects like the appropriation of the discursive
practices of a particular community, from a
discourse perspective.
2. Discourse analysis
The term ‘discourse’ has received many
different definitions, depending on the perspective
adopted (Biber, Connor & Upton, 2007), these
definitions can be grouped (Schiffrin, Tannen
& Hamilton, 2001) in the following categories:
1) the study of the structure ‘beyond the sentence’
and 2) the study of language use .
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2.1. The “Move” structure
2.1.1 The study of the structure
‘beyond the sentence’
We define text as a “multidimensional
entity that brings together the functional
dimension, situational, thematic and grammar
of the language “(Heinemann, 2000). The higher
dimensions- functional, situational and thematicare realized in the linguistic elements and at the
same time they reveal the choices made by the
writer (Ciapusco, 2005).
This definition leads us to consider the text
as a polyhedral product. So, it can be analyzed
from different perspectives.
The study of linguistic structures ‘beyond
the sentence’ focuses on the lexical-grammatical
features in the higher level of the sentence (e.g.,
paragraphs). It describes the discursive functions
that perform certain words (discourse markers).
These markers indicate the internal organization
of discourse or text. Studies of the structure
beyond the sentence are usually qualitative and
they use a top-down methodology to analyze
few texts and of a specific gender, because their
analysis is laborious it must be done manually
(Biber, Connor & Upton, 2007). The starting
point, therefore, is on a macro-structural level,
with the focus on the functional / communicative
lengthy text units (Cohen & Upton, 2009).
As mentioned in section 1, Swales (1990)
created a model CARS (Create a Research Space)
after analyzing the introductory section of the
papers. He found that most of their introduction
sections had three moves. “A movement is a
discursive or rhetorical unit that performs a
coherent communicative function in a spoken
or written discourse” (Swales, 2004, p.229).
Analysis of movements had been developed as a
top-down approach where the focus is on the study
of meaning and ideas of the discourse. The model
of Swales (1990) distinguishes: Move 1: establish
a territory, that is, introduce the general topic.
Move 2: establishing a niche within the overall
theme of a more specific place. Move 3: fill the
niche, the present study derived from the specific
topic. However, years later, he proposed variations
on this model postulates that all items are neither
empirical nor are experimental (for example,
Astrophysics is still in the logic of argument)
Swales (2004). The Introduction section of a
research paper is usually characterized in by the
following features: an introduction of the topic
or subject; a review of the previous research;
an identification of the aspect not studied (gap);
an explicitation of the objectives of the study; a
presentation of the findings, and an explanation
of the article structure (Biber, Connor & Upton,
Swales’s model (1990) was used to
analyze different sections of scientific papers,
e.g. Kanoksilapatham (2005) analyzes the
movements and lexical-grammatical features
of these movements of the 4 sections (IMRD)
of 60 journal articles in English biochemistry.
Years later, he did the same with Thai articles
and compares the results to the study done
with English articles (Kanoksilapatham, 2007).
He found that the two languages shared some
similarities and differences; these are due to
special characteristics of the expectations of
the research community and in general of the
Thai society. Other studies focuses on the
organizational rhetoric of abstract experimental
science articles in English and Spanish (Swales
& Perales-Escudero, 2011, Martin, 2003) and
articles on the English language compared with
the French ( Bonn & Swales , 2007). There are
also studies that examine isolated sections from
different disciplines such as biology (Samraj,
2002), computer science (Posteguillo, 1999) and
medicine (Williams, 1999) (as cited in Cohen &
Upton, 2009).
In the academic genre, rhetorical movements
were studied in the introduction sections in
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Spanish PhD theses in Computer Science (Gil,
Soler & Carbonell, 2008). The results of this
study reveal embedded and recurring movements
that form a cyclical pattern attributable to the
strategy used by students to contextualize their
A methodological problem of this approach
is to have well-defined unit of analysis (Cohen &
Upton, 2009). Identification of rhetorical moves or
functions can be very subjective, and indeed this is
the main criticism of this methodology. However,
this subjectivity can be minimized with a high
reliability among judges (Phuong Dzung, 2008).
Another difficulty is to control all the variables
in a cross-linguistic comparison (Swales, 2004,
cited in van Bonn & Swales, 2007). This author
stated that to control the variables it is better to
choose publications in English, which have a low
impact factor, to be able to compare them with
publications with less impact, usually those of
other languages.
Although there is a lot of research on the
organizational structure of the individual sections
of the research article in different disciplines
(Dudley-Evans, 1997; Golebiowski, 1999; Lim,
2006; Samraj, 2002; Swales, 1981; Williams,
1999), there are only a few studies which attempt
the article structure as a whole (Kanoksilapatham,
2005; Phuong Dzung, 2008; Posteguillo, 1999)
and also which had compared the structure as a
whole across disciplines (Phuong Dzung, 2008).
Despite this gap it is important to account for
the complete rhetorical structure of the research
article (Kanoksilapatham, 2005).
Therefore, it is the goal of our triptych
approach to analyze the RA in a Catalan corpus in
its entirety in two disciplines, history and biology
to gain greater insight of the rhetorical structure
and how it evolves through the educational
In the following lines we also stress
quantitative methodologies, which together with
the qualitative one just mentioned above, facilitate
a complete analysis of RA.
2.2. The linguistic features
2.2.1 The study of ‘language use’
The study of ‘language use’ generally
addresses the issue of linguistic variation in the
discourse or text. Both the study of ‘language in
use’ and the study ‘beyond the sentence’ share
the main focus on the linguistic form and how
language structures are used for communication.
Studies of ‘language use’ focus on the
distribution and functions of surface linguistic
features. Most corpus-based studies belong to
this category. These are quantitative studies that
use large corpora of written texts analyzed with
computational tools with usually a bottom-up
methodology (Biber, Connor & Upton, 2007).
First, they analyze the lexis and form and then
the discourse unit types emerge from the corpus
A corpus2 is a set of occurrences of natural
texts, oral or written, kept in electronic format
(Conrad, 2002). More specifically, to form a
corpus of authentic texts should be collected
systematically, capable of processing automatic
or semiautomatic. The texts are selected
according to explicit criteria to capture the
regularities of a language or variety of language
(Tognini-Bonelli, 2001). Beyond that, there is
a distinction between corpus based approach
which is an inductive approach and corpus
driven which is deductive, arising from corpus.
The distinction between the two terms is
becoming more diffuse as they are extremes of
a continuum (Corpas-Pastor, 2008).
Furthermore, corpus analysis allows accounts
for the variation in the texts and the complex
interactions among linguistic components. This
has a practical impact, since many materials
for language teaching are based on insights
about the use of language. It is through studies
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of corpus (Altenberg, 1994, Kennedy, 1991 and
Sinclair, 1991, cited in Conrad, 1996), that we can
highlight the contrast between the insights and
the real patterns of use.
Many studies have used a top-down analysis
of the discourse but the bottom-up approach
has been developed recently for analyzing the
discourse structure in studies using corpus. For
example, Biber, Connor & Upton (2007) use the
bottom-up approach as follows: the first step is
to segment automatically the full text of the
discourse in units (based on linguistic criteria).
Each unit of discourse is then analyzed and
classified on linguistic categories, as a result of
this classification it can be described functional
patterns of text. With this method it is possible to
analyze the discursive patterns in large amounts
of text with computational tools.
Corpus analysis not only allows the analysis
of discursive patterns, as we just explained,
but also the analysis of linguistic elements that
differentiate novice from expert writers, such as
multiword clusters and within these, those who
mark the consideration towards audience. The
writer includes an expert fictitious audience,
allowing him to anticipate possible criticisms and
interpretations of his writing. The consideration
of a reader’s point of view is what separates a
novice writer from a mature writer (Kellogg,
2008). The consideration towards the audience
is a construct, but can be measured through
indicators (Hyland, 2004). The multiword
clusters are a set of words that appear together,
are fixed distinctive collocations of a particular
genre. Clusters are not only crucial in academic
writing, but also crucial to differentiate genres.
Skilled writers are able to use them in a particular
genre; however the absence of these clusters
indicates little command in a specific genre by
the novel writer (Hyland, 2008). Research on
this topic highlights the considerable variation of
clusters in different genres (Biber, 2006; Biber,
Conrad, & Cortes, 2004; Scott & Tribble, 2006),
but there is still uncertainly at how far they differ
by discipline (Hyland, 2008b).
One of the main criticisms of using this
methodology (corpus-based) is that it does not
take into account the context of the text (Biber,
Connor & Upton, 2007; Flowerdew, 2005). To
counter this criticism, texts must be seen in
different contexts and disciplines. It should be
consider the sociocultural context in which the
texts were written.
In this section we have explained that the
linguistic features of discourse can be studied
from two main approaches. One focuses on the
internal organization of less than five texts by
using qualitative methodologies. And the other
approach focuses on language use, so studies
of this kind have basically been quantitative,
based on corpus methodologies. Combining
these two approaches is a current challenge of
corpus linguistics (Biber, Connor & Upton,
2007, 2012).
Through this review we attempt to show
that is necessary to see the research paper in
its polyhedral form, which could be addressed
through a triptych approach. That means
analyzing the cognitive dimension of genre in its
argumentation schema, its social dimension in its
move structure and its linguistics features such as
audience awareness.
If research has highlighted the important
role of argumentation in science and education
(Lemke, 1990) and analyzing the students’
texts has shed some light into the structure or
into the content of students’ argumentation,
we require, as stated by Sampson and Clark
(2008) new approaches that examine structural,
epistemic and social aspects of argumentation
in a synergistic way. Therefore, it is the goal of
our triptych approach to focus on argumentation,
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organizational structure and linguistics features
to analyze a Catalan corpus of research papers
from high school and university master studies
to gain greater insight on how these three aspects
displayed and relate and, even more importantly,
how they evolve.
We called it triptych for three main
(1) It can be established as an analogy
between academic writing and the fine arts. In
academic communities as well as in fine arts an
apprentice becomes a full member by copying,
adapting and synthesizing from the work of other
members (Ivanic, 1998).
(2) To some extent, a scientific text resembles
a piece of art: the reader unfolds it and acquires
the cognitive and social knowledge of the writer,
who in turn also unfolds his knowledge while
(3) As we mentioned above the triptych
approach is based on a discourse analysis
perspective, which merge genre based, cognitive
and social, with a corpus linguistic methodology.
We agree with Sampson and Clark (2008)
when they argue that analytical frameworks are
tools created for specific tasks to investigate
specific questions and that readers need additional
information to interpret the results of a study
to understand in that context what is meant by
quality of argumentation.
We also share the proposal of using
small, specialized corpora where the compiler
is the analyst, as it allows knowing the sociocultural context in which the texts were created
(Flowerdew, 2003). Our paper suggests that
all three dimensions – cognitive, social and
linguistic, as well as the context under which
the texts are written – are valuable in order to
develop proper instructional guides. Further
work needs to be undertaken in the sphere of
academic writing to let an apprentice grow into
a master of his trade.
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Триптих-подход: анализ академического письма
через когнитивные, социальные
и лингвистические перспективы
Ана Мария Пужольа,
В.А. Кононова , Лилиана Толчинскиа
Университет Барселоны
Гран Виа де лес Кортс Каталанес, 585
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 79
Статья представляет собой обзор последних исследований в Европе и мире в области анализа
научных статей с точки зрения когнитивных, социальных и лингвистических параметров.
Ключевые слова: триптих-подход, академическое письмо, научная статья, аргументация,
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 957-1001
УДК 24-17
The Universe as a Construct:
Epistemic Beliefs and Coherence of Justification
in Modern Cosmology
Alexei V. Nesteruk*
University of Portsmouth,
Lion Gate Building, PORTSMOUTH, PO1 3HF, UK
Received 12.03.2013, received in revised form 06.06.2013, accepted 19.06.2013
In this paper we continue to study the epistemic nature of cosmological claims, in particular the
status of the notion of the universe as a whole. It is demonstrated that this notion has a status of a
construct with some epistemic links with empirical reality. However, it is argued that the effective
methodology of contemporary mathematical cosmology related to the modelling of the very early
stages of the evolutionary universes, consists not in the principle of correspondence of its theoretical
constructs with empirical reality, but in the coherence of epistemic justification which relates to
belief-like commitments of the community of cosmologists. As a case study, the inflationary model of
the early universe is analysed and it is demonstrated that the coherence of justification leads to the
transcendental problems in the style of Kant.
Keywords: beliefs, cosmology, coherence, correspondence principle, epistemology, extrapolation,
The real world is not a thing founded in itself, that can in a
significant manner be established as an independent existence.
Recognition of the world as it comes from God cannot … be achieved
by cognitions crystallising into separate judgements that have an
independent meaning and assert definite facts. It can be gained only
by symbolic construction.
Hermann Weyl, Mind and Nature, p. 50
In this paper we explicate a simple truth
that the standard cosmological model entirely
depends upon the belief in the uniformity of the
universe thus making the whole cosmological
enterprise as having sense in rubrics of a certain
faith-commitment which, as we have explicated
previously (Nesteruk 2012[2]), has teleological
overtones related to human activity in general.
The strength of our argument is to come from
a particular observation that modern cosmology
functions not only through the conditions of
correspondence with empirical reality, but also
through the principle of epistemic coherence of
justification of its constructs.
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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Alexei V. Nesteruk. The Universe as a Construct: Epistemic Beliefs and Coherence of Justification in Modern Cosmology
The universe in the image
of the human history
Our intention now is to provide a concise
and symbolic (graphical) description of the
universe as a whole in order to explicate an
epistemological meaning of such a description, in
particular its dependence upon some irreducible
beliefs making this description possible. To
do this we need to give a brief overview of the
major methodological presumption in cosmology,
namely the cosmological principle (Nesteruk
2012[1]). Since we cannot empirically verify the
statistics of distribution of matter from other
locations in space we have to speculate on the
overall distribution of matter in the universe,
appealing to philosophical and hence physically
untestable assumptions. The universe seems to be
isotropic on the scales corresponding to clusters of
galaxies. This local isotropy, being an empirical
observation, is a contingent fact and it does not
entail that the universe should look isotropic from
every possible location in it. However the idea of
our indifferent position in space was a prevalent
trend after the scientific revolutions of the 17th
century, so that modern cosmologists felt obliged
to apply the observable isotropy to all locations
in the universe. This principle of indifference, the
cosmological principle, postulates the uniform
distribution of matter in the universe and the
uniformity of space1. It is not difficult to understand
that only under this assumption is any scientific
methodology of studying the universe as a whole
in cosmology possible. Indeed, the uniformity of
the universe is needed in order to predicate its
properties in terms of the same physical laws in
locations which are fundamentally inaccessible
to our reach. The integrity of our intelligence
must correspond to the integrity of the cosmos,
and this integrity is best expressed in terms of
its uniformity. The global picture of the universe
would not be possible if, in every corner of it,
physical laws would be different and objects
and phenomena would be infinitely varied. The
cosmological principle reduces the description of
“cosmic matter” (with the constituting element
of this matter to be a cluster of galaxies) to two
macroscopic parameters – density and pressure2.
Indeed, theory cannot deal with the variety
of specific and concrete objects which are
astronomically observed. The contingent facticity
of these objects is transferred to the contingent
facticity of the generic symmetry, that is to the
uniformity of their distribution in space. However
the introduction of the cosmological principle
does not explain away the contingent facticity of
this principle itself: as such it does not explain why
the universe is uniform. The postulate of cosmic
spatial uniformity introduces a fundamental
construct of cosmic matter which makes it
possible to talk reasonably about the universe as
a whole including its spatial structure.
The “cosmological principle” changes our
perception of the contingency of our spatial
position in the universe. If the universe is uniform
a potential observer travelling across the universe
would observe statistically one and the same
picture of the universe. This evidently diminishes
any drama related to the spatial contingency of
humanity in the universe associated with its
large-scale structure: we could be anywhere and
would observe the same. This means that that
fragment of the universe which is visible to us,
while being limited in its particular image from
the vantage point, gives a fair representation of
that all which is possible.
The situation is more complex in terms of
that particular temporal era when we are present
in the universe if the universe is subject to change
(evolution). If, hypothetically, the universe as
a whole were to be static, that is without any
large-scale change in time, its description would
be very simple and correspond to a couple of
contingent numbers (its density and pressure)
which characterise the large-scale structure and
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dny change and becoming would amount to the
evolution of specific objects, such as galaxies and
stars. The novelty in the universe would emerge
from the local physical processes whereas the
overall large-scale universe would remain the
same. On the large scale the displayed uniformity
would remain and no hope for its “explanation”
would exist. This is the reason why the idea of
the evolution of the universe as a whole becomes
so important: it gives a chance to transfer the
problem of its contingent facticity as observed
here and now to the problem of its origin from
some unknown initial state which would exhibit,
either in terms of known physical laws or some
mathematical argument, apodictic features, so
that the annoying question about the facticity of its
display could be removed if the initial conditions
leading to this display are explained.
Cosmology received this chance when the
experimentally observed red shift in spectra
of galaxies was interpreted as their mutual
recession due to a universal kinematic expansion
of the universe3. The link between expansion
of matter and expansion of space is asserted by
general relativity theory through the relationality
between them. This expansion, observed through
luminous objects such as galaxies, seems to be
isotropic. In combination with the “cosmological
principle” the observed expansion in the universe
is presented as taking place uniformly in all
locations in the universe. This means that our
image of the expanding universe can be transferred
to any other location in which the picture of
expansion would be the same. In this sense there
is no geometrical centre of this expansion: one
can talk of the expansion of the universe about
every particular point. This is a counterintuitive
result which refines the cosmological principle
as related not only to spatial locations, but also
to how the evolution of the universe looks from
these locations, namely that it looks the same. In
combination with the fact that the received signals
come from remote parts of the universe one can
state that the past of the universe looks the same
from different locations. And this leads to another
counterintuitive result that the universe is seen
as the frozen past4. The past of the universe is
made manifest through its present image. Thus
the distinction between the universe’s past and
present, which is usually made by analogy with
human history (some events in the past of the
human history are not definitely in the present), is
problematic: one cannot understand and interpret
the universe as we see it here and now without
referring to its past: when one pronounces the
word “universe” one affirms the totality of its
temporal spans. In this sense the subject matter
of cosmology, that is the universe in the entirety
of its spatial and temporal spans represents the
unity of all its locations and eras, unifying all
differentiated happenings in the universe in a
kind of event5. As we will see later this is related
not only to the visible universe, but to the universe
as a whole.
The cosmological principle applied to
geometry predicts three possible models of the
spatial structure of the universe (closed, flat
and open) all of which now must be linked to
the universal expansion of space corresponding
observationally to the mutual recession of galaxies
and their clusters. The three models of space can
easily be generalised in order to accommodate
this expansion through introducing a notion
of the universal scale factor a(t) as a growing
function of “cosmic time” which stretches the
spatial metric corresponding to all three models.
There are two points that must be noted about
this new cosmological construct, fi rst of all
“cosmic time”. This notion is a construction
obtained through imagination that one can place
clocks everywhere in the universe, for example
in all galaxies so that they move along their
world lines together with the overall kinematic
expansion, and somehow synchronised at its
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beginning understood here simply as a reversal
of expansion to its initial point. After introducing
the construct of time it becomes possible to
describe the overall geometrical becoming in the
universe, its evolution in terms of the scale factor
a(t) as a function of time t. The dynamics of this
scale factor as well as the dynamics of cosmic
perfect fluid is subjected to Einstein’s equations.
These are differential equations with respect
to time t reversible in time, that is they can be
used either to predict the solution in the “future”
given the conditions posed now, or, alternatively
to formulate the solution in the “past”6. In this
sense they just describe the reversible transition
of the universe from one state to another: they do
not describe the real becoming as emergence of
novelty in the universe. Then this implies that the
contingent empirical values of the cosmological
functions, for example a(t0) at present time t0 do
not stop being contingent if the cosmological
expansion were to be reversed backward in
time: their values are just recalculated through
the solutions of the Einstein equations at the
initial conditions. It is in this sense that one
must be aware that the cosmological expansion
cannot be associated with the arrow of time
which is observed empirically7, so that it seems
to be that the “t” variable of the cosmic time has
little to do with the time of human experience
which is intrinsically irreversible. The dynamics
of the universe at large scales is reversible and
thus does not account for the second law of
thermodynamics which, as it is believed is
linked to the special initial conditions8. From
a philosophical point of view the geometrical
model of the evolving universe provides simply
a description of certain changes which happened
at large scales, but real becoming as creation
and transformation of new forms of matter at
smaller scales requires for their description an
appeal to physics which has a rather “local”,
earthly origin.
The solving of the Einstein equations for a(t)
requires one to start with a particular equation
of state for matter. If the point of departure is
the present universe in which free propagation
of light takes place, its matter content can be
treated as “dust” with no pressure. In this case
the density of matter decreases as the universe
expands in inverse proportion to the so called
commoving volume which grows in time as
a3(t), so that ρ(t)~a-3(t). If time is reversed, so
that the expansion becomes contraction, a(t)
decreases and, as result, the density of matter
grows. Theory predicts that it grows to such an
extent that the evolution of the universe divides
roughly into two completely different stages:
the present stage where matter is decoupled
from radiation; and the early stage when the
spatial size of the universe was less than a
thousand times than it is at present, and the
universe was opaque. Before the transition to
the dust-dominated era, according to theory, the
universe represented a mixture of radiation and
hot matter.
From the very inception of this nonstationary model it was a great temptation among
cosmologists to extrapolate the contraction of
the universe in the reversed time order to a limit,
when the spatial size of the universe tends to zero.
This mathematical limit represented a problem
of interpretation, since all physical parameters
such as density, pressure, curvature etc. acquired
non-physical infinite values. The limit t=0
together with a(t)=0 was treated as the temporal
beginning of the visible universe. The construct
of this beginning seems to be contentious because
one can hardly understand whether t=0 indicates
the beginning of the visible universe only (and
all other potentially physical universes admitted
by the cosmological principle), or the beginning
of the overall spatial structure if it is taken as
pre-existent (similar to the Newtonian absolute
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As we mentioned above, the way of
proceeding to the construct of the beginning of
the universe, or, in different words, cosmological
singularity, is based on extrapolation of the visible
display of the astronomical universe backward in
time. In this case all contingent facticity of the
present-day visible universe at large scales is
transferred to the cosmological singularity which
becomes the initial condition for cosmological
equations and which exhibits some idiosyncratic
properties because of the infinite values of all
physical parameters in it. It was understood long
before that cosmological singularities represent
strange “initial conditions” of the universe,
whose facticity can hardly to be explained within
available physics. It was admitted that classical
physics collapses at the singularity9 and since no
credible quantum description of the initial state
of the universe exists so far, we deal here with
a problem which exceeds the scope of physics
and tests its limits. For example, it is difficult to
understand what the beginning of the universe
could mean in terms of space and time. Did time or
space exist before the expansion started; in other
words: did the expansion begin in pre-existing
space and time, or were space and time brought
into existence at the origin and thus their actual
presence explicates the act of their beginning. It
is possible to use a simple diagram to illustrate
the problems arising with the interpretation of the
origin of space and time of the universe10.
This diagram attempts to express the unity
of space and time as being generated from their
non-originary origination “event” depicted by a
point at the centre of the diagram. The diagram
consists of series of expanding concentric circles
which aim to represent spatial sections of spacetime. The circles expand from the initial zero point
which symbolizes the origin of the universe. The
radii correspond to the world lines of particular
objects (clusters of galaxies, for example) which
originate at the singularity (corresponding to
Fig. 1
zero linear scale) and diverge in all directions.
It is along these lines that time, associated with
imaginable clocks of all galaxies experiencing
the overall kinematic expansion is measured
(this time is somehow synchronised at the zero
point, that is the beginning.) The fact that the
spatial sections (that is, concentric circles) in this
diagram are compact must not be interpreted as
if we deal with a topologically closed universe. If
these imaginable circles are associated with some
structural units of the universe (galaxies or their
clusters), their expansion reflects only the process
of the mutual recession of galaxies. The major
conceptual difficulty with the interpretation of this
diagram is to conceive the meaning of the point
of origin of the world lines. One must not treat
this diagram as if it depicts the actual process of
expansion in pre-existent space or time. Actually
this origin is not in space and in time, so that its
depiction as a point in the plane of the page is a
metaphor. However, the diagram as a whole can
be treated as representing the global structure
of space and time in the natural attitude, that is
as if they existed objectively and independently
of the human observer who appeared in the
universe at its late stage. The distinction between
past, present and future has a purely symbolic
nature (associated with the radius of a circle,
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or progression of the world line) as divisions in
abstract objective time.
It is worth noticing that the enquiring
intellect is implicitly present in this picture: this
picture is a mental creation, that is its content is
the product of human subjectivity which is present
in all articulations of the universe; it places the
diagram with singularity which is supposed to
initiate all being, including this same incarnate
subjectivity, outside itself. This is the reason
why this subjectivity experiences difficulties
with explicating the sense of the cosmological
singularity: it is impossible to explicate within
the natural attitude that which is supposed to
be in the foundation of everything with which
this subjectivity deals, including the facticity of
subjectivity itself. When the enquiring intellect
draws such a diagram it positions itself outside the
universe as if it could look at it from some vantage
point. However, this mental operation is possible
only in abstraction, because one cannot get out
of this universe, which would be tantamount
to breaking the conditions of consubstantiality
with it. To get out from the universe would also
be tantamount to breaking the conditions of the
embodied consciousness in order to “look” at its
origin from outside its own incarnate facticity
which is impossible to the same extent as it is
impossible to transcend the universe (Cf. Marcel
1965, p. 24).
The construct of the initial singularity
brings into play a certain correction in perception
of causality in the universe and of temporality.
Logically, the ideas of the initial singularity
appeared as the result of theoretical reversal back
in time of the presently observed expansion of the
astronomical cosmos. This reversal corresponds
to the reversal in the solutions of cosmological
equations which are extrapolated to their nexus at
the point with time equal zero. The thus obtained
state represents the initial state of the universe in
the past. However, since the Einstein equations
are time-reversible they transfer (according to
efficient causality) the information encoded in
the present state of the universe backward in
time. In this sense, technically, the state of the
universe at the singularity (related to its largescale structure) is isomorphic to the state of the
universe at present, that is, to what is observed
here and now, in spite of the fact that the numerical
values of some cosmological parameters become
unbounded at the singularity. One can say that the
distinction between present and past is a matter
of common-sense convention, for, as we have
mentioned above, the cosmological expansion
does not account for the growth of entropy, that is
for irreversibility of time.
If the cosmological singularity is only
considered as a construct which outlines the limits
of physics in exploring the nature of facticity
of things, then cosmology does not run into a
problem of justifying the physical status of this
singularity. Singularity, in this view, becomes no
more than a parable of the mystery of the facticity
of the universe whose appearance in cosmology is
inevitable, simply because the efficacious telos of
cosmological research requires one to introduce a
notion of the overall unity of the universe whose
role is played by the singularity. However, if the
singularity is considered as the point of initiation
of all contingent display in the universe in a
physical sense (as a nexus finalis in the reversed
temporal order), so that the distinction between
the singularity and the present state of the universe
is associated with the asymmetry between past
and future in existential, irreversible time,
there arises a problem because the singularity
is fundamentally non-observable (apart from its
remote consequences in the present), so that any
claim for the viability and truth of its concept
must follow a different pattern of justification in
comparison with that for experimental science.
This can be simply understood if one realises
that, by placing the singularity in the past as the
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foundation of the explanation of the present and
assuming temporal causality between past and
present, one exercises an act of belief in which a
characteristic transition from an intelligible entity
(construct of singularity) to the empirically real
(present day universe) takes place. This kind of
transition does not follow the pattern of explanation
based on the principle of correspondence because
there is no independent empirical verification of
the idea of the singularity. It fits theory on the
grounds of epistemic coherence and aesthetical
criteria. Correspondingly the cosmological
scenario of the origin of the universe cannot
be verified because the universe cannot be
subjected to physical experimentation11, so that
all inferences in cosmology are grounded in the
realm of extrapolation and analogy with other
“historical” natural sciences.
One may further clarify the spatio-temporal
representation of the universe in the standard
cosmological model and, in particular, the sense
of the cosmological singularity or the Big Bang
by taking into account the special position of
the human observer in the universe. In spite of
the fact that the cosmological principle claims
that the location of human observers is mediocre
in order to create an average statistical picture
of the universe it turns out to be that “what”
human agents can actually observe is subject
to general causal limitations following from
the physical laws established in the terrestrial
domain. The universe, considered as luminous
objects, invisible radiations and cosmic particles,
is perceived from the given space-time location
through the so called past light cone along which
electromagnetic signals travel with the speed of
In Fig. 2 this situation is depicted through
photons (γ), travelling on the surface to the curved
light-cone and reaching the observer at present.
In this case the geometrical manifold of the
observable universe represents two symmetric
Fig. 2
curves that originate at the cosmological
singularity and reach the observer’s location. The
universe is observed along the past light cone and
the maximal spatial distance of objects whose
radiation could be detected is determined by the
linear size denoted in Fig. 2 as lmax (Rothman,
Ellis 1993, p. 886). It is not necessary to be a
qualified mathematician in order to realise that
if the wholeness of the universe as space-time is
anticipated in this diagram as the two-dimensional
interior of the circle with the radius corresponding
to the present time t0, then the observable universe
represents a one-dimensional manifold whose
quantitative measure with respect to the whole
universe is zero. In other words, the observable
universe in this view is an infinitely small
contingent piece of the allegedly existing whole.
This result is not surprising, because it follows
from the contingency of the observer’s location
in space at the present moment of time. In Fig. 2
this is indicated by a random choice of the point
(with a tiny human figure) on the circumference
symbolising the whole space at present. Since
there are infinitely many potential locations on
this circumference, the contingent choice of a
particular one (linked to the contingent choice
of the past light cone) makes this contingency
acutely felt through the incommensurability in
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measure of the one-dimensional circumference
and a chosen point which, strictly speaking, has
no dimension at all.
One could raise an issue here as to whether
it is legitimate to attempt to infer to the universe
as a whole from an infinitely small part of it. One
must remember, however that the Fig. 1 and Fig. 2
are both drawn in the natural attitude, that is
both treat the universe within the phenomenality
pertaining to objects; correspondingly, in order
to make sense of these objects one had to appeal
to the cosmological principle which allows one
to speculate about the universe as a whole while
being chained to one single point of it. Indeed
without this principle any representation of the
universe as a whole would not be possible: we
could responsibly speculate on the origin and
evolution of the visible astronomical universe but
not about the universe as a whole originating from
the same Big Bang. The cosmological principle
makes irrelevant the question about observer’s
location on the circumference, because,
according to it, all its points corresponding to
all possible spatial locations are equivalent (for
example, the density of cosmological matter
is the same at different points such as O, P, R,
S). This means that we, as observers, could be
anywhere. Correspondingly the past light cone
could be anywhere, giving, in accordance with
the same principle, a similar picture of all
possible observable universes. In Fig. 2 this
situation would correspond to rotating the light
cone keeping its apex on the same circumference
thus covering entirely the interior of the circle. It
is because of the possibility of this rotation that
the difference in measure between the interior of
the circle and the past light cone disappears: the
infinite multitude of light cones corresponding
to all possible contingent locations of observers
covers entirely the interior of the universe giving
thus statistically the same picture of its structure
from any imaginable location.
The result of this simple analysis is that
the cosmological singularity whose existence
is inferred from the expansion of the visible
universe is unique because it would be predicted
in all possible cosmological scenarios based on
observations from all possible locations. This
implies that the construct of the cosmological
singularity as related to the whole universe is
ultimately based on the cosmological principle. It
follows then that similar to the certainty of belief
from within which originates the cosmological
principle, the validity and truth of the construct of
the cosmological singularity is also situated in the
certainty of belief. Together they form a coherent
framework of interrelated beliefs which form a
basis of cosmological methodology. One can also
add that the cosmological singularity (or the Big
Bang), as a direct consequence of the cosmological
principle, reveals itself as a transcendental
principle of explicability of the universe as a whole
with corresponding teleological connotations
related to the methodology of research: to provide
a coherent view of the universe as a whole one has
to introduce a unification principle of all, which is
imitated by the concept of the Big Bang.
The cosmological principle removes the
ambiguity of the human observer encoded in
Fig. 2 (this ambiguity is another explication of the
paradox of the human subjectivity in the world;
see on this paradox (Nesteruk 2008, pp. 175-84;
2011, p. 571)). Indeed, on the one hand human
subjectivity is present outside the schemata of
the universe, because the universe as a whole
(including its observable part) is the result of
a theoretical hypothesising: it is reflected in
Fig. 2 through an eye looking over the universe.
On the other hand, human observers, being
embodied creatures, establish their insights of
the physical universe from a particular location
in space thus selecting that part of reality which
is linked through physical causation to the place
of embodiment. The cosmological principle
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allows one to balance these two approaches to the
universe by telling us that our particular location
in the universe and its constructed image can be
reproduced from all possible physical locations.
The universe becomes not only intelligible, which
is implied epistemologically by the cosmological
principle, but also intelligent: the universe is
represented as a continuum of potentially possible
human-like observers. However this latter
intelligence is de facto disembodied in the sense
that it is not related to the sufficient conditions
of embodied consciousness on the planet Earth.
Correspondingly the phenomenality of the
physical universe is reduced to the phenomenality
of an object explored by the postulated
disembodied and anonymous reason. Historically
such a point of view can be contrasted with that
of ancient philosophers who treated the universe
in terms of “cosmos” (as beauty and order). The
universe as cosmos denotes the way the reality
of all nature is; it denotes not “what” the allencompassing reality is but its “how”. In this
sense the cosmological principle professed with
respect to the universe manifests the expression
of the personal relationship to the universe in
which the universe as a whole is recognised and
valued through existential participation in it and
not only through an abstract knowledge. This
personal relationship (an instantaneous synthesis
or communion) receives its expression in the belief
in the universe’s uniformity as its intelligibility.
In this case it effectively reproduces an old idea of
Plato that the universe is alive in a very non-trivial
sense: the universe allows the presence of human
intelligence in it not only in an anthropic physical
sense, but in that sense that all predications about
the universe contain the deposit of the human
hypostatic subjectivity.
It is clear from Fig. 2 that human observers
in their contingent and indifferent location in the
universe, see only the past of the universe: while
gazing at the celestial sphere they see the images
of that which was emitted by cosmic objects long
ago. These images are delivered to us by photons
travelling through space for billion of years: these
are images are of the past. On the level of the
perceived phenomena we deal with the image of
the past in the present. However, this past is not a
fixed past referred to a particular historical stage
of the universe, but it is the accumulated image of
different objects at different distances, and hence
different eras. Theoretically we deal not with a
particular past which could be marked in terms of
a fixed figure of years passed after the Big Bang,
but an integrated past bearing images of different
galaxies and their remote ancestors since the
times of their formation. This can be illustrated
with the help of Fig. 2 which shows that we receive
simultaneously signals from galaxies A and C
which are at different distances from the world
line of the observer. This simple geometrical fact
implies that these images correspond to different
times at which signals from the galaxies have
been emitted: the images of the galaxies A and
C come from the same location in the celestial
sphere, but they correspond to objects which
have crossed the surface of the past light cone at
different moments of time. It is not difficult to see
from Fig. 2 that both these galaxies are beyond
our reach at present (their world lines at present
are separated from us by a space-like interval)
so that we receive only the optical signatures
of their past existence. When we observe the
images of these galaxies we must, on strictly
philosophical grounds, assert their existence only
as phenomena. Any hypothetical affirmation of
their physical existence can only be made by
using the language of past tense.
Some elucidation of the assertion of the
accumulation of the past in the universe’s
display as a phenomenon, can be achieved by
changing the perspective and not considering
the Big Bang as “out there”, but contemplating
it as being encapsulated in the display of the
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The maximum distance we can see
along the past null cone
Incoming photons
l max
The visual horizon
The observer
here and now
The last scattering surface:
the universe is opaque inside it
Fig. 3
universe here and now (see Fig. 3). This is in
correspondence with a simple truth that the point
of the beginning of the universe has no location
in space because space appears together with
this point, so that while looking at all possible
directions in the sky we, strictly speaking, look
towards nowhere which appears to us in the
disguise of everywhere.
Whatever comes to us from the singularity,
goes through the maximal distance lmax. so
that the initial singularity is perceived by us
as the boundary of the circle (with the radius
lmax) with the centre at the point of observation:
independently of the direction of observation
in the sky, one encounters the singularity; the
singularity is out there but, at the same time, it
is nowhere (compare with the graph of “The
Cosmic Spheres of Time” (Primack 2006, p.
135), (Abrams 2011, p. 74). A similar graph can
be found in (Cazenave 1995, pp. 57-9)). On the
level of a phenomenological reflection Figs. 2 and
3 are seen not to be equivalent since the position
of the observer in Fig. 2 is spatially contingent,
so that a selection of what is observed is not
the whole universe. However, this contingency
is removed through the cosmological principle
making all points on the circumference in Fig. 2
equivalent, so that it is believed that the picture of
the universe in Fig. 3 gives a generic view of the
universe as a whole.
In view of this a comment must be made
related to the cosmological principle. Let us recall
that this principle, as affirming the uniformity
of distribution of matter in space, is based on
the observed isotropy of this distribution from
our vantage location. One may ask what is the
meaning of this isotropy; from Fig. 2 it is clear
that the observed isotropic distribution of matter
in space corresponds not to what “happens” in
the universe at present, but is related to the past,
because whatever is observed as a phenomenon
corresponds physically to the accumulated past.
In this sense the alleged isotropy of “space” is
not isotropy in the present, because we cannot
observe spatial locations of distant objects at
present apart from our galaxy (which is depicted
in Fig. 2 by the bold line going down from the
point O) and which is not isotropic at all. In other
words, one can assert that the distribution of matter
is isotropic only in the sense of the accumulated
past. It is from this fact that an inference is
usually made, by means of extrapolation, to
assert the isotropy and then uniformity of matter
not in terms of the integrated past but at every
particular era of the past and in present. Formally
this is expressed, for example, by assigning to
the density of matter a constant value for all
possible locations at a given moment of cosmic
time, that is at all locations on the circumference
in Figs. 1-2. This observation strengthens the
conviction that the cosmological principle, that is
the universe is uniform at any space-life surface
corresponding to a moment of cosmic time, is
based on the idea that the integrated image of
the past of the universe can be decomposed in
terms of consequent stages of the universe’s
evolution. Said philosophically, in order to deal
with the contingent image of the frozen past
of the universe in scientific terms, one should
decompose this image into consequent layers
of reality corresponding to different cosmic
eras. Thus it is from this decomposition that the
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idea of the universal cosmic time receives its
epistemological justification.
Generalising what has been said so far,
in observational cosmology we deal with the
phenomena which, according to theory based in
the laws of relativity, are living images of the past
or its remote consequences. Unlike the events
of human history whose re-enactment requires
the appeal to the witnesses of the past through
documents and archives, through the communion
with the mind of those who were present behind
the artefacts, in cosmology we have a different
situation in which a certain past of the universe is
constantly present: the artefact of the universe’s
past is always given to us and is being constantly
gazed at. Since this is not a fixed past, but the
accumulated past, the past stretched through
time but frozen in its image given to us, human
beings live in the presence of the extended and
never-ending event of the past whose contingent
facticity remains a mystery. Thus the contingent
facticity of the observable universe represents
the contingency of the accumulated image of the
past: the universe is contingent being “an event”
with extended spatio-temporal characteristics.
This event, theoretically explicated through the
past light cone of Fig. 2 is linked to the human
observer which itself represents an extended
event of the overall human history12.
A scientific attempt to unfold the phenomenon
of the observable universe as existing in space
and time presupposes an idea of the continuum of
space and time as pre-existing entity. However, all
objects corresponding to their observable images
“exist” in different moments of pre-existent time.
In this sense our intuition of existence of these
objects manifests itself as fundamentally nonlocal in time, that is we affirm existence not in
proportion and connection with the fact of our
existence, which is local in space and in time,
but as supra-temporal or trans-temporal when
all moments of allegedly pre-existent time are
reduced to the facticity of their observability
at present13. The universe as a phenomenon
is here and now: it is that which we see in the
sky and perceive as an immediate medium of
our indwelling and embodiment. There is no
distinction between past, present and future in
this phenomenon. In this sense the phenomenon
of the universe as a whole is contingent because
it is given. Scientific cosmology, in its instinctive
desire to overcome this contingency, appeals to
the idea of the originary origin of the universe
(for example, its temporal origin), in order to
objectify the contingency of its givenness by
shifting it into the remote past under the disguise
of the ill-articulated apodicticity. However, the
idea of time and the “past” which stands behind
such an appeal, ultimately originates in human
historicity whose facticity cannot be scientifically
accounted for14.
The universe as a construct:
its rationality in rubrics of faith
Let us reflect upon the links of the notion
of the universe as a whole to the life-world as
attuned medium of all contexts and thematisations
of the universe associated with the conditions of
corporeity. The reader will have noticed that we
have used the term “construct” several times when
introducing some basic mathematical statements
about the universe; for example Fig. 1 depicting
the expanded space-time can be considered as a
construct. “Construct” in this case represents a
certain departure from the immediately given and
a combination of the empirically given which has
already been accumulated in knowledge of the
universe (for example astronomical observations)
with an intelligible image of reality as a whole
(global space-time manifold). The validity and
efficacy of constructs in theory is determined
through the rules of correspondence with the
reality of the empirically given (what could be
called reification), the rules which also include
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other forms of approval and reference to truth
relying on the experience of communities in the
life world (this could be called objectification)
(Margenau 1977, p. 70).
For example, the construct of the spatially
uniform cosmological fluid is obtained from
further extension of that ideation which is used
in earthly physics to construct the notion of the
ideal gas. The ideal gas is used as a gestalt for
a cosmological fluid where its elements (atoms)
are replaced by clusters of galaxies. The notion
of a cosmological fluid has its origin in empirical
physics, but in its content it exceeds the realm
of the empirically observed and relies on an
intuition of the global space which represents
another construct. The construct of a perfect
cosmological fluid can have verification through
astronomical observations at the home place
of Earth. However, as mentioned before, the
constituents of the cosmological fluid have a
precarious ontological status related to their
non-locality in time, so that it is the human mind
which brings together different elements of the
cosmic display in order to construct a model of
this “fluid” as if related to a particular moment
of time. It is important to realise that constructs,
as mental accomplishments, do not presume any
strong commitment to realism. In this sense if
one asks a question about the correspondence
of cosmological constructs to empirical reality,
one must admit that this correspondence exists
for sure only in that sense that the constructs
are produced by us who are part of this reality.
Certainly the concept of the universe as a whole
depicted in Fig. 1 must contain a place for the
reality of the life-world. But, as has been already
stated, the quantitative measure of this reality is
infinitely small with respect to the universe as a
whole, so that in physical terms the diagram in
Fig. 1 has a link to the empirically given only at
one point corresponding to the place of humanity
in space and time.
In order to relate the construct of global
space of the universe to the life world one must
understand how the global space is related to the
spatiality of the earthly world and the corporeal
spatiality of human beings. In other words there
must be some legitimisation in the transition from
the centrality of human beings in their attuned
space of the life-world (or centrality of humanity
on Earth as its home-place) to the periphery
locations in a thematised and actually infi nite
space. This transition is effectively connected
with mental procedures which can be called
ideation and abstraction. Their essence requires
some verbal reification. The attuned space of
the lived space associated with corporeity has
a character of self-givenness “in flesh”, that is
presence “in person” in the sense that space
and objects in it are given in confrontation with
functioning corporeity. Obviously this can be
said about the space of the planet Earth and all
objects in it. In a certain sense one can say a
similar thing about the images in the celestial
sphere which enter the reality of the life world
as a certain horizon.
In cosmology the extension in cosmic space
looses the character of presence “in flesh” simply
because the mathematical components of this
extension have no direct relationship to corporeity.
However, in similarity with that intellectual
procedure which led us to the construct of
the perfect cosmological fluid, one exercises
here ideation, as a special case of abstraction,
which disregards all particularities of spatiality
present in the individual subjects or objects.
This ideation does not bring simply something
common in a given multitude of objects, rather
on the basis of perception “in flesh” it intuits
the universality of the essence. This ideation is
crucial for introducing constructs with respect to
which a new type of objectivity is constituted as a
new type of intentionality in which the founding
acts of corporeal intuition are not included in
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this objectivity. This new intentionality contains
those determinations with respect to the universe
that are not found in the objects initiating this
intuition. But if the construct of the global space
of the universe is introduced along the lines of this
new intentionality, its components, as essential
universals and ideal objects, are indifferent not
only to number of empirical cases which could
represent them but to the possibility of their
empirical realisation and hence verification
at all. One can say that the global space of the
universe appears as immediately self-given in the
overall intuition of the universe as communion
in the life-world, but this self-givenness is not
directly related to the aspect of corporeity and
has rather a categorical nature. However at this
stage of constitution this global space is not yet
mathematised and hence one cannot say that it
is purely non-sensible. For example, it receives a
pictorial representation in Fig. 1 which is not nonsensible in spite of the fact that it already contains
the elements of the mathematical (geometrical)
ideation. But what is important, and this was the
achievement of the phenomenological analysis
of mathematical knowledge, is that in the
foundation of such a constitution lies the intuition
of mathematical continuum15. This intuition
correlates with the sense of unity of experience
that pertains to every subjectivity: the unity and
continuity of the field of consciousness cascades
towards the unity of reality which includes
the concreteness of corporeity (the belief in
consistency of nature). Corporeity as existencein-situation entails the sense of belonging and
this is intuited as a continuum whose presentation
is achieved by using mathematical ideas. In its
function the sense of continuum corresponds to
the ancient Greek idea of underlying substance
as the unity of being and belonging to it. Now
it is not difficult to realise that the pictorial
presentation of the universe in Fig. 1 is based on
the assumption that the underlying mathematical
continuum (corresponding to the existential unity
of experience) is geometrised (as space) in the class
of pseudo-Euclidian metrics under the condition
of uniformity of space. Once again this construct
contains both sensible elements (its image as
such) as well as categorical elements. In this sense
by asserting the idea of the global space and its
representation through the Fig. 1 we avoid either
the commitment to realism or to idealism. The fact
that this kind of representation is a construction,
but not a purely mathematical concept, originates
in that it is obtained through the accumulation of
facts in the field of astronomy and astrophysics,
so that it is a historical intellectual achievement
and, unlike pure mathematical ideations, does not
possess a trans-temporal nature. The construct is
not part of the physical reality of the universe,
but, at the same time, being an element of a
cosmological narrative it is a part of the reality
of cosmology as a cultural phenomenon. In this
sense the positing of constructs in cosmological
theories represents the work of a different type of
intentionality which, being related to the natural
attitude through an attempt of an inferential
causation from the empirical, yet points towards
a fundamentally different intentionality relating
to the questioning on the facticity of the unity of
experience in the conditions of corporeity; but
this, as we mentioned before, brings us to the
intentionality of existential faith in its particular
realisation as faith in the unity of experience
(and hence as consistency of nature). Hence one
understands that all basic notions of the standard
cosmological model, including the cosmological
principle, constructs of global metrics and perfect
fluid, the dynamics of the scale factor and the
prediction of the Big Bang are all constructs
related to the realm of the immediately given
only indirectly in the sense described in previous
paragraphs. It becomes evident that the existential
belief in the unity of reality corresponding to the
unity of conscious experience permeates the
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whole standard cosmological model including all
its constructs.
The question now is what makes this standard
model so convincing for scientific communities
and a wider audience. Why, in spite of the fact
that cosmology is characterised by uncertainty
and untestability (Ellis 2007, pp. 1259, 1274), does
it remain appealing to the scientific and common
sense and its constructs are treated in realistic
terms? Here we come to the question of logical
and philosophical requirements on constructs
and their epistemic function in the particular case
of cosmology (Margenau 1977, p. 75).
First of all, according to the very definition
of a scientific enterprise it is assumed that
it is to disclose some aspects of reality
through an empirical contact with things,
thus phenomenalising them and making them
immanent to the enquiring subjectivity. In that
case, when cosmology attempts to predicate
the wholeness of the universe, it is obvious that
immanent phenomalisation is not possible or
a-priori incomplete because there is not and
never will be direct empirical contact with that
which is implied by the notion of the universe as
a whole. This situation is well known in many
parts of theoretical physics where the predicated
realities and objects are represented by abstract
mathematical forms and their physical existence
can be verified only in a mediated way through
special experimental equipment. Contemporary
critical realists assign to these realities physical
existence16. In the case of critical realism, one
believes that if the constitution of phenomena
takes place at the theoretical level, there must
be rules of correspondence between what is
theoretically introduced and what is observed
empirically. In this sense the difference between
objects (empirical versus theoretical) and the
extent of their immanent phenomenality is not
of an ontological kind: in both cases they have a
similar ontic status. In a way, if some empirical
phenomena (in a physical sense) are modelled
mathematically, both their empirical evidence
and mathematical representation exhaust what
they are aimed at (intentionality conditions that
which appears). The correspondence principle, as
a constituent of the intentionality pertaining to
the natural attitude, guarantees the link between
visible and observable on the one hand, and that
which is logical, mathematical and non-observable
on the other. But, since the mathematical and
non-observable enter as constituents of the
correspondence rules, it is clear that these rules
are not only enforced by data, but in many ways
by the internal consistency of the facts and
constructs based in these rules.
The situation becomes crucially different if
the correspondence principle does not work. This
happens in cosmology where theory attempts to
predicate (on the basis of extrapolation) something
about the long distant past of the universe with no
hope of verifying theoretical constructs related to
this past by means of direct observations in this
past. In this case, even if mathematics is applied
for modelling some aspects of the universe, there
is always a possibility that this mathematics
is incomplete and historically contingent, that
is, it will be eventually replaced by something
new, so that the theoretical vision of reality (its
construct) will change. Indeed, if one speculates
about the past of the universe on the grounds of
a simple physical causation, one can assert that
the varied display of the cosmos (which reaches
us through light and other channels of physical
information) is the remote consequence of some
originary event which took place in the past
(and which cosmology attempts to predicate
in theoretical terms) and which is beyond the
conditions of observablility. The frozen image of
the past of the universe is given to us through its
display here and now, but the sense of this past
can only be conceived in certain limits, because
this very past is “present in absence.” Cosmology
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attempts to phenomenalise this past through its
theories which are incomplete and constantly
corrigible. In other words, any attempt to reduce
our knowledge of the past of the universe to
the limits of the constituting subjectivity of a
cosmologist is a reasonable but never ending,
inexhaustible enterprise. The universe in its
historical past is predicated from within a short
strip of human history. Then the question arises:
what is the methodological justification for the
science of the universe as a whole if this science
is unfolded from a tiny piece of this whole? If we
have no direct observational access to the past of
the universe in its past, what is the sense of its
theoretical modelling in terms of constructs with
respect to which the correspondence principle
(as related to a fixed temporality of objects) does
not work? The answer comes from an intuition
that theoretical cosmology (not observational
astronomy and astrophysics), de facto, bases its
methodology not on the correspondence principle,
but in the coherence of epistemic justification. E.
McMullin argues that cosmology, as well as other
disciplines which attempt to reconstruct the past
(such as geology, paleontology or biology) rely on
retrodiction as that foundational principle which
can bring into focus the past of the universe.
The acceptance of this principle “is due to the
cumulative success of the historical sciences, of
geology, of paleontology, and of evolutionary
biology. Success is not measured here as it might
be in physics and chemistry but is as matter of
coherence rather than of novel prediction. The
coherence lies not just in the particular historical
reconstruction of a long-past geological or
biological episode but in the ways in which one
reconstruction supports another, and the scope of
the concepts and explanatory concepts on which
the reconstruction is based gradually widens”
(McMullin 1994, pp. 120). Here, however, we
have to face an ontological question as to what
extent the implied coherence of justification
entails truth. For McMullin, who associates
retrodiction with a realistic methodology
this entailment is paramount because “when
reconstructions of quite different sorts of
evidence drawn from geology and evolutionary
biology, say, begin to ‘jump together’, as it were,
begin to blend fairly harmoniously into a single
story, then our conviction grows that the story is
not just coherent but is also close to truth” (Ibid.).
Certainly there remains a question whether the
experience of dealing with geology and biology
is so easily transferable towards cosmology, in
particular towards what is concerned with the
origin of the universe as a whole, but not only of
that part of it where we find ourselves (McMullin
1994, p. 136).
The legitimacy of invoking coherence
theories of justification in cosmology proceeds
from the fact that cosmology starts its discourse
with a set of propositions, which can be qualified
as beliefs, rather than verified assertions. We
have discussed above that physical cosmology is
only possible under the assumption that there is a
fundamental uniformity in the universe in space
(as well as in time, in what concerns physical laws).
As we have mentioned above, the “cosmological
principle” cannot be empirically verified. Let us
now analyse carefully how this basic belief enters
all cosmological constructs and makes the whole
theory coherent. In order to avoid repetition
and simplify visual perception we introduce in
Fig. 4 a simplified graphical representation of
the epistemic structure of the construct of the
universe in classical cosmology, produced in
analogy with the analysis of constructs in physics
by H. Margenau (Margenau 1977, pp. 84-88).
At the right hand side of this graph one
fi nds a representation of a sensible world, the
world in which the human embodiment takes
place and which determines in physical and
social terms that aggregate of experience which,
by borrowing phenomenological terminology,
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Constructing the universe
Ho rizo n
Pro b le m
Ideal gas
a (t)
of matter
of matter
for the
Big Bang
p (t)
Basic Belief:
of space
of space
of galaxies
The life-world or the aggregate of all
experience and immediately given
of the
of home
Flatn e s s
Pro b le m
Fig. 4
is called the life-world. To the left from the life
world the reader fi nds a space of knowledge
which is populated by major epistemic elements.
The circles represent constructs. The shaded
rectangle illustrates a basic belief in cosmology.
All constructs are linked by single lines which
illustrate formal connections between them.
Some constructs are linked to the life world
through double lines which represent epistemic
connections. One sees that many cosmological
constructs, in accordance with what we discussed
before, do not have epistemic connections with
the life world, that is immediate observations
and measurements. However all constructs
are connected creating a coherent volume of
theoretical knowledge. Their coherence and the
very possibility of this knowledge depends on
the basic belief in uniformity of the universe
which efficacious presence is depicted through
a box in the centre of the diagram. This belief
makes it possible to proceed beyond the
contingencies of observations from a particular
location in space to space as a whole, which
itself represents a construct because, in spite of
its obvious presence in the conditions of the life
world, is not present in its entirety and is thus
sensibly unavailable, being supplemented by
the mental construction (Ströker 1965, pp. 176224). To give this intuition of space a physical
content one has to postulate that one can shift
our home place and potentially experience a
similar structure of space everywhere. The most
natural attribute of this shift is a simple spatial
translation which presupposes the uniformity of
the overall structure. This presupposition forms
a basic belief, that is the cosmological principle,
which allows one to apprehend the totality of
space physically. This belief is exercised in the
natural attitude thus positioning all shifted homeplaces as physically real (Kerszberg, 1987). A
similar belief asserts that the distribution of
the material content of the universe which is
observed astronomically from our home-place
is not only isotropic for us but for all possible
shifted home-places. This entails the overall
uniformity of matter across the visible and
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invisible universe. The link between space
and matter is established through the General
Relativity Theory’s assertion of the relationality
of space and matter. Correspondingly both
constructs, the global isotropic and uniform
metric space, as well as the perfect cosmological
fluid consisting of clusters of galaxies, are based
in the certainty of belief. The fundamental
role of the cosmological principle is that being
implemented it allows one to use the formal
connection between space-time structure of
the universe and its material content across the
global structure of the universe. The choice of
the physically motivated equation of state (for
example the equation for dust in present era
cosmology) in the cosmological perfect fluid
allows one to develop a formal connection
between the constructs of the energy density
of the cosmological fluid and the universal
scale factor a(t), which in turn introduces new
constructs. These formal connections follow
from the Einstein equations and lead to the
conclusion that since the scale factor grows in
terms of the metric time the universe expands.
It is this last connection which leads to the
introduction of the notion of the hot (radiationdominated) universe if the expansion above is
reversed. Through a limiting procedure when
the cosmic time tends to zero another construct
of the beginning of the visible universe (the
Big Bang) is introduced. This construct as
such represents a limiting reference point
with respect to all other possible constructs.
For while the construct of the Big Bang is the
highest possible term of cosmological theory
to which ultimate aspirations are addressed;
physically it is supposed to be treated as that
initial point in the state of the universe which
is responsible for all other physical effects. On
the one hand the Big Bang becomes the goal
of the explanatory process (Nesteruk 2012[2]),
on the other hand, physically it corresponds to
the original foundation from which everything
unfolds. One must remember here that in order
to draw a conclusion as to the Big Bang being the
all-encompassing “beginning” of the universe as
a whole one needs to have a basic belief that the
universe is uniform. In this sense all constructs
presented at the very left hand side of Fig. 4 are
imbued with this belief and hence represent the
formal constructions in rubrics of belief.
If we generalize the latter observation
one can state that the depiction of the universe
as a whole through the diagrams in Figs. 1-2
(which contain in encapsulated form all formal
connections among the cosmological constructs
from Fig. 4) represents a generalizing construct
which is deeply dependent upon the basic belief in
the uniformity of the universe. The link between
this generalised construct and the life world can
be illustrated with the help of another diagram
Fig. 5.
This diagram shows that the epistemic
connection between the construct of the universe
as a whole and the life-world exists only
through the point describing the observer and
correspondingly along the past line cone (that is
the visible universe) whereas all other parts of the
allegedly existing spatial structure of the universe
are in formal connection with the construct of
the visible universe. These formal connections
are possible only through the basic belief that
the structure of the universe outside the visible
realm can be potentially comprehended by some
hypothetical observers similar to that one of the
visible universe. However, this potentiality as an
eidetic variation of home places does not actualize
its physicality because the similar necessary
conditions for the observers to exist outside the
visible universe do not guarantee their actual
existence, that is the fulfilment of the sufficient
conditions. In other words, the hypothesis of
the similarity of the necessary conditions for
embodiment in other places of the universe
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The construct of the universe as a whole
All parts of the universe outside of
the past light cone are represented
only through logical connections
The life-world or the aggregate of all
experience and immediately given
E lm
?< hh
* • *
Epistemic connection
Fig. 5
(related to similar physico-biological conditions)
dos not entail automatically the fulfilment of the
sufficient conditions for such an embodiment,
that is for the actual existence of observers, thus
remaining no more than an eidetic intuition, or a
One must however admit that the resulting
picture of the universe (recapitulated differently
in Figs. 1-5) is in a high degree epistemically
coherent because its constructs align in an
aesthetically attractive theory through multiple
connections which can be easily seen from the
Fig. 4. Apart from the construct of the Many
Worlds (Multiverse) which is usually invoked
for explaining away the problem of contingent
facticity of the initial conditions in the visible
universe, all other constructs are connected with
each other and have some epistemic references
related to the life world. The construct of the
multiverse, which, by using terminology of
Margenau, can be called peninsular (Margenau
1977, p. 86), is linked to the whole construct of the
visible universe through mental causation, that
is on the level of intentionality and not physical
causality. In this sense its status is crucially
different from all other constructs which in one
way or another have some epistemic connections.
The construct of the multiverse in this sense
requires another sort of belief in the possibility of
shifting of home places but this time not in terms
of space and time but in terms of different types
of worlds (universes) or types of being. Here
one can detect a similar idea of “democracy”
among the worlds and an attempt to remove the
hidden teleology of the initial conditions of the
visible universe (if they are related to the fact of
the human observer’s existence) in favour of a
generalized principle of indifference (mediocrity)
which removes all particular specificity of our
universe. Thus the construct of the multiverse
is peninsular, lacking multiple connections with
other constructs and can hardly acquire any sense
of truth even on the level of epistemic coherence.
The major problem with this construct is that it
does not stand in any realistic sense of causality
with other constructs in the visible universe. Even
if the visible universe is thought as one out of
many members of the multiverse it is completely
unclear as to how to describe in terms of real
physical processes the phenomenal actualization
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of this particular universe, that is the phenomenal
facticity of our universe. Since any imagined
mechanism would, by default, transcend this
universe, its verification is impossible leaving
the whole conjecture to the field of beliefs. In
this sense the construct of the multiverse does
not fall in the rubric of epistemically justified
belief at all. It lacks the coherence in agreement
among members of the cosmological community
and in this sense it remains hypothetical and
Unlike peninsular constructs such as
multiverse, which by themselves cannot have
any direct relation to the life-world, the construct
of the visible universe possesses a heuristic
quality of predicting some new properties of the
universe which are subject to empirical testing.
On the one hand we have an epistemic coherence
among different cosmological constructs which
follow from their mutually dependent nature
under the assumption of cosmic uniformity. On
the other hand there is a certain percolation of
this epistemic coherence towards coherence of
truth by predicting new epistemic links with the
life-world. An interesting historical example of
this is the prediction of the cosmic microwave
background radiation (MBR) as a remaining
matter ingredient from the early hot stage in
the universe’s evolution which was detected in
1965 ( in Fig. 4 the construct of the MBR has
an epistemic connection with the life-world).
According to the theory, the MBR represents a
newly predicted construct which turned out to
have (through technology) epistemic connection
with the world of experience (this is reflected at
the Fig. 5 through the double line linking it to
the life world). However, even in this case one
must be cautious in asserting the correspondence
between the theory which predicts the Big
Bang and the observable MBR, because the
latter is interpreted (through constructs) as the
remote consequence of that which is asserted as
physically existent in the past. We are unable to
verify all details of the cosmological scenario by
making direct experiments which reproduce in
any feasible physical sense that long gone past18.
In this sense the predication of the past takes
place on the basis of coherence of constructsbeliefs, coherence which is supported by the
communal convention in established cosmology.
One can argue that the very sense of the past is
established from the present, so that one cannot
affirm this past as physically existent on the
grounds of correspondence with the present (in
spite of an obvious temptation to use analogy
with other historical sciences, such as geology
or paleontology). The correspondence between
the observed phenomena and their preexistent
past takes place on the level of intentionality, but
not that of physical causality when the past is
assumed to exist in a sense different from what
the universe displays being de facto the image of
the past. In this sense the discovery of the MBR
becomes a signifier of that which allegedly took
place in the past of the universe but as such does
not exhaust the whole content of what is signified.
The discovery of MBR does not change the status
of cosmological theory of the past whose truth
is asserted through epistemic coherence, it just
strengthens this coherence by referring one of its
signifiers to the reality of the life-world.
The important requirement for constructs
is their extensibility: indeed any working
theory cannot be static and involves growth of
new elements. But this extensibility as a fact of
scientific process can or cannot depend on the
formal connections among constructs. In some
cases it arises on a so to speak meta-empirical
level when theories bring forward some
puzzles and paradoxes which do not contradict
observations but disturb the consciousness of
physicists who are not satisfied by their sheer
presence and want to get rid of them (see Fig. 4).
A famous example of such an extensibility is the
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extension of the hot Big Bang cosmology towards
the so called inflationary cosmology as a reaction
towards three cosmological problems; we deal
with inflationary cosmology below.
Coherence of Epistemic Justification
in Cosmology
Now we would like to articulate with more
precision what is meant by epistemic coherence in
general and why it seems plausible to conjecture
that cosmology follows this route in justification
of its theories. If one proceeds in cosmological
study of the early universe beyond the observable
limit towards the universe before the decoupling
of matter from radiation, one has to hypothesize of
entities and corresponding physical mechanisms
which are not directly observable and sometimes
not related to any known forms of matter19. These
hypotheses, being abstractions from experience,
in many ways function as intentional objects which
by their function in theory can have no direct
relation to that which is observed (they can also
be described as metaphysical assumptions). There
is an element of irreducible belief present in their
invocation which reflects the fact that cosmology
is driven not only by strong logical connections
following from established physical causality
but from the intentionality of cosmologists who
are driven by intuitions about the unity of the
universe encoded in its past. Since the initial
conditions of the universe cannot be tested, not
only because they are separated from us by an
unbridgeable gulf of temporal immensity, but
also because one cannot transcend this universe
in order to “have a look” at its beginning from
“the outside”, any predication of this beginning
must entail a certain epistemic justification which
cannot by definition be based in correspondence
with the empirical reality. Since this predication
does take place, it implies belief in the realities
of what is predicated. The presence of such
beliefs makes sense of the success of modern
cosmology, its popularity and ability to preach
about the universe, as if cosmology’s truth would
be the truth of really existing things. Indeed it is
because the principle of correspondence cannot
be employed directly in the cosmology of the
early universe, that it implicitly bases assurance
in its hypotheses and models in the coherence
and mathematical rigor of its theories20. In
other words, the justification of cosmological
theories comes not from their direct reference to
the observable facts, but through coherence of
explanation which is achieved by applying a set of
mutually consistent and connected beliefs which
aim ultimately to codify in terms of mathematics
the fundamentally contingent display of the
large-scale universe. The coherence theory of
justification holds that a belief is justified to
the extent to which the belief-set of which it is
a member is coherent (Dancy, 1989, p. 116).
“According to the coherence theory, to say that a
statement is true or false is to say that it coheres or
fails to cohere with a system of other statements;
that it is a member of a system whose elements are
related to each other by ties of logical implication”
(White, 1967, p. 130). In different words, what
is at issue in a coherence theory is a matter of
a proposition’s relation to other propositions and
not its coherence with reality or with the facts of
matter. This is similar to Margenau’s requirement
for constructs to possess logical fertility and to
obey logical laws: “It asserts little more than that
they have relational meaning. But in no sense
does the present requirement make it necessary
for the proposition involving constructs to be
materially true, to have an existential counterpart”
(Margenau 1977, p. 82), that is that they cohere
with the facts of matter. Coherence theories of
justification operate with propositions-beliefs,
or constructs-beliefs. As we have already seen
all major cosmological constructs contain the
presence of a basic belief in the uniformity of
the universe. In inflationary cosmology the belief
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that there exists a material field Φ (inflaton) which
drives the evolution of the universe during the
very early period is invoked in order to construct
a theoretical model of the exponentially growing
period of expansion which in turn solves some
problems of the radiation-dominated cosmology,
making thus the cosmological model even more
However, the major problem here is that
epistemic coherence does not guarantee that
knowledge progresses towards truth. Justification
can grow, but there is no criteria that it delivers
truth: cosmological models can become more
sophisticated and expanded, but there will still be
a problem whether their advance guarantees any
convergence towards that alleged reality which
they aim to describe. In technical philosophical
terms this situation sounds as if there is no
conduction from the coherence of epistemic
justification to coherence of truth. It is in this
sense that a coherentist epistemology can be
characterised as knowledge without a foundation
of certainty. Since the coherence of epistemic
justification in cosmology has to abandon the
principle of correspondence with empirical reality
and a foundation of certainty, it has to appeal to
different criteria in asserting the truth of these
theories. Cosmology, in what relates to radical
mathematisation, in similarity with the coherence
approach, maintains that truth is accessible
in the extralogical realm where all criteria of
reasonability as its foundation do not work. For
example, by insisting that there are many disjoint
universes which comprise a totality, “cosmology
of the multiverse” enters a certain contradiction
with the main stance of existential philosophy:
it predicates the universes where no condition of
embodiment is possible. In spite of the existential
futility of such predications, which can have
sense as no more than an eidetic variation of the
possible in order to affirm the actual, cosmology
finds a kind of “extralogical” justification for the
existence of such universes. This extra-logicality
follows exactly from the fact that the discursive
entailment is replaced by beliefs. But for beliefs
to sustain the challenge of scepticism one needs a
communal, that is conventional argument21. This
implies that epistemic justification in theoretical
cosmology where the correspondence principle
cannot be applied relies on the acceptance of
certain ideas about the universe by a community
(Rescher, 1989, pp. 331-33). The community of
cosmologists then establishes the sense of truth of
that which is inferred from a theory. The coherent
system of beliefs in cosmology determines as
justified all sorts of statements about the remote
past of the universe, including the statement
that there was the universe before there were
intelligent agents who articulate it. It is typical
for the coherence theorist not to be constrained
to only that which one will someday be able to
verify. The validity of cosmology’s propositions
about the past of the universe is thus not under
obligation to be tested in any direct observations
because the very reality of this past is established
on the grounds of coherence of a certain set of
beliefs about this past.
If cosmology relies on the coherence of its
own statements it is enclosed in itself and cannot
be assessed from an outside system of thought.
Since there is no direct link between coherence
of justification and coherence of truth, which
naturally requires breaking out of the system of
coherent suppositions, cosmology can afford to
create as many theories allegedly explaining the
origin of the universe as it wants, without even
a slight idea whether these theories correspond
to truth. In fact, the question of truth is
inappropriate in this context because everybody,
philosophically honest, understands in advance
that the fullness of truth of what concerns
with the foundations of the universe cannot be
grasped through some fragmented theories. All
references to correspondence with the available
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empirical material do not reach their aim,
because the process of adjusting theories of the
early universe in order to fit observable data is in
a state of permanent advance, so that all theories,
seen through the prism of the philosophically
understood “certitudes négatives” (Marion 2010)
with respect to any knowledge of the universe as
a whole, seem to be metaphors and abberations of
the incessant human desire to know the universe.
They also manifest a fundamental human
incapacity to achieve this goal on the grounds of
discursive thinking. In this case the whole pattern
of coherent epistemic inference in cosmology
functions in the rubrics of belief in the possibility
of knowledge of the universe, attempting to
express communion with the universe, by
reducing it to the object-like phenomenality. This
phenomenality is limited and hence does not
exhaust the sense of that image of the universe
which has been signified by it. Thus cosmological
knowledge acquires the features of an apophatic
enterprise retaining the ever-going possibility for
further explication of the universe22.
Now it is not difficult to conjecture along
the lines of phenomenological reasoning that
the communal nature of knowledge established
on the grounds of epistemic coherence leads to
the view that physical reality (and the universe)
is a mental accomplishment23 (“hypostasis of
mental creations”24). Here a distinction is implied
between nature as it appears in primary perceptual
experience and nature-for-physicists, as an ideal
limit of the allegedly convergent sequences of
“images of nature” which are constructed in the
course of history. Any particular articulation of
what is called nature can be assigned a character
of an historical event. The articulation of the
past is thus an event within the life-world of a
particular community, loaded with a sense of
the community’s lived past and of decisions to
be made in the future. As P. Heelan points out,
“it is not the case that every historical event is
also an event of a scientific kind…, but when
the local community is one of expert witnesses,
then the scientific data produced by that
community are also historical events in relation
to that community” (Heelan 1992, p. 66). In his
classical paper on phenomenology and physics
H. Margenau argued along the same lines that
“physical reality” is best defined as the totality of
all valid constructs and rules of correspondence.
In this approach the universe is defined not as a
static, but as a dynamic formation: “…the universe
grows as valid constructs are being discovered.
Physical entities do not exist in a stagnant and
immutable sense but are constantly coming into
being” (Margenau 1944, p. 278). The reality
changes with the flux of experience (Margenau
1977, p. 295). However, for Margenau the belief of
many scientists in the convergence of the system
of the entire set of physical explanations which
would deliver them an ideal of their aspirations,
that is a unique and ultimate set of constructs
for which would reserve the name ‘nature’ or
‘reality’, is problematic because it is not capable of
scientific proof (Margenau 1977, p. 76). Since this
convergence assumes a sort of historical process,
it implies the postulate of history which is not
physics (Margenau 1952[2], p. 343). Historicity,
according to Margenau, involves knowing which
“arises through a union of a knower and his object
of knowledge”25. Thus the very ideal of “reality”
independent of the process of knowledge, seems
to be dependent on the factors linked to human
existence which develops the sense of history and
defines its goals. In this case the abovementioned
convergence of “images of reality” can have
its source rather in a philosophical argument
asserting the existence of a certain telos of the
human spirit which drives this convergence to its
fulfilment, but this argument exceeds the scope of
scientific justification and is grounded in beliefs
about humanity as transcending the certainty
of nature itself (that is a certain commitment to
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seeing humanity as made in the image of God).
The situation in modern cosmology, where the
ever increasing set of theoretical constructs
reveals the components of the matter content of the
universe which escapes any physical description
(dark matter and dark energy, for example)
points exactly to the danger of idealisation of the
scientific description of the universe as ultimate
and accomplished in an a-historical sense: the
more details we know the less we understand the
whole. In this sense the ideal of convergence of
constructs in cosmology remains no more than
wishful thinking.
The point of view on the historical
contingency of scientific research and thus
fundamental conditionality of its results and views
of reality, which we exemplified above, raises
the conviction that the statements of cosmology
(with respect to realities inaccessible to any
empirical verification) established on the grounds
of coherence and logical fertility of its constructs
cannot have truth-values independently of our
verification and, because it is our verification,
it can never be conclusive. In spite of an explicit
belief of the physical cosmologists in the possible
convergence of the sense of these statements to a
kind of truth which lies beyond our reach, at every
particular stage of research the truth of what these
statements deliver turns out to be contingent and
incomplete, open to further exhaustion through
research. To say that the verification of this or that
statement in cosmology is never conclusive26 is to
say that although our assertion of this statement
may well be warranted in the circumstances,
our warrant for it is always defeasible: new
elements of theory or insertion of new indirect
data could always make the assertion in question
unjustifiable at all. In the case of the lack of
empirical verification the cosmological statement
has no truth-condition independent of the capacity
of the scientific community to recognise it as
true. Thus the claim of cosmology for objectivity
and neutrality does not hold. One can speak
about the weak objectivity which includes the
transcendental conditions of establishing truth
(Bitbol et al., 2009, pp. 1-10), (Nesteruk 2012[1],
pp. 375-78).
There are two philosophical qualifications
which can be made with respect to this last
conclusion. For philosophers working in the
natural attitude such a position would raise some
suspicion of being anti-realistic. If one denies
the verification-transcendent truth (even in a
weak form as an ideal of a convergent set of selfcorrecting explanations based upon the ultimate
rules of correspondence) one effectively adopts
an anti-realistic view that truth is not independent
of our capacity to find out about it, or, in other
words, to have beliefs about it in a particular
context. The meaning of this “context” can be
very different according to the field of research,
starting from a simple sensual perception in an
experimental science and finishing by a more
sophisticated scheme, let us say in theology.
Anti-realism emerges naturally in that particular
modification of a coherence theory which does
not think of the set of truths as a determinate
totality; it is the case which we discuss here:
what we can recognise as true in cosmology is
indeterminate and open-ended. Scientific truth in
this approach is not that hypothetic unique which
transcends the conditions of knowledge, but is
determined by the fundamental plurality of that
which we are able to discover and recognise in
that kind of truth.
If, however, one adopts a phenomenological
stance in which any knowledge is possible
only within the noetico-noematic correlation,
the suspicion of anti-realism falls away,
simply because the certainty of knowledge is
immanent to the constituting consciousness, so
that, by definition, knowledge of the universe
cannot escape the conditions of its origin in a
particular realisation of consciousness (be it
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personal or collectively historical). The issue
of the verification-transcendent in this case
becomes a question on the possibility of retaining
transcendence, in knowledge which is immanent.
The stance of the coherence theories of explanation
and truth, in particular in their anti-realistic
versions, points towards the possibility of such a
transcendence simply because it claims that the
process of knowledge is intrinsically incomplete
and open-ended, leaving the immanent discursive
consciousness with an image of reality and some
statements of its truth without any exhaustion
of that subject matter which it aims at. In this
sense the knowledge of the universe as a specific
contingently historical process, based in many
ways on the conventional agreements of the
community of scientists, never exhausts the sense
of the universe, or, the excess of intuition of the
universe through communion over its knowledge
through discursive reason. Indeed one can attempt
to express the experience of admiration of the
forces of the universe through very complicated
mathematical theories (a kind of incantation), but
all of them will remain no more than symbolic
and metaphoric images of that anticipated unity
and infinity of the universe which is present in the
incarnate human subjectivity through belonging
to it, through a partial consubstantiality with it.
For example, since there is no empirical access
to the alleged happening of the Big Bang, all
that we express about it by using cosmological
theories can be characterised as metaphors and
esoteric symbolism based in the mathematical
formalism. The beauty of this symbolism, its
coherence, give us some assurance to believe in
the possibility of the Big Bang as a principle of
explanation and justification. However the “truth”
of the Big Bang in an ontological sense remains
unclear (uncertain) and, what is more important,
fundamentally inaccessible. In other words, all
cosmological theories give us some symbolic
representation of that towards which they aspire
(the universe as a whole or its encapsulated image
in the Big Bang), but it is that which will never
be known and reached in a sense of certain truth.
The apophaticism in cosmological research is thus
present as the limitation of thought: it wanders
around the idea of the Big Bang, but it will never
reach it as ultimate origin of the universe27. In this
case all competing theories are epistemologically
and axiologically equal, but no one can pretend
to claim the fullness of truth and the knowability
of the Big Bang as that intended ideal which is
implied in a hidden teleology of cosmological
explanation. Thus all cosmological knowledge
is apophatic in the sense of its limited validity
determined by the boundaries of the physical,
because of the open-endedness of the intended
horizon and a fundamental inexhaustibility of
truth about the universe by means of discursive
thinking. However, in order to realise this fact,
one should shift cosmologist’s consciousness
towards a phenomenological attitude, which is
capable of bracketing all theoretical statements
about reality and to conceive them as varieties
of expression of the human intuition about the
entirety and identity of the universe. But this
attitude is simply not available to cosmologists
themselves. They will never agree with the verdict
of philosophy that all eidetic imagination in
cosmology, incarnate in complicated formulae, is
only a wandering around truth, but not truth itself.
At the same time it is exactly the limited nature
of our knowledge of the universe, its apophatic
character, which makes it possible to render the
belief in the transcendent other of all that we see
in the universe, not as an ideal of convergent rules
of correspondence with something which is out
there waiting for our grasp, but, on the contrary,
as that unobjectifiable givenness whose gaze
upon us constitutes our subjectivity through the
never-ending enquiry about the universe.
The last question we need to briefly discuss
in the context of coherence of justification is the
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issue of mathematisation. Namely, the question is:
if cosmology predicates reality in mathematical
terms following the rules of logic, does it leave
any chance to claim that cosmology is still based
on the coherence of epistemic justification with
an inevitably following open-endness of its
justification. Mathematical truths are not beliefs
but logical rules invariant to all situations and,
as some claim, existing independently of the
“human baggage.” However there is still a slot
for a proponent of coherentism to claim that
the usage of this or that particular mathematics
in this or that particular physical theory is a
matter of a human choice and thus of belief in the
efficacy of mathematics. The choice of particular
mathematical models in cosmology is dictated
by basic beliefs. For example, the cosmological
principle as philosophical statement entails the
choice of particular geometries to describe the
universe. The “initial methodological condition”
for using these geometries is not in mathematics
itself but beyond, in the belief of uniformity
of space. As soon as a mathematical model is
chosen all further computations follow the “iron”
logic of the algorithm, so that their realised
“apodicticity” is still initiated by basic beliefs.
In another example, when the scalar field in
inflationary cosmologies (inflaton) is chosen as
that hypothetical ingredient which is coupled to
geometry and drives its evolution, the game of
construction of a suitable potential and equations
for this field is predetermined by this very choice.
But this choice is not an empirically driven or
correspondence based rule; it is a conjecture in
a certainty of belief which turns out to be very
fertile in solving paradoxes of the standard
cosmological model.
To generalise, one can say that the use of
a particular mathematical model and logic is
determined by the human choice. If some aspects
of the physical universe are mathematised and
expressed in simple logic, the intuitive content
of the notions in question is reduced to zero.
However it is the very choice of what logic and
mathematics to employ that is driven by intuition
whose excess, by definition, makes the advance
of the whole knowledge possible. This implies
that even a coherent mathematical description
of some global aspects of the universe does not
entail the exhaustion of the “phenomenon of the
universe” through mathematics (mathematical
signifiers do not exhaust the content of the
universe as physical or existential outcomes
of the physical laws). Mathematical simplicity
and logical coherence is related only to those
aspects of the universe which allow in principle
their simple logical representation, that is the
phenomenality of objects. Some proponents
of extreme mathematisation of the universe28
believe that if mathematical structure exists, it
reflects the existence of a corresponding physical
reality. Even if this were to be true, the problem
is that the existence of mathematical structure
as articulated by human consciousness does not
account for its own contingent facticity: it cannot
transcend its own givenness. The self-explanatory
justification of mathematics is not even possible
if one gets rid of the human baggage present in
mathematical articulations and thus postulates
mathematics as non-contingent apodicticity29.
However this suggestion is tantamount to the
claim that mathematics is related to impersonal,
anonymous, disembodied consciousness, whose
very facticity remains an utter mystery.
Classical phenomenology could not pose
the question of consciousness’ facticity, for any
transcendence of the field of consciousness was
ultimately prohibited by the phenomenological
reduction. In a new phenomenological
development, mostly related to its merger with
theology and other aspect of the human sciences
the question about the facticity of discursive
thinking is being posed as the question about
the possibility to retain the intuition of the
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initial whole behind the dissecting discursive
mode of thinking. It is the question of retaining
transcendence as that donating intuition which is
not subject to immanent constitution and which
is always behind the facticity of thinking. It is
because of this intuition that the presence of the
universe is never fully disclosed through logic
and mathematics. The very contingent facticity
of mathematics is seen thus as a part of the
fundamental incomprehensible facticity of the
universe. The universe manifests itself here: it
exists, and it is given to us in its particular mode
of phenomenalisation through mathematics
linked to the conditions of our embodiment.
Thus we have seen that coherence of
epistemic justification in cosmology works at the
level of intuition by ordaining all mathematical
models which are employed by cosmologists for
achieving their computational synthesis of the
universe. In this sense the principle of epistemic
justification becomes, in a way, a maxim of reason
in a Kantian sense, rather than an analytical
prescription (c.f. (Nesteruk 2012[2]).
Case study: Coherence
of Epistemic Justification
in Inflationary Cosmology
Inflationary cosmology represents a
special phenomenon in the field of cosmology
because of its being efficient in advancing a
theoretical cohesion of the standard hot BigBang cosmology and, at the same time, as a
clear theoretical case when there is a lack of
direct correspondence between mathematical
constructs and that physical reality which is
known today. It is because of this ambivalence
that the attitude to the inflationary model of the
universe is ambiguous among cosmologists and
theoretical physicists, not saying at all about
philosophers. However, all those researchers who
are involved in calculations and data processing
are eager to develop this theory through more
and more detailed adjustments without any
commitment to a realistic analysis. They often
exercise a positivistic approach implying that
theory serves observations and one does not
need to enquire into the realistic nature of those
entities and equations with which it operates30.
Certainly, such an implicit positivism has some
sociological connotations related to the fabric of
scientific research and not to any serious position
with respect to the quest for truth.
Inflationary cosmology proposes quite exotic
theories of the very early stages of the evolution
of the universe which can never be justified on
the grounds of correspondence simply because it
refers to the era which not only cannot be observed
directly, but whose experimental imitation in
the earthly laboratory is still a matter of hopes
and aspirations31. Then it seems trivial to base
any criticism of the inflationary cosmology on
the grounds of its empirical inaccessibility. Any
such criticism would confess implicitly a certain
ontological commitment in cosmology which, as
we argued before, is problematic. This is the reason
why our analysis of the inflationary model does
have an objective to reveal its precarious status.
It is the persistence of inflationary cosmology in
spite its allegedly hypothetical and precarious
status is that what interests us, because if theory
persists in the community of cosmologists it
implicitly contains deep existential motives,
which we intend to reveal. While avoiding any
ontological commitment we are still concerned
with the sense of realism embedded in cosmology
because of different reasons. The inflationary
scenario is preached by cosmologists, lovers of
popular science and science-fiction apologists,
as if it relates to truth which appeals to some
existential motives. This is an interesting case of
how the unclear and precarious commitment to
realism cascades down towards social acceptance
of scientific beliefs as if they reflect truth of fact.
Here we again observe an interplay between
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different modalities in grasping the sense of the
universe. Historically, inflationary cosmology
appeared as a result of responding to puzzles
arising not on the level of facts, which are subject
to physical causality, but on the level of metaempirical facts, that is conscious reflections
upon the entirety of all facts about the universe,
that is on the level of intentionality. Since the
intentionality employed by physicists is always
imbued with ontological commitment, it is hoped
that its correlates (that is noematic references)
will have to acquire physical sense, so that
intentionality will result in physical causality. The
phenomenon of inflationary cosmology confirms
our argument, which we have formulated before,
that no clear-cut demarcation between the
motivations employed in both the natural and
human sciences is possible in cosmology.
To become more formal in order to explicate
a phenomenological sense of the ideas about
the inflationary universe, without any positive
or negative attachment to whatever ontological
commitment present in them, we consider its
theories as part of the cosmological narrative
which, as such, represents an element of
culture, a particular historical event associated
with scientific advance in general. Our desire
is simple: we would like to demonstrate that
inflationary cosmology exhibits such a type of
generic proposal motivated by philosophical,
non-observable problems (see, for example,
(Ellis 2007, p. 1210), (Earman, Mosterin 1999)).
which bases it truth on coherence of epistemic
justification and thus is crucially dependent on
historical and sociological factors related to the
community of cosmologists. In this sense we
intentionally avoid any enquiry in whether the
inflationary theory is true or false, or whether it
is good or bad. Our main task is to understand
what this theory wants to assert in the context of
humanity’s quest for the sense of the universe.
To achieve this goal we need to give a brief
account of history present behind the appearance
of inflationary cosmology, in particular in
conjunction with our analysis of constructs, basic
beliefs and the elements of epistemic justification
in “pre-inflationary” hot Big-Bang cosmology.
Since literature of inflation is vast, so that all
existing books on cosmology repeat one and the
same story, we will omit its detailed history (see,
for example, (Blau, Guth 1987), (Guth, 1997),
(Linde, 1990), (Turok, 1997)) and quote a very
limited selection of sources chosen exclusively
from the point of view of clarity and briefness,
assuming that we avoid the loss of generality by
omitting many others.
Historically, the emergence of inflationary
cosmology is usually accounted as a response to
the three problems in the standard hot Big Bang
cosmology32. These problems have, so to speak, a
meta-empirical character. They did not appear as
a result of formal disagreements on the level of
theory and observations but rather represent the
influence of the intentional motives to account for
the contingent facticity of the observable display
of the universe. The three problems (or puzzles)
which led to the advance of cosmology towards
inflation are known as “the flatness puzzle”, “the
monopole problem” and “the horizon problem”.
These problems originate from different aspects
in vision of the universe and thus have a different
weight in the inflationary argument which
attempts to resolve them. We give a very brief
account of the flatness problem and analyse more
carefully the horizon problem, thus leaving the
monopole problem for footnotes.
The flatness problem appears from an
observation that the spatial curvature of the
universe which appears to be very small at present
must be extremely small and hence fine tuned in the
early universe. This fine-tuning of a cosmological
parameter does not represent a paradox as
such, for there is no reason why the curvature
should not have been very small, however, as S.
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Weinberg affirms, “it is a sort of thing physicists
would like to explain if [they] can.” (Weinberg
2008, p. 203). What effectively is meant here is
that the fine tuning of the curvature parameter
at the beginning of the universe makes an
impression of a very specific (but still contingent)
initial condition for the universe. This means
that the postulated homogeneity of the universe
affirmed here and now, has to be transferred to
the initial conditions of the universe, so that the
cosmological principle, de facto, states the fine
tuning of the initial conditions (it is because of
this that, in Fig. 4, we link the flatness problem to
the initial conditions as well as to basic belief in
uniformity of the universe). It is this contingency
which bothers physicists: they do not want to see
any “teleology” in these conditions (related, for
example to the fact of our existence) and attempt
to find generic initial conditions. The implicit
conviction which drives cosmologists is to have a
theory which would allow these special conditions,
as we observe them here and now, to be a result
of the natural process and not of setting them
up from “outside” of the universe33. Inflationary
cosmology by introducing an exponential stage in
expansion of the universe removes this problem
in a sense that if the radiation-dominated Big
Bang was preceded by a sufficient period of such
an expansion (inflation), the spatial curvature,
regardless its initial value, would necessarily
have started with the negligible curvature at the
beginning of the radiation dominated era which
followed the inflationary period (Weinberg 2008,
p. 203). The argument in favour of existence
of the exponential period in expansion of the
universe originates in the intentional desire of
cosmologists to explain away the contingent initial
conditions of the universe. This is not, strictly
speaking a demand of physics, but an aesthetic or
philosophical input in motivation of inflationary
cosmology. In different words, one can assert that
it is a prejudice against a possible teleological
setting of this universe that leads to a belief that
there must be a mechanism which removes any
teleological connotations and leaves theory with
a principle of indifference of the initial conditions
which seem to be more philosophically attractive.
If the flatness problem arises as a meta-empirical
fact, an attempt to resolve this problem represents
a counter-reaction to this fact as a strong faith-like
commitment to the fundamental generality of the
cosmological initial conditions which remove any
suspicion in a teleological selectiveness of our
universe. Effectively we have here a situation of
competing beliefs, reminiscent of the perennial
dilemma on whether the universe has a certain
telos or not (McMullin 1993). However the
inflationary solution of the flatness problem is not
a unique one (Weinberg 2008, p. 208), so that the
appeal to inflation on the grounds of flatness alone
would not demonstrate any necessary entailment.
Here there are more problems to come.
The monopole problem is of a different
kind for it relates to the interdisciplinary nature
of cosmology, in particular its close ties with the
physics of elementary particles and quantum field
theory. So that this problem is less important for
our analysis and we skip its detailed account34.
The horizon problem is the most serious puzzle
in cosmology (Weinberg 2008, p. 208) for it
relates not only to theoretical predictions but also
to observations. The problem arises when the
construct of he causal structure of the universe
in the hot Big Bang cosmology is correlated
with the measurements of some parameters of
the microwave background radiation (see Fig 4).
To make it clear one needs to discuss in more
detail what is effectively observed in the universe
from the planet Earth, appealing to Fig 2. It is
seen that the human observer has some physical
limits in observing the universe in its past which
constitutes its natural epistemological horizon.
On the one hand this limit has a spatial character:
the universe is observed along the past light
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cone and the maximal spatial distance of objects
whose radiation could be detected is determined
by the linear size denoted in Fig. 2 as lmax35. On
the other hand there is a limit in time: the early
universe was opaque to radiation and became
transparent after approximately 300,000 years
since the beginning. From Fig. 2 one understands
that our ability to penetrate deep in its past is
limited by the age of decoupling of radiation
from matter, so that no direct access to early
times (even less to the beginning of the universe)
exists. However, if one imagines that this access
would be possible (that is the universe somehow
would be transparent since the very beginning)
we would come to a strange conclusion: whatever
we observe in the sky is linked to the event of
the beginning. The surface of the past light cone
curves in such a way that we always, when look
at different directions in the sky we effectively
look at one and the same point of the Big Bang,
so that whatever we observed would be causally
connected simply because it came from one and
the same point).
The presence of the non-transparent stage in
the universe’s evolution makes things complicated
and this ultimately leads to the horizon problem.
Indeed looking carefully at Fig. 2 one realises
that what we can effectively observe comes from
the surface of the last scattering (that is time
when radiation decoupled from matter). Since
this surface is not a point and has a spatial scale
corresponding to the scale factor which a thousand
time less than it is at present, one can say that
by measuring the parameters of the microwave
background radiation, which is a leftover from
the era of decoupling, we receive signals from
spatially separated domains, which, in spite of
their ultimate origin in one and the same pointlike Big Bang, never been in causal connection
with each other36. This observation can be made
more quantitative: in fact, according to the theory
the horizon at the time of the last scattering, in
angular measure, now subtends an angle of about
1.6○, so that all now observable effects which are
separated in the sky by the angle bigger than this
one correspond to phenomena which have never
been in causal contact before. And here arises
a paradox or a problem, because observations
claim a high degree of isotropy of the background
radiation as if it was in a state of equilibrium,
that is a causal contact, before decoupling. In
other words, the problem is that according to
the radiation-dominated or dust cosmology no
physical influence could have smoothed out
the initial inhomogeneities and brought points
corresponding to the angle bigger than few
degrees to the same temperature (Weinberg 2008,
p. 205).
As we mentioned before the horizon problem
is the most serious problem which demands an
interpretation, however, it does not contradict any
experiment. It can be related, as it was with the
flatness problem, to the specificity of the initial
conditions, but this creates the same unease of
its contingency and unexplainability by means
of physics, as it is with the flatness problem
(Ellis 2007, p. 1205). The inflationary hypothesis
provides the interpretation of the horizon problem
and its solution by claiming that because of the
exponentially growing expansion the part of the
universe we can observe would have occupied a
tiny space so that all forms of substance were in a
casual contact before inflation started so that the
observed isotropy of the microwave background
radiation corresponds in the long run to the
uniformity of matter achieved before inflation.
The success of the inflationary explanation of the
horizon problem is strengthened by the fact that
the order of growth of the scale factor (radius)
of the universe during the exponential inflation
that solves the horizon problem, automatically
solves not only the flatness problem, but also the
monopole problem (Weinberg 2008, p. 208). This
makes the hypothesis of the exponential expansion
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epistemically coherent in the sense that it provides
some joint explanation for three meta-empirical
problems of the standard cosmology. However,
since cosmologists treat the inflationary model
as realistic not only on the level of epistemic
coherence, but the insert its constructs into the
fabric of the proper physics, the question arises as
to what are those grounds which make it possible
to assign to inflationary cosmology a realistic
status. It is here that inflationary cosmology
creates a diversity of opinions in the community
of physicists and raises a certain scepticism
of its naively-realistic (or critically-realistic)
pretensions from philosophers.
in inflationary cosmology
and their epistemic status
It is known that, in inflationary cosmology,
there is a distinction between “old inflation”
introduced by A. Guth, and “new inflation” of A.
Linde, A. Albrecht and P. Steinhardt which leads
to the idea of “eternal inflation” (Weinberg 2008,
p. 216). These historical differences do not play
a pivotal role for the purposes of our analysis.
However, the “eternal or chaotic” inflation which
is related to the idea of the multiverse is not
considered by us. The main idea of inflationary
cosmology is that in the very early universe
(prior to the radiation-dominated era) there
was an exponentially growing expansion of
the universe. From Einstein’s equations, which
describe the evolution of the scale factor a(t),
it is seen that in order to have an exponential
growth of a(t) the energy density of matter
which drives expansion must be approximately
constant and satisfy an idiosyncratic equation
of state corresponding to the so called vacuum
with the negative pressure responsible for the
acceleration of expansion. Since this matter
differs considerably from all known forms of
matter (fields and particles) the initial idea, as
it appeared historically in Guth’s work, was that
inflation is driven through dynamics of some
spatially uniform but evolving in time scalar field
φ(t) (which became known as inflaton) which
symbolizes the generic undifferentiated state of
matter and which makes the potential V(φ) large
enough to dominate expansion. Being nearly
constant the potential becomes responsible
for the relative velocity of expansion (Hubble
parameter) to decrease very slowly so that the
universe to experience exponential expansion.
The introduction of the scalar field φ is the
most speculative ingredient of all inflationary
models. For it is the physically unclear nature
of this field which casts doubts about realistic
nature of inflationary cosmology leading to its
criticism37. The main question is: what is the
epistemological mechanism employed which
allows cosmologists to assert the realistic nature
of the inflaton field φ (in spite of its precarious
physical status) and the whole inflationary
scenario. The answer comes from the fact that the
theory of inflation turns out to be very flexible
in being able to adjust its parameters in order
to conform to any novelties in observations. By
solving cosmological puzzles and providing some
predictions with respect to the fluctuations in the
background radiation inflationary cosmology
satisfies the criterion of epistemic coherence.
However, the whole construct of inflationary
cosmology can only satisfy the criterion of
consistency and mathematical representability
with not commitment to realism with respect to
the entities invoked in it. Thus one can speak
of the epistemic coherence of justification for
inflationary model. However if one dose not
want to remain positivistically oriented in
its methodology, the question remains on the
transition from the coherence of mathematical
description (as justification) to the coherence of
truth which is behind this description, that is to
whether the constructs entail truth of the physical
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reality (in view of an obvious ineffectiveness of
the principle of correspondence in this case).
On the level of formal (mathematical)
connections the most important construct in
inflationary cosmology is the potential V(φ)
whose parameters can be adjusted in order to
achieve a required exponential expansion. This
potential enters a formal connection with the
geometrical parameters of the universe through
Einstein equations. Matter which is described by
the field φ (and its potential V(φ) correspondingly)
is supposed to be somehow converted into
radiation which dominates the consequent phase
in the universe’s expansion and which is the
directly observable physical agency. Thus the
construct of the hypothetical field φ is inserted
into equations related to that physics which is
subject to verification. However this construct,
apart from a purely mental substitution into
physical equations, does not have any epistemic
connections with those physical entities it supposed
to describe. In view of followers of the coherence
theory of justification this does not represent
a problem, for the reality of the inflaton field is
the constructed, constituted, reality working on
the level of convention among cosmologists. The
philosophically sceptical position would be to
claim that cosmology proposes an illegitimate
transition from the intelligible entities associated
with the field φ towards those entities that are
related to the empirically approved realm. In
other words, one suspects that the causation
which is implied here is not properly physical
but intelligible (in agreement with the adherents
of coherence), that is, it is dictated not by the
physically evident necessities, but intentional
volitions related to the desire to assign to the
inflationary theory a realistic character. A position
of a coherence of epistemic justification would
probably be to claim that the construct-belief of
the field φ does not have to connote with anything
in empirical reality because its “realistic” status
follows simply from the fact that this construct
coheres with other constructs-beliefs through
formal connections (for example equations
for the field φ which follow from Quantum
Field Theory) as well through helping to solve
cosmological puzzles. As it is recognised by
cosmologists, the major experimental success of
inflationary cosmology is the prediction of some
properties of the fluctuations in the microwave
background radiation and large scale structure
of the universe. However all these predictions as
such have a precarious ontological status for they
also represent eidetic transitions from what is
fundamentally unknown (but possessing generic
intelligible features expressed mathematically) to
that which is empirically known in its variety and
In other words, the situation can be described
through the following reasoning: there are three
cosmological puzzles which all point towards
the contingent facticity of that state of affairs in
the universe which human physicists face. This
contingent facticity manifests itself in an allegedly
non-generic (specific) state of the universe: we
live in the flat universe, with no monopoles and
strange uniformity of the microwave background
radiation observed in the sky. All this strangeness
initiates in physicists a desire to explain it as a
variation of, or derivation from, an underlying
substance or the state of matter which does not
have any features of differentiation apart from its
sheer existence. In fact, by introducing the field φ
one effectively introduces through the power of
intellection a generic entity (similar, for example,
to that ancient water, proclaimed by Thales of
Miletus, to be the ultimate and underlying level
of being) which allegedly is responsible for
all varieties of matter in observable universe.
Certainly the complexity of this new hypothesis,
in comparison with the ancient Greek ideal of the
unifying substance, is that it is supplemented by
mathematical theory which, however, does not
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provide any evidence for this substance to be
physical: mathematical entities, such as the field
φ, being Platonic constructs, remain in the same
realm of generic mentality as the construct of
water in Thales.
As one sees from the analysis above,
the impetus of inflationary cosmology is thus
related not only to the desire to explain away the
contingent initial conditions in the universe but
also to invoke an idea of an all-encompassing,
unknown, but yet immanent entity, the field φ, as
that undifferentiated and impersonal agency in
the universe, which lies in the foundation of all
varied appearances of the universe. Seen in this
perspective the whole enterprise acquires, from a
philosophical point of view, some clear features.
One can conjecture that inflationary cosmology
reproduces the same transcendental jump, which
has already been detected by us in other models
of the initial state of the universe (Nesteruk 2003,
chs. 5,6).
The major issue now is the question of
the epistemic efficacy of the field φ, namely its
participation in the mental activities which attempt
to find its correlates in physically causal processes.
This problem is similar to the explication of
the transition from the water of Thales to any
particular empirically given material formation.
Such an explication, if it pretends to be honest,
entails a serious difficulty; for the very desire
to construct such a transition would invoke a
transcendental bridging of two epistemologically
and ontologically distinct regions of being (and
this certainly will lead to the break beyond the
limits of coherence of epistemic justification).
Thus the very transition from water to that which
is observed has a hypothetical character, based
in intentionality which itself is grounded in a
belief that there exists some underlying “causal”
mechanism governing this type of transition. The
field φ in inflationary cosmology is implanted
into the process of causation through the Einstein
equations: the postulated properties of the
potential V(φ) drive the metric scale factor so that
the causal structure of space and time (which is
not observable anyway) in inflationary universe
is based on properties of the V(φ) (one recalls that
this causation is based on the General Relativity
assumption that any type of matter contributes to
the gravitational force and thus affects geometry
of space). In this sense it is difficult to evaluate
the realistic nature of φ through a direct insight
in the resulting geometry. This is the reason why
the major (epistemological) test for the physical
status of φ comes forward when cosmology
conjectures of the origination of all forms of
observable matter as a result of the decay of φ,
that is the transformation of the energy associated
with this field into classical radiation and matter.
This transition can be schematically presented in
the following way:
V(φ) Æ ρ(t),
where ρ(t) stands for the energy density of
radiation and matter which are potentially
observable. As we have mentioned above, this
transition which supposes to relate two entities,
V(φ) and ρ(t), has a strange feature: the two
terms of the stated relationship are of a different
epistemological kind, namely one is physically
non-observable and hypothetical and the second
is physically measurable in principle38. Here
we face a crucial question: does the field φ
indeed participate in “causal” processes on the
level of the physics, and not only on the level
of intentionality? If it does, in this case it has a
status of more than a simple mathematical entity
(which, according to philosophers of mathematics,
and in contradistinction to physics, are causally
passive (see, for example, (Resnik 1997, pp.
102, 106)). However it is exactly this, which is
difficult to comprehend (even if one goes into the
details of this transition) bearing in mind that the
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physical status of the field φ is uncertain39. From
the point of view of a coherent theorist it is not
important whether the construct of φ corresponds
to physical reality. However, when this φ is
inserted into the equation for transformation of
energy, one definitely commits oneself to a sort
of realism. Here inflationary cosmology leads
to a generic philosophical problem related to the
dual ontological structure of being, that is the
ontological difference between intelligible and
empirical. The detection of this structure (which
has been done not only in inflationary cosmology,
but also in other scenarios of the early universe40)
makes it possible to grasp a certain idealistic
character with which the ideas based on the
coherence of epistemic justification are imbued.
However this cannot be done from a theologically
neutral position because the distinction between
intelligible and sensible acquires an ontological
(not only an epistemological) character in the
context of the doctrine of creation, whereas the
mediation between them receives its justification in
a theological teaching of humanity as microcosm
and mediator resembling the difference in its own
hypostatic composition through the distinction
between body and soul41.
One may remind the reader that the notion
of the ontological difference in creation is related
to the Christian understanding of creatio ex
nihilo. When the Nicene Creed affirms the belief
God, “Maker of heaven and earth, and all things
visible and invisible”, it affirms that God created
the world out of nothing in such a way that there
was an initial distinction between two realms:
the realm of intelligible forms (invisible) and the
realm of sensible reality (visible). The intelligible
realm is simply understood as the “spiritual”,
“intellectual” level of created being often labeled
as a noetic level of creation, or kosmos noetos.
On this level God formed the angels, who have
no material body. But this level contains also
intellectual images of sensible reality, that is,
ideas. This makes the noetic realm reminiscent of
the world of Platonic ideas (which are created in
a Christian context). Ideas as intellectual images
of sensible reality are inevitable ingredients of
scientific theories, so that scientific ideas seem
to have an immediate relation to the noetic realm
which complements the realm of the material
universe. The existence of the intelligible realm
can be asserted trough the fact that it contains
the community of living minds following from
humanity’s ability to think, rationalize, memorize
and symbolize the sensible creation in intelligible
forms. However, the world of intelligible
forms has an ontology different in comparison
to the ontology of the sensible realm. If this
fact is disregarded scientific theory becomes
predisposed to making a naive assumption that
their mathematical constructs have the same
ontology as the objects which they suppose to
describe. Theology is much more certain in the
two-fold structure of creation, proclaimed in the
Creed, because it is this structural difference
in the unity of creation, which explicates the
mystery of creation from the side of the created.
The dichotomy in creation in general has its
particular manifestation in the constitution
of human beings, their composite hypostasis,
traditionally described in terms of body and soul
(or its analytical part – intellect). Theology asserts
the human condition in the garments of skin as
embodied (corporeal) existence in two levels of
reality, so that it is natural to expect that humanity
can be a mediator between these levels and hence
to grasp their inherent unity in their createdness
out of the same otherwordly foundation.
Correspondingly any theory of the universe
which attempts to formulate the concept of
contingent facticity of the observable display of
the universe must detect the difference between
intelligible and sensible, which carries in itself
what the Greeks called the logos (the underlying
and forming principle and sense) of creation. The
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Greek Church Fathers used the word difference
as a cosmological and theological term in order
to articulate the creatio ex nihilo from within
the world. This term comes as the translation of
the Greek διαφορα′ (diaphora) (this term has
theological contradistinction to another Greek
word διαιρεσις (diairesis) which means division)
(see, for example, (Thunberg, 1995, pp. 51-56)). It
was Dionysius the Areopagite who used first the
term diaphora beyond the Christological context,
applying it to the differences of all things in
creation42. Maximus the Confessor followed him
and used the term diaphora, as a characteristic
of created being, its constitutive and distinctive
feature which will never disappear. It plays a
constructive role in creation, because it provides a
common principle of all created things: all things
are differentiated in creation and at the same
time the principle of their unity is that they are
differentiated; in particular it provides a common
principle for the unity of intelligible and sensible
creation through its constitutive meaning in the
creatio ex nihilo. From this perspective the issue of
the creatio ex nihilo can never be separated from
the issue of differentiation in creation between
intelligible and sensible. The diaphora in God's
creation is an established order, the principle of
variety and unity in creation.
The immediate implication of the ontological
category diaphora in creation, as applied to
a scientific quest for the justification of the
contingent facticity of the observable universe, is
that any physical or cosmological model trying
to imitate the mechanism of this facticity, that
is the causal principle of the world in scientific
terms, should deal with the fact that it is not
enough to produce a reasonable scenario of how
the empirical visible (sensible) universe came
into being from some hypothetical underlying
substance similar to the inflaton field φ. Such a
scenario can attest not to the demonstration of
the causal principle of the observable display,
but to the natural detection of the presence of the
“parallel” level of the created, that is the world of
intelligible forms or the noetic realm. Scientific
reasoning appeals instinctively to this realm as
if it is given and is not subject to its own genesis.
In other words, the contingent facticity of the
noetic realm is not questioned by science because
it cannot question the facticity of consciousness
which has access to this realm43.
Scientific reasoning based on physical
causality therefore can responsibly be applied only
to a “half” of the created (that is, the empirical
realm), assuming that the meaning of this “half” is
provided from the noetic realm, which is not itself
subject to investigation on the basis of physical
causality. The noetic realm is involved into the
formation of scientific knowledge, so that it is this
realm which is the guarantor of its expression and
preservation, but the origin of this realm is not
subject to science in spite of the fact that science
can employ its constituents for interpreting the
empirical universe. Mathematics can be used,
but the justification of its facticity that is, the
possibility of its use, is not accountable by science
to the same extent as the facticity of consciousness
is not accountable. In this sense science deals with
being, but it does not produce the mechanisms of
generation of being. As Heidegger was saying:
“science is not thinking yet!” It is because of
this that the maximum science can claim in the
analysis of the contingent facticity (as specificity)
of the world, is that it found the mechanism of
differentiation in creation between empirical
(sensible) and intelligible (noetic).
Now we are in a position to give a certain
interpretation of inflationary cosmology. If
inflationary cosmology insists on the physical
nature of the transition V(φ) Æ ρ, then the
neutrality to ontological commitment is broken
and both the realms to which V(φ) and ρ
belong, must be assigned a proper ontological
status. Naturally the construct of the field φ
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(and potential V(φ)) can be naturally associated
with the realm of intelligible forms, intelligible
universe (IU). The observable (visible) universe
(VU) is associated with the density ρ of matter
and radiation. Correspondingly the transition
through physical causation in the formula V(φ)
Æ ρ can be interpreted as the mechanism of
differentiation between two created realms IU
and VU. The ontological difference between two
realms represents the constitutive element of
creation ex nihilo in a theological sense. To make
it more articulate, one can elucidate the situation
by subjecting it to the transcendental analysis in
the spirit of Kant.
The pivotal idea of cosmology is to explain
the observable cosmos. The idea of the universe
as a whole is invoked in cosmology in order to
operate mathematically with equations applied to
the universe beyond the horizon of its visibility
for us. Yet it is assumed that the universe, being
a uniform continuum of matter and space-time
at large is subject to a scientific grasp. The
specific features of this universe are supposed
to be explained in terms of simple principles of
unity, which aim to provide the explanation for
the variety of things in the universe, which seems
to be completely contingent. Cosmology hopes to
replace the contingency of observable universe by
some “necessary law” which itself will need no
further explanation. In inflationary cosmology the
contingency expressed through three puzzles is
aimed to be removed through a scenario in which
the observed specificity would be the result of
the dynamics of the universe regardless whatever
initial conditions it might have. The difficulty
with this attempt is that the postulated state of
matter does not belong to the series of causations
related to what is visible, that is, the postulated
state transcends the visible universe by breaking
the series of causations in the visible universe
through appealing to such a “state of matter”
which does not have any empirical references, but
which yet allegedly initiates the visible universe.
This primordial “state of matter” was qualified
before as belonging to the intelligible universe.
The invocation of the intelligible “object” in
order to explain the empirical universe becomes
subjected to the Kantian critique of the argument
for the existence of absolutely necessary being.
Since V(φ) can not be found as an element of the
empirical series in visible universe, its invocation
as an explanatory element has sense only as
a construct. This means that V(φ) which is to
explain the structure of the visible universe, in
fact, departs from the field of empirical realities
and the causal series in the visible universe by
acquiring the properties of a pure construct. This
is the logic of the epistemic transition from the
observed cosmological puzzles to the postulate
of the intelligible V(φ) and all that theoretically
follows from it. It is quite natural for one to
ascend from the variety of data and puzzles to
a unified principle, that is the field φ, which is to
explain this data. However, the status of this filed
remains precarious since it remains no more than
a construct, which, as such, does not depart from
the series of the sensible world (life-world).
The situation changes, however, when
the transition from the visible universe to the
intelligible is reversed, that is, when the state of
matter pertaining to inflation is now treated as a
level of reality more fundamental than the visible
universe itself, for it gives rise to the visible
universe. According to the logic of inflationary
cosmology, the transition V(φ) Æ ρ describes
the actualization of the visible universe out of
the invisible, assuming that V(φ) and ρ have a
similar ontological status. This ontologizing
can be criticised on the same grounds as it has
been done for Hawking’s model of the quantum
universe (Nesteruk 2003, ch. 5), so that the
transition V(φ) Æ ρ is interpreted as a causation
in a conceptual space, invoked by the thinking
intellect. This implies that the mechanism
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which actualizes the visible universe out of the
invisible is itself a construct with the intelligible
We observe here a kind of intellectual
inversion from causation originating in the physical
causal series (cosmological puzzles Æ V(φ) ), to
causation originating in the purely intelligible
series (V(φ) Æ ρ), the completeness of which is
based upon existence of an absolutely necessary
cause (that is, the state of matter described by
the inflaton φ). This jump in reflection is based
on an inability to build the empirical content of
the concept of the unconditioned condition (V(φ))
in the series of empirical causes. According to
Kant, however, from the structure of the visible
universe one can not conclude via the empirical
analysis to the existence of such a necessary cause
which would not be contingent itself. And that is
why one can state that there is no an absolutely
necessary cause or being which would explain the
visible universe. This means that the inflationary
universe has no direct ontological references
in the empirical realm in spite of it fertility in
predicting the right spectrum of fluctuations in
the microwave radiation. It exists as an intelligible
object, which functions in thought only as the
purpose for the epistemic justification of the
detected (through the three puzzles) contingent
state of affairs.
The clash between the realistic treatment of φ
(V(φ)), and the opposite claim that it is no more than
an intelligible object, leads one to an antinomial
puzzle, which points to the only justifiable
formula for dealing with the situation; namely
to treat the transition V(φ) Æ ρ, as an example
of antinomial reasoning, which is similar to the
Kantian reasoning on an absolutely necessary,
being expressed in his fourth antinomy44. The
antinomy about the origination of the visible
universe out of the “state of matter” pertaining
to the inflationary phase of expansion of the
universe can now be formulated as follows:
Thesis: There belongs to the world the field φ
which is ultimately responsible for the observable
protean display in the visible universe, and whose
existence is absolutely necessary for the visible
universe VU to be as it is.
Antithesis: There nowhere exists the field φ
in the (physical) world, as the cause of the visible
universe (there is no physical connection between
intelligible and sensible universes): they belong
to the different ontological realms.
The appearance of such an antinomy in the
discourse of origin of the visible universe is quite
remarkable because, as we remember, the initial
motivation of inflationary model was to overcome
the difficulties associated with the contingent
nature of the initial conditions in the universe
asserted in the hot Big-Bang cosmology (before
the idea of inflation emerged). The critique of
any attempts to deal with the initial conditions
of the universe can be developed through the
famous Kantian antinomy on the beginning of the
universe in time45. What happened, as a result of
inflationary cosmology’s attempt to remove the
problem of the contingent specificity of the initial
conditions in the universe, that is, de facto, to
remove the antinomy on the origin of the universe
in time, is very interesting: one detects a certain
metamorphosis of antinomies. The trend of
theoretical research attempting to overcome the
antinomy of temporal origin led, with a certain
inevitability to the formulation of the antinomy
of the origin of the universe not in terms special
initial conditions related to temporality of the
universe, but in terms of an absolutely necessary
being or cause, responsible for the contingent
display of the universe. This shift in explication
of the problem of origin of the universe happened
not on purely philosophical grounds, but under the
pressure of developments in cosmological theory.
In other words, the very progress of knowledge
contributed to philosophy, namely to a concrete
scheme of that how to explicate the intrinsic
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interconnectedness of the Kantian antinomies.
This shift, as we have argued elsewhere, reflects
some general patterns of scientific attempts to
find the generic features in the foundation of the
world undertaken by human subjects.
Kant could use the antinomy formulated by
us for a negative conclusion about the empirical
evidence for the existence of the field φ (absolutely
necessary being) as a cause of the factual display
of the visible universe. His argument would be
that the inflaton filed belongs to the intelligible
realm and does not have an independent
ontological status apart from thinking, which
brought the ideas of φ into being. This conclusion
indicates that the antinomies, can be considered
as difficulties of reason arising in relating the
ontology of the sensible world to the ontology
of the intelligible world and vice versa; these
difficulties rather point towards the limits of the
human powers of knowledge. However, one can
go further and claim that the new explication of
the fourth cosmological antinomy of Kant, in
fact, refines how human cognitive faculties are
constituted. Namely, this antinomy in its logical
performance by reason, manifests the process of
mediation between the sensible and intelligible
worlds, performed by a human subject in virtue
of the fact that this subject is a complex of the
physical-biological and intellectual-spiritual, so
that the mediation between the sensible and the
intelligible worlds happens within this human
subject. Thus the structural similarity in the
constitution of humanity and the universe (the
idea of microcosm and mediator) is manifested
once again: it can be formulated as that there is
a common underlying principle (logos) which
lies in their foundation and the content of this
principle is that there is the ontological difference
(diaphora) between the sensible and intelligible
in both the universe and humanity.
An interesting feature of inflationary
cosmology, is that it confirms the unity of the
human reason with respect to the two realms in
the created being. This unity is revealed through
the metamorphosis of the Kantian antinomies,
the transformation through which the problem
of the underlying foundations of the contingent
facticity of the world is explicated in a new
way. This fact demonstrates that cosmology
implicitly contains knowledge of human
hypostatic composites, of their transcendental
consciousness with the antinomial difficulties
arising as soon as the understanding transcends
the boundaries of experience and endeavors to
speculate on the foundations of its own facticity.
Taking this into account, one can only reassert
that cosmology must be seen not only as a natural
science, but also as having the dimension of the
human science, which narrates not only about the
external world, but also about humanity and its
place in the universe (Nesteruk 2011).
The presence of antinomies in the
cosmological discourse, points to the fundamental
difference in the contingent creation, that is, the
diaphora between the intelligible and sensible
realms. It makes possible to conjecture whether
this tendency of a split in theory between empirical
realities and their conceptual images always
leads a scientist to the detection of the ultimate
frontier in attempting to synthesize the variety of
physical experience in a single principle of unity,
namely, to the unbridgeable ontological diaphora
in the created domain. The mediation between
intelligible and sensible, which is performed
by philosophizing cosmologists, and which is
theologically justifiable, reflects the unification
of the divisions in creation (that, is the division
between intelligible and sensible realms) which
takes place not ontologically, but on the level of
cognition and morality (Thunberg 1995, ch.6).
The antinomial structure of the proposition
about the causation between the intelligible
inflationary universe and the visible leads us finally
to the conclusion that inflationary cosmology deals
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with differentiation in the contingent creation, that
is, with the basic diaphora in creation, rather than
with the explanation of the observable display in
terms of physical causation. However, since the
presence of the difference between the intelligible
and sensible reflects a general tendency and
specific feature of all scientific attempts, which
try to provide the genesis of the attributes of the
empirical universe in a single unified theory, it
becomes evident that these scientific models are
not theologically irrelevant in what concerns their
particular schemes which allow one to detect the
presence of the diaphora as a constitutive element
of creatio ex nihilo.
I would like to express my feelings of
gratitude to George Horton for reading the
manuscript and making helpful suggestions. This
publication was made possible through the support
of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
The opinions expressed in this publication are
those of the author and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the John Templeton Foundation.
That which was inaugurated by E. A. Milne (after Einstein’s suggestion) as “cosmological principle”, that is “all places
in the universe are alike” has many motivations. One of them which is more close to the spirit of physics was to extend
the observable isotropy of the universe at the scales of clusters of galaxies to every possible location. Here we deal with a
refi ned version of the hypothesis of a formal interchange of home-places having a counterpart in physical reality of related
to a particular geometrical aspect of what as a phenomenon is given to human consciousness on Earth. Thus the uniformity
of matter distribution as well as space itself can be understood as the postulate of an isotropic view of the universe from
every possible location.
The concept of matter of the universe in relativistic cosmology is similar to the concept of ideal gas in which real physical
particles are treated as point-like objects, material points. Any set of material point can be taken than as prototype, which
can be filled in with different meaning. For the ideal gas one can take a prototype of chaotic motion of material points and
substitute molecules for these points. In cosmology, by substituting material points by clusters of galaxies one can obtain
the notion of “matter of the Universe” (Misner, 1973, pp. 711-713).
The red-shift in astronomical objects is varied with their distance from our galaxy, which has been established by E.
Hubble as far back a in 1929. The velocity of recession of a galaxy is proportional to its distance with the coefficient known
as the “Hubble constant” H0 which is treated as a fundamental cosmological parameter characterizing the rate of expansion of the universe as a whole. Here, for the sake of our objectives, we disregard possible objections to this interpretation
of red shifts in galaxies’ spectra which doubt the idea of the expanding universe. See, for example, (Rhook 1994).
See a representation of this statement in the graph of “The Cosmic Spheres of Time” in (Primack 2006, p. 135). See also
(Abrams 2011, p. 74). The seeing of the universe as the frozen past connotes with the notion of the “block universe” according to which all points of space-time have an equal ontological status, so that no fundamental meaning can be ascribed to
the distinction between “past”, “present” and “future”. (See more details, for example, in the paper (Isham 1996).
The given description of the universe corresponds to its disclosure by human beings in the course of their history. Because
of the fi nitude of this history, which itself can be treated as an event, humankind event (this notion was introduced in
(Nesteruk 2003, pp. 194-214), the disclosure of the universe as a particular action of the human spirit can be treated as an
event within the humankind event. The notion of an event entails the presence of fundamental contingency. It is because of
this contingency that cosmology attempts at all costs to get rid of this notion by grounding the counterintuitive content of
this event in something apodictic and undeniable, inferred through a kind of an extra-logical argument (for example some
abstract mathematical theory which allegedly governs the physics of the universe regardless a simple fact that this very
theory is a product of embodied subjectivity, which forms the essence of the humankind-event) which itself transcends the
givenness of an event. In this aspiration cosmology exercises a leap of faith, making it similar to theology which predicates
humanity’s existence and the presence of the world in this particular condition as an event of their communion with God,
who is transcendent indeed.
Assuming that the reversal of initial velocities is possible (Davies 1974, pp. 22-27).
This point was made clear, with reference to R. Tolman, in the paper (Penrose 1979).
This point was emphatically defended by Penrose in many of his writings. See, for example, (Penrose 1979), (Penrose
1989, pp. 440-47), (Penrose 2005, pp. 726-732; 765-769).
Later J. A. Wheeler articulated this point in order to assert the intrinsic mutability of physics, including its conceptual
ingredients, such as space and time. See, for example (Wheeler 1973, 1994).
See more details on cosmological diagrams used by us in (Harrison 1986, pp. 215, 375-387).
One cannot re-run the universe with the same or altered initial conditions to see what would happen if they were different.
See (Ellis, 2007) (Thesis A1, p. 1216).
This is a different way of stating a Christian theological assertion that it is cosmic history that is treated in theology as
part of human history and not vice versa. (See, for example, (Clément 1976, p. 80)). It is here that cosmology effectively
explicates its hidden theological commitment linked to the Divine image in humanity which articulates the universe from
within its history.
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This assertion can be considered as a certain variation of the idea of a block-universe, where all points related to the past
light cone (related to our vantage location in the cosmos) are considered as having an equal ontological status.
This point reasserts that which was said before that theologically, it is cosmic history which unfolds from within human
history and not vice versa, because the primacy of existence (understood as communion) belongs to hypostatic human
beings, and not inorganic rocks in the cosmos, in spite of the fact that the conditions of embodiment originate in the stardust.
On the phenomenological treatment of the intuition of continuum see, for example, papers (Longo 1999, 2002).
See, for example, (Allen 2006). According to N. Smith’s terminology, “one who gives a realist construal of all scientific
sentences will be called a global realist” (Smith 1996, p. 29). A claim for a radical mathematical realism identifying mathematical constructs with physical realities can be found in (Tegmark 2008).
For a strong critique of the concept of multiverse see, for example, (Ellis 2011).
As it was expressed by Ellis in one of his Theses on philosophy of cosmology: “The universe itself cannot be subjected to
physical experimentation. We cannot re-run the universe with the same or altered conditions to see what would happen if
they were different, so we cannot carry out scientific experiments on the universe itself.” (Ellis 2007, p. 1216).
One means here the inflaton field in inflationary cosmology, dark matter, dark energy etc. See more on this in (Ellis 2007,
pp. 1208-1211).
See on the coherence theories of justification, for example, (Audi 1998, pp. 187-204). See also a book of (Bowker 2005, pp.
118-48), in which the author persuasively argues on the importance of coherence considerations in science and religion as
a different form of justification in comparison with the correspondence principle.
In this sense the coherence of justification in cosmology works similarly to theology where the catholicity (“sobornost”) of
the Church acts as the guarantor of collective wisdom which opposes to any sort of ethical individualism in religion. See
more details in (Nesteruk 2008, pp. 211-219).
See (Nesteruk 2012[1]). The intrinsic apophatic meaning of cosmology is similar to that of theology. In theology
apophaticism implies the wholeness and consistency of religious beliefs in their limitations by what is called dogmas (the
meaning of what is called dogmas originates in the Greek word horos (boundary, fence) which was used in theology in
the context of the Church’s defi nitions with a purpose to set out the boundaries of Christian faith and protect it against
heresies). These dogmas, as Church defi nitions, are those boundaries of faith which cannot be demonstrated from outside.
Apophaticism intends to proclaim the freedom of expression of faith within its boundaries if the coherence of this
expression with respect to dogmas is observed. Coherence in this case means faithfulness and absence of desire to doubt
dogmas. In this case the experience of faith can expand unlimitedly within the boundaries of faith, being coherent with the
content of dogmas. Apophaticism reveals itself as a principle of coherence in theology, which stops reason from attempts
to treat dogmas as defi nitions of the essence of God thus guaranteeing freedom of expressing experience of God through
music (liturgy), poetry, painting etc. if the limits of this expression are observed. However, apophaticism in theology leads
to coherence of truth. Here one reveals the real meaning of apophaticism not as a logical proclamation of truth about God,
but as participation in this truth through prayer and liturgy. The reality of what the Christian Church teaches in its dogmas
cannot survive outside doxological proclamations (Zizioulas 1997, p. 117). Thus the apophatic coherence in theology
implies, so to speak, liturgical coherence as ever-presence of tradition in space and time, that is in history. Coherentism
in theology acquires a historical dimension. It is clear why a theological apophaticism makes it necessary to rely on
coherence of interpretation in religious matters: God is not an object, he is present in absence, we know that he is with us
but we do not know “what he is”. No theory of correspondence is possible here. However, we affi rm God on the basis of our
faith in him, that faith which implies the coherence of dogmas, tradition and liturgy. Dogmas, defi nition and theological
opinions can point towards God, can change our attitude to his presence in absence, but they never qualify God as essence
and substance to which one can refer in the mundane sense of empirical evidence. One should mention here that prayer
and liturgy, as genuine means of transcendence, create in theology that breakthrough from the seclusion of its dogmatic
system, making thus demonstrable that any theology has no direct sense as a carrier of truth if it does not imply faith and
living communion with God. And it is this last element of genuine transcendence which makes a theological apophaticism
crucially different, in comparison with the sense of the apophatic in cosmology.
See, for example, (Walker 1988, p. 19). As the coherence theorist would say, the nature of objective reality is determined
by the coherent set of beliefs about it. Independently of this M. Munitz, discussing whether the universe as whole can
be discovered, suggests that it would be better “to say that the concept of the universe as a whole is a creative, constructive achievement, and invention, not a discovery” (Munitz 1990, p. 141). The fact that the universe as a whole is
a construction of our thought can be inferred from a counterintuitive sense of what can be called its “existence”. The
term existence cannot be applied to the universe in a sense pertaining to ordinary objects available as their unity at
hand through their pieces and moments. The existence of cosmic objects, such as clusters of galaxies, for example is
problematic because each galaxy in a cluster is seen by us at different time in its history (due to the fi nitude of the speed
of light delivering us signals from it): thus the cluster we observe is a mental construction. C.f. (Primack 2006, p. 171).
This mental construction, being referred to the embodied subjectivity thus reveals all signs of its historical contingency.
In this sense the whole construct of the “universe as a whole”, being an ideal accomplishment still bears in itself some
features of contingent formation.
This expression is used in (Gurwitsch 1974, p. 44), where the term “hypostasis” is meant not in a theological sense. Elements of nature as “mental creation” also appeared in the terminology of A. Einstein (Einstein 1973, p. 291).
(Margenau 1952 [2], p. 209).The fact that the ideal of science to search for the ultimate “reality” is historical by its constitution, that is the concept of “objective nature” can only be a mental accomplishment, makes doubtful recent attempts to
advocate for the radical mathematisation of nature in which the “fi nal theory” would be free of human baggage (see, for
example, (Tegmark 2008)).
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C.f. Ellis’s Thesis of Uncertainty: “Ultimate uncertainty is a key aspect of cosmology. Scientific exploration can tell us
much about the universe but not about its ultimate nature, or even much about some of its major geometrical and physical
characteristics. Some of this uncertainty may be resolved, but much will remain. Cosmological theory should acknowledge this uncertainty” (Ellis 2007, p. 1274).
One may remind the reared that the apophatic approach to i knowledge can be formulated as an attitude which refuses to
exhaust the content of knowledge in its formulation, that is, refuses to exhaust the reality of things signified in the logic of
signifiers. It correspondingly refuses to verify knowledge merely by controlling the correct representational logic of the
signifiers (Yannaras 2004, p. 84).
A popular trend in philosophy of mathematics which effectively advocates such a view is so called structural realism. It
is enough to give a couple of references: (Lyre 2009); a popularised version of structural realism can be found in (Shapiro
2000, pp. 257-289).
Here one implies results related to Godel’s incompleteness theorems.
One can point towards S. Hawking, who builds his cosmology on the grounds of positivistic, (according to his own defi nition) methodology, that is, in an approach which never makes enquiries on the ontological meaning of those “realities”
which are present in cosmological theories. He describes his understanding of the meaning of cosmological theories in the
following words: “Theory is just a model of the universe, or a restricted part of it, and a set of rules that relate quantities
in the model to observations we make. It exists only in our minds and has no other reality (whatever that might mean).”
(Hawking 1988, p. 9, 139) (Emphasis added).
One means the search for the so called Higgs-boson undertaken in the Hadron Collider at CERN.
Some authors list some other problems which can motivate inflation. All these problems are related to the issue of the initial conditions in the universe. Before the advance of the inflationary model in the 1980s it was believed that the problem
of the initial conditions of the universe needed a quantum description. However, since quantum gravity was yet to become
developed in the 1980s, it seemed to be very speculative and far from any possible experimental verification. The discovery that one can use classical gravity (which is implied in inflationary cosmology) to address the problem of the initial
conditions made the whole theory less speculative (but still speculative) and in this sense “more realistic” (Peacock 1999,
pp. 323-324).
As was asserted by T. Torrance, “by its nature, science is concerned with discovering and formulating the…laws of nature
governing the processes of the universe, but it is incapable of establishing the initial conditions out of which the universe
took its absolute rise and which ought surely to enter as rational equations into a full understanding of its singularity and
intelligibility” (Torrance 2001, p. 103). The fact that the universe is an utterly specific and unique event is hardly to be
accepted by physicists and reaction to such a state of affairs causes a “horror of the unique event” (Ibid.) See also in this
respect (Torrance 1996, pp. 166-167).
Briefly, the so called grand unified theories of elementary particles and fields relevant to the early universe predict a
mechanism (spontaneous breakdown of symmetry) through which the presence of field configurations with a non-zero
magnetic charge is inevitable in the early universe (which should result in one monopole per nucleon at present) and their
obvious absence in the present-day universe represents a certain problem. The inflationary scenario provides a possible
solution of this problem, but once again it does not entail with the necessity the invocation of this scenario, because some
other mechanism can lie in the resolution of the monopole problem. Like the flatness problem, the monopole problem
does not follow from any contradiction in observations of the universe. It rather demonstrates a lack of coherence at the
interdisciplinary level when different block of physical theory demand a sort of reconciliation. The demand for coherence
among two theories leads to their mutual advance, but with no ground-based ontological commitment. The motivation to
solve the monopole problem has a different character in comparison with what happens in the flatness problem. Here one
invokes a philosophical belief in the unity of physics at the level of micro- and macro-world, the unity which originates in
the unity of consciousness and its desire of the overall encompassing insight of the universe. In similarity with the flatness
problem there is the hidden belief that the generic scenario of the grand-unified theory (GUT) predicting the abundance of
monopoles as realized in the past of the universe must not be ruled out by the fact of the present day specialness of the universe which effectively excludes the macroscopic presence of monopoles in the same abundance as nucleons. In order the
physical causality between the past and present to be uninterrupted (that is the GUT prediction on monopoles be consistent
with their effective absence at present) cosmology appeals to the idea of inflation. The inflation idea appears as a product
of the human intentionality of the unity of the physical description of the universe to be transferred towards the causality
of physical forces and processes. Once again there is no necessity in the entailment from the monopole problem towards
inflationary cosmology. The problem can be solved through a different explanation. However the fact that the hypothesis
of the exponential expansion of the universe provides the argument for resolving two puzzles in cosmology and particle
physics makes this hypothesis attractive and coherent. See more details in (Weinberg 2008, pp. 206-208).
One can show that in the matter-dominated universe lmax = 4ct0/9, where c is the speed of light, t0 is time today, and it
corresponds to the time of emission of a signal te=8t0/27 (Rothman, Ellis 1993, p. 886). The limit of causation outlined in
these calculations does not reflect a realistic situation which is linked to the fact that many physical interactions do not
propagate with the speed of light so that the true domain which influences us is much less that it is indicated by the particle
In most of sources on the horizon problem a diagram is employed by using the so called conformal time in which case the
initial singularity is depicted as a straight line and past line cones correspond to those ones in flat space. See, for example,
(Ellis, Stoeger 1988, pp. 208, 210), (Rothman, Ellis 1993, pp. 890-891).
Penrose, while commenting on inflationary cosmology points that the introduction of a new field φ into “menagerie of
known (and conjectured) physical particle/fields” was dictated solely by the desire to have an exponential expansion, so
that no other physical motivation of relating this field to other known physical was established (Penrose 2005, p. 751).
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Weinberg on his side, while commenting on the hypothetical predictions of eternal inflation about existence of many
disjoint universes, asserts that the validity of this idea “will probably have to come from progress in fundamental physics,
which may verify the existence of a suitable inflaton field, rather than from astronomical observation” (Weinberg 2008,
p. 217). See also (Ellis 2007, p. 1210). We do not enquire into a realistic nature of this field in spite of ongoing attempts
to detect the so called Higgs-boson (which, as believed, corresponds to this field), at the Hadron collider in the European
Centre of Nuclear Research.
Mathematical details and theoretical assumptions for this transition to take place can be found in (Weinberg 2008, pp.
One can agree with Resnik that “combining mathematical principles with empirical hypotheses can commit one to objects
whose status is neither clearly mathematical nor clearly physical” (Resnik 1997, p. 107).
See our analysis of Hawking and Penrose’s models for the origin of the universe in (Nesteruk 2003, chs. 5, 6).
As the most striking patristic reference, one can point to St. Maximus the Confessor who developed an allegorical
interpretation of the universe as man, and conversely of man as microcosm and mediator between the elements of the
universe, and between the universe and God. He articulates the similarity between the composition of the human being
and the composition of the universe from a point of view of the hypostatic unity of the different parts in them. A passage
from Maximus’ Mystagogy 7 elucidates the meaning of this similarity: “Intelligible things display the meaning of the soul
as the soul does that of intelligible things, and [...] sensible things display the place of body as the body does that of sensible
things. And [...] intelligible things are the soul of sensible things, and sensible things are the body of intelligible things;
[...] as the soul is in the body so is the intelligible in the world of sense, that the sensible is sustained by the intelligible as
the body is sustained by the soul; [...] both make up one world as body and soul make up one man.” (Berthold 1985, p. 196)
(emphasis added).
Dionysius the Areopagite, The Divine Names, 5,8; The Celestial Hierarchies, 4,3,1.
Some attempts to incorporate the formation of intelligence into the global genesis of physical reality, based on the transcendent applications of quantum principle were made in papers of J. Wheeler, which have not been seriously regarded by
scientific community. The importance of this attempt is rooted in an explicit appeal to such factors of modern scientific
discourse, which transcend the boundaries of “normal”, established physics. For the analysis of Wheeler’s ideas see my
paper in which the reader can fi nd all relevant bibliography (Nesteruk 2013).
Kant I., Critique of Pure Reason, A452-453/B480-481.
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Вселенная как конструкт:
эпистемологические верования
и когерентность обоснования
в современной космологии
А.В. Нестерук
Университет Портсмута
Лайон Гэйт Бюлдинг,
ПОРТСМУТ, РО1 3НF, Великобритания
В этой статье мы продолжаем исследование эпистемологического статуса некоторых
положений космологии, в частности понятия вселенной как целого. Показано, что последнее
всецело зависит от постулируемой однородности вселенной и представляет собой конструкт,
отчасти имеющий связи с эмпирической реальностью. Однако развивается аргумент о том,
что эффективно действующей методологией современной математической космологии,
моделирующей ранние стадии эволюции вселенной, является не традиционный принцип
соответствия между теоретическими конструктами и эмпирическими реальностями,
а известный из теории познания принцип эпистемологической когерентности, который
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не требует апелляции к эмпирическому опыту и строится на предпосылках правоты
и истины, устанавливаемыми сообществом космологов-исследователей. Как частный
случай рассматрена инфляционная модель ранней вселенной и показана, что критерий
эпистемологической когерентности приводит к трансцендентальной проблематике в стиле
Ключевые слова: верования, вселенная, космология, конструкты, когерентность, принцип
соответствия, экстраполяция, эпистемология.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1002-1006
УДК 06.053.56
The Toolkit a Translator Should Carry
to Produce an Acceptable Piece
of Translation
Sahar Farrahi Avval*
Received 15.01.2012, received in revised form 18.06.2012, accepted 30.04.2013
Why translation? Do we need translation at all in our life? In this article, we are setting out to shed
light on the issue of translation as an important means of communication in our life, to consider the
characteristics of an acceptable translation and we attempt to propose some tools a translator should
have at hand to produce an acceptable piece of translation according to the readers’ needs and to
prevent his/ her translation from leakage! In addition, we emphasize on this issue that there is no
good or bad translation, instead, we emphasize on the acceptability or unacceptability of translation;
materials are translated based on some reasons according to the readers’ needs or translators’ point
of view and other factors that is why a certain text can have different translated versions not good or
bad ones.
Keywords: translation, acceptable translation, tools, readers’ needs, translators’ point of view.
1. Introduction: why translation?
With a quick look at periodicals, journals,
newspapers and conferences, one may ask
oneself why all of these propagandas or articles
on translation studies? Is translation that
important? In a response to those people asking
such questions we should claim that translation is
more important that what they may think.
The world is changing very fast every day.
New technologies step in silently and quickly.
You open your eyes and see yourself surrounded
by lots of them and sooner or later you will be
obliged to use them. If you do not adapt yourself
with them at the right time, you will be definitely
buried under them. The best way to overcome
such a problem is to update oneself with the
new trends. You should have a key at the palm
of your hand. And translation is the key but is
it art, craft or science? It makes no difference.
Translation has become and operates as a tool
for communication; without it, new technologies
cannot be introduced and applicable for people
with different languages in other countries
meanwhile people of different cultures need
to be familiar with other cultures for a better
communication to reach their communicative
goals To understand others makes you feel you
have your own connection with them; it means
that you are not alone in this changing day to day
world. This is with translation that you can be
in contact with others; translation, like a bridge,
connect you with the world and takes away
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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the distance between you and people of other
countries. That is why we say that translation is
important in our life; it has always been.
2. Good, bad, acceptable
or unacceptable translation?
We do not treat translation as good or bad
because there is no good or bad translation at
all. Translation is a matter of taste; it means that
based on different targets, translation of a text can
be different. Translation can be acceptable to a
high or low degree. We should look at translation
as a continuum which at one end of it there is
acceptable translation and at the other there is
unacceptable translation. The translator moves
and carries his/ her translation with him/ her
towards one of these two ends. Bearing in mind
that coming closer to one end equals to getting
farther from the other.
Translated materials are as vital as water but if
this water is not directed properly in the pipes and
tabs, it will make some problems. The translated
materials, also, should be directed properly to
communicate with their receivers. Now the time
is ripe to say what are the characteristics of an
acceptable translation.
3. Characteristics
of an acceptable translation
When one opens the tap, he expects to see
clean and colorless water which smells nothing
flowing out fluently. Acceptable translation
should also be natural and fluent and it should
not smell anything. But what do we mean by
naturalness and fluency in translation and what
do we mean when we say the translation should
smell nothing?
A natural translation is read easily and
the reader does not feel that he/ she is reading
a piece of translation. It should look and sound
as a text written in the target language. It should
not sound as a translation. Some scholars in the
field believe that a natural translation should be
reader oriented and it should be written based
on target text norms. The translated text should
communicate with the target text readers as it
does with the source text readers.
As the first step, if the translator likes to
present an acceptable piece of translation, he/
she should know the kind of text he is going to
translate. He should know if he/ she is interested
in translating literary, scientific, psychological,
political and… texts.
As the second step, he/ she should decide on
the type of translation. Is he/ she going to translate
communicatively, semantically, literally or…
After taking those steps, it is the time for the
translator to get ready and carry his/ her toolkit
if any leakage is going to happen. The translator
should have enough knowledge and mastery of
different strategies or tools needed for translating
the texts.
4. Tools needed
for an acceptable translation
When your water tap or other water supplies
leak, you, surly, call a plumber or you may get
ready to do it yourself. But what do you need
to do so? Washer, sealing tape, valve, wrench,
screwdriver or something else? You may wonder
what the use of the above mentioned tools is in
translation. At first glance, they are not comparable
but with a closer look at them, you will find some
similarities between the toolkit a plumber carries
to do his job and the tools a translator should have
in his hand to do the job of translation.
When the translator is not able to transfer the
message from the source text into the target text,
this shows that somewhere in his/ her translation
leaks! This leakage is the result of some deficiency
occurred in the process of translation which
should be fixed as soon as possible.
Before presenting a translated book, story,
article or any other translated materials, the
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translator should prepare some tools to do the
job, because, rarely, after the presentation of
translation, apologies are accepted while water
leakage can be fixed sooner or later and many
After deciding on the type of the text
to be translated and determining the kind of
translation, you, as a translator prepare yourself
for translation, here, we aim to introduce briefly
some tools that you should posses to produce an
acceptable piece of translation or to prevent your
future translation from leakage. We make you
sure that you do not have to carry a heavy toolkit
containing screwdrivers, valves, sealing tapes or
any other water supplies; you can have these tools
in your head or at the palm of your hand; they
are lighter than what you think but gives your
translation so much weight!
4.1. Receivers’ characteristics
For whom are you translating the text? How
old are your receivers? Are they male or female?
kids or adults? Are the readers of high level of
education or under graduate ones? These are
the questions which their answers should be in
front of the eyes of the translator before carrying
out the translation or the translated material
cannot be applicable for the right receivers.
These characteristics are the most important
ones affecting the translation target and makes
the translator act differently when they change.
There have been so many books which have been
translated differently based on their readers’ age,
gender or level of education.
4.2. Specialized translation
One point which should be highlighted in
the field of translation is that if a translator wants
to be a successful one in his career, he/ she should
be specialized in one or a few fields of study. It
means that he/ she should not translate whatever
that is referred to him/her. In how many fields of
studies people can acquire mastery? Likewise,
in how many fields of study a translator have
enough knowledge? Here, having sufficient
knowledge in one subject is as important as
having competency in translating it. How can a
translator translate texts in a certain field that he/
she has no knowledge of? If he/ she does so, his/
her translation, surly, will be of low quality which
cannot communicate with its readers.
4.3. Suitable bilingual
and monolingual dictionaries
monolingual dictionary is so valuable for
translation that you cannot imagine. Based on
the type of the text you are supposed to translate
i. e. literary, psychological, computer science,
scientific etc. you should prepare the specialized
dictionaries. Another important factor which is
of great importance in making use of bilingual
dictionaries is that looking up for an equivalence
is not enough but checking the equivalent with
a monolingual dictionary is needed also. For
example, in translating a text from Persian into
English, after finding one or more equivalences
in English for a word or phrase in Persian, the
translator is required to check the English
equivalences with an English to English dictionary
to see if the equivalence matches in most small
characteristics or linguistic elements with the
meaning hidden in the Persian context.
4.4. Translation strategies
Strategies are plans that people use to achieve
goals. A translation strategy is a potentially
conscious procedure for the solution of a problem
which an individual is faced with when translating
a text segment from one language into another
(Lorscher, 1991). In other words, translation
strategies are procedures which the participants
employ in order to solve the translation problems
they realize (Lorscher, 1991). Accordingly,
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translation strategies have their starting-point
in the realization of a problem by a participant,
and their termination in a (possibly preliminary)
solution to the problem or in the participant’s
realization of the insolubility of the problem at
the given point in time (Lorscher, 1991).
4.5. Communication strategies
Speakers of foreign languages encounter
unfamiliar words and phrases in their speech
production which inhibit their language
production and comprehension. The same
situation can happen for translators and
interpreters because translation and interpretation
is producing a spoken or written material in
another language for communication with other
people. But what the above mentioned groups do
in such a situation? Some scholars have proposed
communication strategies the employment of
which can save the communication process from
Different taxonomies have been proposed
by scholars in the field of language teaching and
learning. A good translator is advised to have
knowledge in using these strategies whenever
needed in his/ her translation process. So
whenever deficiency in grammar and vocabulary
happens which leads to deficiency in translation
production, the use of communication strategies
is of great help for the translator. These strategies
act like sealing tape as it does in plumbing.
should be actualized and get shape in target text
4.7. Reviewing
Rarely first drafts of translation are worth
presenting to readers. A skillful translator
works on the first drafts before presenting the
translated material to the market. Some details
and deficiency could be revealed while rehearsing
the first draft. Some revisions and modifications
could be needed after reading the first draft, so
the translators should not be hasty to deliver their
translation soon. Final drafts cannot be flawless
because there is no perfect translation at all.
4.8. Consultation with specialists
After preparation of the final draft, the
translators are advised to show their translation
to two different specialists for consultant and
consideration. First, they should show the
translation to a specialist who is specialized in
target text grammar rules and writing system. He
can read the text to see if revisions are needed
to make the translation sound as a text in the
target language. Second, the translator should
consult with a person who is specialized in the
field of study form which the source text is taken.
The specialist can help the translator to get the
message across properly.
After carrying out these two last jobs, we
assure you that your translation is ready to be
4.6. Grammar rules and writing skills
Grammar and writing skills are like frames
that holds the translated material and shapes it and
they are frames in which the translation should
fit, so the translator should have competency in
understanding both the source text and target
text grammar rules and writing skills and should
be aware of the differences between the writing
system of the two languages. The translated
material which is first in the head of the translator
5. Conclusion
In this article we tried to highlight the
inevitable and important role of translation in
today world communication and attempted to
outline some basic tools a translator needs to
employ during translation process to produce an
acceptable piece of translation that communicates
with its readers. We also emphasized, in contrast
to some wrong beliefs, that translation can be
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acceptable or unacceptable not good or bad.
Finally, we can assure that the most acceptable
pieces of translation are those whose translators
are the writers of the original texts.
Lorscher, W. (1991). Translation performance, Translation Process, and Translation Strategies:
A Psycholinguistic Investigation. Tubingen, Germany: Gunter Narr Verlag.
Инструменты, которые переводчик
должен использовать
для создания приемлемого перевода
С.Ф. Аввал
Почему перевод? Нужен ли он нам вообще? Данная статья проливает свет на проблему
перевода как важного средства общения в нашей жизни, выявляет составляющие приемлемого
перевода и представляет некоторые методы, к которым необходимо прибегать для создания
качественного перевода, соответствующего требованиям читателей, и предотвращения
потери информации! Кроме того, мы подчёркиваем, что не бывает хороших или плохих
переводов, мы акцентируем наше внимание на приемлемости или неприемлемости перевода.
Тот или иной текст переводится с учетом требований читателей, точки зрения переводчика
и других факторов. По этой причине у текста может быть несколько разных вариантов
перевода, которые нельзя считать хорошими или плохими.
Ключевые слова: перевод, приемлемый перевод, методы, требования читателей, точка зрения
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1007-1020
УДК 328.122.2 (540)
Working of Indian Parliamentary Democracy
in the 21st Century: an Appraisal
Ranjit Singh*
Post-Graduate Department of Political Science
and Public Administration Khalsa College
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Received 06.04.2013, received in revised form 21.05.2013, accepted 20.06.2013
Indian politics has undergone transformation during the last two decades or so. Several new trends
have come to the fore. The end of one – party dominant system has ended and coalition governments
have become the political reality of today’s Indian politics. The coalition governments in the initial
years were considered to be the source of political stability but they have stabilized themselves with
the passage of time. The phenomenon of coalition politics has also brought about significant changes
in the working of the Indian federalism. It has led to the federalization of the regional political parties
which have become central to the making or unmaking of the government at the union level. Regional
political parties have broadened their horizon and have become national in outlook. Concentration of
powers and misuse of emergency provisions of the Constitution is rarely spoken of. Besides this some
extra constitutional institutions like national advisory council have assumed a place of prominence in
the working of the coalition government. It has also led to changes in the power, position and authority
of the Cabinet especially the Prime Minister. Some features of the parliamentary government have
become the causality of the changes in Indian politics. This paper highlights the emerging trends in
the politics after thirteenth Lok Sabha1 elections in 1999.Relevance of the present study lies in the fact
that it highlights the changes in the Indian political system in the last decade of the present century.
The methodology is documentary both primary and secondary sources. The objective of the paper is
to discusses the impact of party system on the parliamentary and federal system
Keywords: centre-state relations, democracy, parliamentary, coalition, federalism.
The significance of politics is that with time
and circumstance the nature of politics changes
and this is applicable to Indian politics also.
Before independence the nature of politics was
different as it was dominated by imperialist forces
and it underwent changes after independence.
An analysis of the working of parliamentary
government demonstrates new trends which
have affected the nature of Indian politics. Indian
is a pluralistic society and gets influenced by
religion, caste, language and minorities. India
adopted parliamentary government for which
a favorable environment was created by wellorganized party system in the form of Indian
National Congress hereafter referred to as INC
or Congress. Congress ruled the entire political
horizon of India from 1950 to 1967 and thereafter
the centre till 1989 with brief Janata period from
1977-1979.Political developments taking place in
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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the working of Indian parliamentary and federal
system of governance dismantled the monolithic
structure of the party which is called the end of
one party dominant system.
End of the
one party dominant system
Political changes in India started with
political transformation in 1967 were important
from the point of view of one party dominant
system. Congress remained in power in states
and at the national level. Broadly speaking three
different phases are seen in so far as evolution of
party system in India is concerned. The first phase
lasted till 1967 in which Congress remained at
the centre stage both in terms of votes and seats.
Second phase started with the fourth general
elections to the Lok Sabha and elections to state
legislative assemblies in 1967 which brought to an
end the monopoly of Congress at the state level.
It brought about polarization of the party system
into two alliances with anti-Congress emotion
being the cementing force for the opposition.
In the third phase since the elections to ninth
Lok Sabha in 1989 Congress’s existence as a
coalition started eroding and the vacuum began
to be filled up by regional political parties (Roy,
2005:192-194). Since 1989 no political party
has been in a position to gain required majority
to form governments on its own at the national
level. Especially the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),
Janata Dal (United) (JD-U), Samajwadi Party
(SP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Trinamool
(Congress TMC), National Congress Party
(NCP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam (AIADMK) came to occupy the
space created by the end of one-party dominant
system. The strength of regional political parties
has increased in terms of votes and seats and
national parties have witnessed decline in terms
of percentage share of votes. The percentage
of votes which national parties obtained was
67.11 in the 1999 parliamentary elections which
further shrunk to 63.58 in the 2009 parliamentary
elections. In comparison the share of regional
parties increased from 12.73 percent to 31.23
percent in during the same period. In addition the
percentage of elected members of parliament of
national parties has decreased to 69.24 percent
whereas the share of regional parties increased
to 29.10 percent in 2009 parliamentary elections
(Election Commission, 2009). The one party
dominance began to dilute on account of failure
on issues like poverty, employment, corruption,
communalism etc. State intervention in the
economic sphere by assigning pivotal role to the
public sector was supposed to create conditions
of development in underdeveloped regions of the
country so as to establish a socialistic pattern of
society. Some initiatives like enactment of land
reform laws, reservation for the Scheduled Castes
(SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in services and
legislative bodies were meant to create level
playing field for all strata of society and do away
with the parochial loyalties based on caste, religion
and region. In the electoral politics, removal of
poverty, nationalization of banks and abolition of
privy purses were used as a poll plank in the 1972
parliamentary elections.
In the political domain the central
intervention in the state subjects especially in
law and order and deployment of paramilitary
forces, creation of planning machinery further
accentuated resentment among the power
contenders in the states. The central government
attempted to check the opposition by divide and
rule politics. Invocation of internal emergency
in the country dealt a severe blow to the
constitutional, parliamentary and federal set up.
The continuous rule of one party at the centre
eroded the federal structure by dismantling
the inner party democracy which in return led
to the concentration of powers. The powerful
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high command possessed the ultimate power of
decision making. Amal Ray argued that “…the
powerful Nehru, Patel, Parsad trio constituted the
most important inner ring and all major policy
decisions used to emanate from it. As India’s
federal structure was conceived and planned in
a unitary political environment so it was directed
towards a powerful centre” (Ray, 1970:5). The
organizational structure of all the existing parties
was highly centralized. K Santhanam stated that
“…Indian Republic started with a contradiction
while the Constitution established a federal system
of government all the political parties existing at
that time were unitary and centralized. This was
particularly the case with the Congress” (Mohan,
1996). In such an atmosphere state leaders found
it more convenient to abide by the dictates of
the party bosses even if they pertained to the
exclusive domain of the state. But in the seventies
it became difficult for the Congress to tackle
problems of local nature. The population in the
states was concerned more with the local issues
rather than the national. Therefore to safeguard
the distinct cultural identities and rectify regional
economic imbalances, regional parties took up
the cudgels and emerged as an alternative channel
to the Congress. Thus the emergence of regional
parties which cater to the regional interests can
be termed as an outcome of highly centralized
polity. The first challenge to Congress monopoly
was in 1967 when it lost political space in some
of its stronghold states. Several regional political
parties formed the government in the states.
At the national level its dominance was briefly
terminated from 1977-1979 when Janata Party
captured the political space and restored political
democracy. Thereafter, Congress again returned
to power in 1980 and continued to be so till 1989.
The politics of populism was resorted to, to win
over the caste loyalties, and the poor for electoral
mileage. During the phase the focus shifted from
economic issues like alleviation of poverty to
federalism, decentralization and state autonomy.
The political system’s inability to cope with
these issues led to terrorism in Punjab, Jammu
&Kashmir and north – eastern states. The ninth
Lok Sabha elections in 1989 finally ended the
dominance of the Congress party. Since then
political crisis accentuated coupled with economic
reforms. Deepak Nayyar opined that “…electoral
compulsions unleashed a competitive politics of
populism. Political parties and political leaders
across the board sought to woo the people with
sops…the number of promises made multiplied
but the number of promises kept dwindled”
(Nayyar, 2001:381). Coalition governments are
being formed with no party enjoying majority in
the house. National Front government came into
existence with the outside support of Bhartiya
Janata Party and Leftist parties’ in1989. This
government could not complete its full term,
the withdrawal of support by BJP led to the fall
of the government. All the elections since 1991
have produced hung Lok Sabha with no clear-cut
mandate in favor of any party. Thenceforth the
trend is toward multiparty coalition.
Coalition Politics
Coalition politics has become a political
reality in India. There are three type of situations
which give rise to the formation of coalition
governments; firstly, the inability of a single
political party to form the government. Secondly,
when there is a deadlock between two political
parties. Under such conditions one party makes
compromise with the minor group such as neutral
to form the government. Thirdly, a national crises
or war gives rise to coalition. The first type of
situation is found in India and in many Indian
states like Kerala, West Bengal, UP, Rajasthan,
Orrisa. Ramashray Roy remarked that “…when
the Congress dominance came to an end, there
began a period of alliance formation and acute
political bargaining leading frequently to political
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instability as a quick turnovers in government”
(Roy, 2011:30). The second and the third types
of Coalitions are most commonly found in the
history of England.
Due to the ‘catch all’ coalition character
of the Congress provided an ideal type broad
based political party. It remained in power till
1967 at state and national level. The elections to
state legislative assemblies ended its monopoly
over the entire political landscape, as Congress
was no longer an ideological and social
coalition. Absence of intra-party democracy
and authoritarian rule weakened the party
organization considerably. Centralized decisionmaking and authoritarian state that came to be
established in the seventies paved the way for the
end of the Congress System temporarily from
1977-1979 and permanently from 1989 onwards.
Multi-centrism consolidated its roots in the
subsequent years in Indian politics. In such a
volatile situation, coalition governments have
come to stay. Generally these governments are
marked by instability and uncertainty with few
exceptions. Such governments remained busy
in their own survival rather than laying stress
on governance. Although coalition politics is a
positive trend in a plural society like India where
one party rule may result in lopsided development
the political culture is not so developed so as to
ensure the endurance of coalition governments.
A coalition government takes place in two
phases. Pre-poll alliance and post-poll alliance.
In pre poll agreement there is adjustment
between parties before elections. These types
are most important because it is a pre-elections
understanding that provides a common platform
and attract the voters on the basis of joint
manifesto. Post elections alliance is a union to
share political power and run the administration.
It is a compromise after the elections to keep one
party out of power. The attributes of Coalition
governments are. Firstly, they are unstable
because coalition partners never think in terms
of permanent friendship. In it conflicts don’t
end but just brushed aside for the time being.
It is left to every political party to withdraw
the support at any time. They have their own
internal contradictions that lead to the breaking
of the various parties and even the governments.
As one political commentator points out that “…
nothing is more unpredictable in Indian politics
than the nature of alliances between political
groups and parties today” (Kantha, 1999:359).
Secondly, due to lack of polarization, coalition
is the marriage of convenience, as they are not
based on fixed principles. There are widely
heterogeneous elements. It is just for the sake of
capturing the power that they are united. Indeed
there are no sincere efforts to establish political
stability. Thirdly, based on political defections
shifting of loyalties from one party/alliance to
other is a significant feature of coalitions and
their failure. Fourthly, Coalition governments
become a game of selfish, narrow-minded
opportunist power hungry politicians who have
to look after nothing but their personal interests.
Pramod Kumar observed that “…coalition politics
functioned more as coalition of interests between
big business, land speculators, big farmers
and government contractors…within the party
system, coalition politics functioned more as a
coalition of patronage for sharing spoils between
the national and regional political parties”
(Kumar, 2011:49). In a coalition government
regional political parties have become stronger
as the continuation of their vital support is
essential for the survival of the government.
This has provided regional political parties
opportunities for broaden their horizons which
has made Indian political system more federal.
The centre government is no longer blamed
for the lopsided development. Nevertheless in
a coalition government certain parliamentary
democracy principles like collective and political
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homogeneity become casualty of the fluid nature
of the coalition arrangement.
Setback to the Principle
of Collective Responsibility
and Political Homogeneity
Along with coalition politics another
trend which is visible in Indian politics since
1999 and is directly linked with it. Collective
responsibility and political homogeneity are the
two significant features of the parliamentary
government which provide strength and stability
to the government. These two principles are on
the decline with the working of the coalition
government. Strains on the principle of collective
responsibility are inevitable in federal coalitions.
Today’s governments includes parties which are
ideological heterogeneous. Besides this every
party has its own program and they fight elections
on their own political program. For instance there
is a gap between the program of DMK and INC
but they are an alliance partner. Similarly BJP and
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are running coalition
in Punjab devoid of homogenous ideology. In such
a situation political homogeneity is not taken into
account owing to political compulsions. To run
administration Common Minimum Program
(CMP) is chalked out, despite this every party
has its own agenda. This leads to differences
among coalition partners and premature fall of
the governments. Cabinet speaks in many voices.
Sense of direction and unity of purpose get lost
in the working of the government. Cabinet which
works on the principle of sink or swim together
like a team in a one party government becomes a
divided house in coalition governance. Therefore
collective responsibility and political homogeneity
have become a causality of coalition culture. In
a one party government members of the cabinet
work in unison as a team. Any minister who
doesn’t abide by the decisions of the cabinet or
has a poor performance as a minister can be
asked to put in his paper and can be dropped
in the reshuffled cabinet. But it is not possible
in coalition government. Non-performance and
inefficiency becomes the attributes of coalition
government. In the UPA II Congress as a
major alliance partner failed in prevailing upon
the Agriculture Ministry to check the rising
prices. Congress General Secretary Janardan
Dwivedi expressing helplessness in a coalition
dispensation commented, “…It is a coalition
government and not a full fledged Congress
government…Congress is the largest in coalition,
but it is the first among equals” (The Times of
India, 2009). In this context coalition has proved
to be what Arend Lijphart calls consociational
type (Lijphart, 1996:258-268). The experience
of the coalition government shows that alliance
parties put pressure for the allocation of important
ministries viz AIADMK in National Democratic
Alliance (NDA) government pressurised for
finance, law and justice portfolios, Lok Janshakti
insisted for Railway. Similarly in United
Progressive Alliance (UPA) Railway, Rural
Development and company affairs department
were allotted to RJD, Communication, Coastal
and Road Transport to DMK, Agriculture, Food
Supplies and Civil Aviation to NCP according to
their strength in the parliament.
Practice of Outside Support
With the formation of coalition government
the practice of outside support started. The
National Front government led by VP Singh had
the outside support of BJP and Leftist parties.
The subsequent governments of Chandra
Shekhar in 1990 and Deve Gowda and IK Gujral
in 1996 and 1997 were formed with the outside
support of the Congress and other parties.
NDA led by A. B. Vajpayee enjoyed the outside
support of Telugu Desam party. UPA –I got such
support from Leftist parties, which withdrew it
on the issue of Indo-American Nuclear Deal.
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The negative side of this practice is that parties
extending support to the governance are not part
of the government. These parties enjoy power
without responsibility. They resort to the politics
of blackmailing in the event of their demands not
being accepted by the government. They don’t
share the responsibility for the failure of the
government but take credit for the success of the
government. This creates political instability and
encourages the politics of opportunism. This is
enjoying power without responsibility. Left front
remained outside the government but managed
to get its speaker of Lok Sabha elected in 2004.
With this phenomenon the position of the Prime
Minister (PM) has weakened considerably
Erosion of the Powers of the PM
In a parliamentary set up PM has a place
of special significance. Formation of Council
of Ministers, distribution of portfolios is the
responsibility of the PM. But during the last
years especially since 1989, the powers, prestige
and position of the PM has undergone change
in the wake of the increasing role of Steering
Committee of the United Front, Coordination
Committee of the NDA and the National
Advisory Committee of the UPA. Despite these
committees being extra-constitutional they
wield enormous powers in decision making and
PM becomes the chief executive officer merely
endorsing the decisions. Constitutionally PM
is the central figure in cabinet formation but
practically PM is under tremendous pressure
from coalition partners to select his cabinet
ministers. The Congress- DMK deadlock on the
issue of selections of ministers in May 2009 held
up government formation for sometimes (Roy,
2011:104). PM is not free to select ministers of
his or her choice with real powers in the hands
of the alliance partners (Economic and Political
Weekly, 2002). The coalition partners prepare the
list of ministers. Moreover the pressure is on the
PM regarding allocation of favorable portfolios
to the parties giving support to the government
failing which they threaten withdrawal of support
to the government.PM is also bound to abide
by the CMP and he has to coordinate with the
chairman of Alliance. Nilopal Basu, the Marxist
leader has rightly said that “Prime Ministers
cannot ignore ideological opposition and they
have to keep peoples’ aspirations in mind in
the coalition governments” (Dainik Bhaskar,
2006:8). In addition to it PM has to bring along
the parties providing outside support. The present
UPA when it reassumed power in 2009 faced
the initial setback. The immediate concern was
allocation of ministerial ranks. Ramashray Roy
opined “…certain differences were discernible
in the drama that the DMK staged for getting
ministerial posts for satisfying the aspirations
of different members of Karunanidhi’s family”
(Roy, 2009:39). Similarly TMC asked its railway
minister to step down following the presentation
of railway budget much to the disliking of Mamta
Baneerji. However PM was reluctant to do so.
But he had to abide by the wish of the alliance
partner. This leads to weakening position of the
PM. While addressing a Press Conference PM
Dr Manmohan Singh clarified that, “Coalition
government has certain compulsions. One has to
make compromises against his wishes.”
Changes in Federalism
Changes in the nature of party system
from one party dominant system to multiparty
system and coalition politics becoming a
political reality in the contemporary political
discourse have altered the contours of Indian
federalism. Coalition governance is rated to
be wide representative of diversity prevailing
in a federal system (Singh, 2007:15). Before
discussing the impact of coalition on federalism
and trends in the working of federalism it would
be pertinent here to have a look at the different
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phases through which federalism has passed
since independence;
The first phase from 1950-1967 was marked
by the dominance of Congress party at the
centre as well as states. The magnetic leadership
of Nehru further strengthened the central
government which was already endowed with
tremendous powers by the Constitution. The High
Command phenomenon did not let any state level
leaders to assert them. Factionalism within the
Congress was encouraged as it was convenient
for the party to prevent any Chief Minister from
becoming powerful. The subordination of state
governments to the centre was at peak when
under the Kamraj Plan six Chief Ministers were
forced to resign in the name of reorganization of
the party (Awasthy,2009:136-137). In the first
two decade of independence there was consensus
based on accommodation owing to affinity
between leader and masses and closeness to
freedom movement. During this period Congress
returned to power in 1952, 1957 and 1962 in
almost all the states and enjoyed absolute majority
in the Parliament. In some states where nonCongress parties had formed their governments,
Article 356 of the Constitution was invoked to
topple the duly elected government. Kerala was a
case in point where communist government was
dissolved on the pretext of breakdown of law and
order machinery. Even in Congress ruled states,
state level Congress leaders could not assert
themselves as Chief Ministers and members
of the state council of ministers were chosen
by Nehru and party high command. Planning
Commission, the most important institution of
central domination was established in 1950 under
the chairmanship of Prime Minister. National
Development Council (NDC) came into being
in 1952.Therefore in the first phase there was of
central dominance wherein states surrendered
some of their important rights. Food grain
crises and three wars; one with China in 1962
and two with Pakistan in 1948 and 1965 further
strengthened the positioned of the centre (Ibid).
With Nehru’s demise the consensus and political
system built thereon began to disintegrate.
During the second phase from 1967-1977
elections in 1967 resulted in the breakdown of
Congress monopoly of political power and process
of coalition governments started at the state level.
Leaving aside the principle of consensus Indira
Gandhi opted for majoritarian principle in view
of vehement opposition. Authoritarian tendencies
within the government and party set in.
Centralization of powers became a norm which
proved to be “suicidal for prevalent party system
and the federal structure” (Kothari, 1988:30).
Erosion of party organization led immensely to
the erosion of federal system and concentration of
powers into the hands of high command. During
this period centre-state relations were nonexistent
in the face of a strong state under the stewardship
of leader instead of party organization. After split
in the Congress, it was reduced to minority in the
Lok Sabha. It tried to regain political space by all
means at its disposal including article 356. The
highly centralized polity was challenged under
the banner of J.P. movement to check authoritarian
and corrupt practices. The open confrontation
between the ruling and the opposition resulted
in the imposition of internal emergency which
was an open insult to federal principles which
postulates harmonious relations between two sets
of government at the national and state levels. In
this phase centre state confrontation was in full
swing wherein states asserted their rights by way
of demand for state autonomy and repudiating
the unitarian tendencies of Indian Constitution.
Proclamation of internal emergency derailed the
democratic set up and revoked all democratic
measures granted under the Constitution in the
name of internal threat to the unity and integrity
of India. Forty second constitutional amendment
increased the powers of the centre at the cost of
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the states. The authoritarian functioning style of
the Congress’s top brass destroyed the democracy
with in the party.
The third phase which lasted from 19771989 witnessed the Congress losing power in
the general elections after emergency. Janata
Party formed the fi rst non Congress coalition
government at the centre with the promise of
restoring democratic ethos in the working of
the government and strengthening the federal
principles which were taken for granted by the
previous ruling party. Contrarily, the Janata
Party became a victim of the same tactics being
followed by the Congress led government and
dismissed Congress governments in some
states by invoking Article 356 of the Indian
Constitution. The states again resorted to the
demand for more autonomy and demanded
appointment of a committee to review the
centre-state relations. The demand was turned
down by the central government. Therefore,
brief interlude of Janata Party rule couldn’t
check the centripetal tendencies since it was
grappling with personality clashes of leaders of
parties forming Janata Party. In 1980 Congress
returned to power and dismissed nine non
congress state governments through Article 356.
Subsequent political developments and demand
for state autonomy by many states led to the
appointment of Sarkaria Commission to look
into the centre-state relationship in 1983 which
submitted its report in 1987. It proposed interalia the setting up of the Inter-State Council
(ISC) under Article 263 of the Constitution,
make Finance Commission a permanent body.
Contrary to previous Congress government Rajiv
Gandhi preferred an accommodative orientation
toward regional and ethnic movements in some
states of the Indian union. Punjab accord signed
with the SAD of Punjab in July 1985 pledged
to resolve territorial and interstate disputes
between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The
accord also promised an all-India Gurudwara
act by the Parliament as demanded by the
Anandpur Sahib Resolution (Jefery, 1986:3467). In a similar move Assam, Tripura and
Mizoram accords were signed to address to
the disenchantment of the people and restore
normalcy in these respective states. Therefore
the nineties witnessed the new wave in favor of
federalism owing to the multi-party system and
resultant coalition governments.
The fourth phase from 1989-2013 started
with elections to the ninth Lok Sabha in 1989. The
inability of the national political parties to form
government on their own at the national level has
allowed state political parties to determine the
verdict of parliamentary elections as state level
political players have become vital at the centre.
It led to the termination of one- party dominance
and formation of coalitions. In this phase Indian
federalism experienced notable development
in 1996.United Front (UF) came to power with
the support of Congress and a conglomeration
of fourteen parties mostly regional. The centre
of power shifted from centre to states. The
significant development was that for the first time
the centre government acknowledged the need to
review centre state relations.CMP, the basis of the
functioning of the UF government, envisaged to
advance the principles of political administrative
and economic federalism. Keeping in mind the
need for greater power to the states to meet their
developmental needs the UF wanted to go beyond
the recommendations of Sarkaria Commission.
CMP pledged that the states must be given the
chance to fix their developmental priorities and
chalk out their plans within the ambit of national
plans. It also urged in favor of suitable amendment
in Article 356, shifting of centrally sponsored
schemes to the control of the states and revitalize
institutions like NDC and ISC to generate mutual
trust in centre state relations.ISC was made active
and there was regular interaction with the state
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governments. Thus a true spirit of cooperative
federalism seemed to be in vogue. Participation
of many regional political parties in the coalition
indicates the significant changes in the federal
set up in India. In this context observation of
Rajni Kothari is pertinent. He opined that, “issue
of federalism is gaining importance after a long
period of ups and downs” (Kothari, 1988:56). So as
to appease the regional political outfits as a tactic
to garner their support, national political parties
changed their stance in favor of more autonomy
to the region. Congress in its elections manifesto
in 2009 proclaimed that “…it is only the Indian
National Congress that has demonstrated its
commitment to strong centre, strong states, and
to strong Panchayats2 and nagarpalikas3. India’s
political system must have space for institutions
at each of these three levels. Each has a vital
and specific role to play” (Election Manifesto,
2009). Similarly the Bhartiya Janata Party in
its elections manifesto declared to “… place
centre state relations on an even keel through the
process of consultations and the grudges of states
will be addressed in a comprehensive manner…
National Development Council will be revived…
to ensure harmonious centre-state relations in
the light of the recommendations of Sarkaria
Commission” (Election Manifesto, 2009). The
regional political parties shifted their stance from
anti-centrism to cooperative federalism. The
demands for separate states within the Indian
union by carving out of the large sized states
were conceded in case of Jharkhand, Uttaranchal
and Chhattisgarh in 2000 by enacting legislation
to this effect. The changed stand by one of the
prominent regional political parties namely SAD
deserve special mention. In 1973 SAD in its much
touted Anandpur Sahib Resolution proclaimed
that “…it would endeavor to have the Indian
Constitution recast on real federal principles
with equal representation at the Centre for all the
states” (Singh, 1977:6). In the changed scenario
the same SAD in 2000 asserted that “…our
constitutional framework was for more federal
structure, but owing to the rule of the Congress
government at the centre and states, the powers
of the states were slowly usurped and a unitary
set-up was established” (The Tribune.2000). The
shift in stand is attributed to the phenomenon of
coalition politics following the end of one party
dominance. It is evident that the agenda of SAD
took a significant turn from being anti-centrism
to that of cooperative federalism. Elections
manifesto of SAD in 1998 declared that “…the
Akali BJP government has opened a new chapter
in centre-state relations, ushering in the age of
co-operative federalism in the country. The
era of confrontation has been effectively ended
and replaced with a forward looking thrust on
working together for the overall good of the state
and nations” (Election Manifesto, 1998). This
posture was strikingly different from the anticentre attitude towards harmonious relations
with the centre. The resolution passed at the
end of Hola Mohalla conference underscore this
change in stand. The resolution stated that “…
conference demands from the centre that for the
sake of the prosperity of the country, the centrestate relations should be redefined in the light
of Anandpur Sahib Resolution…true federal
structure was the need of the hour” (The Hindu,
1997). The demand for state autonomy was raked
up in a political atmosphere in the midst of overcentralized polity and one-party dominance.
This has brought about significant shift in
the functioning of Indian political system by
providing greater space to the regional political
parties by ensuring more political space in national
politics and regional political parties changing
their stance on centre-state relations. The change
in party system towards multi party system has
encouraged the transition of the Indian political
system from, as Douglas Verney opines a “quasifederation” to “quasi-confederacy” (Verney,
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203:171). Some trends in Indian federalism came
to fore during this period.
Cooperative Federalism
Indian politics in the decades following
independence was primarily based on consensus
because of the trust between the elite and
masses. After the demise of first PM of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, the consensus disappeared
and consensus was replaced by majoritarian
principle. Concentration of power in the hands
of party high command and union government
during Indira Gandhi period reached its zenith.
Suppression of voice of dissent contributed
immensely to the dismantling of party’s federal
structure of the party and India’s federal system.
The autocratic style of working of the Indira
Gandhi and subsequent imposition of internal
emergency led to the frequent demand for state
autonomy and restructuring of centre –state
relations. The federalization process received
a boost with the appointment of Sarkaria
commission which submitted its report in 1987
(Sarkaria Commission, 1987-1988). This report
made number of recommendations, prominent
being the setting up of ISC. The Rajiv Gandhi
government adopted an accommodative
approach toward the demand for state autonomy.
With coalition government gaining prominence
federalism has entered the phase of cooperation.
Power sharing between regional political
parties and national parties in the parliamentary
elections held in 1999, 2004 and 2009 displays
flexibility and cooperation to accommodate
regional concerns and redress the grievances of
regional political parties. It is being increasingly
felt that paramount centre can no longer work
and hence the biases against the opposition ruled
states have disappeared. There is an increasing
understanding among states on the one hand
and between states and centre on the other that
cooperation is urgently needed for development.
Therefore cooperative federalism has emerged
in the first decade of twenty first century or so.
Cooperative federalism has strengthened the
nation which is evident from the consensus on
democratic norms of governance. Over the period
especially after the nineties the Indian federalism
has moved toward greater federalization.
Participation of many regional political parties in
the coalition governments displays the significant
shift from centralized governance towards shared
and federal governance (Khan, 2003:182). Since
coalition governments involves conglomeration
of different ideologies, they ensure balanced
development and strengthen the federal system.
they have weakened the authoritarianism of a
single party and have encouraged decentralization
by ensuring consensus on issues confronting the
common man. Coalition could make possible
the enactment of Right to Information (RTI)
Act 2005 and National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005. The upper house
of parliament has assumed significance in view
of the transformation in the nature of the party
system. In the face of it Upper house of Parliament
has emerged as the federal second chamber as
exhibits’ a different composition than that of Lok
Sabha. Besides, coalitions have also harmonized
the inter-party relations viz RJD and LJK are the
partners in UPA government at the centre despite
the fact that they are opponents at the regional
of Regional Political Parties
In the changed scenario regional political
parties besides being in power in states have
become a power to reckon with in national politics.
Realizing the importance of regional political
parties first BJP in 1999 and then Congress in
2004 and 2009 successfully formed alliances
which paid rich dividend (Roy, 2011:38) to the
national parties and regional parties in particular
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in the form of broadening their area of influence.
They have become a central to the life and death
of coalition at the centre. The emergence of
regional political parties as important players in
coalition formation has left significant impact on
the working of coalition government. The role of
regional political parties grew out of the demand
for uniform development of all the regions.
Growing importance of regional parties cannot
be viewed as a challenge to the federal system
but as a reaction against the highly centralized
polity which strengthened lopsided development.
However some regional parties like DMK played
a role in national politics even prior to 1989.
From 1969-1971 DMK with its twenty five MPs
provided support to the minority government of
Indira Gandhi following split in the Congress. But
their role have increased manifold in view of the
phenomenon of coalitions. The growing strength
of regional parties in the Parliament demands
that they should actively guide the nation. Party
system since 1989 witnessed multipolarity with
polarized pluralism and regional or federal
segmentation (Singh, 2009:268). Regional parties
have come to occupy significant space at the
union level. Initially they were confined to their
specific regions but the breakdown of Congress
monopoly led to the formation of non Congress
coalitions. Consequently they have broadened
their horizon and widen their outlook. Regional
parties like National Conference, SAD, DMK,
Telgu Desam, RJD, Smajwadi Party etc have come
to acquire more clouts and forced national parties
to accommodate regional sentiments. Emergence
of regional political parties as major stake holders
in the making of coalition governments at the
centre especially since 1989 indicates the shift
from centralized governance towards federalized
governance. Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar
observed that, “National politics is not the political
arena of political choices; political preferences
and loyalties at the national level derive from
primary loyalties in the state politics” (Yadav
and Palshikar, 2009:57). The presence of regional
political parties in coalition at the national level
make it difficult for the government to scuttle the
duly elected state government by taking recourse
to Article 356.
Misuse of Article 356 checked
Changed government opposition relations
have reduced the possibility of misuse of Article
356 which caused harm to the federal system.
For the smooth functioning of parliamentary
democracy opposition’s role is of utmost
significance. But an analysis of composition of
Lok Sabha being constituted after every elections
since 1989 demonstrates that most of the political
parties are ruling at the centre and opposition in
the states. In a situation of ruling party at the state
level and coalition partner at the centre there is less
possibility of centralizing tendency. A political
analyst opines that “…the dividing line between
government and opposition therefore gets further
complicated by the fact that the central opposition
may be the state ruling party and vice versa. The
complexities of the electoral federalism and the
presence of large number of single state parties
in federal coalitions make it virtually impossible
to eliminate state concerns from parliament even
if it were considered desirable to do so (Arora,
2003:369-404). Supreme Court of India in a
landmark judgment in S.R. Bommai &others vs.
Union of India &others 1994 (Supreme Court,
1994) reversed its previous decision regarding
breakdown of law and order machinery in a
state to be decided by the union cabinet. In this
verdict Supreme Court ruled that satisfaction of
the President that there is a constitutional failure
in a state was subjective not purely absolute. The
Court also held that to determine the majority
test of the government was the floor of the house.
For the first time in the history of independent
India the power of Union government to invoke
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Article 356 was made subject to judicial review.
This judgment has acted as a deterrent against
encroachment to state autonomy at the hands
of the centre. Nowadays central government
cannot dismiss any state government arbitrarily
under article 356.This trend has ushered in an
era of cooperative federalism. In a coalition set
up constitutional and democratic institutions
are secure because the ruling dispensation can
neither amend the constitution too much and nor
it can thwart democracy by imposing Article
To conclude, India has entered a new
phase as far as party system, coalition rule and
federalism is concerned. Multi-party system
with considerable clout of regional parties in
government making and functioning has become
a reality of Indian political system. Regional
parties which represent the different regions of
India make the government much more broad
based leaving little room for complaint of
uneven economic development. Coupled with
it coalition culture has come to stay. Political
parties have subscribed to the reality of coalition
politics forcing them to form pre-poll and postpoll arrangement. Either pre-poll or post-poll,
coalitions have brought about significant changes
in the office of PM, principle of collective
responsibility and political homogeneity.
Initially coalitions were a source a stability but
since 1999, they seem to be maturing despite
ideological differences among the coalition
partners. With regional parties becoming more
prominent in the working of union government
and coalition governance taking roots in India,
the nature of federalism has also undergone sea
changes. Cooperation instead of confrontation
is visible in centre-state relations. Demand for
state autonomy is not heard any more. What the
states want is more fi nancial resources to carry
out the tremendous developmental tasks and tap
the opportunities thrown up by globalization
and liberalization. Therefore the parties both
national and regional must evolve consensus
to provide governance in the transitional
phase through which Indian parliamentary
and federalism is passing. Representation of
People’s Act 1950 and 1951 can be suitably
amended to prevent the further fragmentation
of parties by way of making strict regulations
regarding recognition of political parties. This
will reinforce the prevailing coalition culture in
India. Federal institutions like ISC needs to be
strengthened and states should be given more
space in bodies like Planning Commission and
Finance Commission.
Arora, Balveer, “The Indian Parliament and Democracy”, in Ajay K Mehra and Gert
W.Kueck (ed.), The Indian Parliament:A Comparative Perspective, New Delhi: Konark,
2003, pp. 369-404.
Awasthy, S, S., Indian Government and Politics, New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications, 2009,
pp. 36–137.
Bommai, B.R., & Others vs. Union of India & Others, All India Reporter, 1994, Supreme Court.
Elections Commission of India, Statistical Reports on General Elections from 1984 to 2009, New
Editorial, “Coalition Government Norms”, Economic and Political Weekly, August 24, 2002.
Editorial, Dainik Bhaskar, Jaipur, July13, 2006, p. 8.
Jeffery, Robin, What’s happening to India? Punjab, Ethnic Conflicts, Mrs. Gandhi’s Death, and
the Test for Federalism, New York: Holmes and Meir, 1986, pp. 34-67.
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Kantha, Pramod K., “The BJP and Indian Democracy: Elections, Bombs and Beyond, ”in
Ramashray Roy and Paul Wallace (ed.), Indian Politics and the 1998 Elections; Regionalism,
Hindutva and State Politics, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1999, p. 359.
Khan, M.G., “Coalition Government and Federal System in India”, The Indian Journal of Political
Science, Vol.64, No.3-4, July –December 2003, p. 182.
Kothari, Rajni, State against Democracy: In Search of Humane Governance, New Delhi: Ajanta,
1988, p. 30.
Kumar, Pramod, “Coalition Politics: Withering of National-Regional Ideological Position?,”
in Paul Wallace and Ramashray Roy (ed.), India’s 2009 Elections: Coalition Politics, Party
Competition, and Congress Continuity, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2011, p. 49.
Lijphart, Arend “The Puzzle of Indian of Indian Democracy: A Consociational Interpretation, ”
American Political Science Review, Vol. 90, 1996, pp. 258-268.
Lok Sabha Elections 1998, Manifesto of Shiromani Akali Dal.
Lok Sabha Elections 2009, Manifesto of the Indian National Congress.
Lok Sabha Elections 2009, Manifesto of Bhartiya Janata Party.
Mohan, Surendra, “Pivotal Role of Regional Parties”, The Hindustan Times, May 6, 1996.
Nayyar, Deepak, “Economic Development and Political Democracy: Interaction of Economics
and Politics in Independent India”, in Niraja Gopal Jayal (ed), Democracy in India, New Delhi:
Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 381.
Ray, Amal, Tension Areas in Indian Federal System, Calcutta: World Press, 1970, p. 5.
Roy, Maneesha, “Federalism, Party System, and Structural Changes in India, ” in Paul Wallace
and Ramashray Roy (ed.), India’s 2009 Elections: Coalition Politics, Party Competition and
Congress Continuity, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2011, p. 104.
Roy, Ramashray, Democracy In India: Form and Substance, New Delhi: Shipra Publications,
2005, pp. 192-194.
“Regional Base and National Dream: Alliance Formation, 2009 National Elections, in Paul
Wallace and Ramashray Roy (ed.), India’s Elections: Coalition Politics, Party Competition and
Congress Continuity, Sage Publications, 2011, p. 30.
Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations Report, Vol.I.Nasik:Government of India Press,
Singh, Bhawani, “Politics of Coalition_ An Exercise In Consensus Generation”, in Hoshiar Singh
and (ed.) Coalition Governments and Good Governance, Jaipur:Aalekh Publishers, 2007,
p. 15.
Singh, Giani Ajmer, ‘The Draft of the New Policy Programme of the Shiromani Akali Dal, adopted
by its Working Committee at Sri Anandpur Sahib on 16-17 October 1973 to be approved by its
General House at its session on 28.8.1977, Secretary, Amritsar: Shiromani Akali Dal, p. 16.
Singh, Mahindra Prasad, “Paradigm Shifts in Canadian and Indian Politics: The Changing Party
System and the Federal Politics”, in A P Vijapur (ed.), Dimension of Federal Nation- Building,
New Delhi: Manak Publications, 1999, p. 268.
Staff Correspondent, “Redefine Centre-State Relations: SAD”, The Hindu, March 24, 1997.
The Times of India, November 28, 2009.
The Tribune, February 6, 2000.
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29. Verney, Douglas, “From Quasi-federation to Quasi-confederacy? The transformation of India’s
Party System,” Publius, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2003, p. 171.
30. Yadav, Yogendra and Suhas Palshikar, “Principal State Level Contests and Derivative National
Choices, ”Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV, No. 6, February 2009, p. 57.
Lok Sabha is the lower house of parliament.
Panchayats are the elected bodies at the village level.
Nagarpalikas are the municipal councils at urban levels.
Работа индийской парламентской демократии
в XXI веке: оценка
Ранджит Сингх
Отделение аспирантуры факультета политологии
и государственного управления
Колледж Халса, Амритсар
Амритсар, Пенджаб, Индия
Индийская политика претерпела серьезные изменения за последние несколько десятилетий.
На передний план вышло несколько закономерностей. Время однопартийной системы прошло,
и теперь основу современной политики Индии составляют коалиционные правительства. В
первые годы работы коалиционных правительств они считались источником политической
стабильности и с течением времени еще лучше укрепили свои позиции. Феномен коалиционной
политики также повлек за собой ряд значительных изменений в работе индийского федерализма.
Это привело к федерализации региональных политических партий, которые играют
решающую роль при принятии решения о создании правительств на общегосударственном
уровне. Местные политические партии расширяют сферу своего воздействия и начинают
ориентироваться на национальный уровень.
О концентрации власти и злоупотреблении некоторыми положениями Конституции обычно
не говорят. Кроме того, некоторые внеконституциональные институты, как, например,
национальный совещательный совет, заняли свое место в работе коалиционных правительств.
Это также привело к некоторым изменениям в полномочиях, положении и власти Кабинета
министров и особенно премьер-министра. Некоторые черты парламентского правительства
также повлекли за собой изменения в политике Индии. Данная статья рассказывает о
направлениях в политике, возникших после тринадцатых выборов Лок сабхи (народной палаты)
в 1999 году. Актуальность исследования обусловлена тем, что оно освещает изменения,
которые политическая система Индии претерпела за последние десять лет этого века.
Методы исследования – анализ первичных и вторичных источников. Цель данной статьи –
проанализировать влияние партийной системы на парламентскую и федеральную системы
Ключевые слова: взаимоотношения с властью, демократия, парламентаризм, коалиция,
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1021-1026
УДК 342.722
Democratic Constitutional Ideal
and Problems of Political Culture in Russia
Anatoly G. Anikevich and Elena P. Cheban*
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Received 30.09.2012, received in revised form 10.04.2013, accepted 03.06.2013
This article analyzes the Russian constitutional ideal that should be «turned» into a complete ideology
that could effectively influence the formation of a modern democratic culture of the population.
Inconformity of the political legal activity of the state with the constitutional ideal is stated.
Keywords: state, democracy, constitutional ideal, political science, political culture, law.
Point of view
In the formation of the political culture
of the population in every country ideology is
always important. In Russia the state ideology
in other words, the official, imperative ideology
is constitutionally prohibited. But it does not
mean that the legal and political activities of
the state don’t have the ideological basis – it is
fi xed in the Constitution: Russia is a democratic
law-bound state (The Constitution of the
Russian Federation. 2011: Article 1). This is
not an ideology in the scientific meaning of the
term but it is a common regulatory standard,
entrenched the constitutional ideal which can
and should be «turned» into a logically and
empirically grounded concept by the domestic
science that takes historical, national, religious
and cultural characteristics of Russia as well as
social-psychological and mental characteristics
of its population into account. It is not important
how to call this concept. The most important
thing is by means of this concept to form
the constitutional ideal in the full ideology
competing with others.
First of all, it is necessary to note that if the
ideal is utopian and the ideology of the country
has been forcing to the population almost
unrealizable values for a long time, as a result
there will be the inevitable collapse of the system.
That’s how it was in the Soviet era: the classics of
Marxism-Leninism built an example of a perfect
society. The country developed a system of moral,
political and other beliefs and practices, and on
this basis a powerful mechanism of upbringing
and education in the official ideology acted. But
this orderly system originally contained its own
negation, a negative paradigm, because ideal
future was constantly in contradiction with
the difficult, even hopeless present. And if the
young generation of the 20th religiously believed
in the norm of the ideal society and its quick
«materialization», this faith disappeared with
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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time in subsequent generations. The lack of faith
was growing expressed in a wide range of official
and negative behavior from «kitchen» critics of
the form of government and «persons» to the legal
nihilism and moral degeneration. The creators of
the theory and the authority of the country were
in practice idealists (not realists, at least), because
their theory and practice were based on the idea
of a man as he should be, not what he is.
Meanwhile, in the psychological basis of
personality there is a normal human selfishness
and the desire to be important in real life.
Because of these basic factors, a person sees
the world only through the prism of his own «I»
and represents this world, this society in itself
only through a daily reality of his own «I». A
sincere mass belief in the ideal can take place
only in a historically short period of time during
extraordinary situations such as revolutions
or wars. Under normal circumstances,
socialization of the individual happens in
his daily routine, sociality fi rstly reflects in
everyday consciousness. Scientific mind can
be formed only on the basis of the ordinary, but
not vice versa – because of the human nature,
because of his natural way of socialization.
But there were attempts to do «the opposite».
Everyday life and everyday consciousness
«branded» as something inert, routine as
«suburbanity» In fact, it was an attempt to alter
the very nature of man, to create the inverted
world. To the extent that this attempt failed, we
got a mass conformity, «double» morality (and
immorality), disbelief, not only in the authority
but also in the homeland.
The modern constitutional ideal is not
utopian, moreover, it is largely implemented
in most developed countries. «Man, his rights
and freedoms are the supreme value» (The
Constitution of the Russian Federation. 2011:
Article 2). It is also the consolidation of the
constitutional ideal on the basis of understanding
by the legislator that a modern state is more
legitimate if the population of the country is able
to provide maximum security – legal, political,
economic, etc. In this case, coercion as a method
of ruling is minimized, as citizens, really
protected by the state voluntarily acknowledge
their dependence on the government. «The state
rules over its citizens ... because the citizens
realize that they are dependent on it, and the state
rules as far as they are aware of this dependence.
In the degree of their consciousness the measure
and the border of state authority are based»
(Korkunov, 2003:167).
The legitimacy of the government and the law
is the most important condition for the stability of
any state and the process of legitimation is largely
dependent on the ideological support. Ideology in
its entirety is a form of self-reflection of society,
class or group. In the ideology the interests of the
social community get their more or less adequate
interpretation or pseudotheoretical study and
systematization. The main function of ideology is
the protection of the interests of a community of
people through the study of strategic lines of its
behavior. This function is performed by forming
beliefs which become a dynamic stereotype, a
mental form determining the evaluation unit of
thinking. Beliefs in the end are the basis for the
motivation of human action. They determine the
vector of actions and thoughts of individuals and
groups in achieving the objectives of the real or
perceived interests.
In our opinion, even in presence of
ideological pluralism and the prohibition of
official ideology for the effective development
of modern democratic culture Russia needs an
ideology, fully adapted to all the features of the
country. Based on a democratic constitutional
ideal, the ideology should meet the personal,
group and at the same time the public interest.
Moreover, such an ideology, building a number
of value not from above (from the state) but from
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Anatoly G. Anikevich and Elena P. Cheban. Democratic Constitutional Ideal and Problems of Political Culture in Russia
the bottom (from the person), can maximize the
social base of the state, thereby legitimizing the
authority and the law.
It would seem that the ruling elite in
the country should understand this and act
accordingly – it’s in its interests. At least
it would be logical to organize a political
education corresponding to the ideal until there
is a complete democratic ideology (fragments of
classical ideologies are ineffective in Russia). But
clearly not coping with governing the country,
the authorities are trying to strengthen the regime
by undemocratic methods such as laws and banal
demagogy. «In recent years Russia was on the
way of limiting the operations of the rules of the
Constitution of the Russian Federation ... There
is an active imitation of democracy». (Denisov,
2012: 33).
The model of this kind of demagogy is the
fact that the modern political culture of young
people is one of the priorities of the entire
system of upbringing and education. It is said by
politicians and officials at all levels. But in fact
there is the opposite tendency. An example is the
teaching of political science at the universities. In
the Soviet era, it was considered a pseudoscience
and it was banned. It began to be taught in all high
schools in the early 1990s of the twenties century
and now, according to the latest State Standard
teaching hours of political science are cut by a
third, but the main thing is that political science is
an elective discipline. It means that the university
management decides whether to include or not
the political science in the curriculum. Taking
into account the fact that the majority of current
university leaders themselves were students in
the USSR and they did not study political science
and they have now enough problems connected
with training specialists, it is easy to foresee the
sad fate of this discipline.
It seems that the effort to «ruin» political
science is not just a mistake or a demonstration
of ignorance of some unnamed officials of
Ministry of Education, but it is a very deliberate
and purposeful activity as a part of the strategy
of destruction of the entire system of education.
Otherwise, it is simply impossible to interpret
modern «innovations» in this field to view them
from the standpoint of a systematic approach.
Therefore, the analysis of the relationship of
words and deeds is interesting. For example, all
of the most famous politicians of the country are
always talking about the need to strengthen and
develop the civil society, to increase its role in
the solution of all problems. But very few people
know (including people with higher education)
what civil society is, what elements, structure
it has, and especially what role and importance
in the formation of a democratic regime it plays.
Consequently, current politicians are calling for
building and developing «something that they do
not know». Incidentally, only the political science
thoroughly studies everything connected with
the civil society, and therefore, it may contribute
to the formation of modern political culture of
students. The question is whether the authorities
need it or not.
Political leaders often speak of «managed
democracy» in the country. What is it? Perhaps
this is the real («managed») restriction of voting
rights of citizens compared with the last decade
of the last century. For example, the turnout of
voters in elections at various levels is canceled
because of low activity of citizens. But passivity
is due to uselessness of political participation,
so useless activity is followed by quite sensible
passivity. Moreover, that is not understandable
even for the most literate voters for example,
why «electoral threshold» for the parties in the
elections to the State Duma is raised from 5 to
7%, why political coalitions which are common
in democratic countries are banned, why the new
law on referendum has made its organization by
citizens practically almost impossible, why the
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vast majority of officials are members of the same
party, etc.
The Upper House of Parliament – the
Federation Council – consists by half of the
representatives of executive power. Therefore,
there is an obvious violation of the concept of
separation of powers. Recently a new law on the
procedure for forming of the Federation Council
has been passed, but it has not changed anything:
still half of its members are the representatives of
the executive branch, headed by the President.
So it turns out, that the State Duma consists
more than by half of members of the president’s
party, what is provided by a «specific» electoral
law, half of the Federation Council members
belong to the executive branch and the rest
mostly are the members of the same party. The
government is totally dependent on the head of
the state (this is according to the Constitution).
The judges of higher courts – Constitutional
Court, Supreme Court and Supreme Arbitration
Court are appointed by the Federation Council on
the recommendation of the President. That means
the courts are «under the control of the President».
The simplest example is the Constitutional Court
in 1996 ruled that the governors should be elected
by the people of the territorial subject of the
Federation (decision for the Altai region), because
it is only constitutional. In 2006 the same court
ruled that the governors should not be elected by
the people and it is constitutional. We are waiting
for the decision of High Court in connection with
the new law on elections of governors.
Thus, all three branches of government
are under the control of the President. This is
complemented by the introduction of amendments
to the Constitution and its interpretation of
the authorities, which allows the state «to act
practically uncontrolled in all spheres of social
relations; norms and procedures limiting the
power are rejected, it is directly contradiction to
the principles of rule- of-law state. The power in
this case has a direct opportunity to influence the
legislator through the ruling party and other tools
to transform not only the political system but
also the rights of citizens towards their apparent
reduction» ( Dobrynin, 2012: 5).
Where is here the concept of separation
of powers as the basis of modern democracy?
Note that this concept as well as others such as
sovereignty of people, legitimacy and consensus,
federalism is the subject of political science.
Russian federalism is also «managed». Heads
of federal subjects were firstly elected, later since
2004 appointed and now they are elected again.
But the law has established such a «filter» that
only the member of the ruling party can become
the governor of a territory, region or the president
of a republic. Of course, there may be exceptions
but some anti-exceptions are provided too. For
example, the president can send the governor to
resign due to «loss of confidence». Thus, on the
one hand we can see the complete lack of respect
of authority will of the people of the territorial
subject of the Federation, on the other hand, again
the same vertical of executive branch, «pocket»
governors for the President. Therefore, there is a
formal federalism, in other words a «manageabledemocratic federal centralism». It is necessary to
note that political science studies problems of
federalism as well as the party systems which
is particularly interesting on the background of
legislative rushing from one extreme to the other
(talking about the number of registered political
parties in the old and the latest laws). Absurdity
of party «leapfrog» will be seen in the elections
very soon.
Unfortunately, there is the obvious
conclusion that despite the change of ruling
elites the same fatal regularity for Russia has
been repeated again: authority does not trust
people, so by all means it eliminates people from
political participation. The authority does not
want to understand that the political ignorance
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and the corresponding political passivity of the
population are inevitably transformed into «their
something» – into the political and legal nihilism,
lack of control and lack of responsibility at all
levels, which has already become a reality. For
example, everyone can see the uselessness and
even the negative impact of many of the reforms
initiated by the government in the last 10-12 years
(municipal, housing, education, etc.). The country
has an incredibly high level of corruption. But the
minister of education and the minister of defense
(the Ministry of Defence with supercorruption)
are appointed by the head of the state. These
ministers are included in the Government headed
by its Chairman. The head of the state and the
head of the government are the same two figures.
Who should control officials and be responsible
for their «deeds» in a «managed democracy»?
The people are mostly politically passive
and silent, but they understand what the root of
evil is that’s why there are more and more people
who are willing to follow the example of corrupt
officials against the law and morality. This is
the elementary logic of life. The authorities
continue to pass obviously useless laws. So, all
officials give now their own schedule of revenues
and expenditures and schedule of revenues and
expenditures of their marital partners and minor
children. Such a measure would probably have
an effect on legitimate Germans and Finns, but
our thief-official of great resource will only grin
sarcastically. Meanwhile in Soviet times for the
majority of acquisitive crime such an additional
penalty as confiscation of property was applied.
It was very effective as thief considers something
stolen to be his own, so, he experiences
confiscation psychologically more painful than
imprisonment. This served as a punishment for
some people and as exemplary for the other. In
fact, now there is no such a measure. And why?
In this regard people usually remember proverbs:
«One hand washes the other» or «crows do not
pick crow’s eyes». Again there is the simple logic
that leads to the conclusion that if it is allowed
to someone, it is allowed to the other. This is a
moral line that people politically illiterate and
excommunicated from effective participation in
government and society easily overstep.
Overall rating of the ruling elite is reduced,
it means there is a process of delegitimization of
law and authority (political science studies these
questions). Elite tries not to notice it apparently
believing that the low political culture of the
population will help it longer maintain its status.
Regardless of the name «managed model of
democracy», «soft authoritarianism» or «monocentrism» modern public-political regime
roughly contrary to the constitutional ideal can of
course control the situation in the country, but it
«generates stable relations only for a certain time
and unfortunately leads to a «new stagnation»
and it already happened in the history of Soviet
Russia» (Korkunov, 2003: 48). In our opinion the
«new stagnation» is the best variant, but more
pessimistic scenario is possible too. It is fair
to say that since 2012 there has been a positive
trend to change the situation in lawmaking and
governing, but it has only been a tendency so far.
The Constitution of the Russian Federation. Moscow, 2011, in Russian.
Denisov S.A. The end stage of counter-reforms in Russia. Constitutional and Municipal Law.
2012. № 5, in Russian.
Dobrynin N.M. Constitutionalism and the rule-of-law state: the theory and practice of the
relationship. Constitutional and municipal law. 2012, № 3, in Russian.
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Anatoly G. Anikevich and Elena P. Cheban. Democratic Constitutional Ideal and Problems of Political Culture in Russia
Kabyshev V.T. Constitutional paradigm of Russia in Millennium. Journal of Russian law. 2008.
№ 12, in Russian.
Korkunov N.M. Lectures on the general theory of law. St. Petersburg. 2003, in Russian.
Демократический конституционный идеал
и проблемы формирования
политической культуры в России
А.Г. Аникевич, Е.П. Чебан
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 79
Статья посвящена анализу российского конституционного идеала, который необходимо
«развернуть» в полноценную идеологию, способную эффективно влиять на формирование
современной демократической культуры населения. Аргументируется полное несоответствие
политико-правовой деятельности государства конституционному идеалу.
Ключевые слова: государство, демократия, конституционный идеал, политологи, политическая
культура, закон.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1027-1032
УДК 159
General Organization Theory
Yuri N. Belokopytov*
Siberian State University of Technology
82 Mira prospect, Krasnoyarsk, 660049 Russia
Received 23.05.2013, received in revised form 16.06.2013, accepted 26.06.2013
The article is devoted to the origins of the new postneoclassical paradigm. The basis of the modern
foundation of synergetics appearing was the scientific work of A.A. Bogdanov ‘Tectology’. For the first
this study appeared in Russia and surpassed the Western scientific thoughts in the many decades. The
following areas are reflected in the Russian study: the systematic approach, the cybernetic approach to
synergetics as the science of self-organization of various systems. They appeared much later in other
countries. A.A. Bogdanov introduced new concepts in the self-organizing such as non-linear system,
the dynamic equilibrium attractor and revealed their role in the organization. Particular attention is
paid to philosophy, dialectics in particular. Specific features of the similarities and differences of the
two approaches in thinking are allocated.
Keywords: a new paradigm, world view, ‘Tectology’ by A.A. Bogdanov as a source of new thinking,
organization and discipline, methodology and system Western and Eastern thinking, non-linearity
and dynamism, synergy and dialectic, the similarities and differences, self-organization and
“Synergy” translated from the Greek
means a joint or coordinated action. Synergy is
expressed by “2 +2 = 5” (Goncharov, 1998: 122).
In other words, the synergy leads to multiplication
(amplification) of the final result. It is said, that it
is “exploring the relationship between elements
of the subsystem through the exchange of flows
of energy, matter and information in the object
and the environment” (Lebedev et al, 1998: 34).
It should be borne in mind that if the subsystem is
completely consistent in its behavior, it increases
the level of self-organization even larger
V.S. Kapustin precisely noticed on this
occasion: “Now, at the turn of the century, it can
be said with confidence that we almost came to
the area of major paradigm change in the scientific
world, and this time they mainly affect the
science of wildlife and many of the Humanities”
(Kapustin, 1997: 96-97). The scientist regrets
that being originated in Russia the theory of selforganization comes back to us from Europe. We
are essentially talking about science Tectology
and its founder A.A. Bogdanov. It was this science
which was the source of modern natural science
of synergetics.
The organization is the essence of both
the living and the nonliving nature. Therefore
A.A. Bogdanov restricted any activity to the
organization. According to him humanity has
no other activities than organizational one, there
are no other problems, other points of view on
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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life and the world, except for organizational.
A.A. Bogdanov tries to create a so-called monistic
conception of the Universe. He affirmed: ‘The
Universe – is endlessly unfolding fabric of the
various types and levels of organization (complete
lack of organization does not happen – this concept
does not make sense). All these forms of mutual
struggle and mutual plexuses form a continuous
and unbroken global organizational process‘
(Koritskiy et al, 1990: 17). In turn, the scientist
believed, that the disorganizational activity is the
particular case of the organizational activity.
A.A. Bogdanov attached the importance
to the new methods of science. He related all
of the methods to organizational, and they, in
his opinion, have a universal character both in
inanimate nature, wildlife, and in the psychic
world (Lytov, 1997: 150-152).
Researcher B.V. Lytov conducted the
philosophical analysis of tectology and believed
that this science ‘allowed to apply the universal
methods of organization to the phenomena of
nature, society and human thought and gave
the opportunity to study the general regularities
inherent in the material and ideal world much
deeper’ (Lytov, 1997: 148). And then he continues
the argument about its meaning. ‘The emergence
and development of tectology is the event of the
universal human scale: for the first time (after the
philosophy, mathematics and logic) the subject of
the study were not things, properties, processes,
as it is in traditional science, but attitudes, which
are the organizational, invariant with respect
to forms of motion, and forms of movement of
the spirit. The tectology was immediately given
the status of interdisciplinary science – the first
science in the XX century’ (Lytov, 1997: 148149).
In an anthology of the Soviet management
thought the approach of A.A. Bogdanov ‘noticeably
stood out among the other organizational and
technological approaches offered in the 20s’.
Assuming that all types of management (in nature,
society, technology) have common features,
A.A. Bogdanov tried to describe them in terms of
a special science – organizational, and defined its
subject matter, main categories and the principles
of behaviour of any organizational processes.
According to A.A. Bogdanov, ‘the subject
of organizational science should be the general
organizational principles and laws by which the
organization processes take place in all areas
of organic and inorganic world, in the work of
natural forces and human conscious activity.
They operate in the technique (organization of
things), the economy (organization of people),
the ideology (organization of ideas)’ (Koritskiy,
1990: 14). We agree with this assessment and
believe that this is indeed the beginning of a
new vision of the world. At the same time, the
priority in the research was not one of philosophy
and dialectics, as all attention was given to the
tectology as the universal organizational science.
In his main work A.A. Bogdanov singled out the
first elements, so called prototypes of the tectology
and pays much attention to their description: ‘The
first attempt at a universal methodology belongs
to Hegel. In his dialectic he tried to find a general
method for the world, and saw it not as a method
of organization, but more vague and abstract,
as the method of “development.” With this
vagueness and abstraction the objective success
of the attempt was eliminated, but in addition, as
a method taken from the special, the ideological
sphere, the sphere of thought, dialectics in
fact was not quite universal. Nevertheless, the
systematization of experience made by Hegel with
the help of dialectic, surpassed all its grandeur
ever made in philosophy and had an enormous
influence on the further progress of organizing
thoughts. Universal evolutionary scheme of
Herbert Spencer and especially the materialist
dialectic were the following approximations to
the current formulation of the problem. This last
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statement, firstly, is based on the elucidation of its
organizational entities, and secondly, is in the fact
that it is fully universal and embraces practical
and theoretical methods, the conscious human and
natural methods of nature. One another highlights
and explains, it is also impossible the problem
solution out of that kind of integral formulation
of the question, for the part taken out of the whole
can not be made whole, or be understood apart
from the whole. Universal organizational science
we call “Tectology”. The literal translation from
the Greek means “the doctrine of construction”.
“Construction” is the most comprehensive and
the best synonym for the modern concept of
“organization” (Bogdanov, 1989: 112).
Although A.A. Bogdanov mistakenly
believed that the developed “Tectology” should
replace philosophy and become a common
methodological basis among all the other sciences,
but “Universal Organizational Science” has not
been widespread. It was criticized both fairly
and sometimes unfairly for abstraction, loose
coupling with the urgent problems of economic
management. However, it is now recognized
that A.A. Bogdanov made many valuable
ideas on organization theory, cybernetics,
network management techniques, that requires
clarification assess of the significance of his
research (Koritskiy et al, 1990: 19).
At the same time, the emergence of science
tectology triggered a cascade of multiple birth
(several dozen) of different systems and theories
of science (Lytov, 1997: 148-149). It is necessary
to note among them the general theory of systems
and cybernetics, system technique and computer
science, synergetics and the co-evolution theory.
In addition, the ideas of tectology had a direct
influence on the “organizational consciousness”
for practitioners, especially management training
with a modern style of thinking.
The Industrial Revolution, which was
accomplished in the West for more than two
hundred years ago, has led to the discovery of
new laws of nature, which could then be used
for human progress. Western way of thinking is
essentially analytical, and Eastern one is complex.
Paradoxically, the Chinese scientists, despite their
high level of civilization never know the basic
laws of Newton. At the same time, they found
thousands of differences in character, although
the Western world uses only about thirty types.
Theoretical science can benefit from
analytical thinking, but management practices
are mainly based on the art of synthesis. At
one time Confucius said on this point: ‘Good
leadership consists of a collection of all efforts’.
The results of Western analytical technologies are
now available to everyone. The Eastern culture
is no need to use these technologies in practice.
Japanese management, Japanese officials in
particular have become famous because of their
pragmatic synthesis (Hofstede, 1997: 170-173).
It should be noted that in Tectology the
original theory of self-organizing system is seen.
V.S. Kapustin, trying to restore justice, made the
great analytical scientific work concerning the
origins of tektology as a science and proved that
the idea of a Russian scientist A.A. Bogdanov
is the fi rst in this area of expertise. He said that
‘in fact, it is the same “order out of chaos” about
which Ilya Prigogine wrote. L. Bertalanffy reformulated this idea 30 years later, but without
reference to Bogdanov, and 50 years later H.
Haken expressed the idea of self-organization
based on the corporate behavior of nonlinear
dynamical processes in open systems, and
also without references to the fi rst-mover’
(Kapustin, 1997: 100). Consequently, we are
seeing in the development of organizational
theory of A.A. Bogdanov the dialectics of
historical and logical. At this stage, synergy
emerges as a modern principle of development,
which includes directions and specific aspects
of science. By analogy with the dialectic
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(Lenin: 298), the history of the formation of
synergistic patterns of thinking coincides with
the formation of the methodological foundations
of synergetics.
G.G. Kirilenko, by reviewing some concepts
of Anglo-American “philosophy of science”,
and revealing the natural-philosophical way
of thinking in the development of human
knowledge, concludes that ‘the principle of unity
of philosophy and special sciences involves more
than the identity of their objects and methods,
but just consider philosophy as a special
branch of scientific knowledge, identifying its
specific selection, involves a special domain
of philosophical inquiry, its difference from a
special study not only the level of generality
of its provisions, but the choice aspect of the
study, does not coincide with the subject of
any specific discipline, even the very general
nature. However, this approach conflicts with
the natural-philosophical style of thinking and
leads to its elimination, as the latter does not
account for the complexity, multi-level cognitive
process, based on the idea of the homogeneity of
cognitive processes. So, with the disappearance
of the practice of scientific knowledge is already
outdated in their roles, communication method of
philosophy and science, there appeared the new
way of communication, based on understanding
of philosophy and special studies as special
branches of scientific knowledge, the specific
levels of development of the world’ (Kirilenko,
1982: 112). In our point of view, this requires
further philosophical understanding of some of
the problems of synergetics.
Such an understanding is particularly true
of the seventh element of the dialectic (Lenin:
202), where the combined processes of analysis
and synthesis, is their summation. In a study of
the phenomenon of “synergy” can be traced not
only differences but also the general trends in
the interaction of Eastern and Western thought.
This view is held by E.N. Knyazev, who noted
that ‘thanks to recent results of synergy (or the
theory of self-organization) there are beginning
to install internal connections between the
natural and human sciences, Eastern and
Western worldview, a new science (the science of
complexity, nonlinearity and chaos) and the old
culture, science and art, science and philosophy.
Synergetics is an integrative or synthetic value’
(Knyazev, 2000: 243).
All of the above acts as the basis of the
hypothetical assumption that synergy could
make the basis for an interdisciplinary synthesis
of knowledge. This view is reinforced in
philosophical studies of Ervin Laszlo, who stated
that ‘today we have many highly specialized and
independent research conducted by the evolution
of specific entities, such as stars, butterflies,
culture or identity, but have very few (if you have
any) a truly universal concepts of evolution as a
fundamental process’ (Laszlo, 2000: 330).
The scientist concludes further that theory
‘which attempts to unify our understanding of
the transdisciplinary physical, biological and
psychological phenomena that give rise to a
fundamental change in our attitudes to ourselves
and the world. The most fundamental premise of
narrow disciplinary theories undergo subtle but
significant changes. This process is described
in detail in the literature on paradigms, the new
paradigm is, in our view, the importance of
making changes in certain assumptions about
the deeper nature of the phenomena under study’
(Laszlo, 2000: 333).
A specialist in politics A. Vengerov
predicted the further dialectic interaction and
synergy. ‘Apparently, the new paradigm in
social science methodology, among other things,
whether include the dialectic method as a special
synergy, and then only for certain areas, or even
replace it with a fundamentally new approaches
to reality’ (Venger Synergetics.., 1993: 56). In
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our opinion, this was a very bold statement, but
A. Vengerov is based on the fact that synergy
is quite different than the dialectic materialism
in its modification, and solves the problem of
ontology and epistemology. In his opinion, if
‘for supporters of the materialistic modification
all directions – dialectic, epistemology and logic
are one and the same, but the universe “lives”
on the same dialectical laws, for the synergistic
worldview these postulates are not conclusive, and
the dialectical unity of ontology and epistemology
is not detected.
In addition, it should be admitted that
many of the origins of the crisis of ideology
and practice of Marxist theory, including its
political and legal segment, are in the depths of
the dialectic, which was based on this theory.
Apparently, the materialist dialectic, with its
primacy over the required random and other
postulates of new knowledge under the pressure
of the end of XX century and the historical
experience of the exhaust is mainly cognitive
and prognostic potential, at least in the social
sphere. We should not forget how cleverly,
though in many ways, of course, artificial, it was
adapted for the hostile and sometimes genocidal
policy targets in our country, especially in the
20’s and 30’s. What did it cost, for example,
only one study of political inference ‘about the
aggravation of class struggle as the victory of
socialism’, referring to the dialectical position
‘of the struggle of opposites as a source of
development’! (Venger Synergetics.., 1993: 56)
Further the scientist stopped on the differences
between the underlying synergy and dialectic
and brings it into a unified scheme (Venger
Synergetics.., 1993: 57) .
Based on comparative analysis the scientist
concludes that ‘this scheme, like any other,
is rather conventional. Many positions could
be supplemented. The diversity of certain
provisions of the dialectic and the synergy
of the characteristics of dynamic processes
(development) is discussable. And these
characteristics can be challenged. Nevertheless,
that scheme has some cognitive value because of
its clarity and structure’ (Venger Synergetics..,
1993: 57). In this case, there is the other extreme
of exaggerating the capabilities of the potential
synergy of the dialectic. We believe that the
dialectic and synergy are complementary, each
has its own subject of study.
After examining the various points of view
on the subject of research, we are inclined to
believe that synergies should be considered on
two levels: fi rstly, as a method of philosophical
inquiry, which serves the principle of subsidiarity
to the dialectic, as currently there is a gradual
and irreversible process of establishing synergy,
but it can not be called an independent science,
and secondly, as a dialectic methodology is
directed from above, as well as the synergy
integrative approach seeks specific disciplines
below. They need to be considered holistically.
Goncharov V.V. The most important concepts and concepts in modern management. Moscow:
MNIIP, 1998. P. 122.
Lebedev O.T., Kankovskaya A.R. Principles of Management. St. Petersburg.: ID “Master and
Margarita”, 1998. P. 34.
Kapustin V. Management views AA Bogdanov in the light of Synergetics. The Origins of the
Russian management. Moscow: Publishing House of the “Ray”, 1997. 172 p.
Koritskiy E.B., Lavrikov Yu., Omar A.M. Soviet management thought the 20s: a short name
directory Moscow: Economics, 1990. 233 p.
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Lytov B.V. Application. The Origins of the Russian management. Moscow: Publishing House of
the “Ray”, 1997. 172 p.
6. Bogdanov A.A. Tectology (General Organization Science). In the 2 books.: Book. 1. Moscow:
Economics, 1989. P. 112.
7. Hofstede G.H. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. New York. McGRAW-HILL,
1997. P. 170-173.
8. Lenin V.I. Full. Works. Op. V. 29. 782 p.
9. Kirilenko G.G. Сrisis methodological foundations of bourgeois «philosophy of science» (naturalphilosophical way of thinking and its modern version). Moscow: Mosk. University Press, 1982.
P. 112.
10. Knyazev E.N. Synergistic call culture. Synergetic paradigm. The variety of quests and approaches.
Moscow: Progress Tradition, 2000. P. 243.
11. Laszlo E. Grounds transdisciplinary unified theory. Synergetic paradigm. The variety of quests
and approaches. Moscow: Progress Tradition, 2000. 536 p.
12. Venger A. Synergetics and policy. Social Sciences and the present. 1993. № 4. P. 55-69.
Всеобщая организационная теория
Ю.Н. Белокопытов
Сибирский государственный технологический университет
Россия 660049, Красноярск, пр. Мира, 82
Статья посвящена истокам возникновения новой постнеклассической парадигмы.
Основополагающим фактором в возникновении современной синергетики является научный
труд А.А. Богданова “Тектология”. Это исследование впервые появилось именно в России
и на многие десятки лет опередило западную научную мысль. Кроме того, в российском
исследовании были заложены следующие направления: системный подход, кибернетический
подход, синергетика как наука о самоорганизации самых различных систем. Эти направления
исследования появились за рубежом гораздо позже. В самоорганизации А.А. Богданов вводит
новые понятия, такие как нелинейная система, динамическое равновесие, аттрактор, и
раскрывает их влияние на организованность. Особое внимание в статье уделено философии,
в частности диалектике. Выделяются характерные особенности сходства и различия двух
подходов в мышлении.
Ключевые слова: новая парадигма, картина мира, тектология А.А. Богданова, источник
нового мышления, организация и организованность, методология и система, западное и
восточное мышление, Л. Берталанфи и Г. Хакен, нелинейность и динамичность, синергетика
и диалектика, сходство и различия, самоорганизация и развитие.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1033-1037
УДК 340.121
Orthodox Theology at Modern University:
Main Approaches to University Curriculum
Natalia P. Koptseva*
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Received 12.04.2013, received in revised form 31.05.2013, accepted 21.06.2013
Since the year 2001, many universities have been rolling out a new educational programme called
Orthodox Theology as a major discipline. At the moment, the discipline is included into the curriculum
of over 30 universities. The present article disputes on the main approaches towards forming up the
Orthodox Theology syllabus for educating Bachelors of Orthodox Theology; lists the main subjects
required for the Bachelor programme; formulates the principles for distributing subjects between 8
semesters of education.
Keywords: theology, religious studies, cultural studies, Siberian Federal University, an educational
The 033400.64 “Confession Theology”
educational Bachelor’s programme is based on
the Federal State Educational Standard for Higher
Professional Education (FSES HPE) approved
by the Decree of the Ministry of Education and
Science of the Russian Federation No. 183 dated
February 9, 2011. The mentioned FSES HPE states
that the Bachelor of Theology can be educated on
the basis of the following confessions: Christian,
Muslim, Judaic, Buddhist. The choice of the
confession is determined by the traditions typical
for this or that region of the Russian Federation,
and various historical and cultural factors
influencing the constituent entities of the Russian
Multiple sociological surveys demonstrate
that all the constituent entities of the Russian
Federation except for Chechnya and Ingushetia
are populated with people who tend to choose
Orthodox Christianity as their confession.
Over 80 % of adult Russians call themselves
Orthodox Christians. Of course, we speak both
of the religious and cultural self-determination
of Russian citizens. This choice is based on
the deep historical and sociocultural memory
of the people. The group who claims Orthodox
Christianity to be their religion mostly consists,
but is not limited to, Russian people. The
Tartars, Chuvashes, Mordvins, Ossetians and
other large ethic groups populating the modern
Russian Federation choose to be Orthodox
Christian; moreover, many people living beyond
the borders of the country are also Orthodox.
Altogether their number counts up to hundreds
of million people.
In this situation the Orthodox Christian
world feels the need for highly educated people
who would possess deep knowledge of the
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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Orthodox belief and understand it as a historical
way; the people who would be able to solve the
problems faced today by the Russian Orthodox
Church from rational positions.
November 28-29 in the city of Moscow
His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all
Russia Kirill held a council called “Theology
at Universities: Interaction of the Church,
State and Society” aimed at summarizing the
experience of those religious and secular higher
educational establishments which have been
rolling out the 033400.62 Orthodox Theology
course. The Council was opened with the speech
of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill who emphasized
the connection between opening theological
orthodox education course at the universities of
Russia and the critical religious need of millions
of people. His Holiness remarked that orthodox
theological education can be successfully carried
out at universities where it can be based on the
old traditions and rich educational and scientific
experience of the establishments. His Holiness
Patriarch also mentioned that the number of
state-subsidized vacancies for theology students
is not enough: in the year 2012 the Ministry of
Education and Science of the Russian Federation
provided only 180 vacancies for the huge country
of many million population, which is a drop in the
bucket, as the Patriarch says.
Of great importance was the speech of
Metropolitan Hilarion who pointed at the critical
need for the dialogue between theology and
modern sciences, both humanitarian and natural.
Such meaningful dialogue becomes possible
only in the process of rolling out the theological
educational programme at modern universities.
Many speakers told of the interesting experience
acquired by various Russian universities which
had opened departments of Theology and began
educating Orthodox theologians.
Scientific and methodological support
for 033400.62 Orthodox Theology course is
provided by two universities which have been
working in a nice and efficient partnership:
Lomonosov Moscow State University and St.
Tikhon’s Orthodox University which celebrates
its 20th anniversary this year. All participants
of the Patriarch’s Council were presented with a
great gift from the Rector of STOU: the full set
of scientific and methodological aids (46 items)
which is enough to begin carrying out high
quality Orthodox Theology education.
The fundament of the educational process
is the educational plan of the Orthodox Theology
course which includes an educational schedule,
the plan itself, descriptions of practical tasks,
distribution of subjects, credits, exams,
internships, final examination for each of the 8
At the present time the Culture Studies
Department of Institute for the Humanities
of Federal State Autonomous Educational
Establishment of Higher Professional Education
“Siberian Federal University” is preparing for
getting its license for Main Educational Programme
(MEP) 033400.62 “Orthodox Theology”;
educational plan based on the FSES HPE and the
recommendations issued by the researchers and
professors of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University
has been complete. It is essential to remark that
the teachers and professors of the university
took up the work on MEP “Orthodox Theology”
with great inspiration. Despite their multiple
research and teaching assignments, the teachers
eagerly agreed to design this new educational
At the present moment Siberian Federal
University is hosting the Orthodox Theological
Society which serves as a site for discussing
scientific, methodological, teaching problems
connected with the implementation of the MEP
“Orthodox Theology”.
The syllabus for the Orthodox Theology
course is designed for 8 semesters of 4 years of
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study. Each semester is divided into weeks as
1 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 3 weeks of
exam session, 2 weeks of holidays;
2 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 4 weeks of
exam session, 4 weeks of internship practice, 5
weeks of holidays;
3 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 3 weeks of
exam session, 2 weeks of holidays;
4 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 4 weeks
of exam session, 4 weeks of research practice, 5
weeks of holidays;
5 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 4 weeks of
exam session, 2 weeks of holidays;
6 semester: 18 weeks of studies, 4 weeks
of exam session, 2 weeks of research practice, 5
weeks of holidays;
7 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 1 weeks of
state exams, 2 weeks of holidays;
8 semester: 17 weeks of studies, 4 weeks of
exam session, 1,5 weeks for final qualification
paper presentation, 7,5 weeks of holidays.
This way all the structural elements
suggested to be included into the FSES HPE on
Orthodox Theology, including the number of
weeks for theoretical studies, holidays (including
the 2 essential weeks of winter holidays),
internship practice and research practice, state
exams, final qualification paper presentation,
have been successfully actualized.
FSES HPE of every educational programme
(not only Orthodox Theology) includes standard
blocks of subjects divided into the following
Group 1: general humanitarian, social and
economic subjects;
Group 2: general mathematics and natural
Group 3: special subjects;
Group 4: physical education.
The present structure is standard for
Orthodox Theology syllabus as well. Naturally,
the content of each group is determined by
the FSES HPE for Theology MEP, which is
also connected with Orthodox Theology as a
Groups 1, 2 and 4 are standard for all
kinds of higher professional education in the
Russian Federation. However, the syllabus for
Orthodox Theology manifests the specificity of
the subject.
We should remark that groups 1, 2 and 3 are
subdivided into the following levels: level of basic
subjects (essential for all students, determined
at the federal level); the regional component
closely connected with the essential subjects but
determined by the university. The third level is
elective courses chosen by students from at
least two available options. Both the regional
component of each block and the elective courses
emphasize their connection with the general
profile of the social and humanitarian, natural
science and mathematics or the professional
The syllabus designed by the Culture Studies
Department of Siberian Federal University
includes the following subjects.
Block of general humanitarian, social and
economic subjects
Basic subjects: Philosophy (180 hours),
Foreign Language (360 hours), History of Russia
(180 hours), History of Religions (144 hours).
Regional component: Pedagogy (180 hours),
Sociology (252 hours).
Elective courses: Canonic Law / Sociology
of Religion (108 hours), Ethics and Axiology in
Religion / Business Ethics (108 hours).
Block of general mathematics and natural
science subjects
(72 hours), Concepts of Modern Natural Science
(72 hours).
Argumentation Theory (72 hours).
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Elective courses: Apologetics of Science
/ History of Science (72 hours); Information
Culture in Academic Research / Information
Technologies is Theology (72 hours).
Block of special subjects (professional
It is also necessary to remark that the federal
component of FSES HPE consists of several
essential modules. Further we shall list the
module titles and the subjects they include (for
the federal component).
The basic subjects of the federal component
are distributed between the following modules:
1. General Orthodox Theology;
2. Systematized Orthodox Theology;
3. Sacred Orthodox Texts;
4. Orthodox History;
5. Practical Orthodox Theology;
6. Religious Philosophy;
7. Language of Sacred Orthodox Texts;
8. Religion, State and Society;
9. Basic Safety.
Now let us consider what subjects the
modules consist of.
General Orthodox Theology: History of
Theological Education (72 hours), History of
Theology (72 hours), Introduction in Theology
(72 hours), Basic Theology (72 hours).
Systematized Orthodox Theology: Dogmatic
Theology (360 hours), Comparative Theology
(180 hours).
Sacred Orthodox Texts: Introduction in
the Old Testament (144 hours), Old Testament
Exegesis (180 hours), Introduction in the New
Testament (The Four Gospels) (108 hours), New
Testament Exegesis (180 hours), Introduction in
the New Testament (Book of the Apostles) (144
hours), New Testament (Book of the Apostles)
Exegesis (325 hours).
Orthodox History: History of World
Orthodox Christianity in the Modern Age (72
hours), History of Russian Orthodox Church (396
hours), New History of Russian Orthodox Church
(72 hours).
Practical Orthodox Theology (72 hours).
Religious Philosophy (180 hours).
Language of Sacred Orthodox Texts: Church
Slavonic Language (252 hours).
Religion, State and Society: State and
Confession Relationships (72 hours), New
Religious Trends (72 hours).
Basic Safety (72 hours).
The regional component includes the
following subjects: Methodology of Confessional
Research (144 hours), Interdisciplinary Problems
of Theology (144 hours), History of Old Christian
Church (288 hours), Patrology of 1 – 4 Centuries
(144 hours), Patrology of 5 – 8 Centuries (144
hours), Patrology of 9 – 15 Centuries (144
hours), Liturgics (144 hours), Liturgical Studies
(288 hours), History of Ancient and Medieval
Philosophy (72 hours), Sources of Ancient
and Medieval Philosophy (72 hours), History
of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (72
hours), Sources of Modern and Contemporary
Philosophy (72 hours), History of Russian
Theology (180 hours).
Elective courses include the following
subjects: Legal Fundamentals of Perish
Activities / Religious Legislation of the Russian
Federation (180 hours), Homiletics / History
of Russian Orthodox Mission (180 hours),
Rhetorics / Religious Signs and Symbols (108
hours), Ancient Greek Language / Sanskrit (252
hours), Methodology of Teaching Theology
/ Methodology of Teaching the Basics of
Orthodox Culture (252 hours), Pastoral
Psychiatry / Theological Language Analysis
(180 hours).
Physical Education is essential for all main
educational programmes and includes 400 hours
of classes in the first six semesters.
The students are also supposed to do
internship and research practice, take state exams
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in Orthodox Theology and present their final
qualification papers.
The question on the topic of scientific
research work for Theology students is special.
As we see it, the research can be based on Church
History, Bible Studies, Church Archaeology.
The experience of the other higher education
establishments proves that these trends have
been successfully studied. However, the trends
of Orthodox Technology which have been
researched by St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University
for over 20 years are also worth mentioning.
They consider creating a database of New
Martyrs and Confessors of Russia who died for
their faith in the 20 century. We believe that in
Siberia we could also carry out some sufficient
research on the New Martyrs and Confessors of
the 20 Century who were repressed and killed
for their faith. Young researchers could begin
their studies at the Krai Archive, learning
comparative historical and genetic methods
of research. Their work would enable Siberian
Federal University to make a contribution
into the acknowledgement of the New Martyrs
and Confessors of the 20 century in Modern
We suggest that the main educational
programme 033400.62 Orthodox Theology
should be widely discussed in the archdiocese of
Krasnoyarsk Krai and the metropole. Teachers
of Siberian Federal University need to see some
advanced training, including remote training, at
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University. We hope that
the clergymen of our archdiocese and metropole
will work with our Theology students. At the
present moment we possess all the conditions
required for carrying out the main educational
programme of higher professional education
033400.62 Orthodox Theology in the most
efficient way.
Теология православия в современном университете:
основные подходы к образовательной программе
Н.П. Копцева
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия 660041, Красноярск, Свободный, 79
Начиная с 2001 г. в российских университетах реализуется основная образовательная
программа по направлению «Теология православия». В настоящее время более 30 российских
университетов реализуют подготовку по этому направлению. В статье обсуждаются
основные подходы к формированию учебного плана для подготовки бакалавра теологии
православия, рассматриваются основные учебные дисциплины, которые необходимы для
будущего бакалавра теологии православия, выделяются принципы распределения учебных
дисциплин по 8 семестрам учебной подготовки.
Ключевые слова: теология, религиозные исследования, культурные исследования, Сибирский
федеральный университет, образовательная программа.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1038-1042
УДК 340.12
Comparative Legal Policy
and its Significanse for Legal Reform
Alexander V. Malkoa and Alexey Yu. Salomatinb*
Institute of State and Law RAS
10 Znamianka, Moscow, 119019 Russia
Penza State University
40 Red Str., Penza, 440026 Russia
Received 21.12.2012, received in revised form 20.02.2013, accepted 10.06.2013
The authors describe the Comparative Legal Policy as a new discipline devoted to consideration of
foreign legal experience from the point of it s reception or non-reception. Public opinion about legal
innovations is necessary to study and to take into account .
Keywords: comparative legal policy, complex, interdisciplinary comparative anylysis, social and legal
monitoring, legal reform.
Comparative Legal Policy is a new direction
in Legal Sciences which attempts to study foreign
law and legal life from the point of view of their
possible reception or non-reception in a concrete
country at a precise moment1. Comparative Legal
Policy has become important thanks to extreme
complexities of the post-modernizing society
with its erosion of state sovereignty, appearance
of new actors such as transnational monopolies
and international non-commercial organizations.
More differentiated and flexible civil society is
waiting that its opinion is to be taken into account
more fully. Much strain upon law life under
information revolution stimulates systematization
of law2.
Comparative Legal Policy is a continuation
of Legal Policy which started to be studied by
Saratov branch of the Institute of State and
Law of Russian Academy of Sciences. The
Lectures and monographs has been published3.
The concept of Legal Policy up to 2020 has been
prepared4. Special magazine‫ ۥ‬Legal Policy and
Legal Life´ stimulates further research work. But
how to make Legal Policy more effective?
Legal policy is to be based comparative
approach. Comparative method was used by
many ancient and medieval authors5 Comparative
law as a discipline has been born in the early
19th century6 as a result of achievements of
industrial production and communication
revolutions (thanks to railways and telegraph),
internationalization of politics and war in Europe
and then in other countries7. For the purpose of
economic cooperation it was necessary at that
time to study foreign law and compare it to
native law. Nowdays under postmodarnization
and globalization the task is more practical and
difficult- to study foreign legal experience from
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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the point of view of its adaption or non-adaption
(or may be its postponement), possibilities of
harmonization or unification of law. Decisionmaking in this sphere is to be very balanced and
sophisticated becausw of high price of risks to
social stability and state sovereignty8.
The procedure of Comparative Legal Policy
may include comparative legal analyses as a
starting paint. For example, striving to improve
using institute of jurors we are to study foreign
experience. ‫ۥ‬The idea of trial by jury prompts
contrasting responses from lawyers, policymakers, politicians and members of the public.
It is regarded by many as powerful democratic
element in the process of delivering justice, a
means by which ordinary people can pronounce
on the merits of the case before them. It is viewed
by others, however, as an irrational, costly
and cumbersome institution which demands
that ordinary people , with all their frailties
of inattentiveness, ignorance and prejudice
pronounce upon, sometimes extraordinarily
complex and consenquential matters9.
We have multiplicity of jury models in
different countries. «When England began its
expansion into empire, the jury was imported
to the colonies of America, Africa and Asia
admiration for the institution of the jury in the
19th century led to its adoption in various forms
in France, parts of Germany, Russia, Spain and
other European countries and parts of South and
Central America….as we begin the 21st century
the criminal jury appears alive and mostly
well in Australia, Canada, England and Wales,
Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, New
Zealand, Scotland, the United States and at least
46 other countries and dependancies around the
We confront with different quantity of jury
members, different powers, modes of dicision,
significance in legal and court life, etc. We
know that the elements of concrete jury model
depends upon not only legal culture of legal
professionals but former and presents forms
of state, division of powers in it, traditions
of governance, etc. Political factors are also
important including political culture of
population, political ideology of the elite and
political attitudes of the masses. For example,
American highly individualistic legal culture of
law superiority in the former pioneering society
in based upon American grass-roots democracy
and strong presidential republic of federal
character. The classical, the most consistent mode
of division of powers with checks and balances, is
interconnected with mass political participation.
And broadly applied American jury system with
approximately 100,000 cases decided every year
is the manifestation not only of mass political
activity and democratic values of population but
of peculiarities of American state.
On the contrary, in Great Britain the
blossom of jury system is in the past. English
legal conservatism and slow evolutionalism is
provided by constitutional monarchy and the
spirit of aristocracy. Jury system was a good thing
in medieval ages and under absolutism. It spred
king‫ۥ‬s justice in compact kingdom and withstanded to some extent king‫ۥ‬s despotism. But it
was not so urgent to aristocratic and bourgeois
elite and cautious, reformist minded masses
under industrialization.
Thus the signipicanse of jury system varies
not only from one country to another but from
one period of time to another.
Complex comparative analysis is implied that
it necessary to be interdisciplinary. The starting
point – comparative review of versions of foreign
legal experience concerning this or that event or
institution, must be supported by comparative
state studying analysis and comparative political
science analysis (see the Scheme №1).
We even suggest that some kind of expertise
from the point of view of globalization is desirable
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if we sure that studied event or institution has
taken root in contemporary society. In our case it
seems that this or that jury system in a concrete
country does not influence globalization process,
but we may suppose that some objects of study
in legal policy may be important from the global
perspective. In any case the final result of our
cfforts is a proposal for state organs to reform or
not to reform law in accordance with this or that
foreign experience.
It’s highly important that our research
would be based upon public opinion expertise.
We are ready to offer for legal professionals and
public opinion representatives some versions
of legal reform according to the lines of former
legal experience in this country and foreign legal
experience. Testing versions by professional is
to based upon interdisciplinary procedure of
comparison which includes Comparative Law,
Comparative State Studies and Comparative
Political Science and which we name
Comparativistica. Different specialists may
be enlisted who study material from different
Public opinion representatives would
participate in testing proposals mainly under
focus group studies (with 7-12 members) or
in-depth interviews as the most effective way
of collecting data not only about attitudes,
but motives also11. As this procedure may
be repeatable we call it social and legal
monitoring. Unfortunately legal science is not
usually interested in perception of norms by
population12.‫ۥ‬and where is human being? Where is
his or her consciousness, appraisals, behavior?‫ۥ‬13.
According to Chief Justice of Constitutional
Court of Russia V.Zorkin it‫ۥ‬s of high importance
to fi nd a middle way between legal positivism
and sociological jurisprudence because to be
effective normative order is to be supported
by masses14. And masses is to participate in
comparative analysis. They may choose the best
versions of foreign legal experience and make to
it some practical addition.
The final moment of Legal Policy is
formulating proposal for government (or
parliament). Of course not all proposals may be
realized. ‫ۥ‬Government will always use research
to serve political ends, and it will likewise do its
best to ignore those findings which are politically
inconvenient. We would prefer to emphasize
independence rather than influence. The key
for empirical researchers is to maintain their
independence of government (and of any other
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research customers) in order fully to do justice to
the research evidence‫ۥ‬15
To do the work best is to disperse it widely
among different experts and expert bodies,
refusing from any intellectual and organizational
monopoly16. That‫ۥ‬s why not only academy of
Science in Moscow but legal departments of
universities outside the capital may be responsible
for legal policy research.
For example, Center for Comparative
Legal Policy at Penza State University
is ready to participate in general or branch
projects devoted to reformation of law. We
have accumulated experience in such fields as
Comparative Constitutional Justice, Comparative
Immigration Legal Policy, Comparative Models of
Modernization of State and Law. The Center has
started Master’s Programme in Law ‘Legal Policy
in Russia and European Union Countries’ in
2010. Different studying books and collection of
articles has been published17. We invite potential
foreign and Russian partners to cooperation.
We believe that comparative approach makes
important addition to the intellectual pluralism
applying foreign experience of different legal
systems to improve legal life in Russia
See: Sravnitel’naia Pravovaia Politika [Comparative Legal Policy]. Edited by Prof. A. Y. Salomatin. Moscow, 2012.
Malko A. V. , Salomatin A. Y. O Nekotorykh Chertakh Modernizatsionnykh Protsessov v Sovremennykh Usloviiakh [On
Some Features of Modernization Processes Under Modern Conditions] Gosudarstvo i Pravo, 3, 2004.
Rossiyskaia Pravovaia Politika [Russian Legal Policy]. Edited by Matuzov N. I. and Malko A. V. , Moscow, 2003; Pravovaia Politika Rossii: Teoriia i Praktika [Legal Policy of Russia: Theory and Practice]: monograph. Edited by Matuzov N. I. and Malko A. V. Moscow, 2006; Pravovaia Politika v Rossiyskoy Federatsii: Regional’nyy Uroven [Legal Policy
in the Russian Federation]: monograph. Edited by Malko A. V. Tambov, 2008; Malko A. V. Teoriia Pravovoy Politiki
[Theory of Legal Policy], Moscow, 2012 etc.
Pravovaia Politika: Slovar’ i Proekt Kontseptsii [Legal Policy: Dictionary and Concept Project]. Edited by Malko A.V.,
Saratov, 2010.
See: Lafitskiy V. I. Sravnitel’noe Pravovedenie v Obrazakh Prava [Comparative Law among Law Branches], volume 1,
Moscow, 2010, P. 12-68.
Kresin A. V. Formirovanie Teoretiko-Metodologicheskikh Osnov Sravnitel’nogo Pravovedeniia v Rabotakh Paulia Ioganna Anzel’ma Fon Feyerbakha [Theoretical and Methodological Formation of Comparative Law Basis in Works by Paul
Johann Anselm von Feuerbach] Komparativistika-2011: Sravnitel’noe Pravovedenie, Sravnitel’noe Gosudarstvovedenie,
Sravnitel’naia Politologiia. Mezhdunarodnyy Uchebno-Metodicheskiy i Nauchnyy Ezhegodnik. Penza, Penza State University Press, 2012.
Malko A. V. , Salomatin A. Y. Sravnitel’noe Pravovedenie [Comparative Law], teaching materials. Moscow, 2008. P. 79
See: Salomatin A. Y. Sravnitel’naia Pravoaia Politika Kak Instrument Reformirovaniia Pravovoy Sistemy [Comparative
Legal Policy as a Tool of Reforming the Legal System]. Open lecture. Kiev-Lviv, 2012.
World Jury Systems/Ed. by N. Vidmar. Oxford, 2003, P. V.
Ibid. , P. 2, 3.
See: Malko A. V. , Salomatin A. Y. Sotsial’no-Pravovoy Monitoring Kak Instrument Prodvizheniia Rossiyskoy Pravovoy
Reformy [Social and Legal Monitoring as a Tool of Promoting Russian Legal Reform] “Chyornye Dyry” v Rossiyskom
Zakonodatel’stve (6), 2007, P. 464.
Grevtsov Y. I. Sotsiologiia Prava [Sociology of Law], Saint Petersburg, 2001, P. 33-34.
Tikhomirov Y. A. Povedenie v Obshchestve i Pravo [Social Behaviour and Law] Zhurnal Rossiyskogo Prava (2), 2001, P. 5.
Zor’kin V. Pravoprimenenie Kak Strategicheskaia Problema [Law Enforcement as a Strategic Problem] Pravo i Pravoprimenenie Rossii: Mezhdistsiplinarnye Issledovaniia. Edited by Volkov V. V. Moscow, 2011. P. 23, 24.
Baldwin J. , Davis Y. Empirical Research in Law//The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies/Ed. by P. Cane M. Fushnet.
N. Y. , 2003, P. 897.
Grishkovets A. A. K Voprosu o Reforme Gosudarstvennoy Sluzhby (Organizatsionno-Pravovye Aspekty) [On the Civil
Service Reform (Organizational and Legal Aspects] Gosudarstvo i Pravo (2), 2012, P. 31.
For example: Malko A. V. , Salomatin A. Y. Osnovy Pravovoy Politiki [Legal Policy Basics], Moscow, 2013
Komparativstika-2012: Sravnitel’noe Pravovedenie, Sravnitel’noe Gosudarstvovedenie, Sravnitel’naia Politologiia
[Comparative Studies-2012: Comparative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Political Science]. Edited
by Prof. Salomatin A. Y. Moscow, 2013.
Salomatin A. Y. Verkhovnyy Sud SSHA: Sudebnaia Pravovaia Politika ot Dzh. Dzheia do Dzh. Robertsa [Supreme Court
of the USA: Juridial Law from J. Jay to J. Roberts]. Moscow, 2013.
Gosudarstvennoe, Politicheskoe i Pravovoe Prostranstvo Sovremennoy Evropy [Administrative, Political and Legal
Space of Modern Europe]. Edited by Prof. Salomatin A. Y. Penza, 2013.
Salomatin A. Y. , Mantserev K. A. Immigratsionnaia Pravovaia Politika (Sravnitel’nyy Analiz Modeley Razvitiia) [Legal
Immigration Policy (Comparative Analysis of Development Models]. Moscow, 2013.
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Alexander V. Malko and Alexey Yu. Salomatin. Comparative Legal Policy and Its Significanse for Legal Reform
Сравнительная правовая политика
и ее значение для правовой реформы
А.В. Малькоа, А.Ю. Саломатинб
Институт государства и права РАН
Россия 119019, Москва, ул. Знаменка, 10
Пензенский государственный университет
Россия 440026, Пенза, ул. Красная, 40
Авторы описывают сравнительную правовую политику как новую дисциплину, посвященную
рассмотрению зарубежного правового опыта с точки зрения его рецепции или отказа от
таковой. Подчеркнуто, что необходимо изучать и принимать во внимание общественное
мнение по поводу правовых новаций.
Ключевые слова: сравнительная правовая политика, сложный междисциплинарный
сравнительный анализ, сравнительно-правовой мониторинг, правовая реформа.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1043-1056
УДК 796.325
Theoretical and Methodological Problems
of Psychomotor Qualities Formation
in Volleyball
Konstantin K. Markova* and Oksana O. Nikolaevab
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University named
after V.P. Astafiev
89 A. Lebedeva str., Krasnoyarsk, 660049 Russia
Received 28.03.2013, received in revised form 18.05.2013, accepted 07.06.2013
Research considers problems of player’s psychomotor qualities formation in modern volleyball, its
theoretical and methodological substantiation on the basis of the analysis of sports kind specificity
and the basic psychofiziological laws of sportsmen organism. The key part of a practical technique of
perfection of sportsmen motor abilities certain formation in training process of time, spatial and force
muscular distinctive sensitivity to players of various game roles. The technique of development and
perfection of motor qualities of volleyball players is theoretically proved and developed for practical
application, its substantive provisions are certain and stated, stages, working toolkit and a quality
monitoring of development dynamics of players abilities to differentiate micro intervals of time, efforts
and spaces, estimated criteria.
Keywords: volleyball, psychomotor qualities, speed of reaction, distinctive sensitivity.
The modern level of development of world
sports demands from sportsmen of very high
degree of development as separate base physical,
technical, tactical and mental qualities, and
abilities effectively to integrate them in severe
constraints of sports competitions. Thus the
sportsman depending on specificity of a sports
kind frequently competes in conditions of a rigid
limit of time, in situations of reciprocal actions
not programmed in advance, at physical contact to
the contender, very precisely and flexibly dosing
out time, force and spatial parameters of the
movements which efficiency finally determines its
result. On a degree of the specified characteristics
variation of competitive activity and a significance
value each of them separately in achievement of
final sports result various kinds of sports can be
divided on two groups, essentially differing by
character of predefiniteness of sportsmen actions,
a programming level all complex of mental and
motor activity.
To the fi rst group (Matveev, 2010; Platonov,
1988) it is possible to carry kinds in which
sportsman competitive activity is carried out in
enough rigid existential and dynamic conditions
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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Konstantin K. Markov and Oksana O. Nikolaeva… Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Psychomotor…
with a high programming level, both structures
of separate movements, and their connections in
complete motor acts (track and field athletics,
gymnastics, navigation, shooting, rowing,
weightlifting, skis, bicycle, etc.). A various sort
tactical actions during wrestling, despite of
the specific form in each of these sports kinds,
as a rule, rather slightly change kinematic
both dynamic parameters and structure of
movements. In the second group of sports kinds
sportsman movement represent, fi rst of all,
reciprocal actions, as at direct contact to the
contender (sports game, fencing, combat sports,
etc.), and without it (volleyball, tennis, table
tennis, badminton). Thus from separate, enough
standard elements and the receptions studied,
fi xed and generated in the certain stereotype
on trainings, develop the complete motor act,
existential and which dynamic structure is
formed directly during wrestling in conditions
of a rigid limit of time (sometimes – tenth
shares of second) and high mental intensity. In
them tactical variability is extremely high, and
success of the sportsman or team performance
in competitions is determined, how a variety
and high quality of performance of separate
techniques, and in the speed and reliability
of their formation in the reciprocal motor act
adequate to a situation (Markov, 2001).
From the specified points of view, among
sports kinds of the second group the volleyball
takes a special place that is connected with
two its basic features. The first – consists that
the volleyball is a unique sports kind in which
character of contact to a ball, quality and duration
of contact with it of the player is regulated that is
not present in one sports game. On this parameter
the significant share of all game mistakes fixed by
judges is necessary. The second feature following
from first and allocating volleyball (together with
tennis, table tennis and badminton) from the
second group of situational sports kinds, consists
in absence of any pause for acceptance of the next,
tactical decision corresponding a situation and a
choice of the most rational technical action. One of
the major on a degree of influence on final sports
result is the problem of sportsmen game mistakes
which in volleyball is exclusive owing to very big
percent, the so-called, «resulting» mistakes at
once bringing points to the contender and leading
defeat. As a result of last changes of rules by the
international federation of volleyball any mistake
in each set is a point to the contender.
Especially high level of development is
necessary for the successful decision of competitive
tasks sensemotor qualities of the sportsman,
being a fundamental principle of sports-technical
skill. Special value thus development on their
basis variable, reliable and automated skills
and receptions, and also development of ability
to forecasting possible situations, especially
on sensemotor and perception levels gets. It is
obvious also, that so high requirements to a level
of psychomotor development of sportsmen are
dictated also with necessity of meeting selection
for children’s sports (Bril’, 1986). Parameters of
psychomotor development should take also the
important place in complex system of functional
diagnostics, especially in those kinds of sports
where alongside with a high level of functional
preparation it is required thin «muscular sense»,
advanced «motor memory», high sensemotor
functions efficiency. The big influence on a level
of development of these qualities the supreme
hierarchical levels of mentality of the person
(motivation, social status, type of the supreme
nervous activity, etc.) (Markov, 2001; Ozerov,
2002; Surkov, 1984).
Specificity of psychomotor actions
in volleyball
The volleyball by virtue of some requirements
of game rules, features of refereeing, influence
of these criteria on result occupies absolutely
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unique, not estimated properly, a place among
different sports specializations.
First of all, unlike many other things
sports (alongside with tennis, table tennis and
badminton), it does not suppose the game pauses
connected with long possession by a ball by
one player or a team. On reciprocal actions the
player has the tenth shares of second, unlike
football, hockey, basketball and many other
things games where the player owning a ball,
on game rules can stop, look round, take a
ball, etc. This feature, from the point of view
of movement’s psychophysiology, makes rigid
demands to ability of the player to predict
character of development of game events. Ability
to антиципации is integrating all the basic
characteristics of touch systems, central nervous
system (CNS) in perception and processing of
the primary information, speed and quality of
separate motor acts. The major reason of many
game sportsmen mistakes here lays. The second
feature of volleyball (volleyball – a “flying” ball)
is that one of the basic kinds of mistakes – contact
of a ball with a court (in all sports, except for
badminton, field, court, table – working game
surfaces). It demands from players of extremely
high motivation and selflessness in game actions
as well as possible characterizes a necessary
internal spirit of players.
Combination of these features form a
situation, demanding obligatory performance
from first steps of training to volleyball of main
principle: «the ball flies – I run». The player
can be mistaken, but has no right to stay idle,
observing as the ball falls on a court. Attempts to
build training by a principle: «look – think, and
then operate», are doomed to failure. Not casually
even at the highest level it is possible to see, how
players see off a sight a falling ball, «calculating»
a point of its falling, instead of an obligatory
conditional motor reflex on a flying ball (Markov,
2001). From the point of view of psychophysiology
such situation demands development at the natural
gifted to given action sportsman absolutely
special, high motivation psychomotor structure
of game actions. Obviously, what exactly in
these qualities unique world «stars» of volleyball
especially strongly differ from simply good and,
especially, ordinary players. And, at last, the
third feature of volleyball which are absolutely
not having analogues in any other sports kinds
are extremely rigid requirements to character of
the player contact with a ball (throws, captures,
double contacts). Any of sports with a subject
(football, hockey, handball, rugby, water polo,
tennis, badminton, baseball, golf, etc.), any of
track and field athletics kinds (throwing, pole
vaults) does not limit character of the sportsman
interaction with these subjects on time, by the
form and structure of actions.
In view of a known share of subjectivity,
and also the productivity of mistakes mentioned
earlier strengthening intensity, it is easy to
present, what thin muscular differentiations on
time, efforts, kinematic characteristics provide
correct psychomotor acts (service, service
reception, false hit in attack). Important as well
that on a set of the technical actions separate,
original and not integrated with each other
(service, service reception, top set, defense,
block, attack, etc.) At rigid requirements to
character of contact to a ball and in conditions of
time deficiency, volleyball – undoubtedly one of
the most complicated sports kinds. It is enough
these features to recognize complexity and the
highest level of the requirements shown, both to
natural endowments of the sportsman, and to its
psychomotor luggage, harmonious development
of separate major motor qualities (in some
cases antagonistic: speed – endurance, force –
flexibility, force – thin muscular sensations and
so forth).
The task at the given stage consists in
that, being based on the basic works of sports
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psychophysiology and according to the common
dialectics and logic of scientific knowledge, to
choose a little bit enough simple, reliably tested
physiological processes and the parameters
underlying technical skill of the sportsman and
defining his class. Considering high specific
requirements of a sports kind to accuracy of
technical and tactical actions, it is logical to
assume, that they are provided with mechanisms
of touch distinction, a spatial, time and dynamic
differentiation of movements in spheres visual,
proprioception and vestibular sensitivity.
Efficiency of game actions will be determined
by a level of mental processes of sensation and
perception with development in sportsmen
distinctness of visual, motor and other sensations,
purchasing of skills thin to differentiate actions
on time, space and efforts. Distinctive sensitivity
these parameters of movements forms a
physiological basis sensomotor cultures of the
The system organization
of psychomotor functions
objective perception the person of all forms of
mental reflection, since simple sensations and
finishing complex forms of intellectual activity.
Psychomotorik of sports activity differs variety
of separate motor acts and an originality of their
existential organization, especially anticipation,
as integrator of psychomotor actions. Thus
psychophysiology analysis of the person
movements (and at the sportsman mainly) should
start with the purpose these movements which in
aggregate with it form structure of motor action
(Anokhin, 1968; Bernshtein, 1947).
Initial concepts and definitions
Sports motor activity, from the point of
view of psychophysiology, consists, first of all,
in specific in each of sports kinds of the spatial-
time organization of psychomotor acts. One of
the major substructures of such organization
is diverse kinds sensemotor reactions: simple
and complex sensemotor reactions, sensemotor
coordination. In them it is possible to allocate 3
cores, the typical mental act:
• The touch moment: process of detection
and perception of stimulus, motor reaction
on which is the purpose of actions;
• The central moment: processes of
processing apprehended with distinction,
an estimation and a choice of those or
other stimulus;
• The motor moment: the processes,
determining has begun movements.
On complexity of the central moment simple
and complex reactions differ. Simple sensemotor
reaction is probably prompt reply in advance
known simple single movement on suddenly
appearing, but in advance known signal. Speed
of simple reaction is estimated or on latent time
of reaction from the moment of occurrence of
a signal prior to the beginning of reciprocal
action, or on common time of reaction. Complex
sensemotor reaction depending on character of
the central moment can be:
• Reaction of a choice if necessary
differentiation of the necessary motor
answer from of some possible;
• Reaction of distinction if on one of signals
it is necessary to do the certain movement,
and on others of any movement to make it
is not necessary;
• Reaction of switching at change of
definiteness of semantic communication
of stimulus and possible motor acts.
It is necessary to add this traditional
classification, in our opinion, still with reaction
of a delay. The essence of this reaction consists
that it should be not so much fast, how many
duly, that is separated from stimulus precisely
measured and differentiated interval of time.
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The originality of such reaction consists also
that the contents of the central moment, except
for a thin differentiation of a time interval, can
be simple and complex enough, similar above
considered sensemotor reactions. In volleyball
such situations are very widespread and represent
the greatest complexity.
Hierarchy of psychomotor
functioning levels
In a basis of modern representations about
the organization and management of psychomotor
actions position about their multipurpose and
hierarchical structure (Bernshtein, 1947) lays.
The supreme level «Е» operates a semantic
part of the motor act. It is connected with
intellectual functions of the person and plays a
role of a leading level.
The level of subject action «Д» serves
the decision of a semantic task of movement,
drawing up of the connected circuits of
movement, movement with a subject. It covers
as the leader almost all semantic movements
and as a background level provides «supreme
The level «С» – one of the cores in a
class of psychomotor movements with their
differentiation, provides moving a body to space
and time. It plays the important role in all kinds
локомоций, ballistic movements, at an extensive
background role in semantic movements.
The level «В» provides a direct control of
muscular synergies, struggle against jet forces,
creation of dynamically steady movement. It
plays a role of rather extensive background
The level «A» narrowly operates the
organization of a muscular tone and degree of a
muscle or muscles group excitability. It is even
less connected with a semantic program part of
psychomotor action and concerns to a background
From the presented scheme follows, that:
• The organization, programming and
management of any psychomotor
act occurs on different floors CNS
• Hierarchically presented levels constantly
cooperate by a principle of a dynamic
Such organization of management by
psychomotor actions provides a variety of
auxiliary touch corrections alongside with the
realized leading semantic corrections. They
automatically provide to the motor act stability
of basic parts of a body, «muscular smoothness»
on all parts of a kinematic circuit, profitability of
power inputs at a level of optimum technics of
movements, spatial and time accuracy, etc.
In a number of situational sports kinds
(including, fi rst of all, in volleyball) where
the basic part of psychomotor actions in
conditions of a rigid limit of time is carried
out «automatically, unconsciously» such
organization of management is unique. The
higher class volleyball teams have more percent
of such background operating corrections
in sportsmen actions. Accordingly and
the contents of training process should be
directed on development as possible for a lot
of automatically correct actions, switchings
from one action to another, fi xing of absolutely
exact starting positions, forecasting of actions
of the opponent in standard situations. It is very
important, that this «hierarchy» penetrated all
long-term preparation of the player.
Mechanisms of psychomotor
actions management
The central part of structure of sports
activity (except for motives) the psychomotor
action defined by its nearest regulator – acts as
the purpose. Motivation activity is considered as
the system organization in which psychomotor
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Konstantin K. Markov and Oksana O. Nikolaeva… Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Psychomotor…
actions join as a subsystem. Characterizing
neurophysiology mechanisms of a functional
motor activity control system of the person,
allocate (Anokhin, 1968) its mainframes:
afferent synthesis, decision-making, formation
of program actions, performances and receptions
of result, a feedback. Afferent synthesis covers:
the sense organs which are finding out starting
signals, processing in CNS starting signals and
formation of complete perception of conditions,
motivation, long-term and operative memory
on which the identification and identification of
the starting information is based. The player,
visually perceiving hit of the opponent on a ball,
in advance prepares for reception, searches for
the best way of reaction. Before decision-making
he has time to compare starting afferentation to
images of memory and conditions (distance up
to a ball, a trajectory and speed of its flight, an
arrangement of the players and the opponent)
and operates according to a situation, bringing
corrections at a deviation from standard action.
Final result afferent synthesis is initial preparation
of the proved decision.
After decision-making the program, ways
of execution and reception of the necessary result
are formed, means and ways of the decision
of motor action are selected. Programming of
motor actions as dynamic process provides
parameters of movements and the touch control
over a course of their realization. The big role in
the program formation is played with processes
anticipate, that is abilities of a brain, «looking
forward» to extrapolate the future (Surkov,
1982). Anticipatory planning in volleyball,
reactions of players to a moving ball and of
the opponent are constantly operating factor
of formation of emergency and alternative
programs of action. This prediction cannot
be absolute and has likelihood character. The
big role in such likelihood programming is
played with the last experience of the player,
rich «library» of the standard actions fulfi lled
in training process and fi xed in a competitive
Distinctive sensitivity
of movements
Discernability in modern understanding
(Kossov, 1973; Ozerov, 2002) is the certain
distinctive characteristic of process of the
distinction, dated to the certain degree of
distinction in objects. It is important the
perception factor, significally defining an
originality, qualitative and quantitative laws of all
sensor sportsman functions. Accuracy, intensity
and a management efficiency movements depend
and are essentially determined by a functioning
level of such mental processes, as sensation and
perception. For this purpose, on the one hand, is
necessary development of distinctness of visual,
motor and other sensations, and with another,
purchase of skills to carry out the control over
actions, thin to differentiate them on parameters
of space, time and intensity of muscular efforts.
The same base qualities underlie diverse forms
sensor-perception anticipation game courses in
external space, all reactions of the sportsman to
a moving ball and players movement. There is
also a close connection of the basic psychomotor
parameters with stability to stress-factors, high
diagnostic sensitivity of mental tolerance critical
And, at last, high forecast reliability of
psychomotor tests for an estimation of motor
endowments at children’s and youthful age, at
selection makes a task in view especially actual.
From this follows, that the highest results in
sports are achieved by sportsmen, not only
conceiving, but also is thin feeling, possessing
high sensor-perception culture. In a basis of a
high technical level, productivity and reliability
of actions in volleyball distinctive sensitivity of
movement parameters lays. The cores are three
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Konstantin K. Markov and Oksana O. Nikolaeva… Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Psychomotor…
kinds of distinctive sensitivity: on time, spatial
and on effort.
Distinctive sensitivity time
Performance of complex technical actions in
volleyball in conditions of rigid deficiency of time
demands much of the sportsman abilities quickly
to perceive by means of analyzers primary
stimulus, operatively to process this information
and to make a decision quickly, in due time and
precisely to carry out actually motor part of the
motor act. One of the major characteristics of
any sportsman motor action is time. Mastering
by sportsmen of an optimum rhythm and rate
of movements, skill to differentiate sensomotor
reaction is impossible without aggravated “time
sense”, abilities is thin to perceive intervals, to
distribute the actions during strictly set time.
The theoretical substantiation of a
development technique of time distinctive
sensitivity is based on enough well-known
positions of human physiology. I.M. Sechenov
(1952) specified on «movement regulation by
sense», enabling to improve ability to differentiate
microcells of time and to operate motor reaction.
Activity of the person has oscillatory character
with microintervals at 30-70 ms, and this step
can serve as a measure of time. High-speed
actions are closely connected with a complex of
visual, acoustical, muscular sensations and skill
them to estimate, perfection of a feedback, the
information on real time of action.
To a certain extent, speed idle time motor
is genetically set, however at well thought over
system of purposeful education it is possible to
develop in the necessary direction such properties
of nervous system as force, mobility and steadiness
at representatives of various types of the supreme
nervous activity. I.P. Pavlov (1949) marked, that
genetically certain type of the supreme nervous
activity does not program rigidly speed of
reaction. Alteration of this stereotype is possible,
however it demands various efforts from people
of different typology. Speed of the latent period of
simple motor reaction basically depends on speed
of nervous impulses distribution from periphery
of the analyzer to the center and on motor
ways to a muscle. According to G.G.Gelmgolts
(Gellershtein, 1958) it makes about 70 km/s. For
complex reactions with a choice speed of reaction
increases due to delays for ways of distribution
of a nervous impulse: the more complex reaction,
more stimulus and variants of the answer, the
more these delays. Speed of simple motor reaction
depends from:
• Motivations of the player;
• Intensity stimulus;
• Interval of time between separate
• Abilities to a prediction of events;
• Kind of a signal (visual, sound, etc.);
• Current functional condition of the
Ability to distinguish the minimal changes
in movements on time variables defines a level
of sports opportunities of the given sportsman.
In works S.G. Gellershtein (1958), B.B. Kossov
(1973), V.P. Ozerov (2002), E.N. Surkov (1984), etc.
it is shown, what exactly distinctive sensitivity of
time intervals, instead of actually speed of simple
motor reaction, limits ability of the sportsman thin
to operate speed of motor reactions. The sensor
method provides the directed perfection of ability
to distinguish microintervals of time and provides
carry of accuracy of time differentiations on
speed and timeliness of reactions. The practical
technique of perfection of distinctive ability on
time is under construction on S.G. Gellershtein
hypothesis (1958) about existence of dependence
of speed of simple motor reaction (its latent
period) from time sense, ability to perceive and
estimate time microintervals. The big influence
renders this quality as well on timeliness of
reaction which is based on exact measure off a
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Konstantin K. Markov and Oksana O. Nikolaeva… Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Psychomotor…
pause time from occurrence of stimulus prior to
the beginning of impellent actions
Technique of perfection
The primary goals at perfection of the
sportsman distinctive sensitivity on time consist
in, that:
• To learn to react more precisely, instead
of faster, to be able to detain an motor
impulse for precisely set time;
• To increase ability to operate in the speed
of simple motor reaction.
The concrete intervals of time included in
training process proceeding from specificity
of volleyball, get out in two ranges: the first –
3-8 sec, connected with actions of players on
submission and reception of submission and the
second – the order of the tenth and 100-th shares
of second for actions in protection and on the
insurance, at blocking and attacking impact.
Hardware maintenance of perfection process of
distinctive ability on time consists in use of the
device-reaction meter (in research device MRK433 – Poland was applied) with wide enough set
of functions, 4-5 light and sound stimulus and
3-4 alternatives of the answer with registration
of series of answers till 25-30 time in a series
(Markov, 2001).
The technique of perfection consists of
following stages.
I stage – fact-finding, 2-3 days for reception
of average data on motor reaction speed of a
team players, acquaintance with the equipment
and technics of measurements, psychological
adaptation to process (motivation, exhaustion,
II stage – development of ability as much
as possible quickly to react to a starting signal,
constantly receiving the information on actual
time of reaction and its latent period. At this stage
the task is put to establish connection between
the motor answer and time of reaction. As a
result of trainings strong associations between an
interval of time and character of motor sensation,
connection of action with sensation of time after
each reaction are established.
III stage – to learn to estimate as much as
possible precisely the motor reaction speed, the
self-estimation of reaction time obligatory and
realized by the player at which the examinee
verbally and number characterizes duration of a
microinterval. At once after this self-estimation
the exact size of reaction and the made mistake
is informed the player. Examinees are induced
by it to comparison, checking of duration of
microintervals in a number of attempts, correct
the mistakes. At the first stage sportsmen are
capable to make only a rough differentiation,
very “fast” players – within the limits of 0,15 sec,
very “slow” – 0,3 sec. At a following stage the
requirement to accuracy of an estimation increase.
To improve «conscientious of sensations», the
organization of connection between the previous
result, subjective sensation and the subsequent
action, it is necessary to aspire to reduce break
between result and its self-estimation. After
the message of true result of attempt and the
made self-estimation it is necessary to give
the examinee time to calculate a difference of
data and to estimate it. Practically possible and
extremely achievable accuracy in our researches
is estimated within the limits of 0,03-0,05 sec.
At the given stage the examinee does not ask
questions on character of their sensations.
IV stage – to learn to operate speed of motor
reaction, passing consistently some stages. A
task of this stage is achievement of effect of the
maximal and realized stability in reproduction
of those or other microintervals. The time sensor
standard is the parameter of stability, to ability to
operate as “time sense”.
At the first stage the examinee, reacting
to external stimulus, on each subsequent signal
reproduces intervals under orders of (as much as
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possible quickly, twice more slowly, with the set
step, etc.) with rough enough distinction between
two consecutive attempts. After attempt – a selfestimation, then the message of true result.
At the second stage of a stage distinction
between two consecutive attempts, set by the
examinee from the outside, becomes more
“thin” and qualitative (slightly faster, slightly
more slowly), and this measure “slightly” can
individually be defined and is within the limits of
0,03-0,05 sec. Further – again a self-estimation
and the message of true result.
At the third stage the choice of the task for
demanded speed of motor reaction is made by the
examinee, carrying out the self-task.
At the fourth stage the primary goal becomes
as much as possible exact management of speed of
motor reaction. Before each attempt the head sets
exact value (number) of speed of motor reaction.
All other manipulations – are similar previous.
Sensibleness of sensations, the organization
of connection between the previous result, its
subjective sensation and the subsequent actions
underlies success of such training. The aspiration
to reduce break between attempt and its selfestimation is reached only at a high degree of
motivation of the player.
It is represented rational use of the given
method in preparation of the high class volleyball
Spatial distinctive sensitivity
Spatial sensitivity (Anan’ev, 1955; Dikunov,
1971; Il’in, 1976; Uruzaeva, 1969), alongside
with other parameters, provides accuracy and
expediency of motor actions of the sportsman,
its high level of development is a necessary
condition of mastering by the perfect sports
technics. Spatial sensitivity special movements
of the sportsman improves in process of growth
special training and qualifications. Primary
development of distinctive sensitivity separate
variable movements is specific and connected
with concrete sports specialization. It is rather
informative at overtraining. Its significant
deterioration are found out at an optimum level
of sensitivity time and effort. Age dynamics
(Ozerov, 2002) spatial sensitivity, speaks that the
motor-presented children already in the age of 8-9
years differ a high level, intensive dynamics that
allows to recommend testing of spatial sensitivity
selection of the presented children. Accuracy
zones of spatial distinction are defined, first of
all, by specificity of functioning of the visual
analyzer, vestibular receptors and kinesthetic
muscular sensitivity.
One of the most essential characteristics of
the visual analyzer is the field of vision. «To see
skill a field», advanced peripheral and central
sight is especially necessary in volleyball for exact
and fast perception of a spatial arrangement is
possible a lot of players (partners and opponents)
with simultaneous visual procaking behind
flight of a ball and an estimation of kinematic
characteristics of its movement: trajectories,
speeds and accelerations. In various sports
kinds under influence of special exercises of the
characteristic of a field of vision (the volume
and the form) are rather various (Gagaeva, 1969;
Medvedev, 1967; Surkov, 1982; Farfel’, 1975) also
are specific. In volleyball the sizes of a sensor field
have special value for processing total amount
of the information in conditions of a rigid limit
of time, for decision-making and the motor act.
Special value gets quality of the visual analyzer
work for setters. Undoubtedly, that deficiency
high quality setters, alongside with a number
of other reasons, speaks an insufficient level of
development of the visual analyzer, bad selection
in sports schools and absence of special exercises
for development of the visual analyzer.
In practice of work with a volleyball team
in conditions of summer training gathering some
kinds of exercises were applied to development
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of peripheral sight in conditions of deficiency
of time with simultaneous performance of
various motor actions (Markov, 2001). One
kind of exercises was carried out in laboratory
conditions on reaction meter MRK – 433. The
sportsman should react as much as possible
quickly and precisely pressing buttons and
pedals various sorts signals (color, a sound),
supervising the central sight stimulus ahead
on distance of 4-5 m. Simultaneously with it in
pauses between signals (2-3 sec) trainer, being
sideways from the player on distance of 2-3 m,
showed cards with large enough figures from 0
up to 9 in any sequence. This operation the player
supervised peripheral sight, naming aloud figure.
Complexity of exercise changed introduction
up to 5 various signals (3 colors and 2 sound
different tones) and up to 4 executive actions (2
buttons for hands and 2 pedals for legs). Time
of each reaction in a series up to 25 times was
registered and analyzed. The arrangement of
cards, gradually moving apart a field of vision
outside at the left and on the right varied.
The second kind of exercises (specially for
setters) was carried out on a court. On its one
side after operational development from depth
of a court setter made set on attackt. On other
side, behind a net the trainer periodically during
flight of a ball from the defender to setter showed
the same cards with figures and the giving in
player before a pass should see figure and loudly
it names. The condition of exercise varied change
of zones of operational development, an initial
setter position (zones 2, 3, 6) and various actions
(with an output, in a jump, in squat, etc.), change
of a position of the trainer with cards.
In the third exercise similar previous, of the
setter action became complicated that each figure
on a card designated the certain kind of transfer
(in zones 4, 3 and 2, highly, low, fast, etc.). Up to
setter contact of a ball he should verbally, loudly
designate the decision.
The fourth exercise similarly previous,
but setter carries out the real set designated by
number of a card and according to perception by
its player. Similar exercises can be applied for
attacking and blocking.
Significant role in maintenance of a high level
of spatial sensitivity plays kinesthetic distinction.
In sports activity muscular feeling, kinesthetic
spatial distinction are a basis of mastering by
technics of specialized actions, their operative
regulation. It is included a compound part into the
acts connected with visually-motor coordination
of movements. At sportsmen of various sports
specializations, age and qualification under
influence of regular trainings simultaneously with
perfection of coordination accuracy kinesthetic
spatial distinction develops. In different sports
kinds «muscular feeling» is specialized and
localized, first of all, basically for the given kind
motor functions, and accuracy zones of spatial
distinction correlate with a condition training the
sportsman (Gagaeva, 1969; Keller, 1977; Puni,
1959; Khudadov, 1970).
Development of thin muscular sensations
is based not only on perfection of the motor
analyzer, but also closely cooperate with speech
alarm system; conscious речемыслительный
the control over learning and differentiation
of various movements on amplitude promotes
transformation of these psychomotor movements
into skill with high ability of distinction and
comprehension of changes of characteristics of
movement. Testing kinesthetic distinctions is spent
on special devices (kinematometer, kurvimetr,
etc.) by a method of the minimal increment of a
spatial interval of amplitude. At absence of the
visual control, on a regular basis returning a hand
in a starting position, the examinee reproduces the
certain amplitude of movement with minimally
felt increment. The quantity of steps in the set
interval correctly reproduced by the sportsman
determines a level of its distinctive ability in
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the given component of perception of movement
(Kulagin, 1984; Marishchuk, 2005). In natural
experiments studying of spatial distinction is
made by result of broad jumps from a place at
its step increase in each attempt from 70 % of
the maximal result up to limiting with the task
of the minimal increment (the greatest quantity}
of steps). The previous jump should not repeat or
decrease, the visual reference point was absent,
the fact of a mistake, without concrete result was
informed the sportsman only.
In volleyball the given technique can be used
at reproduction upwards from a contact platform.
On time of flight (from up to a landing), registered
the special electronic timer, to the sportsman
informs dynamics of a jump without exact figure
of result. Measurement is made in an interval
from 50 % of limiting result up to a maximum.
Thin differentiation of increments of height of
a jump is estimated by quantity of steps in an
interval and by quantity of erroneous attempts.
In training experiment the given technique
is modified to technique of development of
distinctive sensitivity similarly described above
on time, with similar breakdown and sequence of
Distinctive sensitivity effort
Motor activity in any kind of sports is
connected with performance of various speedpower exercises. One of them demand the
maximal muscular and mental pressure, others –
economy and reliability of muscular expenses
for a long time, the third depend on accuracy
and timeliness of dynamic efforts on time and
a place. Skill correctly to distribute efforts in
time and space – one of the basic conditions of
display of high technical and tactical skill of the
sportsman. The estimation specificity of contact
quality of the volleyball player described above
with a ball in all game elements allows to
approve, that thin differentiation of muscular
efforts on size, a place and time of their display
in many respects defi nes a class of the player.
It is possible to allocate following basic game
actions in which their qualitative performance
is to the greatest degree determined by a level of
distinction of efforts:
• Service reception: accuracy of operational
development, thin differentiation of
efforts of hands and foots;
• Service: force and accuracy of spike on a
• The top set: thin distinction of brushes
efforts on a ball;
• Attack: alternation strong and false spike,
the aimed spike of average force in empty
places of the opponent court.
Researches of force sensitivity of sportsmen
allow to define following general laws (Markov,
• Quality and accuracy of efforts
differentiation improve during purposeful
training, with growth of the sports form is
much faster, than accuracy of perception
of time and space;
• Between absolute force and accuracy of
muscular pressure direct dependence
is absent, different on size muscular
pressure are differentiated unequally;
• Development specificity of force
sensitivity volleyball players of different
game roles is revealed;
• The development level of force sensitivity
appreciably depends on structure of selfchecking by the sportsman of technics
Testing of force sensitivity is possible by
means of brushes dynamometer by method of
the minimal increment of effort. It is offered to
the player without the visual control gradually,
it is step with the minimal increment of effort
to compress a dynamometer in a range from 0
up to base effort. The quantity of such steps
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characterizes a subtlety of a force differentiation.
In natural conditions testing of force sensitivity
can be lead by a throwing of a ball (tennis,
volleyball, stuffed) similar step image from
70 % of the maximal result with the minimal
increment in each step up to a limiting throw.
Both specified techniques modified similarly
described above technique, can be applied
in the training purposes to development of
special force distinctive sensitivity in volleyball
1. Effective perfection of distinctive
sensitivity is realized by means of a sensor
multistage technique in 4 stages.
2. For improvement of speed of reaction
and ability to differentiate and operate by micro
intervals of time – with use electronic reaction
meter are determined: time of simple reaction
for a light signal and the player opportunities to
distinguish intervals of time and to reproduce
them under orders of the trainer and it is any.
3. For perfection of ability to differentiate
and reproduce the set sizes of efforts – with use
electronic brushes dynamometer at a level of 70 %
from individual maximal ability on the right hand
the minimal increments of efforts distinguished
and reproduced by players under orders of the
trainer and are defined is any.
4. For perfection of the player distinctive
sensitivity jump height and reproduction of the set
parameters by it – with use of the contact platform
having the electronic registrar of time intervals
between upwards jump of the player at pushing
out from a place and a landing, are defined at
a level of 70 % from individual maximal jump
height ability to distinguish and reproduce the
minimal deviations from the task.
5. For perfection of distinctive sensitivity of
spatial parameters and their ability to reproduce
by the strongest hand the throw of a tennis ball
is tested for range with definition of the player
ability to distinguish and reproduce under orders
at a level of 70 % from individual maximal range
of a throw its minimal deviations.
Anan’ev B.G. Prostranstvennoe razlichenie [Spatial distinction]. Leningrad, LGU Publ., 1955.
186 p.
Anokhin P.K. Biologiia i neirofiziologiia uslovnogo refleksa [Biology and neurophysiology of a
conditioned reflex]. Moscow, Medicine, 1968. 205 p.
Bernshtein Н.А. O postroenii dvizhenii [About construction of movements]. Moscow, Medgiz,
1947. 255 p.
Biriukova Z.I. Vysshaia nervnaia deiatelnost sportsmena [Supreme nervous activity of sportsmen].
Moscow, FiS, 1961. 156 p.
Bril’ M.S. Printsypy i metodicheskie osnovy aktivnogo otbora shkolnikov dlia sportivnogo
sovershenstvovaniia [Principle and methodical bases of active selection of schoolboys for sports
perfection]: autoref. diss … drs. ped. sciences, Moscow, 1986. 46 p.
Gagaeva G.M. Psichologiia futbola [Psychology of football]. Moscow, FiS, 1969. 215 p.
Gellershtein S.G. Chuvstvo vremeni i skorost dvigatelnoi reaktsii [Time sense and speed of motor
reaction]. Moscow, Medgiz, 1958. 48 p.
Dikunov A.M. Upravlenie prostranstvennymi parametrami dvigatelnykh deistvii metodami
nagliadnoi informatsii [Management in spatial parameters of motor actions by methods evident
information]: autoref. diss … drs. ped. sciences, Moscow, 1971. 42 p.
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Konstantin K. Markov and Oksana O. Nikolaeva… Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Psychomotor…
Farfel’ V.S. Upravlenie dvizheniiami v sporte [Movements management in sports]. Moscow, FiS,
1975. 256 p.
Il’in E.P. Struktura psikhomotornykh sposobnostei. Psikhomotorika [Structure of psychomotor
abilities. Psychomotorik]. Leningrad, 1976. 128-133.
Il’in E.P. Differentsialnaia psikhofiziologiia fizicheskogo vospitaniia i sporta [Differential
psychophysiology of physical training and sports]. Leningrad, LGPI, 1979. 235 p.
Keller V.S. Deiatelnost sportsmenov v variativnykh konfliktnykh situatsiiakh [Activity of
sportsmen in variety disputed situations]. Kiev, Zdorove, 1977. 180 p.
Khudadov N.A. Psikhologicheskaia podgotovka bokserov [Psychological preparation of the
boxer]. Moscow, FiS, 1970. 164 p.
Klimenko V.V. Psikhomotornye sposobnosti iunogo sportsmen [Psychomotor of the young
sportsman ability]. Kiev, Zdorove, 1987. 168 p.
Kossov B.B. Poznavatelnye protsessy u sportsmenov. Sensornaia osnova sportivnogo masterstva
[Cognitive processes at sportsmen. A sensor basis of sports skill]. Moscow, 1973. 78 p.
Kulagin B.V. Osnovy professionalnoi psikhodiagnostiki [Bases of professional psychodiagnostics].
Leningrad, Medicine, 1984. 216 p.
Marishchuk V.L. Psikhodiagnostika v sporte [Psychodiagnostics in sports]. Moscow, Education,
2005. 349 p.
Markov K.K. Pedagogicheskie i psikhologicheskie aspekty deiatelnosti trenera po voleibolu v
trenirovochnom i sorevnovatelnom protsessach [Pedagogical and psychological aspects of activity
of the trainer on volleyball in training and competitive processes]: diss … drs. ped. sciences.
Moscow, 2001. 370 p.
Matveev L.P. Obshchaia teoriia sporta i ee prikladnye aspekty [General the theory of sports and
its applied aspects]. Moscow, Soviet sports, 2010. 340 p.
Medvedev V.V. Psikhologicheskie osobennosti sostoianiia trenirovannosti. Eksperimentalnoe
issledovanie na materiale voleibola [Psychological condition training feature. Experimental
research on a material of volleyball]: autoref. diss … kand. ped. sciences. Moscow, 1967.
24 p.
Ozerov V.P. Psikhomotornoe razvitie sportsmena [Psychomotor sportsmen development].
Kishinev, 1983. 140 p.
Pavlov I.P. Polnoe sobranie trudov [Full assembly of works]. III. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949,
P. 50-51.
Platonov V.N., Sakhnovskiy K.P. Podgotovka iunogo sportsmena [Preparation of the young
sportsman]. Кiev, 1988. 288 p.
Puni A.TS. Ocherki psikhologii sporta [Sketch of sports psychology]. Moscow, FiS, 1959. 142 p.
Sechenov I.M. Izbrannye proizvedeniia [The selected works]. Moscow, Pabl. AS, 1952. 453 p.
Surkov E.N. Antitsipatsiia v sporte [Anticipation in sports]. Moscow, FiS, 1982. 144 p.
Surkov E.N. Psikhomotorika sportsmena [Psychomotor of the sportsman]. Moscow, FiS, 1984.
125 p.
Uruzaeva В.А. O zritelnom razlichenii osnovnykh form traektorii dvizheniia [About visual
distinction of the basic forms of a trajectory of movement. Perception of space and time].
Leningrad, 1969. 124 p.
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Теоретические и методологические проблемы
формирования психомоторных качеств
в волейболе
К.К. Маркова, О.О. Николаеваб
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия 660041? Красноярск, пр. Свободный? 79
Красноярский государственный педагогический
университет им. В.П. Астафьева
Россия 660049, Красноярск, ул. Ады Лебедевой, 89a
Рассмотрены проблемы формирования психомоторных качеств игроков в современном
волейболе, теоретическое и методологическое обоснование которого представлено на основе
анализа специфики вида спорта и основных психофизиологических закономерностей организма
спортсменов. Ключевым звеном практической методики совершенствования двигательных
способностей спортсменов определено формирование в тренировочном процессе временной,
пространственной и силовой мышечной различительной чувствительности у игроков
различных игровых амплуа. Теоретически обоснована и разработана для практического
применения методика развития и совершенствования двигательных качеств волейболистов,
определены и изложены ее основные положения, этапы, рабочий инструментарий и методы
контроля динамики развития способностей игроков дифференцировать микроинтервалы
времени, усилий и пространства, оценочные критерии.
Ключевые слова: волейбол, психомоторные качества, скорость реакции, различительная
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1057-1065
УДК 93/94
Political Reforms in Russia and Improvement
of Political System in Russia
at Beginning XXI Century
Alexey E. Prokopovich and Oleg Yu. Lyutykh*
Krasnoyarsk state pedagogical university
named after V.P. Astafyev
89 Ady Lebedevoy Str., Krasnoyarsk, 660060 Russia
Received 05.03.2013, received in revised form 07.06.2013, accepted 22.06.2013
In article historical evolution of the Russian reforms, their sociopolitical maintenance are considered,
underlined specificity of the Russian reforming, internal and external factors are defined influencing
character of transformations.
Keywords: reforms, social and political transformation, political course of reforming, Russia and
West, model of overtaking development.
Point: In the Russian historical political
tradition in conducting reforms under the
inertia and passivity of the broad masses,
the subjective factor plays an important role.
Under these conditions, the leading position
belongs to the role of a public leader. The
fact is particularly relevant to Russia with its
centuries-old monarchist, fuehrer historical
traditions. In the early twenty-fi rst century, such
a leader by a lucky chance for Russia became
V.V. Putin. Was appearance of Vladimir Putin
as head of state a random occurrence? It was
random to a large extent. And at the same time,
it was natural. After ten years of destruction
of the country in the 1990s, the emergence
of a creative statesman, which was Vladimir
Putin for Russia, was ripe. Here was a clear
dialectic of the necessary and the accidental in
a historical process.
The political component of the reform
process is extremely urgent. The success of
social and economic changes depends largely on
the openness of the political system, maximum
freedom of speech and other political freedoms,
strict compliance with state laws and human
rights. The more the political sphere is close to
the democratic ideal, the more favorable are the
conditions for successful economic and social
Example: In the political sphere, same as in
the economy, a substantial burden of unresolved
issues accumulated during the 1990s. As a
result of spontaneous, often not thoughtful and
hasty decisions Russia appeared on the verge
of collapse as a sovereign state formation. The
most important strategic task of the new state
leadership was to preserve the unity of the
country. To achieve this, it was necessary to
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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Alexey E. Prokopovich and Oleg Yu. Lyutykh. Political Reforms in Russia and Improvement of Political System in Russia…
build a strong public authority, to strengthen its
structure from top to bottom.
The priorities of the new leadership in the
political sphere were to strengthen the vertical
of state power through a series of fundamental
political decisions: seven federal districts
were formed to enhance direct contacts of the
supreme power with the regions. Presidential
plenipotentiaries appointed to the districts began
to exercise functions of political intermediaries
between the supreme executive power and
local authorities in the regions. Boundaries of
federal districts coincided with the boundaries
of military districts, and prominent political and
military figures were appointed to head each of
them. Five of the seven presidential envoys had
military ranks of generals (G. Poltavchenko,
V. Cherkesov, P. Latyshev, K. Pulikovsky, and
V. Kazantsev). Thus the President demonstrated
the seriousness of his intentions to strengthen
order in the country, to prevent the trends of
collapse and chaos.
Another important measure to strengthen the
state was reorganization of the Federation Council,
the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly.
Previously, its members were representatives of
regional political elite from the structures of the
legislative and executive authorities. Emphasis
was placed on their work in the field, in the regions,
as the work in the Federation Council distracted
regional leaders from everyday practical work
with people in the community. In their place, rank
and file representatives of local legislative and
executive authorities were nominated (although,
on presentation of executive and legislative
structures of the regional government). Thus
the President reduced possible influence of the
regional leaders on the political processes in the
center; put their work under tight control of the
central executive power.
A kind of compromise between central and
regional structures became the creation of the
the State Council, an advisory body with unclear
political functions. It was assumed that the State
Council in Russia should give recommendations
on the development of new laws. As is known,
the State Council was established for the first
time in 1810 by Emperor Alexander I, when the
State Council also had no real power functions.
The State Council of 2000 was meeting not more
than once in three months. In the period between
the sessions, the presidium of seven governors
was meeting, whose composition was constantly
Changes in the structures of the highest
legislative power were designed, first, to increase
the personal authority of President Vladimir
Putin as a determined, principled, consistent
politician who had the strategic initiative to
reform higher state bodies, and secondly, to put
regional leaders under control, many of which,
in the situation of lack of proper control by the
central government in the previous years, had lost
the sense of responsibility not only to voters, but
also to the Kremlin. Some of them were explicitly
stated in their real place in the political system of
the state authority.
Measures to bring regional legislation
into line with the Constitution and federal
laws served for strengthening of the state in
the country. It’s no secret that in the 1990s,
many regions of Russia, especially the national
republics defending the centrifugal tendencies
adopted their own laws that were contradicting
with the federal laws. This fact destabilized the
political situation in regions, encouraged ethnic
separatism, threatened the existence of a single
state space and the territorial integrity of the
country. Through the efforts of the center it
became possible to reverse this negative trend
and weaken the political position of a number
of regional leaders seeking to use the lack of
control by the center in their own short-term
interests using the Yeltsin’s ill-conceived thesis
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Alexey E. Prokopovich and Oleg Yu. Lyutykh. Political Reforms in Russia and Improvement of Political System in Russia…
in early1990s – “take sovereignty as much as
you can”.
During Vladimir Putin’s presidency, in
connection with the continuation of market
reforms and the overall disappointing results
of the socio-economic development in 2000, a
model of managed democracy began to develop.
Its content was determined by the authors of the
scientific collected articles “Competitiveness
and Modernization of the Economy” as “a
formal observance of democratic norms under
the actual tyranny of power.” (Competitiveness
and economy modernization, 2004. – P.35)
The power found its justification in the drive
for strengthening the state’s role in the society,
overcoming its weakness, improvement of public
activism through state mechanisms. However, in
the system of managed democracy the society
loses the ability to control activities of the
In practice, overcoming the weakness of
the state turned out with restrictions on freedom
of speech, increasing use of the so-called
administrative resource in election campaigns,
the abolition of gubernatorial election, the
onset of the socio-economic rights of workers
(monetization of benefits, increasing payment of
utility bills, etc.). At the same time, the political
powers of the presidency expanded steadily,
strengthening the power vertical. In the official
literature, this phenomenon was called “managed
The model of managed state (democracy)
appeared in connection with the subject’s inability
to organize management of the community under
the conditions of deepening democratic principles
and norms. Historically, Russia has not developed
a model of social functioning of subsystems in
democracy, which in the 1990s was reduced to
formal, external features. The authoritarian
tendencies of the new government narrowed the
format of democracy even more leaving the latter
in the form of individual elements, especially
after the tragic events in Beslan in September
We understand this situation not as absolute
immunity of Russia to democracy, but as a lack
of adequate social experience of functioning of
a social system in the atmosphere of democracy,
its real content but not of a substitute with formal
features. The forms of democracy, of course, can
be different in different political systems based
on historical and other traditions, but the content
of democracy in its foundations and principles
is one-dimensional. In this regard, we agree
with E.G. Yassin that “managed democracy
... means that in reality the state is subject to
the bureaucracy ...”, which naturally limits the
boundaries of democracy, negates the efforts to
build a civil society. (Yasin, 2004. P.17).
Democracy is not government of the
people, if understand literally the content of this
term. It just cannot be that people rule the state.
“Democracy is a certain technology acquisition
and implementation of a minority government
with the help of majority, relying on majority, but
not always in the interests and to the benefit of the
majority”, writes A.D. Kerimov. (Kerimov, 2007,
P.26). Democracy involves the creation of such an
atmosphere in the community, under which even
the most insignificant voice, opinion can not only
be heard by the authorities but also taken into
Democracy in its full expression serves
as an essential attribute of a successful organic
socio-economic transformation, as it provides
openness, transparency, respect for human rights
and freedoms, equality of all citizens before the
law. Democracy unleashes creative energy of
the people guided to the track of creation of new
social relations.
The Russian leadership of the early
2000s had a difficult choice: to strengthen the
democratic tendencies of the 1990s, fill them up
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with real, concrete substance and by solving this
problem to bring the socio-economic reforms to
the needs of society; or to continue the Russian
tradition of the feudal order of power for the
power itself through manipulation of the law,
upholding the interests of bureaucracy. Putting
forward the thesis of “managed democracy”
to stake on authoritarianism, concentration
of state power beyond the democratic space.
The second trend became dominant. Thus, the
Russian state government continued to follow the
Byzantine tradition rooted back to the medieval
Russia, which consisted in the implementation
of the thesis that the power in all its forms and
manifestations is above the law.
A retreat from democratic principles of
public management inevitably increased the level
of lack of freedom in the society, closeness of
the power to control of the citizens and criticism
of the government. In the absence of alternative
projects, concepts and opinions authoritarianism,
significantly reduced the efficiency of conducted
socio-economic transformation. The economic
laws, under which the market develops and
operates, were substituted with non-economic,
administrative methods of management; there
appeared signs of the administrative-command
system incompatible with market reforms. The
reforms themselves lost momentum, as they
were based not on the objective reality but on the
minds of government officials who provided and
oversaw the reforms.
Interesting data, which indicated a lack
of socio-political and economic experience of
functioning of the Russian society in democracy,
were received during a survey by VCIOM. 26 %
of Russians believed that democracy was a
“universal value”, 42 % thought democracy was
“harmful to the state”. 44 % of respondents valued
stability in the society most of all, while 37 % –
the law (Kostikov, 2006, P.8). The movement of
the Russian power in the direction of managed
democracy under such circumstances was fully
justified from the perspective of majority of the
At the initial stage of reforms the state
reform could be considered a success. In this case,
it was not about the effectiveness of government
agencies. First of all, the strategic problem was
solved of preventing the growth of centrifugal
tendencies that led to the disintegration of a
unified Russian state. Further, nomination and
decision of a critical strategic political objective
followed to achieve a higher degree of efficiency
of government agencies at all levels within the
framework of reforming the political system of
society, development of public policy that can
bring the country out of the social catastrophe,
overcome the accumulated destructive tendencies
in the society.
However, the first steps to strengthen the
state were limited to external forms not leading to
radical changes in the state’s role in the society that,
in turn could lead to significant positive changes
in the economy addressing the main strategic
objective of improving the standard of living of
the population. There still was no clear strategy
of the state development, an integrated program
of bringing the country out of the economic
and social crisis. This applied to a scientifically
developed theory for the transition period, a
state stabilization program – a political strategy
based on the actual socio-economic conditions
of Russia’s revival. The exception in this respect
was the fundamental scientific study “Economics
of transition period: Essays on economic policy
in post-communist Russia. 1991-1997” (Moscow:
Institute for Economy in Transition, 1998),
performed under the supervision of E.T. Gaidar.
The remaining reasonable, correct theses
put forward by leaders of the state – the need
to strengthen the family, the fight against child
homelessness and neglect, the formation of
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conditions for healthy living, the solution of
pressing demographic problems, etc. – did not
receive reinforcement from the organizational
and financial point of view, sank down into
talking by officials. It did not give any significant
socio-economic effect in solution of problems put
forward by the state leadership.
One of the ways of strengthening the state
taken by Vladimir Putin was the introduction
to the state structures of representatives of the
uniformed services – the Army, Ministry of
Internal Affairs and Federal Security Service
(Arinin, 2012, P. 7-33). The idea was that the
security forces will be able to restore order in
the field, to strengthen discipline, to stabilize
the socio-economic conditions for giving new
impetus to the reforms. This was done through
democratic means, through elections using
the administrative resource by the candidates
including support from the President himself.
In our opinion, it is impossible to assess this
trend in political terms unambiguously. On the one
hand, participation of representatives from law
enforcement agencies in the structures of the state
to some extent contributed to the strengthening of
discipline, order, especially at the regional level.
The siloviki were less involved into the games
between local and central bureaucracies, less
influenced by political parties and movements.
On the other hand, representatives of law
enforcement agencies did not have the appropriate
managerial experience of regional management,
which reduced the efficiency of their managing
activities. The teams of engaged specialists were
not always able to replace the first person. Some
members of security departments promoted to
the posts of regional managers could not resist the
temptations of cooperation with business entities
of a questionable character.
In December 2003, elections to the State
Duma of the fourth convocation were held in
Russia. Convincing victory in elections won
the pro-presidential “United Russia”, which
received more than 37 % of the vote. In support
of the “United Russia” a powerful administrative
resource was called, which included, inter alia,
the support of President Vladimir Putin.
The second place was taken by the
Communist Party with a considerable loss of its
earlier positions in the Duma, receiving 12.7 % of
the vote. The reasons for the loss of majority of
the Communist Party electorate are multifaceted.
Among them is the outflow of a part of votes to
the patriotic block “Rodina” (Motherland), the
information blockade in the media, errors in the
pre-election program guidelines that had lost
relevance and topical meaning.
The third position in the Duma, unexpectedly
for the most of professional political consultants,
was taken by the Liberal Democratic Party –
11.6 %, which re-emerged from the political
wilderness of the previous years. LDPR leader
Vladimir Zhirinovsky was able to gather the
protest electorate using well-defined slogans “We
are for the poor, we are for the Russians” imbued
with nationalistic spirit.
Unexpected results were shown by the
fourth political force that entered the State
Duma – the block “Motherland”, which within a
short time gained a convincing victory due to the
use of campaign slogans in support of the Russian
people, the ideas of statehood and patriotism.
All of the political parties that entered the
State Duma, with all existing political differences,
were by content the parties, which to some extent
defended the ideas of great power that became
dominant for the Russian statehood.
Sensational was the crushing defeat at the
Duma elections of the right-wing parties: SPS
and the “Yabloko”, who could not overcome the
5 percent barrier. With the defeat at the election
the right-wing parties lost their influence on the
policy line of the state. The main reason for the
defeat of the right forces became the detachment
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of their political programs from the realities of
life, the immediate needs of citizens and the
tiredness of the population of liberal reforms.
As a result of the elections to the Duma a
pro-presidential majority was formed in the
parliament consisting of deputies, supporters and
members of the “United Russia”, which made
“united Russians” responsible for the legislative
policy of the State Duma. At the same time, the
loss of the State Duma opposition sentiments
in relation to the executive government and its
political decisions had negative consequences
in terms of the need to adjust the state policy
reforms. In such circumstances, the state lost
the variety of shades of political and ideological
spectrum of opinions from different sectors of
the society.
On March 14, 2004 the presidential election
was convincingly won by the acting Russian
President Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a
second presidential term. He received 71,22 %
of the vote. His political opponents, Nikolai
Kharitonov of the Communist Party got – 13,74 %,
Sergei Glazyev – 4,11 %, Irina Hakamada –
3,85 %, Oleg Malyshkin from the Liberal
Democratic Party – 2,03 %, Sergei Mironov of
the Party of Life – 0,76 %. The overall attendance
was 64,3 %. People who voted against all were
3,46 % of all voters (Izvestia, 2004, 16 March).
In the Voronezh Region, at the presidential
election of March 14, 2004 Putin received
65,28 %, N. Kharitonov – 21,96 %, Glazyev –
3,37 %, Hakamada – 2,93 %, against all – 2,67 %,
O. Malyshkin – 2,21 %, S. Mironov – 0,87 %.
The election was attended by 62,5 % of Voronezh
voters (Izvestia, 2004, 16 March)
The convincing victory of Vladimir Putin in
the election indicated that the majority of voters
continued to feed hopes for an adjustment of
the political line, the vector of socio-economic
reforms that could improve life of the working
people of the Russian society. In addition, its
role was played by the absence of major political
blunders of the state leadership in the period of
2000-2004. The global market situation was
favorable too, which helped to replenish the state
budget through exports of energy resources.
Putin’s election platform in 2004, like it
was earlier, contained no specific promises;
it was sufficiently vague and not adjacent to
any of the ideological and party trends. This
circumstance was an advantage as compared to
other presidential candidates, whose ideological
positions were closely tied to the political line of
the specific parties and movements.
In this regard a substantial interest for this
study is the issue of the nature of the Russian
government at the beginning of the twenty-first
century. In the disclosure of its political content a
response is rooted to the question of seriousness
of the state to implement or continue the
transformations that were begun. This contains
the moral aspect of the problem and the question
of the political role of its leaders.
It is traditionally believed that Putin and his
entourage (although it is far from being uniform)
express political interests of the center. A growing
number of political parties, factions of the Duma
gravitated to the political center. Political center
provides the most stable position in the Russian
society, the possibility of a political maneuver,
finding compromises, overcoming conflicts,
seeking for political allies, etc.
At the same time, the phenomenon of a
political center is very complicated, multidimensional, especially in the periods of
transition. The ideological platform of the Russian
state was depicted in a rather elaborate formula
of “conservative-centrist liberalism”, which
claimed to unite the largest possible number of
people, supporters of the implementation of the
reform course. This term appeared in a British
newspaper “Financial Times” in the middle of
January 2004 and belonged to the new head of
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the Russian President Administration Dmitry
Dmitry Medvedev summed up the first
presidential term of Vladimir Putin. The main
outcome was the achievement of political stability,
which at the State Duma elections in December
2003 was legitimized by the Russian voters. This
fact became very important to support the reform
policy. The main direction of state policy of the
Russian leader before the presidential elections
in 2004 was identified by Dmitry Medvedev as
creation of a competitive economy, new jobs,
modernization of production facilities and
reduction in poverty. These priorities formed
the content of the conservative-centrist socialeconomic program of the state management
(Izvestia, 2004, 21 January).
During Vladimir Putin’s stay at the head
of the state from March 2000 to March 2004,
it became possible to stop gaining force of
processes of the state degradation, destruction of
law enforcement and other power agencies. The
constitutional order was restored in the country; a
new vertical of federal executive power was rebuilt.
Trends appeared of constructive interaction
between legislative and executive branches of
government, the efficiency of legislative work of
the Parliament improved. Common legal space
of the country was restored. All these measures
should be attributed to the absolute merits of the
new Russian political elite.
However, the state leadership failed to fully
remove the burden of accumulated political
problems, to achieve more effective political
decisions. One of the main reasons for this
situation consisted of mixing phenomena in the
analysis of causal links and relationships, when
instead of the necessity to establish the cause
and resolve conflicts arising in practice, the
state struggled with resulting factors that were
often of the second but not fi rst order. Therefore,
the structures of the state lacked an effective
mechanism for resolving socio-economic
contradictions in the implementation of the state
reform policy. Thus, in response to the call of
the President of Russia to fight against one of the
glaring negative manifestations of public life –
juvenile neglect and homelessness – Deputy
Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko said that
she personally would ride on the Moscow train
stations and collect homeless children. But what
to do next with these children? Deliver them to
orphanages? This statement is a clear example
of substitution of reasons with a result. Such
examples are plentiful. In such approaches the
problem, of course, could not be resolved. The
matter is not in the number of open children’s
homes and strengthening of Russian family but
in the organization of effective family support
from the state. In this respect very little was
Resume: The terrible tragedy in Beslan in
September 2004, which killed more than three
hundred people – adults and children, became a
watershed in the politics of Vladimir Putin, who
took the course of strengthening the power vertical
and gradual phasing out democratic processes in
the country. In September 2004, gubernatorial
elections were canceled. V.B. Pastukhov rightly
believes that the changes in the political sphere
since 2004 were associated not with the events
in Beslan (they were just a cause) but with the
“orange revolution” in Ukraine (Pastuhov, 2010,
P.13). He calls a revision of democracy of the
1990s “counter-revolutionary coup d’etat”, which
led to the fact that real competition disappeared
from the political life and the political system
itself became closed. As a reaction of the power
to the “orange revolution” in Kiev, the doctrine
of “sovereign democracy” emerged primarily
intended for external use only. In the same vein,
V.B. Pastukhov considered the establishment of
pro-Kremlin youth groups such as “Ours”, etc. to
control the moods of the Russian youth.
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In line with the problems of Russian reforms
of the 2000s a question of the nature of the
Russian state and the Russian national idea is
justified. For the first time in the modern Russian
history, this question was put forward by the
Russian President Boris Yeltsin right after the
1996 presidential election. This thesis came out of
the mouth of Boris Yeltsin, who was far from the
national nature of the Russian government, quite
unexpectedly and since then has been continually
put forward in political debates by many experts –
politicians, scientists, public figures. However,
no significant positive solution to the complex
ideological issues was achieved in the debates: the
leaders either ignored the issue as unnecessary
or brushed it aside as being unimportant. The
issue of the national idea has not been raised into
practice, which is quite surprising for a country
that is a home to more than 160 different national
However, the lack of a deep theoretical
development of the problem, and all the more of a
practical solution to the problem, creates difficulties
for the efficient and effective national policy.
Unresolved issues of the nationwide ideology
create many difficulties and conflicts in the Russian
society, hinder the reform political line.
The analysis of discussions around the topic
of the all-Russian ideology has led us to the
conclusion that this ideology must be based on
historical and cultural traditions of the Russian
people as a historically cementing ethnic group,
around which other nations have been uniting for
centuries, and the Russian state itself, Russia’s
moral and spiritual space were formed. The
structure of the all-Russian ideology must include
the appropriate spiritual and moral elements of
the lifestyle and mentality of other peoples of
Russia in the form of national ideas, traditions,
customs, and ceremonies.
Competitiveness and economy modernization: the book in two volumes. [Konkurentosposobnost
i modernizatsiya ekonomiki: knigi v dvuh tomah]: V .1 / the editor. E.G.Yasin. М: SU HSE, 2004.
P. 35.
Izvestia. 2004. 16 March.
Izvestia. 2004. 21 January.
Kerimov A.D. Modern the state: theory questions [Sovremennoe gosudarstvo: voprosyi teorii] /
A.D.Kerimov. М: NORMA, 2007. P. 26.
Kostikov V. Sperm of democracy [Semya demokratii] Arguments and the Facts. 2006. № 10.
P. 8.
Pastuhov V.B. Ukrainian revolution and Russian counterrevolution [Ukrainskaya revolyutsiya i
russkaya kontrrevolyutsiya] POLIS. 2010. № 5. P. 13.
Yasin E.G. New an epoch old alarms: Political economy [Novaya epoha staryie trevogi:
Politicheskaya ekonomiya] М: New publishing house, 2004. P. 17.
Arinin A.N. About Russian President’s tasks in country modernization [O prezidente Rossii
zadach v modernizatsii stranyi] Modern history of Russia. 2012, № 1 P. 7-33
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Alexey E. Prokopovich and Oleg Yu. Lyutykh. Political Reforms in Russia and Improvement of Political System in Russia…
Политические реформы в России
и улучшение политической системы России
в начале XXI века
А.Е. Прокопович, О.Ю. Лютых
Красноярский государственный педагогический университет
им. В.П. Астафьева
Россия 660060, Красноярск, ул. Ады Лебедевой, 89
В данной статье рассматривается историческая эволюция реформ в России, их
социополитическое обеспечение, описывается специфика проведения реформ в России,
выявляются внутренние и внешние факторы, влияющие на характер преобразований.
Ключевые слова: реформы, социальные и политические преобразования, ход политических
реформ, Россия и страны Запада, модель обгоняющего развития.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1066-1074
УДК 343.621
Abortion as a Means of Family Planning
in Russia in the First Quarter
of the Twentieth Century
Mikhail D. Severyanova* and Larisa U. Anisimovab
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny pr., Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Russian State Social University (branch in Krasnoyarsk)
11, Mozhaiskogo st., Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Received 30.07.2012, received in revised form 10.02.2013, accepted 31.05.2013
In November 18, 1920 Soviet Russia became the first state in the world ever to legalize abortion. The
authors of this article summarize the experience of its legalization in the 1920–1936 years. Reveal the
socio-economic, health and other reasons that motivate women to abortion, moreover, authors show
the interrelation the number of children in the family and mortality, as a result uncovered concrete
historical causality adopted in the USSR in 1936 a law banning abortion.
Keywords: law, legal and clandestine abortion, family planning, fertility, mortality.
Abortion – is a form of modern family
planning in many countries of the world. For
example, in France, abortion was legalized in
1975, in Belgium – 1980, in Poland – 1956, in
the UK – in 1967, West Germany – in 1976, in
Turkey – 1983, in the U.S. – in 1973. July, 3, 2002
the European Parliament adopted a decision to
legalize abortion in the European Community.
In the modern world, there are countries
where abortion is severely restricted: Brazil
(1991), Chile (1990), Colombia (1989), Mexico
(1990), Philippines (2000), Hungary and Poland
(2012) and et al.
In Soviet Russia, abortion was legalized
in hospitals and banned as a private practice in
November, 18, 1920 (Drobizhev, 1987). The
Soviet Republic was the first country in the
world where abortion was legalized for medical
and social reasons. The purpose of the act was to
bring abortion out of the underground state.
This article reviews the history of abortion in
Tsarist and Soviet Russia. The complexity of this
study is that there are no adequate and reliable
statistics on abortion and death in this period,
so we can only repeat the general consensus of
opinion held by both doctors and researchers
and contemporaries that the deaths were an
appallingly high percentage of the number of
The chronological scope of the study covers
two periods (the end of XIX century – 1920,
1921–1927). Each of these periods has its own
peculiarities and characteristics. Before the 1917
revolution, the tsarist government, as in most
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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countries, label abortion “a moral and physical
evil”. In the Criminal Code 1885 (art.1461–1463)
abortion was defined as a “deliberate act” of
murder, for which severe punishment for those
who did, and those who were subjected to this
procedure: the cancellation of any medical
license, and long jail finally, and in some cases
even the death penalty.
Spiritual foundations of marriage, family,
relationships between spouses, parents and
children were professed by Christianity. In the
Christian religion childbearing was considered as
the justification of carnal procreation and it was
seen as the ultimate meaning of marriage. The
Christian church had negative attitude to birth
control. Family law for the peasants had religious
and mystical character. All that was sanctified by
providence had an exceptional value in the village,
“Children are a blessing of God, they support and
happiness of the family” – this was the prevailing
view of the peasants on children. Children created
not only the internal strength of family top and
contained an instinctive desire to procreate, but
the consciousness of the importance which has
in every generation, continuity of work: work for
children as their future successors. Most of the
peasants considered the expulsion of the fetus
as a grave sin, and many saw in it a debauch of
young generation. Village public opinion was
extremely strict with the girls, who had seen in
this offense. Much more likely to get married was
the girl who gave birth to a child than the one
on which it became known that she produced a
miscarriage (Russian folk medicine, 1903).
Peasant families tended to have many
children. Researchers differently explain the need
for the children. Researchers have differences on
the issue of economic efficiency of a large family.
The author shares the view of A.G.Vishnevsky,
A.N.Chelintseva and B.V.Okushko taking into
account the evolving nature and demographic
composition of the peasant family.
In the early twentieth century peasant
remained primarily biological rather than a
social being. Peasants could not afford the fatal
risk and luxury not to marry or marry late, to
limit the number of children, extend the intervals
between births, etc. Therefore, they in the vast
majority were married as soon as female (and
to a much lesser extent, men) body was allowed
to have children (the average age of the first
menstrual period of peasant women of Tambov
province in the 70–80’s XIX century was 16.3
years. On individual hospital statistics and in the
early twentieth century 46 % Tambov peasants
were married in the first year after the start of
menstruation and another 20–22 % from 1 to
2 years. No posts and the harvest time could
become intermission of equal intensity about
sexual activity and chart conception. Sexually
active peasants were approximately equal in all
seasons, with a clear, but a slight increase in the
time of weddings, “meat-eating”, and even less
noticeable weakening in the harvest season.
Another conception occurred as it will save on
the full-term and preterm fetal mother’s womb.
Given the share of miscarriage in early pregnancy,
as well as stillborn or died before baptism, one
can calculate that the “average” peasant women
“from the metric “ became pregnant in two and a
half years, and prior to the expiration of the first
year after birth. If a woman’s health in order to
remain within the prescribed period, the nature of
child-bearing, she gave birth to full-term children
at intervals of 12–15 months, giving birth for 20–
25 years up to 20 children. Similarly, the largest
share – 40–60 % – in the reporting maternity units
occupied, “July-October” nulliparous women
married to 9–12 months before the birth of first
child, while in metrics undercount stretched the
interval of two and a half times.
Notorious prolonged breastfeeding has had
a very questionable and unnecessary measure
to prevent another pregnancy, but it provides an
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intense production of prolactin in the female body
that are approaching menopause and 4–5 years
shortened fertile period (Дьячков В.Л.).
Although the State, the Church and the
common law have been fighting the practice of
getting rid of unwanted children, but abortion,
both in town and country was widespread. In the
city abortion performed by – primarily for medical
reasons and was the main form of contraception.
In a Moscow hospital in 1910, there were 1884, in
1911–1531, in 1913 – 2372 (Ярославский В.М.,
186). According to Llewellyn-Jones on the eve
of World War I, the hospitals of Moscow and
Leningrad were being overwhelmed by waves of
women who had undergone some form of illegal
abortion (Wheatcraft S.G., 49). As noted at the
Pirogov Congress of Russia’s leading medical
association in 1910, the rate of illegal abortions
was growing on in “epidemic proportions.” On the
eve of World War I, according to the well-known
doctor Vigdorchik N., residents of St. Petersburg
began to consider a miscarriage as something
ordinary and affordable. Addresses of doctors
and midwives passed from hand-to – hand, who
performed those operations on a specific taxi, not
very high (Левина Н).
M.Hindus, has always been violent temper
students. The fi rst survey for the study of the
sexual behavior of students in Russia conducted
by V. Favr, was held in 1902. He interviewed
in Kharkov about 2000 students of three
universities. According to the survey, 73 %
of students aged 17–20 years have had sexual
experience. According to the survey, conducted
by D.N.Zhbakov (1908), almost 90 % of
Moscow students and teachers between the ages
of 17 and 25 were virgins at the age of 21–25
years – 45.5 %. For those who never have been
married in the church, the proportion who had
sexual experience was 18 %. I.Gelman in 1914,
reported that 11.9 % of students in Moscow had
fi rst sexual intercourse before age 13 and 39,
2 % – 14 to 16 years (Гельман И., 1925).
During the revolution of 1917 and the
subsequent civil war, little was done to stop
the practice of underground abortions. Besides
hunger, deprivation, destruction encouraged
more women to seek illegal abortions (Wendy
Z. Goldman, 1993). There was an increase in the
number of abortions and health care facilities. For
example, in one of St. Petersburg’s clinics in 1919,
there were 1274, 1920 – 1460, in 1921 – 2134. In
Moscow, in one clinic in 1910 there were 1, 884,
in 1913– 2372, and in 1922–6859 (Ярославский
В.М., 186).
Induced abortion was a widespread in rural
areas. According to E.P. Dutton, the poor people,
to whom he referred the population of prerevolutionary Russia, there was some complexity
in financial support of large families. Frequent
women’s births were forced to family on the
one hand, spending more material resources to
raise their children, on the other hand, the family
lost for some time worker, her pregnancies cut
down still further the family’s finances. Russian
woman protected herself from a physical and
her family from an economic breakdown in
the only way she knew-by using abortion to
prevent too frequent births (Dutton E.P., 1932).
Women knew that they could die from abortion,
lose health and strength again pregnant. Often,
women perform an abortion on their own, or to
help her inexperienced friend or midwife. Using
household tools that are completely unsuitable
for this purpose, and conditions are unlikely to
have ever been hygienic. Those who make such
operations generally do not have any idea about
the female anatomy and physiology, and therefore,
in many cases, the procedure results in death or
permanent disability.
Women have used a variety of mechanical
devices: pulling stomach towels, ropes; lifting
weights unbearable, jumping from a high ladder,
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loft; skipping over the barrel or a high fence. From
internal means the most common was “drinking
gunpowder, saltpetre, kerosene, phosphorus
matches, ergot, mercuric chloride, cinnabar,
arsenic, ...swallowing a” living “mercury...”
women finely received milled glass with water
and sand, which is formed at hone iron or steel
tools” (Russian folk medicine, 1903). The use of
these funds often entailed death.
Before the revolution sexual behavior of
rural and urban population has become the subject
of wide public discussion. In the last quarter of
the XIX century to the various methods of birth
control began to resort more and more general
population. The newspaper “The Doctor” for 1893
noted that “condoms” have become increasingly
common, although condoms, as well as coitus
interruptus, were extremely harmful to health
(Вишневский А.Г., 40).
Medical community especially actively
advocated for the legalization of abortion. At
the 3rd Congress of the Society of Russian
Physicians in memory N.I. Pirogov in 1889, the
authors of reports, recognizing that abortion –
the evil, however, called for a softening of the
Russian legislation on abortion, in particular, to
ensure that reduce to minimum punishment of
women subjected to surgery, and to recognize the
legitimate medical abortion in the case of some
diseases (Вишневский А.Г., 42). Especially
intensified demands for the legalization of abortion
in 1905 after the main motive for these standards
was the growth of underground operations, often
ended with an injury, or even death of patients.
The greatest social urgency the legalization
of abortion in 1913, acquired at the XII Congress
of the Society of Russian Physicians N.I. Pirogov.
The majority of participants were in favor of
abolition of the ban on abortion (Белобородов
И.И.), defining the resolution of the Congress,
that the prosecution of the mother in a miscarriage
should never occur and doctors, who produced
at her request and insistence, should be exempt
from criminal liability.
As a fact, that in these years, a positive
attitude to the legalization of abortion has
identified and Lenin (Ulyanov) – the future
chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars
of the RSFSR.
Thus, the law to permit abortion in 1920 was
predetermined in the pre-revolutionary period.
The legalization of abortion in Soviet Russia
has caused a wide resonance in the Russian
Federation and abroad. Domestic and foreign
scholars Marianne Githens, Dorothy Mc.Bride
Stetson, Dorothy E.Mc Bride, N. Levina wrote
that the legalization of abortion in Russia was
a necessary health measure, carried primarily
to healthcare. The government fi rst sought to
deal with the causes of abortion (illness, large
families, poor housing) (Marianne Githens and
et al).
Most Western scholars (E.P. Dutton, Arthur
Newsholme and John Adams Kingsbury) in their
studies have focused on the responsibility of
physicians. They wrote that, according to Soviet
law of 1920, which legalized abortion did so
under the following conditions):
1. The operation known as abortion can
only be performed by licensed surgeons.
All midwives are strictly prohibited from
performing abortions.
2. Save in very exceptional circumstances,
abortion must be the result of a surgical
operation and not the result of medicines
or drugs.
3. After every abortion performed, the
woman concerned must stay in bed in the
hospital, or other place of operation, for
three full days.
4. After every abortion or miscarriage, the
woman concerned must not be allowed
to go to work for two weeks after said
operation or illness.
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5. An abortion must not be performed for
the first pregnancy unless childbirth
would seriously endanger the woman's
6. Abortion must not be performed if the
pregnancy has been continued for more
than two and one-half months.*
7. Except as stated in paragraphs «5» and
«6» no qualified doctor has the right to
refuse abortion, although he is at liberty
to discourage it in every way he thinks
8. The State recommends that all abortions
be performed in those State hospitals
where there is a section definitely for that
purpose. All women who carry social
insurance or whose husbands are socially
insured can receive abortion free of
charge in a State hospital. All others must
pay the usual medical fees.
9. Private doctors or any other individuals
who perform an abortion which results
in death of the woman can be tried for
manslaughter. Women who perform
abortions on themselves are not subject to
10. It is recommended that abortions be
discouraged if the woman concerned
has had less than three children; if she
has adequate means for supporting
another child; if her health would not be
impaired by another pregnancy; if her
living conditions make a good enough
environment for children; and, if, in
general, there is no social, physical, or
economic reason for the abortion (Arthur
Newsholme, 1933; E.P. Dutton, 1932).
E.P. Dutton believed that that soviet
methods employed in the struggle with abortion
were based on several defi nite ideas held by
the Soviet medical profession, and the State
itself. Birth control which expressed in the
main not only their methods of work but also
the attitude they adopt towards the problem
of women’s rights as a whole and such social
problems. He identified the following methods
of dealing with abortion: raising of the cultural
and physical level of the population as a whole;
development of an institutional system for the
protection of women and children; insurance for
mothers, vacations for working women before
and after giving birth; defense of deserted
women, alimony from husband and State, court
trials of fathers who do not fulfi ll their social
obligations; improving the living conditions
of all people and the working conditions of all
labouring women; general care for women who
feed their babies from the breast; by acquainting
the population with adequate means of birth
control, through clinics and all other medical
and social institutions.
This last method of fighting abortion
E.P.Dutton, as N.B. Lebina considered the most
important, “since due to the high cultural and
financial level of a group of persons is raised,
there ceases to be so much need for abortion
and consequently abortion ceases to flourish “
(E.P.Dutton, 1932; Н. Лебина, 1999).
Until the mid 20-s of the XX century Soviet
social policy was aimed to create the necessary
medical support freedom of abortion. In 1926 it
was completely banned abortion for the first time
pregnant women, and also made the operation less
than six months ago. Family code 1926 approved
women’s right to induced abortion (Н.Левина).
Stressed the temporary nature of the introduction
of such a measure, “while the moral vestiges
of the past and the present difficult economic
conditions are forcing some women decided on
the operation”. But the operation of abortion in
the medical and legal documents the early 20’s of
the twentieth century qualified as a “social evil”,
“ social anomaly “ (N.Levina), “social crime “
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Expulsion of the fetus recognized as a
crime in strictly limited circumstances. Criminal
liability for abortion in the Criminal Code of the
RSFSR in 1922 was determined by art. 146, and
in 1926 the RSFSR Criminal Code art. 140. For
these items can be held criminally responsible
for the commission of abortion: 1) those who did
not have this proper medical training, that is, the
person did not possess medical degree, and 2)
those who had medical training, but performed
abortions in unsanitary conditions.
Under the Criminal Code of the Russian
Federation, such persons could be imprisoned
or subjected to forced labor for up to one year,
or should have to pay up to five hundred rubles.
If these steps were carried out in conditions
specified in the first paragraph, in the form of
business or without the consent of the mother,
or have inflicted death – imprisonment up to five
The People’s Commissariat of Health and
Social Welfare since July 1924 the mandatory
registration to “cards on abortion” of all the
commissions received permission to have an
abortion. The same card was filled in the woman
admitted to hospital in a state of unsafe abortion.
The card had questions about the age, nationality,
occupation, place of residence, marital status,
type of housing, number of pregnancies and their
outcomes; birth in the sequence number indicating
the year, when there were labor, miscarriage and
month of this pregnancy. The card should state the
reasons that caused a desire to have an abortion,
and the Commission’s decision to provide free
abortions or refusal. The study of these cards was
the beginning of a statistical study of the abortion
issue, but a mandatory universal registration
took several more years. In provincial cities such
registration at the time, more or less established,
often carried out in the districts and was set
slightly in rural areas.
Abortion rate depended on the number of
children in the family and of the territorial factor.
Women in urban areas choose abortion after the
birth of their first child, a peasant woman after 3
or more children (see Table 1).
The rapid growth of abortion was
accompanied by falling birth rates. The decline
of fertility rates was 2–2.5 % per year, leading
to a 12 % reduction in fertility during 1925–1930
and a further 25 % decrease over the period
1930–1935 (Белобородов И.И.). The same trend
Table 1. Family size of women receiving abortions, 1926
Moscow and
Provincies and
District Towns
Other towns
Rural areas
7, 967
4, 393
2, 004
2, 235
16, 599
12, 988
8, 925
4, 498
2, 686
29, 097
9, 019
6, 918
3, 857
3, 138
22, 932
4, 855
3, 604
2, 190
2, 658
13, 307
2, 221
1, 921
1, 234
1, 858
7, 234
5 and
1, 758
1, 996
1, 273
2, 457
7, 484
38, 808
27, 757
15, 056
15, 032
96, 653
Source. Russia’s Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation/Ed. by B.E.Clements, B.A. Engel and Ch.D.Worbec.
University of California Press, 1991 p. 254.
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noted researches A.Gens, W. Goldman, etc. By
1934, the number of reported abortions in rural
areas, although it was significantly less than in
the cities, however, exceeded the number of births
to 1.3. According to the People’s Commissariat
of Health, in 1934, rural women were noted 243
thousand births and 324 thousand abortions
(Урланис Б.Ц., 26). In the Soviet Union the birth
rate fell steadily between 1927 and 1935 – from
45 births per thousand people in 1927 to 43, 7 in
1928; 39, 2 in 1930; 36, 9 in 1931; 34, 5 in 1932;
32, 4 in 1933; 30, 1 in 1934 and 30, 1 in 1935
(Clements B.E., 263).
It was noted at the Kiev VIII All-Union
Conference of Midwives and Gynecologists
in 1928 that the number of abortions exceeded
the number of births (Clements B.E., 263).
Therefore, since 1930, in the press began antiabortion powerful campaign. Abortion had
been paid, and the prices were constantly rising.
In 1931 the cost was equal to 18–20 rubles, in
1933 – from 20 to 60, and in 1935 – from 25 to
300. Since 1935, the price depended on the level
of supply of women. If the average income per
family member was equal to 80–100 rubles, or
for the operation took 75 rubles. This situation
forced many women to seek illegal abortions or
perform the operation herself, which led to the
deterioration of women’s health, or death. Many
women who asked for operation not the fi rst
time (for the residents of Leningrad 30–35 year
rate was 06.08 operations), did not think about
its impact on the body (Н.Б.Лебина, 286).
As a result, in 1936 it was decided to ban
As we see, in the 20-s of XX century in
Soviet Russia strongly rejected anti-abortion
through repression. The legalization of abortion
is not eliminated illegal abortions, although
there was some decline. Legal abortion was
overwhelmingly an urban phenomenon. Women
in the cities had greater access to medical
care than peasant women, who often had to
travel many miles to reach the nearest doctor
or hospital. In the early 1920-s rural medical
personnel did little to inform peasant women
about their right to abortion, feared that the
demand for abortion would” swamp the weak
regional health care network” (Clements B.E.,
249). А trip to the commission, followed by a
trip to the hospital, was extremely difficult.
Roads were impassable. Even if a household
owned a horse, it could rarely spare the
animal, and a woman might have to walk 30 or
40 miles to get to a hospital. The commissions
required proof of pregnancy, marital status,
family size, a workplace. The paperwork and
her subsequent absence exposed the purpose
of her journey to the entire village (Clements
B.E., 261).
One can agree with the fi ndings of
researchers I.Kon and A.G. Vishnevsky, before
the end of the 20 years of the twentieth century
the USSR occupied the leading position in the
world in the study of abortion, family planning,
birth control.
Circular from November, 12, 1926 soviet government banned abortion after 3 months of pregnancy, as late abortion posed
a serious risk to the health and lives of women. (See V.P.Lebedeva. Maternity protection in the country of the Soviets.
Leningrad, State Publishing House, 1934, pp. 130–131.)
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Mikhail D. Severyanov and Larisa U. Anisimova. Abortion as a Means of Family Planning in Russia in the First Quarter…
Beloborodov I.I. Abortion in Russia: history, consequences, alternative. [Aborty v Rossii:
istoria, posledstvia, alternativy. Available at: htt://
html?idR=23&idArt=904. (Accessed 3 April, 2013).
Clements B.E, Engel B.A. and Worbec Ch.D. Russia’s Women: Accommodation, Resistance,
Transformation. University of California Press, 1991, p. 254.
Drobizhev V.Z. At the root of Soviet demography.[U istokov sovetskoi demografii]. Moscow,
1987, pp. 75–85.
D’iachkov V.L. Natural and demographic cycles as a factor of Russian History, 19 – the first half
of the 20th century. [Prirodno-demograficheskie tsikly kak factor Rossiiskoi istorii, 19-pervaja
polovina 20 vekov]. Available at:
(Accessed 3 April, 2013).
Dutton E.P. Protection of Women and Children in Soviet Russia, 1932. Available at: http://www. (Accessed 20 February, 2013).
Gelman I. Sexual life of modern youth. Experience of sociobiological survey. [Polovaia zhizn’
sovremenoi molodeshi. Opyt sotsialno-biologocheskogo obsledovania] Second Edition expanded.
State Publishing House, Moscow-Leningrad, 1925, 150 p.
Goldman Wendy Z. Women, the State and Revolution. Soviet Family Policy and Social Life,
1917–1936. Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 337–344.
Githens Marianne, Dorothy Mc.Bride Stetson, Dorothy E.Mc Bride. Abortion Politics: Public
Policy in Cross-Cultural Perspective. N.Y., 1996, pp. 98–99.
Levina N. “Towards numerous statements of working women ...” [Navstrechu mnogochislenym
zaiavleniam trudiaschchikhsia zhenschchin...]. Trudy “Soviet social policy 1920 – 1930: Ideology
and Everyday Life». Available at: (Accessed 20 February,
Lebina N.B. Daily life of the Soviet city: the norms and anomalies during 1920–1930.[Povsednevnaja
zhizn’ sovetskogo goroda: normy I anomalii] S.Pb., 1999. p. 283.
Newsholme Arthur and John Adams Kingsbury. Socialized Health in Soviet Russia. Double Day,
Doran & Company, inc; Garden City, New York, 1933. Available at:
reference/archive/field-alice/protect/index.html (Accessed 20 February, 2013).
Russian folk medicine everyday. [ Russkaia narodno-bytovaia meditsina]. According to the
materials of ethnographic Bureau Prince V.N. Tenisheva. St. Petersburg, 1903, p. 328.
Urlanis B. Births, and life expectations in the USSR. [Rozhdaemoct’ I prodolzhitelnost’ zhizni v
SSSR]. Moscow, 1963, p. 26.
14. Vishnevskii A.G. Demographic modernization of Russia, 1900–2000. [Demograficheskaja
modernizatsia Rossii, 1900–2000]. Moscow: New Publishing, 2006. p. 40.
15. Wheatcraft S.G. The Population Dynamic and Factors Affecting it in the Soviet Union in the
1920s and 1930s. University of Birmingham, 1976, p. 49.
16. Yaroslavskii V.M. About party ethics. Report to the plenary session of the Central Control
Commission of the RCP II (b) October 5, 1924. [ O partetike. Doklad na II Plenume TSK
RKP (b) 5 oktiabria 1924]. Documents and materials discussion 20 – s. Moscow, 1989.
p. 186.
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Аборт как средство планирования семьи
в России первой четверти ХХ в.
М.Д. Северьянова, Л.Ю. Анисимоваб
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 79
Российский государственный социальный университет
(филиал в г. Красноярске)
Россия 660041, Красноярск, ул. Можайского, 11
18 ноября 1920 г. в Советской России впервые в мировой практике был принят закон об
абортах. Авторы статьи обобщают опыт его легализации в 1920–1936 гг., выявляют
социально-экономические, медицинские и иные причины, побуждавшие женщин на
искусственное прерывание беременности, показана взаимосвязь аборта с детностью в
семье и смертностью, вскрыта конкретно-историческая обусловленность принятия в СССР
в 1936 г. закона о запрете абортов.
Ключевые слова: законодательство, легальный и подпольный аборт, планирование семьи,
рождаемость, смертность.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1075-1084
УДК 378.1
The Problems of Engineering Education
and Graduates’ Development
in the Workplace
Michael V. Lukyanenkoa,
Oleg A. Polezhaev and Natalya P. Churlyaevaa*
Siberian State Aerospace University (SibSAU)
31 Krasnoyarski rabochi, Krasnoyarsk, 660014 Russia
“Krasmashzavod” State Enterprise,
29 Krasnoyarski rabochi, Krasnoyarsk, 660037 Russia
Received 04.10.2012, received in revised form 30.04.2013, accepted 05.06.2013
The peculiarities of indigenous engineering education are briefly considered from the historical
standpoint. Based on this, the current system of engineering training in higher education institutions
is appraised as inadequate and the higher education prospects in the near future as unclear. Better
prospects for preparing engineers have continuing professional training systems in industrial
corporations. Besides targeted training in higher education, much attention within corporative
continuing training is paid at the development of engineers in the workplace. This assumes
certain prerequisites such as good organizational climate and big enough learning potential of the
Keywords: Engineering education, Educational policy, Continuing vocational training, Situated
Learning, Learning potential.
‘The technological achievements of the
USSR [were] generally recognized as stemming
from their system of education’ (Armytage, 1962),
so until the USSR collapsed and some time after
that ‘there [was] increasing interest in the Soviet
education system and the changes influencing it
following perestroika’ (Griffin and Bailey, 1994).
Yet, those changes were not for good. Now this
system can neither provide the kind of graduates
required in industry; nor has it retained the good
form it displayed in the past but has been fairly
degraded over the last two decades.
Worse yet, created within the matrix of
a planned economy, the engineering higher
education (HE) system seems hardly reformable.
In spite of the long-lasting rhetoric about its
‘radical reforming’ (e.g. Alekseyev, 1994), in
fact, as the President of the Russian Association
for Engineering Education admitted not long ago,
‘an obsolete system of engineering training…
[that]…performs well in totalitarian regimes
and was a good fit for the Soviet economy still
remains’ (Pokholkov, 2010).
The Bologna prescriptions including the
two-level HE system, European Credit Transfer
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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System, and the competency-based standards are
now introduced in HE but this will hardly improve
the engineering education quality. D. Medvedev
has admitted two years ago: ‘division of our
education into the masters and bachelors has not
yet led to the rising of the engineering education
quality, as it was hoped for’. Thus not many good
engineers can be expected soon from HE.
Meanwhile, our pedagogical experience
allows making an argument in favor of continuing
engineering education in innovative businesses
rather than in HE alone. In order to better
understand the current problems of engineering
education and trying to find the solution to the
problems, first we have to consider retrospectively
how they evolved.
1. Preparing engineers
for the planned economy
The Soviet system of mass engineering
training was designed for the planned economy,
so ’HE produced specialists who were expected
to progress into corresponding occupations’
(Robert et al, 2007). In this way HE institutions
prepared specialists for reserved places of
duty at industrial plants, fabrics and other
organizations in accordance with the needs of
those organizations.
HE was supposed to produce engineers who
must be ready to build in technological processes
immediately after graduation. For this reason
every HE institution was affiliated with one or
more industrial organizations and in addition to
academic lessons, each summer, after the second
year of study, each student had to go through
industrial practice in order to get more closely
acquainted with industrial realities. The share of
students’ practical training and work experience
had to be not less than 30% of the total teaching
time in a HE institution.
Graduates were assigned to work where as a
rule they underwent industrial practices and were
sent there as young specialist with no right to leave
their workplaces for three years. For those ‘initial
three years of their working lives in occupations
and places to which they were directed’ (Roberts,
2006), graduates went through a kind of
apprenticeship learning under the trusteeship of
older/more experienced industry experts.
That was when young specialists were really
professionalized. During those three years and
more they not just worked but were learning in
the workplaces long before informal learning
became the subject of academic studies (e.g.
Eraut, 2004). Absence of private ownership and
good social climate encouraged older specialists
to share for free their knowledge and skills with
Informal learning in the workplace plus
action learning (e. g. Revans, 1982) provided a
customized training and allowed even poorly
educated graduates to develop skills at their
workplaces step by step, thus facilitating their
subsequent development as engineers.
A high level of secondary education allowed
making a good choice among entrants in HE. Thus
not very sophisticated traditional educational
methods in HE were efficient enough as long as
were implemented on fairly advanced students
within though authoritarian but well-organized
HE institutions. Those traditional methods were
quite a good fit to provide planned economy with
needed graduates, especially if one bears in mind
their further development in the workplace.
The above-mentioned compensated for the
many shortcomings of Soviet engineering HE.
2. Integrated training system:
a Soviet version of the
“cooperative program”
In Soviet engineering education there
was one system which included intensive
learning in the workplace both before and after
graduation, and so was distinguished by the
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utmost rapprochement of the educational process
and industrial activity. This system until now
is specified as integrated training system (ITS)
originally known since 1906 in the USA as
“cooperative programme” (Smollins, 1999). In the
USSR, ITS was implemented at giant industrial
plants (base plants) which could afford creating
special HE institutions to prepare engineers for
their own needs.
The most significant feature that distinguished
institutions with ITS was engineering-industrial
practice in the working semester alternated with
a semester of academic coursework. The length
of the working semester considerably exceeded
the duration of the industrial practice for students
in regular HE institutions. It allowed students
get better acquainted with basic industrial works
and specialties, attain more skills, and prove in
practice academic knowledge.
Other advantages of institutions with ITS
compared to regular engineering HE institutions
were that a base plant could link its infrastructure
and experts to students’ training; render its human
and material resources for preparing engineers;
make the equipment and machinery available
for educational purposes, etc. Also, the time
necessary for students to know of manufacture,
get needed skills and operational experience
within a labor collective significantly reduced.
The most successful form of ITS was
implemented in such institutions as the
Krasnoyarsk Zavod-VTUZ created in 1960 at
the Krasnoyarsk Mechanical-Engineering Works
(Krasmashzavod) in order to provide one of the
largest Soviet military plants with the engineering
staff. ITS was developing steadily within ZavodVTUZ until the USSR disintegrated.
3. Degradation of ITS in the transition
to what is called market economy
After the USSR collapsed hard times came
for all engineering HE institutions, especially for
those with ITS which actually represented one big
factory-shop designed to produce engineers for a
base plant. Since then the positive development of
ITS stopped and its degradation started.
In the HE institution at the ‘Krasnoyarsk
Mechanical-Engineering Works’ ITS was
shrinking along with the changes of its names:
‘Zavod-VTUZ’ (1960-1989) → ‘Space machines
institute’ (1989-1993) → ‘Siberian Aerospace
Academy’ (1993-2001) → ‘Siberian State
Aerospace University’ (2001- nowadays). Each
renaming was proclaimed as though symbolizing
a new achievement on the road of progress while
in fact was only an imitation.
In fact, the state of the rather developed
and effectively functioning ITS was only ever
worsening. Among obvious destructive trends
were the gradually decreasing volume of the
engineering-industrial practice and diminishing
number of workplaces for students at the base
plant. Devaluation of this special form of
industrial practice that distinguished zavodVTUZ gradually made this institution in its
main features resemble a regular engineering HE
institution. Therefore, now one can hardly even
tell about the existence of ITS in SibSAU at all.
Having lost all the advantages of an institution
with ITS, SibSAU obtained all the drawbacks of
a regular current engineering institution.
After the USSR collapsed and chaos started,
there was a good side, too, since the control in
HE failed and unique opportunities emerged
to do pedagogical experiments with other than
traditional methods (Kukushkin and Churlyaeva,
2011a). After applying various educational
methods (technologies) to a wide diversity of
students in hopes of improving education quality
and analyzing students’ competence with our
own technique (Lukyanenko and Churlyaeva,
2010) we drew the conclusion that currently none
of these methods allows reaching the competence
level required in industry.
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4. Devaluation of the entire
engineering education
Built within the planned economy matrix and
suited for its specific needs, engineering education
inevitably had to spoil after the planned economy
collapsed. Yet, its current poor state was not so
much inevitable but depended on the educational
policy within the general strategy. Having chosen
the course toward a raw materials economy,
Russia was doomed to a raw materials resource
for other nations with no serious motivation for
engineering education.
When nearly all the industries (except for
raw material extraction and export) stagnate or
spoil the demand on engineers can only decrease.
Consequently, the number of engineering
graduates decreases whose share in the total
number of HE graduates already drastically
reduced from 42% in 1988 to 22% in 2008. Yet,
the smaller percentage of engineering graduates
did not mean their better quality. On the contrary,
the engineering graduates’ quality decreases for a
numbers of reasons; some of them are mentioned
The fail of central planning did not mean
a full-fledged market economy emerged, yet
indigenous HE institutions allowed themselves
to be guided by irrelevant-for-Russia examples
from more prosperous countries with market
economies. In particular, the much greater
independence of universities there encouraged
the decentralization of native HE institutions;
many of these are still owned by the state though
they now bear the label of “universities.”
While in some countries which Moscow
reformers took as examples to follow ‘government
attempts to impose [in HE] centrally-defined
forms of professionalism’ (Lucas and Nasta,
2010), Russian ‘Central government decided,
in a sense, not to decide, meaning that they
decentralised control of public education…
and transferred responsibility for decision-
making to…young people, local or regional
governments…businesses and HE institutions’
(Roberts et al, 2007).
In fact, responsibility for decision-making
was transferred only to the heads of those HE
institutions. Having obtained decision-making
power, with actually no more command and
control “from above” and no obligations with
regard to students, teachers, and other employees
“below”, these heads happened to hold all the
financial and administrative power of their
institutions in their hands. The results were
Not bothering at all ‘how the university’s
third mission of community service could be
integrated more effectively into its other two
missions of teaching and research’ (Preece, 2010),
they were not even worried about the university’s
first and foremost mission -- the mission of
teaching. They made use of their high posts not
to start with the problems of re-equipping or
improving curricula: ‘since 1991 the renewal of
[technical] universities’ teaching and laboratory
equipment practically stopped’ (Smolin, 2004).
Instead, they ‘extended fee-charging and
opened the doors of technical universities wider for
economics…banking…law’ (Roberts, 2006), and
other ‘new prestige subjects…[and]…engineers
soon ceased to be the typical products of HE’
(Roberts et al, 2007). Ostensibly, this was done
in order ‘to enlarge the budgets of universities’
(Meshkova, 1998) but actually because the HE
heads themselves just wanted to get a certain
percent of the profit from the new activity.
Most teachers, however, got nothing, and
many good ones had to leave because of low wages
and other reasons. ‘Since 1991...more than 300
thousand most qualified scientists and educators
left HE institutions, some of them left Russia’
(Smolin, 2004). New, often accidental, obedient
but not really competent people took their places.
In general, the contingent of technical specialty
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teachers essentially remains at the same level: it
has not grown in size, only in years.
Also, the learning ability of students
decreased because of new rules for admission in
HE, the removal of Soviet concessions for students,
and, especially, because of the decreasing level of
applicants due to the deterioration of secondary
education. This became especially noticeable
when the new generations, raised and schooled
after the USSR collapsed, started to enter
In hope to improve the situation Moscow
reformers try to introduce the Bologna
prescriptions aimed at creating a European
HE Area with compatible degrees but this will
hardly improve education quality. In practice,
these so-called reforms will only mean ‘final
breaking down of Soviet engineering education
created within the planned economy matrix and
essentially incompatible either with authentic
market or what is understood by market in Russia’
(Lukyanenko et al, 2012).
5. Continuing professional training
versus purely university education
Given the above, industrial employers
can not count solely on the existing system of
engineering training at universities, especially as
regards preparing creative engineers (Kukushkin
and Churlyaeva, 2012), and indigenous employers
are not alone. Even in technologically most
advanced countries university education is much
criticized by employers. For example, in the 2006
U.S. Commission on Education report the phrase
“business complains” was repeatedly mentioned
as regards the poor preparation of engineering
graduates (US Dept Report, 2006).
When recently surveyed, about half of more
than 1,000 employers in various US industries
voiced the opinion that students should receive
specific workplace training rather than a broadbased education. ‘Universities are… giving
[students] and what they want, instead of what
the employers want,’ they also said. According to
the survey results, less than 10 % of employers
thought HE did an “excellent” job of preparing
students for work (US HE Accrediting Council
Survey, 2011).
Moreover, even if university education is
considered to be good, there’s always a certain
discrepancy between academic goal-setting in
HE and engineering practice in industry. In spite
of the many efforts in this area, it has gradually
become clear that university education can not
replace work-based learning. Thus more attention
should be given to the continuing training of
engineers with more focusing on their learning in
the workplace (Dutta, 2009).
As a result, globally the argument often is
made in favor of development of engineers within
the systems of continuing professional training,
especially those systems that exist at enterprises
involved in innovative activity. A good albeit
rare indigenous example is Information Satellite
Systems Joint-Stock Company ((ISS JSC; where the continuing
professional training system emerged within
the planned economy framework contributes
significantly in improving professional skills of
all the personnel including engineers (Kukushkin
and Churlyaeva, 2011b).
Here within the concept of a united
educational sphere students’ target training was
introduced instead of the former federally-planned
preparation and compulsory work allocation.
The concept assumes effective functioning of
the “School-HE-Company” chain where precollege training (in affiliated schools, colleges
etc), pre-selection of promising students, training
target students in HE, and job-specific training
engineers in the workplace are interconnected
and controlled by the Company.
This chain is an effective substitute
for the former centralized preparation and
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distribution of students. Like before, it assumes
the existence of a network of secondary and HE
institutions affiliated with the Company and
like before secondary schools are the main route
into HE. However, since ‘the old communist
structures that had formerly guided young people
through their school-to-work transitions are no
longer operative’ (Roberts, 2006), now the linked
institutions ensure a continuous inflow of labor
through the target training.
6. More importance than before
for the workplace training
Unfortunately, such advanced corporations
as ISS JSC are very few and not much from their
experience goes well with many other industrial
plants where it is hardly possible to talk about
innovations. Also, not many businesses are able
to organize their own “School-HE-Company”
chain in order to get well-trained engineers.
Nevertheless, our experience as well as a similar
experience from technologically advanced
countries may be useful when technological
innovations must be implemented.
Firstly, the experiences show that
technological innovation quickly lead to
inadequate HE results no matter whether
the education is good or bad. Secondly,
paradoxically, sometimes the intellectual
horizons of well-trained graduates are more
limited compared with the less-trained ones.
This narrowing of students’ intellectual
horizons in the process of acquiring of
knowledge on specific subjects is identified as
accidental incompetency (Radcliffe, 2011). It
occurs when in the course of teaching technical
subjects in HE the broader aspects of education
are suppressed or even lost.
Therefore, even if a graduate is poorly
educated in HE, in case he/she possesses certain
engineering talent, there is always a chance
to use him/her in industry effectively enough,
sometimes even more effectively than a bettereducated graduate.
Consequently, more importance than before
should be given to the workplace training within
continuing training systems in ‘a growing
belief that the distinction between formal and
informal education is unhelpful because it
implies the superiority of learning which takes
place within educational institutions over, and
distinct from, that which occurs in settings such
as the workplace’ (Fuller and Unwin, 1998).
Yet, one should bear in mind that ‘the workplace
is not a panacea, but just one of the learning
environments in which to become competent’
(Nijhof and Nieuwenhuis, 2008). Thus, all
the other environments and pathways where
competencies can grow, including targeted
training in HE, with all their possible drawbacks,
should be taken into account and the drawbacks
In order informal training in the workplace
to be effective, changes must occur not only in
the workplace but in the concept of “workplace”
itself. Particularly, apprenticeship in the
workplace should be reconceptualised in order
‘to reconcile the previously polarized positions of
learner-centered and transmission approaches to
pedagogy’ (Fuller and Unwin, 1998). In this case
the workplace can potentially become the place
where engineering skills may be developed. Yet,
certain prerequisites must be provided beforehand
for such a development, and the first and foremost
one is the provision of a favorable environment
for a particular workplace.
One such favorable learning environment
was proposed earlier in Communities of Practice
defined as ‘a set of relations among persons,
activity and world, over time and in relation with
other tangential and overlapping communities
of practice’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991). Such
an environment is a reminiscent of the planed
economy epoch when good social climate of
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workplaces in industry and many other places,
too, was provided largely by the absence of
private ownership.
In such an environment effective informal
learning or situated learning in the workplace is
possible, given that there is a big enough learning
potential of the workplace.
7. Chances to fulfill situated learning
in the workplace
Shifting the focus in the workplace from
a learner to a trainer, at the current stage of
corporate development of indigenous engineering
“apprenticeship” can be reconceptualised in
favor of “mentoring”. Of course, mentoring now
is very different from the one that took place in
the Soviet times when favorable environments
around young specialists emerged in a natural
Firstly, now there is no more former
federal distribution to work for graduates who
employers had to take care of. Therefore, even
if a graduate gets a job, usually there is no his/
her further development as a “young specialist”.
For most businesses there is even no idea of
“young specialist” at all, and employers require
an immediate return from graduates as soon as
they are recruited or after a very short period of
People in industry are also not eager to help
graduates in the workplace. Surveys show more
than 70% of employees are hostile to graduates
since they see in them not future colleagues
but potential rivals or contenders for their own
posts. Only about 15% of surveyed agree to share
their knowledge, skills and experience with
novices, besides, not for free like before but for
a ‘good’ reward. In the absence of systematic
mentoring from more experienced professionals
HE graduates usually have to adapt on their
own to working conditions, not to mention their
development as engineers.
A significant deterioration of morale, social
and organizational climate in most industries
over the last two decades does not contribute to
a favorable environment in the workplace. As for
space industry enterprises, in the past creating
and maintaining such an environment there was
promoted, in addition to good wages, by such
important moral and psychological factors as
awareness of the importance of their mission,
membership in the prestigious industry, pride to
be involved in a great state business, etc. To what
extent these factors are currently effective is still
to be answered.
Without improving morale in the workplace
mentoring used for situated learning is
impossible and this, in turn, is impossible without
implementing the principle of social partnership.
Focusing on social partnership involves not only
the targeted but also the motivational orientation
of learning, with the objectives and intentions of
individuals inextricably linked with their work
and the entire corporate life where the social
and individual basics are tightly intertwined. An
important role hereby is given to the administrative
support of mentoring in the workplace.
Another prerequisite for effective situated
learning is a fairly large learning potential of the
workplace (Nijhof and Nieuwenhuis, 2008). Where
there is no mass production, not a conveyor but
an individual is in the central position as regards
production. This in itself contributes to creating a
favorable learning environment in the workplace
around the individual, of course, in case of the
positive development of that production. Thus,
for a singular, successful production the learning
potential of the workplace at all levels -- from
ordinary workers up to persons in charge -- is
usually big.
A good example is the production at
JSC ISS, which for a number of reasons
has developed not only as a Research and
Production (NPO PM), but also as a learning
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organization with all its attributes (Pedler
et al, 1992) where working and learning are
interconnected processes.
Besides the type of production, the learning
potential of the workplace to a large extent depends
on the level of production and its material state.
In a stable social and economic development the
learning potentials of workplaces within most
enterprises tend to accumulate over time. In
contrast, in the times of social transformations or
upheavals such as the hard times of the 1990s,
the learning potentials of many workplaces
significantly reduce and sometimes even achieve
virtually zero.
Nevertheless, if the learning potential of
the workplace was not lost completely in the
process of destruction of production, there is
always an opportunity to restore it again almost
to its original state and make use of it in new
conditions. Once big enough learning potential of
the workplace is restored as well as good moral
and organizational climate, it is possible to speak
of creating favorable environment for mentoring
and graduates’ effective development in the
The Soviet system of mass engineering
training was built within the planned economy
matrix and produced graduates well suited for
a planned economy. After the planned economy
collapsed, that system started to erode, and now
it neither retains the good form it displayed in the
past, nor produces graduates who go well with
industry requirements.
Worse yet, what we are now witnessing as
its fast reformation in practice will mean nothing
but its final breaking down. However, breaking
down an old system does not mean creating a new
one just like the collapse of the Soviet planned
economy in 1991 did not mean appearing a fullfledged market economy in Russia.
Thus, in the near future we can expect
neither improvement in engineering education
nor enough adequate graduates prepared solely
in contemporary technical universities.
In 1958, when the ‘weakness of [American]
engineering education [was]...obvious, many large
industrial companies...such as General Electric
or Westingaus create their own engineering
schools where engineering graduates from HE...
are additionally trained in selected areas of
engineering’ (Timoshenko, 1959).
Now in Russia one, too, can only hope for
relatively effective preparation of engineers within
corporative systems of continuing professional
training at such enterprises as Information
Satellite Systems Joint Stock Company. Besides
training engineers in the workplace, it includes
pre-college and targeted training in affiliated
schools, colleges and universities.
Unfortunately, such advanced corporations
as ISS JSC are very few, and most industrial
plants can not organize a full “School-HECompany” chain to prepare engineers for their
own needs. Yet, some of them can still organize
training engineers in the workplace, given that a
good morale and organizational climate and big
enough learning potential of the workplace are
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Dutta, D. Lifelong Learning Imperative in Engineering. Workshop National Academy of
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integrated system of engineering students. World Journal on Educational Technology, 3(2), 75-89.
Kukushkin, S. and Churlyaeva, N. (2011b). Development of a continuing professional training system
at ISS JSC and some related problems. Journal of Siberian Federal University, 6 (4), 769–778.
Kukushkin, S. and Churlyaeva, N. (2012). The problem of engineering creativity in Russia: A
critical review. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37 (5), 500-507.
Lave J. and Wenger E. Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge:
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Lucas, N. and Nasta, T. (2010). State regulation and the professionalisation of further education
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Lukyanenko, M, Polezhaev, O., Churlyaeva, N. (2012). Rossiiskoye injenernoe obrasovanie v
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(in Russian).
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Pokholkov, Iu. (2010). Injenernaya mysl v Rossii – polyot prervan [Engineering thought in Russia:
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Radcliffe, D. (2011). Engineering Competence? An Interpretive Investigation of Engineering
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Roberts, K, Akhamadov, T., Kurbanov, F., Boltaev, S., Tholenc, J. (2007). Planned transitions
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22. Roberts, K. (2006). The career pathways of young adults in the former USSR. Journal of Education
and Work, 19 (5), 415 – 432.
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events/content.aspx?id=4718 (accessed 27 September 2011).
Проблемы вузовской подготовки
и развитие инженеров на рабочем месте
М.В. Лукьяненкоa,
О.А. Полежаевб, Н.П. Чурляеваа
Сибирский государственный аэрокосмический университет
Россия 660014, Красноярск, пр. Красноярский рабочий, 31
Государственное предприятие «Красмашзавод»
Россия 660037, Красноярск, пр. Красноярский рабочий, 29
Особенности отечественного инженерного образования кратко рассмотрены с точки
зрения исторической ретроспективы. На этой основе современная подготовка специалистов
в технических вузах оценивается критически в связи с отсутствием ясных перспектив
на ближайшее будущее. Лучшие перспективы имеет подготовка инженеров в системах
непрерывного профессионального образования на промышленных предприятиях. Помимо
целевого обучения в вузах большое внимание в этих системах уделено развитию инженеров
на рабочем месте. Это требует определенных предпосылок, включающих создание
благоприятной среды для обучения и наличие там обучающего потенциала достаточной
Ключевые слова: подготовка инженеров, образовательная политика,
профессиональное образование, ситуативное обучение, обучающий потенциал.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7 (2013 6) 1085-1092
УДК 811.112
Category of Memory:
Principles of Linguistic Description
Nukolai L. Shamne* and Larisa N. Rebrina*
Volgograd State University,
100 Universitetskii Prospect, Volgograd, 400062 Russia
Received 21.05.2013, received in revised form 06.06.2013, accepted 11.06.2013
The study offers the concept of linguistic description of category of memory. It takes into account
the multidimensionality, structuredness, communicative nature of the given category, language vs.
speech opposition, cognitive, volitional functions, systematic and continuum linguistic organization,
consistency as the most important law of language development. The authors worked out the complex
approach combining achievements of systematic and structured, cognitive and socio-pragmatic
paradigms of linguistics. The research algorithm involves introducing temporal, spatial and social
coordinate axis in the linguistic model of category of memory. The work provides the following
methods: descriptive, methods of definition, componential, contextual, historic and semasiological,
comparative, discourse analysis, method of quantitative estimation. The study describes genetic
paradigm and nominative paradigms of memory operations in standard German, Swiss, Austrian
national variants of German, low German dialect «Platt»; linguistic reflection of ontological,
axiological and epistemological dimensions of the examined category; manifestation of functioning
of autobiographical and collective memory subsystems. The investigation verifies the authors‘
hypothesis of integrated representation and discourse manifestation of the studied phenomenon. For
designating the object‘s summary cognitive mapping in the result of its linguistic acquisition a new
term «linguistic coedification» is introduced. The results of the study can be applied in linguistic
modelling other notional categories, in university courses of general linguistics, lexicology, history
and stylistics of the German language, lexicography.
Keywords: category of memory, the German language, linguistic modelling, language varieties,
nominative paradigm, representation, discourse manifestation.
1. Introduction
Memory and language are the necessary
elements of evolution, tightly interrelated systems
performing accumulative function and providing
operations with knowledge simultaneously
being the basis for a man interacting with the
surrounding world. Memory as a social construct
having a communicative nature is mediated by
the language and it causes the regularity of its
linguistic description. It represents a self-regulating
system of processes focused on organization and
accumulation of information and functioning as
cognitive informative structure on the base of
interacting of subject, object and environment,
where subject can be single and multiple and
object can be personal or social significant.
Existing linguistic researches of memory
were conducted in various directions: studying
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address:
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Nukolai L. Shamne and Larisa N. Rebrina. Category of Memory: Principles of Linguistic Description
semantics and morphology of single units of memory
nomination (Iu.D. Apresian, L.G. Babenko,
T.V. Bulygina, E. Butulussi, L.M. Vasil’ev,
A. Vezhbitska, M.A. Dmitrovskaia, B.L. Iomdin,
M.V. Milovanova, M.V. Nikitin, M.V. Pimenova,
V.V. Turovskii, T. Nir, A.D. Shmelev, I. Shreder);
describing the phenomenon of memory as a
fragment of the Russian linguistic view of the
world (N.G. Bragina, V.V. Turovskii, E.V. Uryson),
realizing concept “memory” (M.A. Dmitrovskaia,
O.V. Shatalova, O.V. Shchilenko), semiotic
stems and communicative nature of memory
(N.G. Bragina, O.G. Revzina, A.V. Sokolov,
E.G. Khomiakova, U.L. Figge); genre analysis
of discourse practices (commemorative speech,
family communication) (A. Keppler, A. Linke,
G. Vel’tser).
Memory as a multifeatured phenomenon
requires systematic studying and can be considered
as a category related to the categories of space,
time, cognition including ontological, axiological
and epistemological basic dimensions.
2. Theoretical Framework
and Methods
Under category of memory we see a
complicated cognitive formation integrating and
organizing various forms of memory phenomenon
manifestation into some unity (types of memory
processes and subsystems functioning at the
levels of personality and society) and properties
pointed out interdisciplinary. The studied notional
category gets complex representation in the
language and for naming that we introduce the
term «linguistic coedification» (from Latin co- –
«aggregative, joint, united» and aedidificatio –
«structure», «formation», «construction» of
something, of some building [ADAE]), we think
that justified since the absence of terminological
item rendering the content to be expressed.
Linguistic coedification of the category of memory
is summary cognitive mapping of the given extra
linguistic object as the result of its linguistic
acquisition. It integrates characteristic features
of representation, nomination and discourse
manifestation of the related phenomenon, is
constituted by universal and variable (in the plan
of synchrony) and also constant (from the point
of view of diachrony) elements. Addressing
coedification of the named category in the German
language assumes realization of a new concept
of linguistic description of memory taking
into account functional aspect of memory, its
multidimensionality and structural organization,
separation of language and speech, system and
continuum character of language, continuity as
an important factor of its development and also
working up a complex approach consolidating the
experience of studying linguistic factors in the
system-structured, cognitive and socio-pragmatic
paradigms of the modern linguistics. We judge
by comprehension of memory as a dynamic
structure essential properties of which are more
completely reflected by verbal constituents of the
language lexical system naming basic operations
of memory.
Pragmatist character of the memory itself
and the language as means of its manifestation
causes introducing spatial, temporal, social
organizing coordinate axis in its linguistic model
that provides including in research material
constituents of lexical-semantic system (LSS)
of some temporally, spatially and socially
determined varieties of the German language
as meta-system of variants, diverse discourse
practices manifesting the work of autobiographic
(AM) and collective (CM) memory functioning
at the levels of personality and society.
The offered research algorithm includes:
1) complex semasiologically and onomasiologically
oriented analysis of semantic, formal, functional
characteristics for the items of primary and
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secondary nomination of memory processes in
the modern German language, description of
the structure of inner organizing nominative
paradigms and the degree of revealing basic
memory operations for the purpose of pointing
out mechanisms of nomination, regularities
of presentation data for denotative situations,
components of linguistic model of memory
and their relevant characteristics; 2) studying
genetic paradigm of denoting mnemic processes,
nominative paradigms of Swiss, Austrian
standard variants of the German language and low
German dialect «Platt» and pointing out constant,
universal and variative features of acquisition of
the considered phenomenon in the continuum
of the German language; 3) generalization of
linguistic aspects of polar memory subsystems
functioning, subsystems differentiating in
subjects, objects, chronotopes and aim of
addressing individual or over-individual past.
The arrangements mentioned above are carried
out by applying a descriptive method, methods
of statistic, definition, component, contextual,
historic and semasiological, comparative
intralinguistic, discourse analysis, structural
and semantic modeling, quantitative estimation,
theories and methodologies of lexical semantics,
theories of nomination, etymology, dialectology,
3. Examples of Analysis
The study of system factors of the German
language results in determining linguistically
mediated perceptions of memory, forms of
its being in consciousness of native speakers,
significant elements of corresponding situations
and their characteristics, axiological attitude
towards memory, its objects what correlates
to ontological and axiological dimensions of
cognominal category. Analysis of relevant
discourse practices demonstrates how and for
what purpose operating quanta of knowledge
stored in memory is carried out, how language
mediates reactualization, reconstruction and
reinterpretation of various types of memory
contention, their presentation and translation.
The enumerated aspects are interconnected with
epistemological dimension of the category of
We are going to illustrate the basic research
The first stage of the research is devoted
to description of system factors of the German
language continuum. It includes the analysis of
genetic and some nominative paradigms. Among
the first paradigms of units of the primary and
secondary nomination of memory operations in
the modern coedificated German language (280
lexical units (LU)) are constructed and described.
Let us exemplify if. The verbal collocation in
Erinnerungen schwelgen is a constituent of
subgroup «recalling information in memory»;
it has a structure of a simple phrase; it is
subjectival, internally and externally intransitive;
it belongs to functional and grammatical serie
with the productive component «Erinnerung»
(in Erinnerungen kramen / schwelgen / stöbern
/ wühlen / versinken); the verb is a grammatical
head, the noun is a semantic prop word. Nominal
component directs at location of memory
operations. Collocation in Erinnerungen schwelgen
is stylistically marked (elevated style); it realizes
spatial subject code, conceptual integration of the
phisical and mental; it depicts longtime, intensive,
conscious operation of recalling positively
estimated emotional experience. Named features
are reflected in dictionary definitions: schwelgen –
«(gehoben) etwas Angenehmes bewusst und
intensiv genießen» [LGDF]; «(gehoben) sich
einem Gefühl, einem Gedanken o. Ä. genussvoll
überlassen; sich daran berauschen», «(gehoben)
etwas, wovon man besonders angetan oder
fasziniert ist, im Übermaß verwenden» [DUW].
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The analysis of the corresponding lexical
subsystem of the modern German language let us
conclude the following. Asymmetrical lexical and
grammatical representation of memory operations
objectifies linguistic presentation of ontological
aspect of memory as vertically organized space
and memory operations – as physical actions
or multidimensional movement, transposition
of fragment of the past in the given space. The
situation of recalling information in memory is
differentiated by a high degree of expressing.
Linguistic model of memory as of a dynamic
structure includes basic components «subject»,
«object», particularly «process». The given
components are actualized and specified within
non-denotative and denotative features (subjective
estimation, subject character, object character,
memory operations) reflected in semantics of
LU. Nomination of the corresponding operations
is mediated more often by spatial, anatomical,
personifying and presentive thematic codes.
Inner organization of the studied nominative
paradigms objectifies ontological types of
memory processes (maintenance, recalling, loss
of information in memory). Hierarchic structure
of paradigms reflects a progressive modification
of base forms of mnemic experience by means
of superstructure of additional characteristics
within the features mentioned above. Axiological
dimension of the studied phenomenon is
characterized by ambivalence and is caused by
quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the
elements of the named situations. Presence of
functional equivalence of verbal constituents at
the lexical level of the modern German language
reflects tight interactions of such elements of
human psychosphere as memory, knowledge,
speech and perception.
coordinate axis, i.e. turning to diachronic
aspects of representation of memory operations,
let show the continuity of methods of semantic
mapping mental presentations of the considered
phenomenon and underlying structures of
awareness about it. At the heart of nomination
of the most part of the constituents belonging to
the genetic paradigm (39 LU) there is adaptation
of denotation to action or motion, reframing the
physical as the mental. For instance, the verb
einfallen is a derivative prefixal formation from
fallen (VIII в.) with the meaning «to break down,
to fall down under action of gravity» [KLEW,
274; EWDP]. In the modern German language
the given unit names the operation of involuntary
recollection. Prefixoid ein- derives from ancient
in and introduces the meaning of direction and
while using with verbs – semantic meaning
«to place, to import». Inner form of einfallen
expresses features motivating nomination
«sudden», «inner». Base notions «movement
down», «inside» correspond to the idea of space
and its scope. Feature «inner» is redefined as
«own». Semantic map appears the following:
physical situation (to move fast, sudden inside in
physical space) ⇒ physical situation (to become
inner) ⇒ mental situation (to become own, be
understood, to be present, to advance in mental
space) ⇒ mental situation (to recur). Memory
operation is represented as independent directed
motion of objects in space.
The results of historic and semasiological
analysis witness that coedification of category
of memory in the German language includes
such constant elements of linguistic acquisition
of the considered phenomenon as preserving
methods of semantic mapping of mental images
of memory processes; asymmetrical, special and
pragmatic representation of memory and basic
operations of memory in lexical and semantic
system similar to «outer» world; reflection of
basic ontological types of memory processes in
organizing structure of nominative paradigm.
Comparative analysis of nominative
paradigms of the Swiss (110 LU), the Austrian
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(135 LU) standard variants of the German
language and low German dialect «Platt» (175
LU), implementing introducing in the linguistic
model of memory description of spatial and
social coordinate axis, allows to point out the
following universal features of coedification of
memory category at the level of language system:
ambivalence of axiological constituent and
common components of the linguistic model of
memory; spatial and pragmatic representation of
memory; the lesser degree of expressing causation
operations of memory and positive qualification of
mental abilities; asymmetry of representing basic
memory operations; mediation of characterizing
coedification by temporal, quantitative and
qualitative features of the elements belonging
to the modelled situations; multilevel feature
structure of the named denotative situations being
fixed in the semantics of lexical units; hierarchic
organization of the nominative paradigm of
memory operations. For example, the verb of the
Swiss standard variant of the German language
usfallen / ausfallen means «aus dem Gedächtnis
entschwinden» [SchwI, 755] and names operation
of involuntary forgetting. The designated situation
is identified with movement, thought as sudden,
fast, uncontrolled. Memory is represented as
space and objects of memory operation as active,
independent. At the heart of nomination there
are spatial and personifying thematic codes. The
verb of low German dialect «Platt» inknüppeln
meaning «mit Gewalt einprägen, ans Herz legen»
[PDW, 119] describes an intensive operation of
memorization or memorization causation when
the behavior of the subject is persistent, categoric.
LU inknüppeln is a derivative from noun Knüppel
(«ein kurzer, dicker Stock ≈ Prügel: jemanden mit
einem Knüppel schlagen» [LGDF]). The named
situation of information maintenance in memory
is adapted to violent, unpleasant physical
interference and estimated by the speaker as
negative. Prefix in- contributes the meaning of
direction. Linguistic representation of denotative
situation also correlates to the idea of space.
The second stage of the research is directed
at studying functional aspect of coedification
of memory category. It contains analysis of
multifold discourse practices expressing the work
of polar memory subsystems (person-centered,
existential, for example, autobiographical stories,
novels, diaries, autobiographies, biographic
interviews, blogs, autobiographic utterances
of the heroes of fiction belonging to different
genres – AM; institutional, for example, mass
media publishing – CM).
Analysis of linguistic aspects of
demonstrates that in autobiographic discourse
practices we notice objectifying base functions
of AM determined by purposes of subject’s
addressing the individual past: the most often
verbalized pragmatic (past event proficiency,
problem solving in the present, planning for the
future) and self-regulating (correction of psychic
condition); the least presented communicative
(making, endorsing, revival of social contacts)
and existential (forming comprehensive
presentation about oneself and history of one’s
life) functions [for functions and level structure
of AM see Nurkov 2008]. Peculiarities of
manifestation of AM subsystem functioning
in the German language are exhibited in
the presence of function interrelation with
parameters defi ning narrative organization –
positivity index, thematic dominants, position
of reminiscent and narrative subject. For
example: Ich habe angenehme Erinnerungen
daran. In unserem Haus hatte es nie eine
derartige Wärme gegeben, nie so viel köstliches
Essen. Die Damen umhegten mich, als wäre
meine Mutter gestorben, und ich genoss die
Aufmerksamkeit [Grisham, Regenmacher, 157].
In the given context self-regulating function of
autobiographic function is presented. Recalling
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of the content is carried out by the subject for
the purpose of correcting his or her psychic
condition that causes emotional involvement
of the narrator, realization of subject-actor’s
position, his or her positive experience as
thematic dominant. Sore recollections about
mother’s illness are compensated by addressing
positive images of coziness and attentive careful
aunties. The narration contains description of
impressions and estimations of the one recalling
as a participant of the event. Lexis with positive
semantics prevails (angenehm, Wärme, köstlich,
umhegen, Aufmerksamkeit genießen).
In nowadays society changed needs of
an individual lead to the increase of relevance
of communicative function and realization of
therapeutic function of autobiographic memory
and also to shaping a new non-classic form of
their manifestation – Internet-diary. It fixes
modification of AM operation and implies
displacement of discourse bounds of the private
and the public, interactivity, combination of autocommunication and broad addressing. Therapeutic
function of AM is aimed at overcoming traumatic
experience, creating «positive prospective
autobiographic narrative demonstrates discourse
manifestation of the following organizing forms
of autobiographic material in AM: bright events
(prevailing verbalization) – emotional, imaginative
description using estimating lexis and LU
pointing at unusual heroes’ experience; important
events – presenting results, consequences, role
of past fragment in life history, presence of LU
denoting a special status and events interaction;
ontological events – congruency estimation of the
event and personality, their characteristics, using
LU with feature semantics; watershed events –
comparison of the two self-descriptions relatively
to the crucial point, subjective estimation of
changes, involvement of LU denoting two
temporal plans and realizing the comparison.
The prevailing tonalities of narration in studied
autobiographic practices are reflecting, emotional
and enthusiastic; other tonalities (critical, ironic,
nostalgic, etc.) act as additional. In the studied
material the level structure of the considered
subsystem constituted by concrete episodesoccasions, recollections of fateful events, vital
themes, holistic / integral views of one’s fate.
Frequency of verbalizing bright events, concrete
episodes, subject-actor’s position, emotional
tonality of narration and character of thematic
dominants while linguistic manifestation of
functioning AM indicate prevailing realization
of formula of reactualizing individual past in
the German linguoculture – «single – bright –
Institutional functioning of collective
memory in the German language socium is
objectified in forming value attitude to the past.
CM is organized around state and nation, has social
chronotope [Sokolov, 2002]. Manifestation of CM
is characterized by subject-object, manipulative
character of addresser’s influence on mass listener,
corresponding stratagem and tactic organization
of production and translation of negative, positive
or deactualized image of past fragments. Producer
of the message uses argumentative (formal and
logical and psychological argumentation) and
compositional tactics (information test structure
in accordance with the theory of advancement),
aimed at modification of cognitive and axiological
constituents of the communicative space of
message receiver. The most productive as our
material shows is a strategy of negative presentation
of overindividual past for the purpose of shaping
positive view of the present and legitimation of
the authority. Positive and negative qualification
of past events is characterized by a similar set of
multidirectional tactics.
Let us give an example. Heute sei vielen der
verbrecherische Charakter der DDR-Macht nicht
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bewusst. „Es wird verklärt und verharmlost,
nicht nur im Osten, nicht nur von Tätern. Das
Unrecht des SED-Staates hervorzuheben, heiße
nicht, in der DDR gelebtes Leben zu entwerten“
… . Es ist gut, dass es im Rechtsstaat möglich
bleibt, auch den Täter als Opfer zu begreifen
[RZ, 10.11.2011]. In the given context there is a
compositional tactics of recurring argumentation
of negative presentation of the past. Addresser
turns to one and the same theme revealing it with
the help of images. It mediates appearance of
the constituents of a definite semantic field and
lexical items with negative semantics. Message
producer initiates negative estimation of building
the Berlin Wall separating the two German states.
The recurrent theme («crime») is constructed with
the help of lexical items verbrecherisch, Täter,
Opfer, Unrecht, is relative to presented event of
the past and encourages sharing of its negative
Appealing to psychological argumentation is
more relative than formal and logical arguments
that corresponds to the nature of manipulative
influence and decreases criticality of perception.
Argumentation tactic of confirming the value
of past fragment and compositional tactic of
negative contrasting contextual framework
are dominant while creating a positive view of
past events. Deactualization of past image in
German-language mass-media is carried out
while verbalization mainly by the way of shifting
emphasis from event on its commemoration
mediating access to the past fragment taking into
account needs of the present situation.
4. Conclusion
Realization of a new integrative approach
aimed at description of coedification of the
studied notional category allows to conclude
that multidimensional category of memory gets
summary presentation in systematic and speech
facts of the German language. Coedification
of the category integrates constant, universal
and variable elements of linguistic continuum
as meta-system of temporal, spatial and social
modifications. Forms of semantic mapping of
mental projection of the named phenomenon are
characterized by continuity. Inner organization of
nominative paradigms points at asymmetrically
represented ontological types of memory
processes. Ontological aspect of coedification of
memory category reflects spatial and pragmatic
acquisition of the given phenomenon. Its axiological
dimension is ambivalent, defined by quantitative
and qualitative characteristics of elements of
memory operations and concrete conditions of
actual retrospection. Epistemological dimension
of the category is indicative of interpretative,
intentional, discourse character of memory as a
ADAE – Academic dictionaries and encyclopedias, Available at: (accessed
25 February 2011).
DUW – Duden. German universal dictionary, 3d edition [Duden. Deutsches Universalwörterbuch:
3. Aufl.]. Mannheim, Dudenverlag Publ., 2001. 1892 p.
Grisham J. Rainmaker [Der Regenmacher]. München, Wilhelm Heyne Publ., 1995. 434 p.
LGDF – Langenscheidt. Great Dictionary German as foreign language [Langenscheidt.
Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache]. München, Langenscheidt Verlag Publ., 2008.
1307 p.
Nurkova V.V. (2008) Analysis of phenomenology of Autobiographical Memory from culturehistorical perspective. Culture-historical psychology, (1), 17–26.
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PDW – Wrede F. Dialect Platt, district Burgdorf i. Han. Study of dialekt [Plattdeutsches
Wörterbuch, Kreis Burgdorf i. Han. Ein Beitrag zur Mundart]. Schweiger &Pick Verlag Publ.,
Hannover. 1960. 1980 p.
RZ – Rhine-newspaper [Rhein-Zeitung], Available at: (accessed 15
November 2011).
SchwI – Swiss dialect dictionary [Das Schweizerische Idiotikon]. Zürich, Huber Publ., 1999.
Available at: (accessed 19 January 2011).
Sokolov A.V. Obshchaia theoriia sotsial’noi kommunikatsii [General theory of social skills]. St.
Petersburg, W.A. Mikhailov Publ., 2002. 461 p.
Категория памяти:
принципы лингвистического описания
Н.Л. Шамне, Л.Н. Ребрина
Волгоградский государственный университет,
Россия 400062, Волгоград, пр. Унивесритетский, 100
Предложена научная концепция лингвистического описания категории памяти. Она учитывает
многомерность, структурированность, коммуникативную природу данной категории,
оппозицию языка и речи, когнитивную, волюнтативную функции, системную и континуумную
организацию языка, преемственность как важнейший закон его развития. Разработан
комплексный подход, сочетающий достижения системно-структурной, когнитивной и
социопрагматической парадигм лингвистики. Исследовательский алгоритм предусматривает
введение в лингвистическую модель категории памяти временной, пространственной
и социальной осей координат. Использованы методы: описательный, дефиниционного,
компонентного, контекстуального, историко-семасиологического, сопоставительного,
дискурс-анализа, количественных подсчетов. Описаны генетическая парадигма и номинативные
парадигмы операций памяти в литературном языке Германии, швейцарском, австрийском
национальных вариантах немецкого языка, нижненемецком диалекте «платт»; языковое
отражение онтологического, аксиологического и эпистемологического измерений изучаемой
категории; манифестация функционирования подсистем автобиографической и коллективной
памяти. Верифицируется авторская гипотеза о совокупном представлении понятийной
категории памяти в немецком языке, интегрирующем константные, универсальные элементы,
базовые измерения и закономерности системной репрезентации и дискурсивной манифестации
изучаемого феномена. Для обозначения суммарной проекции объекта в результате его
языкового освоения вводится новый термин «языковая коэдификация». Результаты работы
могут быть использованы при лингвистическом моделировании иных понятийных категорий,
в вузовских курсах общего языкознания, лексикологии, истории и стилистики немецкого языка,
в лексикографии.
Ключевые слова: категория памяти, немецкий язык, лингвистическое моделирование,
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