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La filosofia de la crisis ecologica y dos formas de la dialectica moderna.

Philosophy of Ecological Crisis and two Forms of Modern Dialectics


There exists one understudied topic in the historical-philosophical literature in which both goals of creating philosophy of ecological crisis as a science and reflections on the idealistic philosophy converge. We will explore what attitude powerful currents of idealistic thoughts of the 20th and 21st centuries had towards Hegelian and existential dialectics. We will attempt to analyze the arguments of representatives of philosophy of ecological crisis from the perspective of Hegelian dialectics and existentialism regarding the content of Hegelian and existential dialectics.

Hegelian dialectics and existential dialectics aim to comprehend ecology as a new paradigm of politics and culture. But spiritual history still acts as the foundation for comprehending ecological crisis. The ultimate cause of ethical cycle of categories is a reflection over ecological crisis itself. This is a discussion about the economy and ecology as a science about the human environment. Political cycles originate from the awareness about ecological crisis, which is a systemic crisis of spirit, culture, philosophy and morality (Hosle, 1991). However, systemic crisis can be overcome if humans and society are focused on adoption of universal human values.

Existentialists have repeatedly declared their intention to dispose of the metaphysical interpretation of the subject of philosophy of ecological crisis. Whenever philosophers tried to find the ultimate cause of the systemic crisis, they always encountered such cause that stopped any research. The marginal (or ultimate) cause of the systemic crisis of today lies in the question of whether I think in the modern society. Good society becomes truly dialectical if there is existential dialectics gradually growing in its soil. This dialectics is not opposed to transcendentalism, according to which a "critically"-minded researcher, even before grasping "objects", is occupied with analyzing the mind's ability "to lay claim of significance" (Hosle, 1992).

In this respect, philosophy of ecological crisis must find not only the positive in Hegelian dialectics from the standpoint of existentialism, but also reveal the "negative" in this dialectics, thereby revealing the true essence of existential dialectics and myths of its existing forms.


The methodological basis of the study of philosophy of ecological crisis is the idea of "intersubjectivity", which allows to explore the modern ecological crisis as a systemic crisis from the general philosophical positions and to identify ways of overcoming it. In this respect, philosophy of ecological crisis is occupied with examining the ecology as a new paradigm of politics. Spiritual history alone serves as the way to overcoming environmental crisis (Grishay, 1999). We believe that the true way to overcoming ecological crisis is the idea of the mosaic, which enables various spiritual worlds and philosophical systems to evolve on the basis of its own beginnings. In this regard, Hegel's dialectics and "existential dialectic" are complementary to each other, which increases the degree of artistic comprehension of the modern ecological crisis.

Reflection over the causes of ecological crisis increases the relevance of studying ecology as the science about human environment. In the process of reflection the heuristic potential of modern science gets highlighted, the structure of communicative practice of the scientific community, which is clenched between Hegelian dialectics and existential dialectics.

So-called existential dialectics cannot be without any preconditions; after all, existentialists themselves, when describing ecological crisis, rely on the past achievements of dialectics. Of course, there is the question of how, in general, existential dialectics of ecological crisis relates to classical Hegelian dialectic.

Presenting an analysis of ecological crisis from a position of a particular worldview will only help maintain an ideological stalemate among people. Since ecology, as the science about human environment, joy of human existence, has always been associated with many interpretations of the crisis of the modern Russian science, as well as with forms and methods of exploring the world itself.


The idea of complementarity in Hegelian dialectics from the perspective of existentialism

Continuation of Hegel's ideas and essays of existentialists identified in principle should essentially consist in a dialectical processing of thought and technology. The history of formation and development of the idea of "additionality" provide us with a wealth of material for this kind of dialectical comprehension of culture. It is worth noting that the modern methodology of science is multi-level (Kedrov and Ovchinnikov, 1975). The science of ecological crisis contains, in addition to a philosophical, existential level, a specific level of individual methodological principles. Although Hegel took the idea of "self-movement" of the "Concept" as the starting point, this innovation, according to Kierkegaard, is still a "Berlin invention" of Schelling, which hides the "despair of thought". Hegel's desire to create a universal system of categories is, as a result, opposed the subjectivists' "dialectics of soul" (Kierkegaard, 1961). Even though Hegel himself quite logically "organized" spirit and nature, art and religion, person and state, the very idea of ecological crisis appears to be utopian until the idea about the priority of development of the human personality, their freedom will be placed at the forefront of the study of nature and society.

Hegel completed a rupture from the formal-logical and metaphysical way of discovering nature. J.-P. Sartre and M. Heidegger considered the undying achievement of Hegel the fact that he had a deep grasp of the sense of an objectified philosophical version of the world and, consequently, the science about human environment. K. Jaspers saw Hegelian dialectics as the highest display of thinking. He approved Hegel's desire to establish a dialectical, philosophical logic, which overcame the "school logic" of forever defined concepts; this "school" logic in view of "its formal sense" has, according to K. Jaspers, "limited field of action" (Jaspers, 1958). Jaspers draws attention to the fact that Hegel created dialectics that "should be comprehensive, having a true understanding of the integrity of existence and, at the same time, qualitative heterogeneity of its levels" (Malinin, 1989).

It should be noted that Hegel's philosophy comes alive and imbued with the deepest meaning only if it is additional to other philosophical systems (including existential ones). From the point of view of the theory of development, such elements of self-organization as "cooperative" evolution of structures of living systems, spontaneous nature of the bifurcation are especially worthy of philosophical reflection, meaning that when the philosophical system reaches the extreme point of its development (as, for example, Fichte's system), it then rolls back, in the direction of metaphysics before Kant, or transitions to a position of transcendental philosophy, where nature itself (especially in Fichte's "Doctrine of Science" of 1794) is understood as the "border of I". The evolution of Fichte's philosophical system suggests cooperative cycle between the system and external parameters. Without this condition, it becomes impossible to elevate the philosophical system to a state far from balance. At points close to the bifurcation, Fichte's philosophical system loses its vector of further development. Philosophy of ecological crisis is virtually isolated from external theoretical influences (especially from the philosophy of nature of F.V.J. Schelling) and begins to fluctuate and self-cooperate.

Moreover, thought "cycles" begin within Fichte's "Doctrine of Science", which delaminates into early and later. The philosophy of ecological crisis, in this case, would also delaminate.

Thinkers, engaged in production of a system of ecological crisis, often imagine only themselves, which limits them to the sphere of reflection and completely excludes existence, in the hope that grasping the ultimate causes of ecological crisis is easier than understanding crisis existence. However, it is just an illusion! Lively discussions about the purpose and appropriateness of knowledge about ecological crisis in the development of philosophical systems are clarified when we try to realize the idea of complementarity in the interpretation of "Doctrine of Science" (Wissenschftslehre) of J.G. Fichte. The one who accepts transcendental idealism is neither in Absolute nor in factually phenomenal existence, but is at the point of their unity (Girndt, 1997).

Neither humans nor the "Omega Point" (P. Teilhard de Chardin), i.e. Absolute, satisfy theoretical potentials of the philosophy of ecological crisis.

Features of existential dialectics of ecological crisis

The philosophy of ecology as a science about the human environment is, apparently, a form of free art. Therefore, we need to discuss existential dialectics.

The problem is that today we should ponder over the idea of limitless progress. People construct their own independent world using the theory of "productive imagination (Einbildungskraft) (I. Kant). They rely on the idea that one can grasp only what one produces. Nowhere is this principle realised with such completeness as in the act of "self-consciousness". This, which requires "contemplation" of themselves from a philosopher, thanks to which the "I" gets born, is called intellectual intuition (intellektuelle Anschauung). Nevertheless, it is necessary to proceed from experience, from the fact of existence of things, phenomena, i.e. not to replace existence with a concept. A purely rationalistic philosophy proceeds from cognition to existence, while a "positive" one, i.e. existential philosophy,--from existence to cognition (Schelling, 1977).

Existential dialectics, linked to the comprehension of ecological crisis, is aimed at the affirmation of the "whole" individual, its essential strengths. However, the "non-wholeness" of the individual, which is a reality today, is not a "primary origin". The existential approach to humans often derives from the recognition of non-wholeness, i.e. chaotic public relations that deepen the systemic ecological crisis as a crisis of spirit, culture, philosophy, morality. It is worth noting that when N.A. Berdyaev states that it is possible to get rid of the tragedy of existence through "spiritual self-absorption", he doesn't notice that such "self-absorption" just smooths but does not eliminate the tragedy of our existence. Humans, according to Berdyaev, get thrown into the objective environment, which puts them in very limited conditions for existence in the world (Berdyaev, 1952).

It should be noted that existential dialectics' authors' claims to an adequate interpretation of ecological crisis resulted in negligible results. Apart from everything else, they faced the "ghost" of intuitivism. It is worth noting that intuitivism is only effective in regards to "spiritual" reality. But the object of comprehension is, in fact, broader. While Hegelian dialectics resolves disputes through the knowledge of spiritual philosophy, existential dialectics is linked to the understanding of ecological orientation of human existence, freedom. It should be noted that a solution to social issues is not connected with decent conditions of existence, with overcoming ecological and moral crisis. Even if we imagine such solution to social issues, it will only increase the tragic sense of life; many will then be consumed by mental and spiritual longing. In general, it should be noted that in its philosophical sense existential dialectics is just a subjective variant of idealistic dialectics.

Features of dialectics of ecological crisis

The philosophy of ecological crisis is not limited to social criticism of its characteristics. Criticism of existing theories of crisis is expressed in the phenomenon of champions for truth and democracy. One myth of dialectics of ecological crisis is associated with animal irrationalism, with apologetics of political violence. It is impossible to overcome ecological crisis by relying exclusively on Weber's explanation of ideology as a sphere of false consciousness (Adorno, 1964).

Ecological crisis cannot be overcome while being guided by the positivist philosophy. Overcoming this crisis is linked to the development of existentialism, which builds on the idea that "positivism and existentialism in their understanding of the world and humans 'differ and yet are complementary to each other'" (Adorno, 1963a).

It should be noted that the modern ecological crisis is linked to the destruction of free thinking. The philosophy of crisis is tightly bound to vague images of the old romantic philosophy. Draw to irrational is one of the myths of dialectics. The drive towards irrationalism, nevertheless, has the potential for self-destruction. When a person is seriously interested in the idea of ecological crisis, they usually imagine that exactly here lies the ground of philosophy. But ecology in its source is a doctrine where philosophical, political, cultural, spiritual highways converge. The creators of ecology see something in contradictions of reality but, trusting in any one form of dialectics, turn to the hopeless blind-alley of irrationalism and even mysticism.

When Th. Adorno commented that Hegel's "phenomenology of spirit" has a skeleton of "negative dialectics", he obviously indulges in wishful thinking (Adorno, 1963b). The philosophy of ecological crisis must not connect in the "cult of logic", which is in opposition to free thinking (Adorno, 1957).

The magic of denial, reminiscent of the vague images of romantic philosophy, is often erected in place of the cult of logic. Adorno asserts that the "rational" possesses immanent capacity for self-destruction, for transition into the sphere of the irrational.

The discussion, related to the comprehension of ecological crisis, is linked to the immanent capacity for self-destruction. Philosophers should not be embarrassed by these "transitions", but instead they should search for these transitions of existence into thought. We believe that the modern philosophy of ecological crisis is connected to the concepts of the thought structure. But more often than not W. Heisenberg "used the notion of a boundary, by which he meant some kind of horizon, i.e. something that limits not a specific area in the world of nature or culture, but a special world, a special 'everything'" (Akhutin, 1989; Lukjanow, 2007).

J.G. Fichte believed that only by rising over nature we can grasp nature. Without this "rise" we will find ourselves immersed in nature. Without "nurturing" "endless individual" in our personal "I" we will understand neither nature nor ourselves.

The debate itself, focused on the understanding of the causes of ecological crisis, becomes connected to the distinction between the philosophy of nature and transcendental nature-teaching (Lauth, 1984). R. Lauth developed the transcendental teaching about nature and implemented it through the principles of "Doctrine of Science". In addition, R. Lauth sought to build "time in consciousness", so that nature "in Doctrine of Science" was not presented as a "dead" shell of consciousness (Fuchs, 1981). R. Lauth highlights in his works the transcendental philosophy of nature, which, if viewed through the principles of "Doctrine of Science", through the problem of "building" time in consciousness, appears as a philosophy of mind (Lauth, 1981).


The philosophy of ecological crisis rests against the undefined categories, although we should note that in Hegel's works "formation" is not formation at all, but the emergence of something new, to whom the future belongs. But if the person is focused on the "future", the latter apparently destroys material existence.

Ecological crisis, its comprehension are not related to the problem of self-movement of ecological categories. Dialectics of opposites cannot act as an inherent idea of the subject as such. We should not reflect the tragic hopelessness of human existence in the categories of dialectics. The spirit of technical rationalism is indicative of both capitalism and socialism. Both systems therefore should be subject to criticism due to their mutual "inadequacy". Any social system that suppresses hope for a better world is quite unproductive. In this regard, there are attempts to find a new theory of Absolute. But these attempts eventually arrive at the synthesis of the later systems of J.G. Fichte and F.V.J. Schelling. The human dignity demands a protest against any knowledge system, even though this protest does not lead to anything positive. We should not proceed from apologetics of a philosophical system since any theoretical system is more durable than its denial of human personality. If the human personality is destroyed, the recipes of "just" social practices become ineffective.


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Department of Ethics, Cultural Studies and Public Relations, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russian Federation


Department of Ethics, Cultural Studies and Public Relations, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russian Federation


Department of Ethics, Cultural Studies and Public Relations, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Russian Federation

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Author:Valiullina, Zaynab R.; Lukjanov, Arkadiy V.; Puskarewa, Marina A.
Publication:Utopia y Praxis Latinoamericana
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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