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Science (this article is in Russian - "Наука"; hereinafter referred to as "S.") - is a sphere of human activity, the function of which is the development and theoretical systematization of objective knowledge about reality; one of the forms of social consciousness. In the course of historical development, S. turns into a productive force of society and a major social institution. The concept of "S." includes both the activity of obtaining new knowledge and the result of this activity - the sum of scientific knowledge obtained by the given moment, which together form a scientific picture of the world. The term "S." also used to designate certain branches of scientific knowledge.

The immediate goals of science are the description, explanation and prediction of the processes and phenomena of reality, which constitute the subject of its study on the basis of the laws discovered by it, that is, in a broad sense, a theoretical reflection of reality.


Science and other forms of mastering reality

Being integral to the practical way of mastering the world, S. as the production of knowledge is a very specific form of activity that is significantly different both from activity in the sphere of material production and from other types of spiritual activity proper. If in material production knowledge is only used as ideal means, then in science their acquisition forms the main and immediate goal, regardless of how this goal is embodied - whether in the form of a theoretical description, a diagram of a technological process, a summary of experimental data or a formula of what - or a drug. Unlike types of activity, the result of which, in principle, is known in advance, is set before the start of activity, scientific activity is legitimately called such only insofar as it gives an increment of new knowledge, i.e., its result is fundamentally unconventional. That is why S. acts as a force constantly revolutionizing other types of activity.

Science distinguishes from the aesthetic (artistic) way of mastering reality, the carrier of which is Art, a striving for impersonal, maximally generalized objective knowledge, while in art the results of artistic knowledge are inseparable from an individually unique personal element. Art is often characterized as "thinking in images", and S. - as "thinking in concepts", with the aim of emphasizing that the former develops the predominantly sensual-figurative side of a person's creative ability, and S. - mainly intellectual and conceptual. However, these differences do not mean an impassable line between science and art, which are united by a creative and cognitive attitude to reality. On the one hand, in S.'s constructions, in particular in the construction of a theory, in a mathematical formula, in the scheme of an experiment or in its idea, an aesthetic element often plays an essential role, which has been specially noted by many scientists. On the other hand, works of art carry, in addition to aesthetic, and cognitive load. Thus, Karl Marx's first steps in understanding the socio-economic essence of money in bourgeois society were based, in particular, on an analysis of the works of Johann Wolfgang Goethe and William Shakespeare (see K. Marx and F. Engels, From early works, 1956, p. 616 - twenty).

The interconnection between science and philosophy as specific forms of social consciousness has a complex character, philosophy always, to one degree or another, fulfills in relation to S. the functions of the methodology of cognition and worldview interpretation of its results, philosophy is also united with S. by the desire to construct knowledge in a theoretical form. to the logical evidence of their conclusions. This striving reaches its highest embodiment in dialectical materialism - a philosophy that consciously and openly associates itself with S., with the scientific method, making the subject of its study the most general laws of the development of nature, society, and thinking and, while relying on S.'s results. philosophy with a worldview, various philosophical trends in a class-antagonistic society have different attitudes towards S. and the methods of constructing knowledge adopted by it.

Some of these directions are skeptical towards S. (for example, existentialism) or even openly hostile, while others, on the contrary, try to completely dissolve philosophy into science (positivism), thereby ignoring the worldview functions of philosophy. Only Marxism-Leninism provides a consistent solution to the problem of the relationship between philosophy and philosophy, accepting from S. its method, fully using its results, but at the same time taking into account the specificity of the subject and the social role of philosophy; this makes it a truly scientific philosophy. Through philosophy and the general theory of social S., all S. is connected with ideology and politics. In conditions of class antagonisms, this determines the class character of social science closely related to philosophy, their partisanship, and the important worldview role of the natural sciences.

Science, focused on the criteria of reason, in its essence was and remains the opposite of religion, which is based on belief in supernatural principles. If S. studies reality, proceeding from itself, requires rational substantiation and practical confirmation of the knowledge she receives, then religion sees its main support in revelation, in an appeal to super-rational arguments and to the indisputability of the authority of canonical texts. In modern conditions, however, religion is forced to reckon with the enormous successes of S. and the growth of its real social role, and therefore tries to find (of course, in vain) some ways of reconciling its teaching with the truths of S., or even adapt the latter to its needs.

The main stages of the development of science

The origins of science are rooted in the practice of early human societies, in which cognitive and productive moments were inseparably fused. “The production of ideas, representations, consciousness is initially directly interwoven into material activity and into material communication of people, into the language of real life. Formation of ideas, thinking, spiritual communication of people is here still a direct product of their material actions "(K. Marx and Engels Friedrich, Feuerbach. Opposition of materialistic and idealistic views, 1966, p. 29). Initial knowledge was of a practical nature, playing the role of methodological guidelines for specific types of human activity.

In the countries of the Ancient East (Babylonia, Egypt, India, China), a significant amount of this kind of knowledge was accumulated, which constituted an important prerequisite for future science. Mythology can also be considered a distant prerequisite for S., in which an attempt was first realized to build an integral, all-embracing system of ideas about the reality around a person. By virtue of their religiously anthropomorphic nature, these ideas, however, were very far removed from S. and, moreover, the formation of S. required criticism and destruction of mythological systems as a precondition. For the emergence of S., certain social conditions were also necessary: ​​a sufficiently high level of development of production and social relations (leading to the division of mental and physical labor and thereby opening up the possibility of systematic S. studies), as well as the presence of a rich and wide cultural tradition that allows free perception. achievements of different cultures and peoples.

These conditions developed by the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece, where the first theoretical systems arose (Thales, Democritus and others), in contrast to mythology, explaining reality through natural principles. At first, the theoretical natural-philosophical knowledge, separated from mythology, syncretically united science and philosophy in its most speculative versions. Nevertheless, it was precisely theoretical knowledge, in which its objectivity, logical persuasiveness were highlighted, Ancient Greek science (Aristotle and others) gave the first descriptions of the laws of nature, society and thinking, which, of course, were largely imperfect, but , however, played an outstanding role in the history of culture; they introduced into the practice of mental activity a system of abstract concepts relating to the world as a whole, turned into a stable tradition the search for objective, natural laws of the universe and laid the foundations for a demonstrative way of presenting material, which constituted the most important feature of S. In the same era, certain areas began to separate from natural philosophy knowledge. The Hellenistic period of ancient Greek science was marked by the creation of the first theoretical systems in the field of geometry (Euclid), mechanics (Archimedes), astronomy (Ptolemy).

In the Middle Ages, scientists from the Arab East and Central Asia (Ibi Sina, Ibn Rushd, Biruni and others) made a huge contribution to the development of science, who managed to preserve and develop the ancient Greek tradition, enriching it in a number of areas of knowledge. In Europe, this tradition was greatly transformed by the dominance of the Christian religion, which gave rise to a specific medieval form of S. - scholasticism. Subordinate to the needs of religion, scholasticism focused on the development of Christian dogma, but at the same time it made a significant contribution to the development of intellectual culture, to the improvement of the art of theoretical disputes and discussions. The development of alchemy and astrology also contributed to the creation of a base for S. in the modern sense of the word - the former laid the tradition of the experimental study of natural substances and compounds, preparing the ground for the emergence of chemistry, and the latter stimulated systematic observations of celestial bodies, contributing to the development of an experimental base for astronomy.

In its modern understanding, science began to take shape in modern times (from the 16th to 17th centuries) under the influence of the needs of the developing capitalist production. In addition to the traditions accumulated in the past, two circumstances contributed to this. First, in the Renaissance, the dominance of religious thinking was undermined, and the opposing picture of the world relied precisely on the data of S., in other words, S. began to turn into an independent factor of spiritual life, into a real basis of the worldview (Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolaus Copernicus). Secondly, along with the observation of modern science, it adopts experiment, which becomes the leading research method in it and radically expands the sphere of cognizable reality, closely combining theoretical reasoning with practical "testing" of nature. As a result, S.'s cognitive power sharply increased. This profound transformation of S. in the 16th and 17th centuries was the first scientific revolution (Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, William Harvey, Rene Descartes, Christian Huygens, Isaac Newton and others).

The rapid growth of scientific successes, its occupation of leading positions in the formation of a new picture of the world led to the fact that in modern times, science began to appear as the highest cultural value, on which the overwhelming majority of philosophical schools and trends began to orient themselves in one way or another. In the field of cognition of the phenomena of social life, this manifested itself in the search for "natural principles" of religion, law, morality, etc., based on the concept of "human nature" (G. Grotius, B. Spinoza, T. Hobbes, J. Locke and others). Science carrying the "light of reason" was viewed as the only antithesis to all the vices of social reality, the transformation of which could not be thought otherwise than in the field of enlightenment. "The thinking mind has become the only measure of everything that exists" (F. Engels, see K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., Vol. 20, p. 16).

The successes of mechanics, systematized and completed in their foundations by the end of the 17th century, played a decisive role in the formation of a mechanistic picture of the world, which soon acquired universal world outlook importance (Leonard Euler, Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov[ru], Pierre Simon Laplace, etc.). Within its framework, cognition of not only physical and chemical, but also biological phenomena was carried out, including the explanation of a person as an integral organism (the concept of a “human-machine” by J. La Mettrie). The ideals of mechanistic natural science become the basis of the theory of knowledge and the doctrine of S. methods, which are rapidly developing during this period. There are philosophical doctrines about human nature, society and the state, acting in the 17th - 18th centuries as sections of the general doctrine of a single world mechanism.

The reliance of modern science on experiment and the development of mechanics laid the foundation for establishing a link between S. and production, although this link acquired a strong and systematic character only at the end of the 19th century.

On the basis of the mechanistic picture of the world, by the beginning of the 19th century, significant material was accumulated, systematized and theoretically comprehended, relating to certain areas of reality. However, this material more and more clearly did not fit into the framework of a mechanistic explanation of nature and society and required a new, deeper and wider synthesis, covering the results obtained by various sciences. The discovery of the law of conservation and transformation of energy (Hermann Helmholtz, R. Mayer, J. Joule) made it possible to put on a common basis all branches of physics and chemistry. The creation of the cell theory (T. Schwann, M. Schleiden) showed the uniform structure of all living organisms. The evolutionary doctrine in biology (Charles Darwin) introduced the idea of ​​development into natural science. The periodic table of elements (Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev) proved the existence of an internal connection between all known types of matter. In the middle of the 19th century, socio-economic, philosophical and general scientific prerequisites were created for the construction of a scientific theory of social development, implemented by the founders of Marxism. K. Marx and F. Engels carried out a revolutionary revolution in the development of social science and philosophy, which also led to the creation of a methodological basis for the formation of a complex of sciences about society. A new stage in the history of S. about society is associated with the name of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who in the new historical era developed all the constituent parts of Marxism (see dialectical materialism, historical materialism, Marxism-Leninism, scientific communism, and political economy).

Major changes in the foundations of scientific thinking, as well as a number of new discoveries in physics (electron, radioactivity, etc.) led at the turn of the 19th - 20th centuries. to the crisis of modern classical philosophy and, above all, to the collapse of its philosophical and methodological basis - the mechanistic worldview. The essence of this crisis was revealed by V. I. Lenin in his book "Materialism and Empirio-criticism." The crisis was resolved by a new revolution in science, which began in physics (Max Planck, Albert Einstein) and embraced all the main branches of science.

The rapprochement of science with production in the second half of the 19th century led to a sharp increase in the volume of collective labor in it. This required new organizational forms of its existence. The 20th century is characterized by a close and strong relationship with technology, an ever-deeper transformation of science into a direct productive force of society, an increase and deepening of its connection with all spheres of social life, and an increase in its social role. Modern science is an essential component of the scientific and technological revolution, its driving force. “Growth points” of 20th century science are, as a rule, at the intersection of the internal logic of its development with increasingly diverse social needs dictated by modern society.

By the middle of the 20th century. biology, in which fundamental discoveries were made (for example, Francis Crick and J. Watson established the molecular structure of DNA, discovered the genetic code, etc.) moved to one of the first places in natural science. Especially high rates of development are characteristic of those directions of science, which, by integrating the achievements of its various industries, open up fundamentally new prospects for solving major complex problems of our time (creating new sources of energy and materials, optimizing relations between man and nature, managing large systems, space research, etc.).

Regularities and trends in the development of science

More than two thousand years of history of science clearly reveals a number of general laws and trends in its development. Back in 1844, Friedrich Engels formulated the provision on the accelerated growth of science "... Science moves forward in proportion to the mass of knowledge inherited by it from the previous generation..." (K. Marx and F. Engels, ibid., Vol. 1, p. 568). As modern research has shown, this position can be expressed in the strict form of an exponential law that characterizes the increase in some parameters of S., starting from the 17th century. Thus, the volume of scientific activity doubles approximately every 10 - 15 years, which is reflected in the accelerated growth of the number of scientific discoveries and scientific information, as well as the number of people employed in science. According to UNESCO, over the past 50 years (until the beginning of the 70s) the annual increase in the number of scientists was 7%, while the total population grew by only 1.7% per year (in the 70s, S. in the USA[ru] and some other capitalist countries[ru] began to decrease - the effect of the so-called saturation of S. began to appear). As a result, the number of living[ru] scientists and scientific workers is over 90% of the total number of scientists in the history of S.

The development of science is characterized by a cumulative character: at each historical stage, it summarizes its past achievements in a concentrated form, and each result of S. is an integral part of its general fund, not being crossed out by subsequent successes of cognition, but only by rethinking and clarifying.

S.'s succession leads to a unified line of its progressive development and its irreversible character. It also ensures the functioning of S. as a special type of "social memory" of humanity, theoretically crystallizing the past experience of cognizing reality and mastering its laws.

The process of the development of science finds its expression not only in the increase in the amount of accumulated positive knowledge. It also affects the entire structure of S. At each historical stage, scientific knowledge uses a certain set of cognitive forms - fundamental categories and concepts, methods, principles and schemes of explanation, that is, everything that is united by the concept of a style of thinking. For example, the ancient style of thinking is characterized by observation as the main way of obtaining knowledge; Modern science is based on experiment and on the dominance of the analytical approach, which directs thinking to the search for the simplest, not further decomposable, primary elements of the reality under study; modern science characterizes the striving for an integral and versatile coverage of the objects under study.

Each specific structure of scientific thinking, after its approval, opens the way to the extensive development of knowledge, to its spread to new spheres of reality. However, the accumulation of new material that does not lend itself to explanation on the basis of existing schemes forces us to look for new, intensive ways of developing science, which from time to time leads to scientific revolutions, i.e., a radical change in the main components of the content structure of science, to the advancement of new principles of cognition, categories and methods of S. The alternation of extensive and revolutionary periods of development, which is characteristic both for science as a whole and for its individual branches, sooner or later finds its expression in the corresponding changes in the forms of organization of S.

The entire history of science is permeated by a complex dialectical combination of processes of differentiation and integration; the assimilation of ever new areas of reality and the deepening of knowledge lead to the differentiation of science, to its fragmentation into more and more specialized areas of knowledge; At the same time, the need for the synthesis of knowledge constantly finds expression in the tendency towards integration of S. Initially, new branches of science were formed on the basis of an object - in accordance with the involvement of new areas and aspects of reality in the process of cognition.

For modern science, the transition from a subject to a problem orientation is becoming more and more characteristic, when new areas of knowledge arise in connection with the advancement of a certain major theoretical or practical problem. This is how a significant number of butt (borderline) S. of the biophysics type, etc. Their appearance continues in new forms the process of differentiation of science, but at the same time provides a new basis for the integration of previously divided scientific disciplines.

Philosophy, which generalizes the scientific picture of the world, as well as individual scientific disciplines such as mathematics, logic, and cybernetics, which arm science with a system of uniform methods, perform important integrating functions in relation to individual branches of science.

The structure of science

Scientific disciplines, which in their totality form a system of sciences as a whole, can be rather conditionally subdivided into 3 large groups (subsystems) - natural, social and technical sciences, differing in their subjects and methods. There is no sharp line between these subsystems - a number of scientific disciplines occupy an intermediate position. Thus, for example, at the junction of technical and social science is technical aesthetics, between natural and technical science there is bionics, and between the natural and social sciences there is economic geography. Each of these subsystems, in turn, forms a system in a variety of ways coordinated and subordinated by subject and methodological connections of individual S., which makes the problem of their detailed classification extremely difficult and not completely solved until today (see below the section on Classification of sciences).

Along with traditional research carried out within the framework of any one branch of science, the problematic nature of the orientation of modern science has given rise to the widespread development of interdisciplinary and complex research carried out by means of several different scientific disciplines, the specific combination of which is determined by the nature of the corresponding problem. An example of this is the study of nature conservation problems, which is located at the crossroads of technical sciences, biology, earth[ru] sciences, economics, medicine, mathematics, etc. Such problems arising in connection with the solution of large farms and social problems are typical for modern S.

In their orientation, in their direct relation to practice, it is customary to subdivide individual S. into fundamental and applied ones. The task of the fundamental sciences is to understand the laws governing the behavior and interaction of the basic structures of nature, society and thinking. These laws and structures are studied in "pure form", as such, regardless of their possible use. Therefore, fundamental S. are sometimes called "pure".

The immediate goal of applied sciences is to apply the results of fundamental science to the solution of not only cognitive, but also social and practical problems. Therefore, here the criterion of success is not only the achievement of truth, but also the measure of satisfaction of the social order. At the junction of applied science and practice, a special area of ​​research develops - developments that translate the results of applied science into the form of technological processes, structures, industrial materials, etc.

Applied science can develop with a predominance of both theoretical and practical problems. For example, in modern physics, electrodynamics and quantum mechanics play a fundamental role, the application of which to the knowledge of specific subject areas forms various branches of theoretical applied physics - physics of metals, physics of semiconductors, etc. The further application of their results to practice gives rise to a variety of practical applied S. — metal science, semiconductor technology, and so on, the direct connection of which with production is carried out by corresponding concrete developments. All technical sciences are applied.

As a rule, fundamental science outstrips applied science in their development, creating a theoretical basis for them. In modern science, applied research accounts for up to 80 - 90% of all research and allocations. One of the pressing problems of the modern organization of S. is the establishment of strong, systematic relationships and the reduction of the time of movement within the cycle "fundamental research - applied research - development - implementation."

In science, empirical and theoretical levels of research and organization of knowledge can be distinguished. Elements of empirical knowledge are facts obtained through observations and experiments and stating the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of objects and phenomena. Stable repeatability and relationships between empirical characteristics are expressed using empirical laws, often of a probabilistic nature. The theoretical level of scientific knowledge presupposes the presence of special abstract objects (constructs) and theoretical laws connecting them, created for the purpose of idealized description and explanation of empirical situations, i.e., with the aim of understanding the essence of phenomena. Operating with objects of the theoretical level, on the one hand, can be carried out without resorting to empiricism, and on the other hand, it presupposes the possibility of transition to it, which is realized in the explanation of already existing facts and the prediction of new ones. The presence of a theory that in a uniform way explains the facts subject to its conduct is a necessary condition for the scientific nature of knowledge. A theoretical explanation can be both qualitative and quantitative, widely using the mathematical apparatus, which is especially characteristic of the modern stage of the development of natural science.

Formation of the theoretical level of science leads to a qualitative change in the empirical level. If before the formation of the theory, the empirical material that served as its prerequisite was obtained on the basis of everyday experience and natural language, then upon reaching the theoretical level it is "seen" through the prism of the meaning of theoretical concepts that begin to guide the setting of experiments and observations - the main methods of empirical research. At the empirical level of knowledge, comparison, measurement, induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis and others are widely used. The theoretical level is also characterized by such cognitive techniques as hypothesis (see induction), modeling, idealization, abstraction, generalization, thought experiment, etc.

All theoretical disciplines, one way or another, have their historical roots in practical experience. However, in the course of the development of individual S., they break away from their empirical base and develop purely theoretically (for example, mathematics), returning to experience only in the sphere of their practical applications.

For a long time, the development of the scientific method was the privilege of philosophy, which continues to play a leading role in the development of methodological problems, being the general methodology of S. In the 20th century, methodological means become much more differentiated and in their concrete form, S. herself is increasingly being developed. These are new categories. nominated by the development of S. (for example, information); and specific methodological principles (for example, the conformity principle). An important methodological role in modern science is played by such branches of it as mathematics and cybernetics, as well as specially developed methodological approaches (for example, the systems approach).

As a result, the structure of relations between S. and its methodology has become very complicated, and the development of methodological problems is taking an increasingly important place in the system of modern research.

Science as a social institution. Organization and management in science

The formalization of science as a social institution took place in the 17th and early 18th centuries, when the first Scientific Societies and Academies were formed in Europe and the publication of scientific journals began. Prior to this, the preservation and reproduction of S. as an independent social education was carried out primarily in an informal way - through traditions transmitted through books, teaching, correspondence, and personal communication of scientists.

Until the end of the 19th century, science remained "small", occupying a relatively small number of people in its field. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. a new way of organizing science is emerging — large scientific institutes and laboratories with a powerful technical base, which brings scientific activity closer to the forms of modern industrial labor. Thus, the transformation of "small" S. into "big" occurs.

Modern science is increasingly connected with all social institutions without exception, permeating not only industrial and agricultural production, but also politics, administrative and military spheres. In turn, S., as a social institution, is becoming a major factor in socio-economic potential and requires growing costs, as a result of which S. policy is turning into one of the leading spheres of social management.

With the split of the world into two camps after the Great October Socialist Revolution, science as a social institution began to develop in fundamentally different social conditions. Under capitalism, under conditions of antagonistic social relations, the monopolies' achievements are largely used by the monopolies to obtain superprofits, to intensify the exploitation of the working people, and to militarize the economy. Under socialism, the development of S. is planned on a national scale in the interests of the entire people. The planned development of the economy and the transformation of social relations are carried out on a scientific basis, thanks to which natural resources play a decisive role both in creating the material and technical basis of communism and in shaping the new man. A developed socialist society opens up the broadest scope for new successes for S. in the name of the interests of the working people.

The emergence of "big" science was primarily due to a change in the nature of its connection with technology and production. Until the end of the 19th century. S. played a supporting role in relation to production. Then the development of science begins to outstrip the development of technology and production, and a unified system "Science - technology - production" is formed, in which science plays a leading role. In the era of the scientific and technological revolution, S. constantly transforms the structure and content of material activity. The production process more and more “... acts not as subordinate to the direct skill of the worker, but as a technological application of science” (K. Marx, see K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., Vol. 46, p. 2, p. 206).

Along with natural and technical science, social science is gaining increasing importance in modern society, setting definite guidelines for its development and studying man in all the diversity of his manifestations. On this basis, there is an increasing convergence of natural, technical, and social science.

In the conditions of modern science, problems of organizing and managing the development of science acquire paramount importance. The concentration and centralization of S. gave rise to the emergence of national and international scientific organizations and centers, and the systematic implementation of large international projects. In the system of public administration, special bodies of S.'s leadership have been formed. On their basis, a mechanism of scientific policy is formed, which actively and purposefully influences the development of S.

Initially, the organization of S. was almost exclusively tied to the system of universities and other higher educational institutions and was built on a sectoral basis. In the 20th century, specialized research institutions were widely developed. The tendency to reduce the specific cost efficiency of scientific activities, especially in the field of basic research, has given rise to a desire for new forms of organization of scientific research. Scientific centers of a branch nature (for example, the Pushchinsky Center for Biological Research of the USSR[ru] Academy of Sciences in the Moscow Region) and of a complex nature (for example, the Novosibirsk Scientific Center) are being developed. There are research units built on the problem principle. To solve specific scientific problems, often of an interdisciplinary nature, special creative teams are created, consisting of problem groups and combined into projects and programs (for example, the space exploration program).

Centralization in the management system of S. is increasingly combined with decentralization, autonomy in conducting research. Informal problem associations of scientists — the so-called invisible collectives-are widely spread. Along with them in the "big" science continue to exist and develop non-formal education such as scientific directions and scientific schools, resulting in a "small" S. In turn, the scientific method is increasingly used as a means of organization and management in other areas.

The Scientific Organization of Labor (NOT) has acquired a mass character, which is becoming one of the main levers of increasing the efficiency of social production. Automatic production management systems (ACS) created with the help of computers and cybernetics are being introduced. The object of scientific management is increasingly becoming the human factor, primarily in human-machine systems. The results of scientific research are used to improve the principles of management of collectives, enterprises, the state, and society as a whole. Like all social uses of S., such uses serve opposite purposes under capitalism and socialism.

Important for science are the national characteristics of its development, reflected in the distribution of the cash structure of scholars in various countries, national and cultural traditions the development of certain industries S. in the framework of scientific schools and directions, the ratio between fundamental and applied research on a national scale, the state policy towards the development of S. (for example, the size and orientation of appropriations for S.). However, the results S. scientific knowledge is international in its essence.

The reproduction of science as a social institution is closely connected with the system of education and training of scientific personnel. In the context of the modern scientific and technological revolution, there is a certain gap between the historically established tradition of teaching in secondary and higher schools and the needs of society (including S.). In order to eliminate this gap, new teaching methods are being intensively introduced into the education system, using the latest achievements of S.-psychology, pedagogy, and cybernetics. Higher education shows a tendency to approach the research practice of S. I. Production.

In the field of education, the cognitive function of S. is closely related to the task of educating students as full-fledged members of society, forming a certain value orientation and moral qualities in them. The practice of social life and Marxist-Leninist theory have convincingly proved that the ideal of the Enlightenment, according to which the universal dissemination of scientific knowledge will automatically lead to the education of highly moral individuals and a just organization of society, is utopian and erroneous. This can only be achieved by radically changing the social system, replacing capitalism with socialism.

For science as a system of knowledge, the highest value is truth, which in itself is morally and ethically neutral. Moral assessment can either refer to activities for obtaining knowledge (professional ethic of the scientist requires intellectual honesty and courage in the process never stops searching for the truth), or to the operation and application of the results of S., where the issue ratio S. and morality arises with particular urgency, specifically addressing the problem of moral responsibility of scientists for social consequences of application of their discoveries. The barbaric use of S. by militarists (Hitler's experiments on humans, Hiroshima and Nagasaki) caused a number of active social actions of progressive scientists (Pugwash conferences, etc.) aimed at preventing the anti-humanistic use of S.

The study of various aspects of science is carried out by a number of its specialized branches, which include the history of S., logic of S., sociology of S., psychology of scientific creativity, etc. Since the mid-20th century. A new, comprehensive approach to the study of science, which seeks to synthesize all its many aspects, is being intensively developed — science studies.

Social role and future of science

The complexities and contradictions associated with the increasing role of science give rise to diverse and often contradictory forms of its worldview assessment in an antagonistic society. The poles of such assessments are scientism and anti-scientism. Scientism is characterized by the absolutization of the style and general methods of the "exact" sciences, the declaration of S. as the highest cultural value, often c1, accompanied by the denial of socio-humanitarian and ideological problems as having no cognitive value. Anti-scientism, on the contrary, proceeds from the position of the fundamental limitation of S. in solving fundamental human problems, and in its extreme manifestations, it evaluates S. as a force hostile to man, denying it a positive influence on culture.

In contrast to scientism and anti-scientism, the Marxist-Leninist worldview inextricably links an objective scientific approach with an effective humanistic orientation, identifies the means of transforming natural and social reality with the help of S., while taking into account the real significance of other forms of world development that make up the conditions and prerequisites for the functioning of S., and combining all of them in the interests of man.

Bourgeois and Marxist views on the future of science are also radically different. Bourgeois concepts proceed from the absolutisation of certain aspects of modern S., uncritically transferring them to the future in an unchanged or hypertrophied form. Within the framework of scientism, S. is considered as the only sphere of spiritual culture in the future that will absorb its "irrational" areas. Anti-scientism, on the contrary, condemns S. either to extinction or to eternal opposition to the anthropologically interpreted human essence.

The Marxist-Leninist worldview, considering modern S. as a historically determined way of producing and organizing knowledge, sees the future of S. in overcoming the boundaries between its individual branches, in further enriching the content of S. with methodological elements, in bringing S. closer to other forms of spiritual development of the world, which will create conditions for the formation of a new, unified S. of the future, focused on the person in all the richness of manifestations of his universal creative ability to master and transform reality. "Subsequently, natural science will include the science of man in the same way that the science of man will include natural science: it will be one science" (Marx K. and Engels F., From early works, 1956, p. 596). Such a theory of the future, which harmoniously combines cognitive, aesthetic, moral and ideological elements, will correspond to the universal universal character of labor under communism, the immediate goal of which is the comprehensive development of man as an end in itself.

Classification of sciences

Classification of sciences - is the disclosure of the mutual connection of S. on the basis of certain principles and the expression of their connection in the form of a logically justified arrangement (or series) of S. In addition to the principles of classification of S., graphic, including tabular, ways of depicting it also play an important role.

Classification of sciences

Principles of science classification

The relations of science are determined by the subject of S. and the objective relations between its various sides; the method and conditions of cognition of the subjects of S.; the purposes by which scientific knowledge is generated and served. From an epistemological point of view, the principles of classification of S. are divided into objective, when the connection of S. is derived from the connection of the objects of research themselves, and subjective, when the classification of S. is based on the characteristics of the subject. From a methodological point of view, the principles of classification of S. are divided according to how the relationship between the sciences is understood; as external, when the sciences are only placed next to each other in a certain order, or as internal, organic, when they are necessarily derived and developed one from the other. In the first case, the principle of coordination takes place; its scheme A∣B∣C, etc.; in the second case-the principle of subordination, its scheme A... B... C... etc. (here the letters[ru] denote individual sciences, vertical lines — sharp breaks between the sciences, hones — mutual transitions between the sciences).

From a logical point of view, the classification of S. is based on various aspects of the general connection of S., which characterize the initial and final points of the main series of S. These are the two principles of the arrangement of S. in order: decreasing generality — from the general to the particular, and increasing concreteness — from the abstract to the concrete. According to the principle of subordination, S. are arranged in the order of development from simple to complex, from lowest to highest. Here the main attention is directed to the points of contact and mutual penetration of the sciences. Other aspects of highlighting the different sides of the overall H connection are possible. with the formation of appropriate principles (for example, from empirical description to theoretical explanation, from theory to practice, etc.).

Content classification considers connections between sciences as an expression or as a result:

The dialectical-materialist principles underlying the Marxist classification of S. presuppose the inseparability of the principle of objectivity and the principle of development (or subordination). Epistemological, methodological (dialectical) and logical aspects of the universal connection of S. appear in their internal unity.

Historical sketch

History of the classification of sciences

The core of the entire history of the classification of sciences is the question of the relationship between philosophy and particular sciences. This history can be divided into 3 main stages, which correspond to: the undifferentiated philosophical S. of antiquity and partly of the Middle Ages; the differentiation of S. in the 15th-18th centuries. (analytical division of knowledge into separate branches); their integration, which began in the 19th century (synthetic reconstruction, linking of knowledge into a single system of knowledge).

At the first stage, the idea of classification of knowledge originated in the countries of the Ancient East, along with the rudiments of scientific knowledge. The ancient thinkers (Aristotle and others) already had the germs of all the later principles of classification of knowledge, including the division of all knowledge (according to its object) into 3 main areas: nature (physics), society (ethics) and thinking (logic).

At the second stage, philosophy began to break up into a number of separate sciences: mathematics, mechanics, etc. The prevailing analytical method determined the general nature of the classification of sciences: it was carried out only by external application of the sciences to each other. The resulting subjective principle of classification of S. took into account such properties of human intelligence as memory (which corresponded to history), imagination (poetry) and reason (philosophy). This was a big step forward compared to what theology and scholasticism provided with their division of "secular" knowledge into the "Seven Liberal Arts". The subjective principle put forward by Juan Huarte was developed by Francis Bacon, who divided all knowledge into history, poetry and philosophy.

The systematizer of Bacon's teaching, Thomas Hobbes, tried to combine the subjective principle with the objective, considering the method of mathematics universal and putting geometry at the head of the deductive sciences, and physics at the head of the inductive ones. He outlined the principle of the arrangement of sciences from the abstract to the concrete, from the quantitative certainty of the subject to its qualitative certainty. The objective principle of classification of S. in accordance with the characteristics of the objects of knowledge themselves was developed by R. Descartes. The classical division of sciences into logic, physics and ethics (Pierre Gassendi) or physics, practice and logic (J. Locke) was restored. In the 18th century, the objective principle was further developed by M. V. Lomonosov. In contrast, the French encyclopedists (Denis Diderot and Jean Leron D'Alembert) mostly adopted Bacon's principles and scheme. The division of the entire field of knowledge into 3 main sections (nature, society and thinking) was replaced with more fractional divisions in the 18th century.

The transition to the third stage (the first three quarters of the 19th century) includes two different directions. The first direction, being based on the general principle of coordination, came into conflict with the main trend of scientific development in the 19th century. Basically, two solutions to the H classification problem have been proposed here.

A. Formal-based on the principle of coordination from the general to the particular (in descending order of generality). It was developed in France in the early and mid-19th century. Claude Henri de Rouvroy Saint-Simon put forward the objective principle of classifying the sciences according to the transition from simpler and more general phenomena to more complex and particular ones. O. Comte adopted the system of Saint-Simon, systematized his ideas, but gave them an exaggerated character. The 6 basic (theoretical, abstract) sciences he identified made up an encyclopedic series, or hierarchy of sciences:


(mechanics of terrestrial bodies was included in mathematics, psychology-in physiology). Comte's historical view of nature was absent and manifested only in relation to the knowledge of nature by man. The Comte system is based on the principle of coordination. Sociology was given an independent place in the series of sciences by Comte. The significance of the classification of Comte is that, firstly, they highlighted a really basic S. which really answer (except for math) basic forms of motion of matter in nature and social form of motion (as an object of sociology); second, that these S. they are brought into a correct, though external, connection with each other in the sequence in which they developed one after another. Therefore, the Comte system was a prerequisite for classification based on the principle of subordination.

B. The formal solution of the problem based on the principle of coordination from the abstract to the concrete (in descending order of abstractness) became widespread in Great Britain[ru] in the middle and second half of the 19th century. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Whewell, Jeremiah Bentham). John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer, while criticizing Comte, argued for a place for psychology in the N-series. Spencer rejected Comte's position that every science has its abstract and concrete parts, arguing that all sciences are divided into abstract (logic and mathematics), concrete (astronomy, geology, biology, psychology and sociology) and intermediate between them — abstract-concrete (mechanics, physics and chemistry). There are sharp edges between these groups, while there is a gradual transition within them. Spencer carried out the idea of evolution only for specific n. He also denied the connection of the classification of n. (logical connection) with the history of knowledge of the world.

The second direction in the transition to the third stage was the beginning of the introduction of the principle of subordination, consistent with the idea of development and universal connection of natural phenomena. There were also two different solutions.

A. The development of the principle of subordination on an idealistic basis as a principle of the development of the spirit (but not of nature) by Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling and especially Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel put forward a triad division, which corresponded to the general spirit of his philosophical system, which was divided into logic, philosophy of nature and philosophy of spirit, and the second was further divided into mechanism-mechanics, astronomy, chemistry-physics, chemistry, organism-biology. With all its artificiality, this system reflected, albeit in a perverted form, the idea of the development of nature from its lowest stages to its highest, up to the generation of a thinking spirit by it.

B. Development of the principle of subordination and approach to the theoretical synthesis of knowledge on a materialistic basis. This was the case in Russia[ru]. For the synthesis of sciences in the middle of the 19th century, it was necessary to eliminate the gap imposed by positivists between philosophy and natural sciences (so went Alexander Ivanovich Herzen) and to eliminate the gap between natural and humanitarian sciences (Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky). For Herzen, historicism in the understanding of nature was organically combined with historicism in views on the development of knowledge of nature, which gave a deep methodological basis for the synthesis of S. The same is true for Chernyshevsky, who, like Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky before him, criticized the limitations of Comte's views.

At the end of the 19th century, the development of non-Marxist systems of classification of science sharply revealed an idealistic line associated with the beginning of the crisis of natural science. As a rule, the general principle of coordination remains at the heart of the classification of S. In France, there is an evolution from Comte to the Machist schemes of Henri Poincar, Edmond Goblot, A. Naville, etc. In Germany, the eclectic principles of classification were put forward by Eugene Dring, Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt and others, in the Czech Republic — by Tomas Garrik Masaryk. Development of the H classification. It was also conducted from the standpoint of neo-Kantianism, which proceeded from the gap between the sciences of nature (the phenomena of which were considered natural) and of society — history (the events of which were presented as a chaos of accidents).

Herman Cohen. In part, Ernst Kassirer and Paul Natorp saw the challenge as bringing unity to diversity through mathematically constructed concepts. Accordingly, mathematics became the main science. Machists and energetists built the classification of S. on the denial of the specifics of social phenomena, considering them only complicated biopsychic (Richard Avenarius, Ernst Mach) or energetic biophysical (Wilhelm Friedrich Ostwald) phenomena. A formal approach to the classification of H. It is reflected in the nomination of any one side of the general connection of sciences (respectively, the phenomena of the world) and the adoption of its capital, defining. This is the geographical direction that takes as the main spatial connection of things and phenomena (E. Chizhov, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, Lev Semyonovich Berg - in Russia, Alfred Getner, Friedrich Ratzel - in Germany).

In Russia, classifications of sciences based on the coordination of the principles of coordination (Matvey Mikhailovich Troitsky, Nikolai Yakovlevich Groth, etc.) have spread. In France and Switzerland, the classification of S. is reflected in the works of Emile Meyerson and Jean Piaget, who tries to develop a genetic epistemology in contrast to the usual, static point of view on human knowledge. As a result, it comes to a cyclic scheme that takes into account the transition from object to subject and back.

Due to the spread of neo-positivism, the classification of sciences is developed on a logical-positivist basis (Paul Oppenheim-Germany, Philipp Frank-Austria, G. Bergman-USA, Alfred Jules Ayer-Great Britain). Holists (Jan Christian Smuts, Adolf Meyer-Abich) tried to put life, the spiritual, and the formal and relativistic scheme of classification of science at the center of classification.

After the Second World War of 1939-1945[ru], the influence of not only neotomism on science, including the classification of S., but also objective idealism (for example, Nikolai Hartmann) significantly increased in Western countries. Pope Pius XII wrote about the three instruments of truth (science, philosophy, revelation); the highest is the third, to which the first two must adapt. The same positions are held by neotomists (for example, Etienne Henri Gilson and his student Maurice de Wulf, who builds a 3-story pyramid: private sciences — at the bottom, general, or philosophy-in the middle, theology-at the top).

A special place is occupied by logical and mathematical-logical studies in the field of the structure of scientific knowledge (for example, Ludwig von Bertalanfi), which are closely related to the problem of classification of S.

Marxist classification of the sciences

In the writings of the founders of Marxism, the third stage of the history of the classification of N is fully reflected. In the question of the classification of sciences, K. Marx and F. Engels, relying on the dialectical-materialist method created by them, overcame the limitations of each of the previous two extreme concepts of the classification of S. (idealism in Hegel, metaphysics in Saint-Simon)and critically reworked what was valuable in them. As a result, new principles were developed that organically combined two main points: an objective approach and the principle of subordination (or the principle of development). The discovery of the basic laws of materialist dialectics laid the foundation for the general theoretical synthesis of S., which primarily covered three main areas of knowledge — about nature, society, and thinking. This synthesis involved the solution of two problems concerning the relationship between philosophy and natural science and the natural and social sciences. Thus, the place of technical sciences in the general system of knowledge was also determined, since they are the link between natural and social sciences, being at the junction between them.

With the single concept of "form of motion" common to all areas of nature, Engels covered various types of energy acting in inanimate nature, and life (the biological form of motion). It followed that the sciences were naturally arranged in a single row: mechanics... physics... chemistry... biology. Engels showed that the sequence of forms of movement meets the steps as development of nature in General and the history of the S. The coincidence of the historical and logical in the study of nature and in relation to the development of nature itself led to the solution of methodological problems of classification S. Further development of the classification of science by Engels consisted in taking into account the material carriers (substrates) of various forms of movement. Thus, the classification of S. came into contact with the doctrine of the structure of matter (with atomism). Defining the carriers of individual forms of motion, he seemed to get a complete coincidence between a number of complicated forms of motion of matter and a general number of their carriers, formed one from the other during the division of the initial masses. However, the hypothetical assumption of "ethereal particles" as the supposed carriers of light and electrical phenomena violated the harmony of the entire system, since it was assumed that these particles, being physical, should arise when atoms divide into smaller parts. Thus it turned out that only molecular physics precedes chemistry in the general series of S., and the physics of "ether" follows chemistry. In the 20th century, this was confirmed by the emergence of subatomic (nuclear and quantum) physics. Complication in the developed classification of S. it brought recognition of the bifurcation of the line of development of nature, first of all, into the inanimate and the living.

The principles of Marxist dialectical logic developed by V. I. Lenin were directly related to the task of classifying science. Lenin's instructions on the need to observe the unity of the historical and logical, to take into account the division of the one into contradictory parts, transitions and connections of phenomena, the interaction of theory and practice are of great importance. In the early years of Soviet power, the classification of S., the authors of which still adhered to the principles of ordinary formal classifications to some extent, became widespread. The exception was the work of Kliment Arkadyevich Timiryazev, in which the classification of S. was based on a historical-evolutionist basis and approached the Marxist one. Only in 1925, thanks to the publication of "Dialectics of Nature" F. However, the first attempts to rely on the ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin in the field of classification of S. ended often unsuccessfully, since the authors actually took the position of mechanismism. From positions close to Hegelianism, gave a classification of Sciences Valentin Roizen.

The problem of classification of S. in General contributed to the investigation of individual S. in the General system of S. and the definition of their subject matter (for example, a study of Nikolai Ivanovich Semenov on the boundaries between physics and chemistry terms definitions of these S. Engels). Otto Y. Schmidt in his classification of S. tried to apply Lenin's position on the movement of knowledge from living contemplation to abstract thinking and from it to practice. Schmidt specifically considered the interface between natural science and technology, showing that the line between them is blurred.

The general ideas of the Marxist classification of sciences were presented by Vladimir Alexandrovich Barkhash and S. Turetsky. In a number of cases, a dogmatic approach to the classification of S. Engels was carried out, attempts were made to keep its scheme without taking into account the changes made in science. Other works emphasized the need to change the specific scheme of Engels, especially in the part concerning subatomic physics, while preserving and developing the general dialectical-materialistic principles developed by Engels. Some authors (Stanislav Gustavovich Strumilin and others) developed the idea of cyclic classification of n. A great deal of work on the library and bibliographic classification with its justification on the principles of Marxist classification was carried out by E. I. Mamurin, Zachary Nikolaevich Ambartsumyan, Olga Pankratyevna Teslenko and others.

The general classification of modern science is based on the disclosure of the relationship of the three main sections of scientific knowledge:

Each of the main sections represents a whole group (complex) of sciences. Table 1 shows the basis ("skeleton") of the general classification of H.

Table 1:

Basis ("skeleton") of the general classification of sciences

A special place is occupied by the sciences located on the border of history (mainly the history of culture) and natural science. This is the history of natural sciences themselves. Being both socio-historical and natural, they are connected with philosophy.

Table 2:

Social Sciences Philosophical SciencesPhilosophical Sciences

Political economy — the science of the economic basis

The science of the political and legal superstructure-the teachings of the State and law, of the party

The science of the ideological superstructure - about individual forms of social consciousness, which are included here

Including philosophy

Classification of social sciences

Engels called the social sciences human history, since each such science is primarily a historical Science. Human history can be considered in two sections: as the development of the whole society, in the interdependence of all its aspects and elements, and as the development of any one or more of its structural aspects, isolated from their general interrelation. In the first case, the historical S. proper is formed in the narrow sense of the word. This is the history of individual stages of development of society (from primitive to modern). This also includes archaeology and ethnography. In the second case, a group of social factors is formed that reflect the relationship of individual aspects or elements of the internal structure of society; its economic basis and its superstructures-political and ideological. The objective sequence of the transition from the basis to an ever higher superstructure determines the order of the n. of this group. The transition to philosophy in the process of mental movement from the basis to the superstructure and from the political to the ideological superstructure is at the same time an exit beyond the limits of the social sciences proper. in the field of general worldview issues related to the sciences of the most general laws of all development, as well as to the Science of thinking (see Table 2, which is a concretization of one part of Table 1):

Classification of natural and technical sciences

In modern natural science, fundamental changes have taken place compared to the 19th century: a fundamentally new science has emerged-subatomic physics (quantum mechanics, electronic nuclear physics), which radically changed the relationship between physics and mechanics, physics and chemistry; cybernetics has developed, linking many branches of natural science, mathematics and technology; cosmonautics has emerged, which influenced the development of a number of sciences, and especially astronomy; many transitional and intermediate sciences have appeared, the whole Science of nature has become a system of interpenetrating and intertwining sciences.

A number of modern natural sciences are presented in Table 3, which is a specification and detail of Table 1.

Table 3. Types of sciences:

Types of sciences

The splitting of the beginning of a number of sciences in connection with the appearance of subatomic physics is shown by an arc-shaped bold line. The rectangles contain transitional sciences.

The classification of technical sciences is presented in connection with the classification of natural sciences, but it also has other connections — with a specific economy, the main branches of the national economy: industry — heavy and light, manufacturing and mining, transport and communications; agriculture — crop production and animal husbandry, health care. Through these branches of production and in general the material life of society, the technical sciences are already connected with the social sciences.

On the borderline between natural, mathematical and technical sciences, the classification of sciences takes into account not only the areas of qualitative transitions from lower and simpler forms of motion to higher and more complex ones, but also the contradictions that operate in nature and lead to bifurcation of lines or trends in its development, to the polarization of newly emerging types of matter and forms of its motion.

The development of nature can be analyzed not only from the side of individual forms of motion and types of matter, but also from the side of all nature as a whole, i.e. in the interaction of all forms of motion and types of matter that coexist at a given stage of its development. The subject of natural sciences in this case is the individual stages of the development of the whole of nature as a whole as a certain part of the universe. Such a part of it can serve as individual cosmic bodies or their system, and even the entire universe as a whole (cosmology). This is the subject of astronomy with its adjacent astrophysics, astrochemistry, astrobiology, which were developed in connection with the breakthrough of man into space. A narrower area is the Earth as a separate body (planet), the history of which as a whole is the subject of geology, and its surface — the subject of physical geography with adjacent phyto - and zoogeography. An even narrower area (the Earth's biosphere) is the subject of biology with adjacent biogeochemistry. As a result, another series of H is formed, which coincides mainly with Table. 3 (if astronomy is placed near mechanics and physics, and physical geography-between geology and biology):

Astronomy... geology... geography... biology

Practical significance of the classification of sciences

Classification of sciences is the theoretical basis of many branches of practical activity. It relates to issues of organization and structure of academic institutions and their relationships; planning research works in their relationship, in particular, is complex; coordination and cooperation of work of scientists of different specialties; connection of theoretical studies with practical challenges arising from the needs of the economy, from queries ideological, political and economic activities; educational and pedagogical work, especially in universities of a wide profile (universities), the relationship between theoretical and technical disciplines in technical, agricultural, medical and humanitarian special universities, the relationship of philosophy with private disciplines; the creation of works of a consolidated, encyclopedic nature, their structure, relevant textbooks and manuals; the organization of exhibitions of a universal nature; the organization of librarianship and library classification. For the latter, it is important to be able to correctly move from a branched or closed classification of sciences to a single-line one. Table 4 shows one of the possible options for such a transition. (I. S. Alekseev)

Table 4:

Philosophical sciences


Mathematical sciences

Mathematical logic
and practical mathematics, including cybernetics

Natural and technical sciences

Chemical Physics
Physical Chemistry
Human physiology
and applied mechanics
and cosmonautics

and technical physics

and chemical and technological sciences with metallurgy

and mining

and agricultural sciences
and medical sciences

Social Sciences

Economic geography
Socio-economic statistics
The sciences of the basis and superstructures: political economy, the science of state and law, the history of art and art criticism, etc.


and pedagogical science and other sciences

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