REFLECTIONS ON THE INNER AND OUTER FACTORS
OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS
(ON NEW STRATEGIES OF MANIPULATION OF PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS) (PDF) (392 kb – English version)
September 21, 2000
REFLECTIONS ON THE INNER AND OUTER FACTORS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS (ON NEW STRATEGIES OF MANIPULATION OF PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS)
The St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research (Russian Federation Ministry of Culture and Russian Academy of Sciences) organized, under the auspices of UNESCO and with the support of the Division of Human Sciences, Philosophy and Ethics of Science and Technology, the VIII International Symposium on Philosophy and Theory of Culture: «Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on the Horizons of Consciousness», on September 17–21, 2000.
This Symposium was aimed at developing new strategies for cross-cultural studies in order to provide a deeper understanding of the dynamics of mentality and value hierarchies in the Information Society, was framed within the wider cross-cultural transdisciplinary research program «Towards New Paradigms of Communication: Philosophical and Psychological Aspects of the Dynamics of Mentality in Information Society», whose aims and goals are:
- to focus attention on people's perception of values and meanings;
- to make a contribution to the dialogue of cultures and to the understanding of the complex dynamics of cultural processes;
- to foster active development of international cooperation in the area of interdisciplinary studies, and in the field of philosophy and the humanities;
- to suggest new paths of research in the ethical aspects of human activity, freedom and responsibility in the information society.
The focus of this ongoing program is an in-depth examination of culture as a complexly structured space of communicative strategies, whose changes and re-orientations immediately bear upon all aspects of human existence. In this view, the program aims to advance new methods of interaction between human sciences (such as history, linguistics and psychology) and philosophical and epistemological reflections in order to promote an understanding of the complex changes taking place in contemporary culture. It emphasizes the transdisciplinary investigation of the dynamics of mentality as well as the processes of transformation in human perception of the self and the world taking place in the information society.
During the Symposium, one full day was devoted to the Roundtable discussion: «Reflections on inner and outer factors of the development of self-consciousness, and on new strategies of manipulation of personal consciousness».
The Roundtable was organized in the frame of UNESCO’s HPE transdisciplinary project «Crises and Development in Contemporary Notions of Identity». This project focuses on transformations in human perception of the self, society and the world, vis-a-vis the profound changes occurring in contemporary societies due to the impact of the globalization process and rapid developments in information and communication technologies.
In order to properly carry out this transdisciplinary project, and after having established ties with a series of international entities, the Division of Human Sciences, Philosophy and Ethics of Science and Technology has developed during the last year a strong and fruitful co-operation specifically with the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research. Indeed, both the research program of the Institute, as well as the transdiciplinary project of the Division are aimed at isolating and developing new conceptual tools to critically understand the evolution of contemporary societies. We aim to analyze the consequences of present-day social changes (namely, the impact of new information communication technologies; changing patterns of thinking, behavior and communication; the emergence of «knowledge societies», etc.) through interdisciplinary and comparative philosophical studies.
At the turn of the millennium, humanity has been rediscovering some ancient truths and, burdened with torrents of information, sees once again that omniscience does not necessarily convey wisdom. Almost with a mathematical precision the sphere of what is known extends the horizons of the unknown, bringing the intellectual of today very close to the well-known confession: "I know that I know nothing." Again, as before, the symbolic formula of Know Yourself urgently and insistently invites us to embark on this endless journey.
The proceedings of the symposium are to be published in a special issue of the International Readings on the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture (10).
The Organizers and participants of the symposium and the round table discussion do hope to continue fruitful collaboration and develop interdisciplinary and comparative philosophical studies into the dynamics of contemporary culture, and the consequences of present day social changes.
The following materials are based on a transcription of the audio recording of the roundtable discussion which was simultaneously translated. We are grateful to these translators, Mr. Alexey Pago and Ms. Maya Ryasentseva, as well as to the English editor of this text, Mr. Breton Carr.
& Liubava Moreva