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Philosophical Thought

The Justification of the Science of Science in the European and Soviet Philosophy of Science in the 1920s (to the Prehistory of the Naukovedenie)

Kupriianov Viktor

PhD in Philosophy

Senior research fellow, St. Petersburg Branch of S. I.Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

199034, Russia, Sankt-Peterburg, g. Saint Petersburg, nab. Universitetskaya, 5, of. 11








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Abstract: The article deals with the comparative analysis of the projects of the science of science (Naukovedenie/Naukoznanie) proposed by the Soviet philosopher I. A. Borichesky and by the Polish-American philosopher and sociologist F. Znaniecki . The author points out that both projects with similar tasks arose almost simultaneously in the 1920s in different socio-economic and political contexts. To analyze the projects, the author uses the concept of social and cognitive institutionalization proposed by R. Whitley. To consider the social institutionalization of science about science, the author gives the information about Polish and Soviet/Russian organizations for the science studies created at the beginning of the XXth century. The author gives an analysis of cognitive institutionalization based on the reconstruction of F. Znaniecki's and I. A. Borichevsky's projects. The article concludes that Znaniecki and Borichevsky proposed projects of a completely new science, the subject of which should be science itself. In these projects, science Naukovedenie/Naukoznanie were understood as an independent science, irreducible to any other field of scientific research. It was assumed that Naukovedenie/Naukoznanie consider science in all its diversity. The author shows that what is important in the projects of Znaniecki and Borichevsky is the idea of the practical application of science of science. The author for the first time in the research literature analyzes the little - known project proposed by F. Znaniecki, linking it with the general intellectual context of the epoche when it appeared. The novelty of the article also includes a comparison of the ideas of I. A. Borichevsky and F. Znaniecki.


Naukovedenie, Naukoznanie, Science of science, Znaniecki, Borichevsky, Methodology of science, History of science, Soviet philosophy, Marxism in science, Polish philosophy

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Modern science is a complex of specific disciplines, the subject of which is science in all its diversity. The studies of science include sociology of science, economics of science, psychology of science, history of science and philosophy of science. Today, in Russia and abroad, the concept of "Research of science and technology" (Science and technology studies) is used to designate such studies [5], however, the traditional designation "science studies", or science and science, remains applicable in domestic science. The formation of modern Russian science studies as a field of special research occurred in the 1960s and is closely connected with the history of the IIET of the USSR Academy of Sciences and with the activities of its director, Soviet historian and philosopher of science S. R. Mikulinsky (see the program article by S. R. Mikulinsky in "Questions of Philosophy" [8]). Nevertheless, the very idea of a special science about science arose earlier in the 1920s - almost simultaneously in Poland and in the USSR. It was then that in Europe, for the first time, projects were formulated for a special, irreducible to any other fields of research, which would deal with science itself. The origin of the idea that such a science is possible turned out to be closely connected with the names of the greatest figures of Polish philosophy and sociology F. Znanetsky, M. Ossovskaya, S. Ossovsky. In Soviet Russia, where similar processes took place, for the first time the philosopher and historian of science I. A. Borichevsky made a proposal to create a science. The task of this article is to reconstruct F. 's projects . Znanetsky and I. A. Borichevsky in the context of the general development of scientific research at the beginning of the XX century and to conduct their comparative analysis.

Research of science in European Philosophy and Science at the beginning of the XX century: an intellectual portraitSince Antiquity, science has aroused the interest of philosophers who sought to comprehend its methods and its internal structure.

Even then, there are the first attempts to comprehend science from the side of scientists themselves [3]. Nevertheless, it was at the end of the XIXbeginning of the XX centuries, when revolutionary changes are taking place in science, there is a special need for a special discipline studying science. Significant changes are also taking place in the social history of science by this time: science is becoming a significant social and economic factor. Its quantitative growth is taking place: the number of scientists, scientific organizations, scientific publications, scientific communities is increasing, the number of countries where science exists is growing [13].

During the formation of the science of science, philosophical research of science was focused mainly on the field, which in the second half of the XIX century was often called the logic of science. Although at the beginning of the XIX century, the Scottish philosopher W. Huell introduced the concept of "philosophy of science". For Huell, as for most philosophers of the XIX century, the task of the philosophy of science was to study the methods of science and the structure of scientific knowledge [10]. It was the study of the methods of science, the structure of scientific knowledge, the classification of sciences, as well as the solution of epistemological problems traditional for philosophy (such as the problem of the universal basis of scientific knowledge, the search for the criterion of truth, the reliability of knowledge) that made up the main range of tasks that philosophers of science worked on in the XIXearly XX centuries. An important component was also the discussion of philosophical problems of fundamental science, which was provoked by changes in science itself and aroused interest among scientists.

At the beginning of the XX century, the most influential trends in philosophy that solved these problems should be recognized as neo-Kantianism in all its diverse manifestations, especially characteristic of Germany, positivism , which also had variability by the beginning of the XX century, and all areas of philosophy that understood philosophy as a science (for example, phenomenology ). By the 1920s, one of the main problems of the methodology of science was the problem of distinguishing the methods of natural sciences from historical sciences. It is appropriate in this connection to mention not only the wellknown concept of nomotetic and idiographic methods developed by representatives of Baden neo-Kantianism, but also the Methodenstreit, no less important for the history of social sciences, a discussion between the Austrian and historical schools of theoretical thought regarding methods of economics (a dispute between supporters of G. Schmoller and K. Menger).

Logical positivism was especially influential during the formation of science and science. This trend, formed on the basis of the Vienna Circle in the 1920s (see the history of logical positivism: [6]), presented as the main task of philosophy the problem of analyzing the language of science. As a result, the theoretical program of logical positivism was also reduced to the analysis of the structure of scientific knowledge in order to develop a universal formalized scientific language and means of verifying research data. The history, social problems of science, as well as the organization of scientific research, supporters of neo-Kantianism and positivism of the early XX century were practically not interested.

Thus, by the beginning of the XX century, one of the main directions of philosophical research of science was the methodology of science , i.e. the study of the methods of science, the structure of scientific knowledge, the classification of sciences, the problem of the criterion of truth, the demarcation of scientific knowledge. However, at the same time, new approaches to the study of science are being formed, which have proved promising even today. First of all, it is necessary to mention the sociology of cognition (see R. Merton's review: [20]), the origins of which go back to the works of E. Durkheim (his works "On the Division of Social Labor" (1893) and "Elementary forms of Religious life: the totemic system in Australia" (1912)) and M. Moss (joint work with E. Durkheim "On some primitive forms of classification" (1903). Durkheim and his students investigated, first of all, how social institutions influence collective representations, i.e. collective categorical and symbolic apparatus. An important role in the formation of the sociology of cognition (Wissenssoziologie) and its further transformation into an independent field of sociology belongs to the German sociologists and philosophers M. Scheler, K. Mannheim, T. Geiger, etc. Of particular note is the work of M. Scheler. In 1924, a collective monograph "Experiments on the Sociology of Knowledge" was published in Munich with a preface by M. Scheler, and in 1926 a book by M. Scheler himself "Forms of Knowledge and Society" appeared (see about this: [7, pp. 251-252]). The work "Forms of Knowledge and Society" is aimed mainly at criticizing positivism prevailing in the scientific philosophy of that time, but in fact the task of the German sociologist and philosopher is to overcome all influential philosophical currents of that time and develop an independent theoretical basis for a new section of sociology. This work became Scheler's main contribution to sociology and proved to be a landmark for the sociology of cognition, widespread in continental philosophy during the interwar period. The essence of the sociology of cognition was to identify the social conditionality of knowledge the search for the relationship of consciousness and being through the correlation of "cultural objectivities" with social structures, that is, it was assumed that this section of sociology deals with the study of "relationships connecting cognitive processes and spiritual products with social processes and social structure" [11, p. 15]. In general, it should be noted that, in contrast to the philosophy of science focused on the analysis of the internal structure of science, the sociology of cognition sought to study the concrete historical conditions of the production of knowledge. Thus, the task of this field of research was to find a social basis of knowledge, which included, first of all, science.

Along with the sociology of cognition and the philosophy of science, the psychology of cognition was actively developing in European and North American intellectual culture a field that also formed as a section of a major science. American pragmatism played a great role for the psychology of science (as well as for philosophy). It can be said that the discussion of the problem of cognition has become one of the main topics of psychology. A feature of the psychology of cognition at the beginning of the XX century was the use of the experimental method. In this context, it is worth paying attention to the problem of the psychology of scientific cognition, which was actively developing in the early XX century in Russia in the works of I. I. Lapshin and P. K. Engelmeir [17].

F. Znanetsky and I. A. Borichevsky about science about scienceHistory, philosophy, psychology, sociology of science and cognition developed as sections of more general sciences.

Each of these fields borrowed methodology from a generic discipline, considering its subject as a special case of the general subject of research. It is important to note that these sciences remain in the same status today. Thus, the sociology of cognition is understood as part of general sociology, and the sociology of science is understood as part of the sociology of cognition. In this case, science is studied in a certain focus from the point of view of sociology. Moreover, this understanding persists to this day. However, in the 1920s. in the USSR and in Poland, two projects of the general science of science appeared almost simultaneously. Znanetsky (1925) and I. A. Borichesvsky (1926). In these projects, the goal was to create a general science of science that would overcome the one-sidedness of each individual angle of its consideration (sociological, philosophical, psychological, logical), developing a general doctrine of science as a whole. The development of the Science of science (science studies) project indicates the search for such approaches to the study of science that would allow us to develop a new view of it on the basis of taking into account its versatility and multi-aspect. Moreover, such studies should also serve as a basis for the practical transformation of science in the context of its growing role in everyday life, as well as the increase in its mass characterization. It is in this context and against the designated general intellectual background that at the beginning of the XX century there is an increase in the number of scientific studies, their disciplinary differentiation, as well as the formation of a special field of scientific research devoted to science science and science, or science studies /science studies.

It is appropriate to consider the formation of science about science through the concept of cognitive and social institutionalization (for the concepts of "cognitive" and "social institutionalization", see: [15]). Cognitive institutionalization involves the identification of a problem field and the formation of a research area, while social institutionalization means the formation of certain social rules of the game, first of all, the formation of scientific organizations (formal institutions). On the example of Poland and the USSR, in our opinion, it is possible to observe synchronously the processes of social and cognitive institutionalization, which took place in different socio-economic and political contexts, i.e. one can see a single process, specified depending on non-scientific contexts.

For the process of social institutionalization of science about science in Poland, a special role was played by the Science Support Foundation. Joseph Myanovsky, which was founded in 1881 ("Jozef Myanovsky Cash Register") and worked until 1952; in 1914, the scientific department of this fund was formed; 1918, a specialized journal dedicated to science "Polish Science" began to be published in Poland. Its needs, organization and development") (for more information about the history of science in Poland, see: [19, pp. 852-586],[20]). In general, it is important to say that after the restoration of independent statehood in Poland, discussions about the problems of science management were actively conducted, science support organizations were created. In this context, the first detailed justification of the science of science, or science/science studies, appeared in Poland, which indicates the process of cognitive institutionalization of a new scientific discipline. For the first time, it was the Polish philosopher and sociologist F. F. who began to write about a new field of science devoted to the complex study of science itself. Znanetsky, who published in 1925 in the journal "Polish Science" an article "The subject and tasks of science about science" [23], (see English translation published in 1982: [24]). Let's consider the concept of scientific knowledge proposed by F. Znanetsky.

Florian Znaniecki (1882-1958) was a major Polish American sociologist and philosopher, author of fundamental works in the field of sociology (see the biography of Znaniecki: [18]), co-author of the fundamental work "The Polish Peasant in Europe and in America" (together with W. I. Thomas), who played a significant role in the formation of the Chicago School of Sociology and in As a whole, in the formation of qualitative empirical sociology [22], in 1925, a professor at the University of Poznan, proposed to create a special discipline dedicated to the research of science. Znanetsky suggests calling this science the science of knowledge (science of knowledge). His project of the science of science (sciencedaily) should be considered the most thoughtful and detailed. The philosopher distinguishes it from history and from the philosophy of science, considering it a special branch of science. Its subject is knowledge, which, as Znanetsky points out, this science does not consider from a normative point of view, that is, it does not give it an epistemological assessment. Znanetsky characterizes epistemology as a metaphysics of cognition , which seeks to penetrate into the essence of cognition by defining the general conditions of its truth and revealing its enduring essence [23, p. 2-3], logic and methodology of cognition are the axiology of cognition, creating an ideal of cognition from the point of view of which they evaluate empirically given knowledge [23, p. 4] Znanetsky points out that both disciplines do not consider knowledge historically. In this, obviously, the Polish sociologist follows the established approaches of neo-Kantianism and neo-positivism, which sought to eliminate history from the analysis of science. The science of knowledge also differs from psychology and sociology of cognition, from which it receives only an impulse to development and crosses their boundaries, considering its subject in integrity and not reducing it to some simpler basis [23, p. 7]. The science of knowledge is a special science that has its own a subject and a set of methods, which, in addition, is also of applied importance for solving the problem of the organization of science. Its status is the same as that of other positive sciences.

How does Znanetsky understand the subject and methods of the science of knowledge? To identify the subject of the science of knowledge, it is necessary, according to the philosopher, to identify the characteristic features that distinguish knowledge as a special phenomenon of culture, distinguishing it from other phenomena (for example, law, religion, ethics, etc.). At the same time, knowledge is considered as an independent phenomenon along with other cultural phenomena. It is the same product of culture as law, morality, aesthetic, religious, economic phenomena, therefore it should also be considered as a given subject to comprehensive methodological research. Knowledge needs to be investigated in its uniqueness, based on its own standard of value. A knowledge theorist has no right to impose his idea of the criterion of truth on the subject of research, just as, for example, a linguist does not impose grammar rules on the language being studied [23, p. 10-11]. Znanetsky writes: "From an empirical and scientific point of view, knowledge as a subject of research is primarily cultural phenomena given to a scientist in much the same way as language, art, law or any other sphere of culture. A knowledge theorist, much like a linguist, an economic theorist or a sociologist, in contrast to a moralist or a logician, should consider knowledge at different times and in different human communities as objectively existing" [23, p. 10-11].

The phenomenon of knowledge is distinguished, according to Znanetsky, by the presence of two characteristic features: cognitive values and cognitive operations . Cognitive value is defined by Znanetsky as a kind of truth property relevant to the subject. Znanetsky in this case means the fact that knowledge can be true or false, while the characteristic, for example, of art is to be beautiful or ugly, and in this sense its defining features are different compared to knowledge. However, understanding the truth is accompanied by the processes of its birth, development and the role they play in cultural life. Znanetsky connects this with cognitive operations , distinguishing three classes of them: cognitive experience, cognitive idealization and cognitive systematization [23, p. 14-16]. The presence of appropriate cognitive operations is the second characteristic feature of knowledge as a special cultural phenomenon to be studied by special science. Znanetsky explains three classes of cognitive operations as follows. Cognitive experience means the attribution of cognitive values to specific objects; in this case, Znanetsky means, among other things, scientific experiments. The philosopher calls the isolation and observation of objects cognitive idealization, meaning, for example, such an operation as the designation of the selected object by some special term. Cognitive systematization involves further processing of the received objects. The interaction of cognitive values and cognitive operations forms cognitive phenomena that are subject to research by a cognitive theorist.

The section on methods in the analyzed work of Znanetsky is the most voluminous. Znanetsky emphasizes that a simple description of cognitive values and cognitive operations cannot be the goal of the science of knowledge, it is the task of the history of science. As methods of studying cognitive phenomena, Znanetsky identifies, first of all, the following three operations: analysis, classification and causal explanation of cognitive phenomena [23, p. 18]. Of particular importance among the methods of the science of knowledge is the causal explanation. Znanetsky divides the methodology of causal explanation into two complexes: 1) causal determination of the dependence of the results of cognition on the conditions of cognition; 2) causal explanation of cognitive activity. Since, speaking about methods, Znanetsky focused precisely on the explanation of cause-and-effect relationships, it can be argued that this method is the main one in his program of the science of knowledge.

The causal explanation of the first of the two designated types is connected by Znanetsky with the consideration of the dependence of four types: 1) the dependence of scientific research on research materials (in this case, we are talking about the means that cause the introduction of previously inaccessible material into research, for example, expeditions that provide new data for research [23, pp. 34-36]); 2) dependence on scientific instruments that influence the formulation of research questions and formulation problems (for example, the invention of a telescope, or the invention of new equipment for physical measurements [23, pp. 36-37]); 3) the dependence of research results in certain fields of knowledge on cognitive values serving as a means of research (heuristic concepts and principles [23, pp. 37-38]); 4) the dependence of results on symbols that serve to denote cognitive values (first of all, we are talking about the language and terminological apparatus of science [23, pp. 38-40]).

Finally, the second complex of causal explanation presupposes a causal explanation of cognitive activity itself. In this case, Znanetsky suggests paying attention to 1) the influence on knowledge of other areas of culture [23, p. 45-50]; 2) the influence of education on theoretical knowledge [23, p. 51-60]; 3) on the social determinacy of knowledge (here Znanetsky develops an analysis of social institutions that is relevant today) [23, p. 60-67]; 4) the study of the intellectual life of social groups [23, pp. 67-75]; 4) the question of the influence of innate cognitive ideas [23, pp. 75-77].

Thus, Znanetsky speaks of a special independent positive science, irreducible to any other (neither to philosophy, nor to psychology, nor to sociology), having its own special subject the field of culture and its own methodology. As you can understand, the general idea of Znanetsky's project is to develop a special science that would be engaged in a comprehensive study of knowledge. The methods that the philosopher writes about are also the main ones for research areas within this special science. It is for the designation of this science that F. Znaniecki for the first time in the article under consideration used the concept of "science knowledge" (naukoznawstwo) [23, p. 3], which has since become entrenched in Polish science as a designation of the science of science.

The designation of the new science proposed by Znanetsky ("science knowledge") is, from our point of view, not accidental. Speaking about knowledge, Znanetsky almost everywhere has science in mind, considering it knowledge as such. This approach, in our opinion, allows us to focus on the empirical and historical diversity of the forms of science, although it significantly blurs the certainty of the subject of science itself.

In addition to what has been said, it should be noted that although Znanetsky's project did not develop directly in the 1920s, the problems outlined in the 1925 article under consideration were largely continued in the philosopher's major work "The Social Role of the Man of Knowledge" (1940), in which he paid special attention to the analysis of science. Znanetsky's project was not implemented by him until World War II, and after emigrating to the United States in 1939, the scientist's attention was mostly focused on other problems.

Almost simultaneously with the work of F. In the USSR, a small article by the Soviet philosopher Ivan Adamovich Borichevsky (1886-1941) was published (about Borichevsky, see: [1],[16]). This article marked the beginning of the cognitive institutionalization of the science of science/science studies in the USSR. As well as in Poland, by the time this article appeared in Russia/USSR, the process of social institutionalization of scientific research was already actively developing, which indicates the development of a pan-European trend peculiar not only to Poland and the USSR. In this regard, it is appropriate to mention the organizations that started working in Russia before the revolution. The participants and employees of these organizations laid the institutional foundation of the modern Russian science of science (history and philosophy of science, sociology, psychology of science). Historians of science recognize as the first special organization that dealt with the problems of the history of science the Commission for the publication of the collection "Russian Science", which worked in St. Petersburg from 1916 and then in 1921 was transformed into the Commission on the History of Knowledge [14]. From 1921 to 1923, research was conducted in the field of methodology and philosophy of science and in specialized departments of the Institute of Scientific Philosophy (Section of Methodology of Sciences and Section of Logic and Theory of Cognition) at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Moscow State University (see: [4]). It is impossible not to mention the activities of the specialized departments of the Comacademy. However, a special role in the social institutionalization of science studies was played by the Commission on the History of Knowledge , on the basis of which the Institute of the History of Science and Technology (the predecessor of the modern IIET RAS named after S. I. Vavilov) was formed in 1932. In the 1960s, a specialized department dedicated to science studies was formed in the IIET of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

It was Borichesvky who first proposed the term "science studies" in the USSR, which gives the right to call him the first scientist of the Soviet Union. The appearance of the I. A. Borichevsky project indicates the beginning of the cognitive institutionalization of science about science in the USSR, which began to develop with its own characteristics. In comparison with Znanetsky's project, Borichevsky's program is less ambitious and is based on completely different methodological grounds. The Soviet philosopher predictably justified his methodology through Marxism. Borichevsky sharply separates science studies from the idealistic philosophy of science, considering the latter to be vague reasoning that misleads the research mind. Borichesvsky calls the science of science the theory of science. But since this is a completely new science, it, in his opinion, needs a new name, in connection with which he introduces the concept of "science" . Science studies as a theory of science consists, on the one hand, of a general theory of scientific cognition, and on the other it is "the study of the social purpose of science, its relationship to other types of social creativity, what could be called the sociology of science " [2, p. 785]. According to Borichevsky, the theory of scientific knowledge solves the question of what is the essence of scientific knowledge, what is science. That is, it is engaged in the study of the internal structure of scientific knowledge. According to Borichevsky, the essence of science is characterized by "two kinds of peculiar tools of knowledge: firstly, these are tools that complement the abilities of thought and feeling that we have; secondly, these are tools that replace the abilities of thought and feeling that we completely lack " [2, p. 782].

The sociology of science explores, on the contrary, the external existence of science. It is in the interpretation of sociology that Borichevsky most manifests himself as a Marxist. Social existence for Borichevsky consists of a basis and a superstructure. The basis includes production forces and production relations, while the superstructure represents spontaneously formed and dependent on the basis of social relations. Science, according to Borichevsky, refers precisely to the basis, being the productive force of society [2, p. 783]. Thus, according to Borichevsky, science studies the internal structure of science, as well as the relationship between scientific knowledge and other forms of social existence.

ConclusionProjects of F.

Znanetsky and I. A. Borichevsky have a common goal to create a single science of science science studies /science studies, which would be an independent field of research with its own subject and methods. Both projects arose in the wake of the rise of interest in science and were largely due to the applied tasks of organizing scientific research. Znanetsky has drawn up a detailed project of a new science, based on the methodology that is characteristic of any science in general. His idea of science suggests that this science from a methodological point of view is the same science as other positive scientific disciplines, although it should have its own specifics. Borichevsky's project is based on Marxist methodology. Science studies, according to Borichevsky, should also be recognized as a special scientific field having the same status as other positive sciences. Unlike Zannetsky, Borichevsky predictably interprets science as a special kind of human activity, that is, as a special work, which is irrelevant for Znanetsky (he understands cognitive operations as intellectual functions). Znanetsky is rather characterized by the context of the German philosophy of culture, closely related to the humanities, so his project is more general in nature the creation of a science of knowledge, of which science is a part. In comparison with this approach, Borichevsky offers a more definite project of a new science, the main subject of which is science itself.

Using the example of these two projects, one can see how a single intellectual need has developed in different socio-economic contexts. The general tendency, characteristic in one way or another of the entire European culture of that time, found expression in two different programs written for the same purpose from different methodological and general philosophical positions. This example shows that both social and cognitive institutionalization proceed depending on a more general socio-political and economic context.

In conclusion, it is important to make the following remark. In the Russian research literature (see: [16],[12]) it is considered that Borichevsky first proposed a project of a new science of science science studies. However, taking into account the pan-European context allows us to correct this statement. These facts suggest that it was Znanetsky who, for the first time, a year before the Soviet philosopher, proposed a project of a special science about science science studies. This project also has the peculiarity that it proposed to create not a new section of some already existing science (sociology, psychology, philosophy or history), but a special scientific discipline. Znanetsky had in mind a complex discipline that studies a special phenomenon of culture from different sides knowledge and science as its main form. Borichevsky's project, as it was shown, has exactly the same goal, but it was published a year later. In this regard, we should rather talk about the parallelism of two identical processes taking place in different European countries. In the Soviet and Polish philosophers responded to a common trend for the whole of Europe, which manifested itself in an increasing interest in special research of science. On the example considered, it can be seen that two authors almost at the same time proposed two different projects of one new science.

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