Примеры текстов первоисточников по курсу «Философия» на иностранном языке

Примеры текстов для семинарских занятий на иностранном языке по курсу «Философия»
Francis Bacon
Novum Organum
Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other men's efforts than good by their own. Those on the other hand who have taken a contrary course, and asserted that absolutely nothing can be known – whether it were from hatred of the ancient sophists, or from uncertainty and fluctuation of mind, or even from a kind of fullness of learning, that they fell upon this opinion – have certainly advanced reasons for it that are not to be despised; but yet they have neither started from true principles nor rested in the just conclusion, zeal and affectation having carried them much too far. The more ancient of the Greeks (whose writings are lost) took up with better judgment a position between these two extremes – between the presumption of pronouncing on everything, and the despair of comprehending anything; and though frequently and bitterly complaining of the difficulty of inquiry and the obscurity of things, and like impatient horses champing at the bit, they did not the less follow up their object and engage with nature, thinking (it seems) that this very question – viz., whether or not anything can be known – was to be settled not by arguing, but by trying. And yet they too, trusting entirely to the force of their understanding, applied no rule, but made everything turn upon hard thinking and perpetual working and exercise of the mind.
Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception. The necessity of this was felt, no doubt, by those who attributed so much importance to logic, showing thereby that they were in search of helps for the understanding, and had no confidence in the native and spontaneous process of the mind. But this remedy comes too late to do any good, when the mind is already, through the daily intercourse and conversation of life, occupied with unsound doctrines and beset on all sides by vain imaginations. And therefore that art of logic, coming (as I said) too late to the rescue, and no way able to set matters right again, has had the effect of fixing errors rather than disclosing truth. There remains but one course for the recovery of a sound and healthy condition — namely, that the entire work of the understanding be commenced afresh, and the mind itself be from the very outset not left to take its own course, but guided at every step; and the business be done as if by machinery. Certainly if in things mechanical men had set to work with their naked hands, without help or force of instruments, just as in things intellectual they have set to work with little else than the naked forces of the understanding, very small would the matters have been which, even with their best efforts applied in conjunction, they could have attempted or accomplished…Let there be therefore (and may it be for the benefit of both) two streams and two dispensations of knowledge, and in like manner two tribes or kindreds of students in philosophy — tribes not hostile or alien to each other, but bound together by mutual services; let there in short be one method for the cultivation, another for the invention, of knowledge.And for those who prefer the former, either from hurry or from considerations of business or for want of mental power to take in and embrace the other (which must needs be most men's case), I wish that they may succeed to their desire in what they are about, and obtain what they are pursuing. But if there be any man who, not content to rest in and use the knowledge which has already been discovered, aspires to penetrate further; to overcome, not an adversary in argument, but nature in action; to seek, not pretty and probable conjectures, but certain and demonstrable knowledge – I invite all such to join themselves, as true sons of knowledge, with me, that passing by the outer courts of nature, which numbers have trodden, we may find a way at length into her inner chambers. And to make my meaning clearer and to familiarize the thing by giving it a name, I have chosen to call one of these methods or ways Anticipation of the Mind, the other Interpretation of Nature…
…The conclusions of human reason as ordinarily applied in matters of nature, I call for the sake of distinction Anticipations of Nature (as a thing rash or premature). That reason which is elicited from facts by a just and methodical process, I call Interpretation of Nature…
... In establishing axioms, another form of induction must be devised than has hitherto been employed, and it must be used for proving and discovering not first principles (as they are called) only, but also the lesser axioms, and the middle, and indeed all. For the induction which proceeds by simple enumeration is childish; its conclusions are precarious and exposed to peril from a contradictory instance; and it generally decides on too small a number of facts, and on those only which are at hand. But the induction which is to be available for the discovery and demonstration of sciences and arts, must analyze nature by proper rejections and exclusions; and then, after a sufficient number of negatives, come to a conclusion on the affirmative instances – which has not yet been done or even attempted, save only by Plato, who does indeed employ this form of induction to a certain extent for the purpose of discussing definitions and ideas. But in order to furnish this induction or demonstration well and duly for its work, very many things are to be provided which no mortal has yet thought of; insomuch that greater labor will have to be spent in it than has hitherto been spent on the syllogism. And this induction must be used not only to discover axioms, but also in the formation of notions...
Source: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/bacon/francis/organon/complete.html
How Could Language Have Evolved?
J. J. Bolhuis, I. Tattersall, N. Chomsky, R. C. Berwick
The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma. In this essay, we ask why. Language's evolutionary analysis is complicated because it has no equivalent in any nonhuman species. There is also no consensus regarding the essential nature of the language “phenotype.” According to the “Strong Minimalist Thesis,” the key distinguishing feature of language (and what evolutionary theory must explain) is hierarchical syntactic structure. The faculty of language is likely to have emerged quite recently in evolutionary terms, some 70,000–100,000 years ago, and does not seem to have undergone modification since then, though individual languages do of course change over time, operating within this basic framework. The recent emergence of language and its stability are both consistent with the Strong Minimalist Thesis, which has at its core a single repeatable operation that takes exactly two syntactic elements a and b and assembles them to form the set {a, b}.
It is uncontroversial that language has evolved, just like any other trait of living organisms. That is, once – not so long ago in evolutionary terms – there was no language at all, and now there is, at least in Homo sapiens. There is considerably less agreement as to how language evolved. There are a number of reasons for this lack of agreement. First, “language” is not always clearly defined, and this lack of clarity regarding the language phenotype leads to a corresponding lack of clarity regarding its evolutionary origins. Second, there is often confusion as to the nature of the evolutionary process and what it can tell us about the mechanisms of language. Here we argue that the basic principle that underlies language's hierarchical syntactic structure is consistent with a relatively recent evolutionary emergence.Conceptualizations of Language
The language faculty is often equated with “communication”– a trait that is shared by all animal species and possibly also by plants. In our view, for the purposes of scientific understanding, language should be understood as a particular computational cognitive system, implemented neurally, that cannot be equated with an excessively expansive notion of “language as communication”. Externalized language may be used for communication, but that particular function is largely irrelevant in this context. Thus, the origin of the language faculty does not generally seem to be informed by considerations of the evolution of communication. This viewpoint does not preclude the possibility that communicative considerations can play a role in accounting for the maintenance of language once it has appeared or for the historical language change that has clearly occurred within the human species, with all individuals sharing a common language faculty, as some mathematical models indicate. A similar misconception is that language is coextensive with speech and that the evolution of vocalization or auditory–vocal learning can therefore inform us about the evolution of language. However, speech and speech perception, while functioning as possible external interfaces for the language system, are not identical to it. An alternative externalization of language is in the visual domain, as sign language; even haptic externalization by touch seems possible in deaf and blind individuals. Thus, while the evolution of auditory–vocal learning may be relevant for the evolution of speech, it is not for the language faculty per se. We maintain that language is a computational cognitive mechanism that has hierarchical syntactic structure at its core, as outlined in the next section.
Comparative Linguistics: Not Much to Compare
A major stumbling block for the comparative analysis of language evolution is that, so far, there is no evidence for human–like language syntax in any nonhuman species. There is no a priori reason why a version of such a combinatorial computational system could not have evolved in nonhuman animals, either through common descent (e. g., apes) or convergent evolution (e. g., songbirds). Although the auditory-vocal domain is just one possible external interface for language (with signing being another), it could be argued that the strongest animal candidates for human-like syntax are songbirds and parrots. Not only do they have a similar brain organization underlying auditory-vocal behavior, they also exhibit vocal imitation learning that proceeds in a very similar way to speech acquisition in human infants. This ability is absent in our closest relatives, the great apes. In addition, like human spoken language, birdsong involves patterned vocalizations that can be quite complex, with a set of rules that govern variable song element sequences known as “phonological syntax”. Contrary to recent suggestions, to date there is no evidence to suggest that birdsong patterns exhibit the hierarchical syntactic structure that characterizes human language or any mapping to a level forming a language of thought as in humans. Avian vocal-learning species such as parrots are able to synchronize their behavior to variable rhythmic patterns. Such rhythmic abilities may be involved in human prosodic processing, which is known to be an important factor in language acquisition.
Bolhuis J. J., Tattersall I., Chomsky N., Berwick R. C. How Could Language Have Evolved? // PLoS Biol, 2014. Vol. 12(8):e1001934.
The coevolution of genes, innovation and culture in human evolution
Wheat is one of humanity’s great inventions. Coming in great variety, locally adapted to microclimates, it converts energy into a form people can use to make more people. It is also nearly wholly dependent upon people for its survival-like other grains, wheat seed does not easily break from the grass, but instead stays firm, stuck to a “tough” rachis, waiting for the farmer or machine to remove them all at once. A sensible wild grain instead disperses seed to the wind. Other domestic species are similar; they have partly out-sourced their reproduction to humans, in exchange for security. Domestic cattle-whatever you think of their intelligence-have done quite well, compared to their extinct wild ancestors. All of the human species’ domesticated inventions represent a transfer of information. Information about the environment-how to extract energy from it, how to resist drought, how to make harvest easier for a human farmer-makes its way into wheat’s genes, during artificial selection. Generations of human farmers have shuttled information about the world, the world’s pests, and their own preferences into the plant’s genome, creating a technology that “knows” about the world we live in. Of course the farmer must have some extra information, in order to profit from wheat. But a tremendous amount of information must be contained in the plant’s genome, and it accumulated there over many generations. When I say “information” here, I mean that if we knew how to interpret it, the sequence of bases in wheat DNA would tell us new things about the environment and how to adapt to it. However, there are more formal definitions of information that suggest that natural selection accomplishes a similar feat, building information about the environment into our own genome. The fit the Darwin observed between organisms and their environments reflects this flow of information. Each organism embodies a recent step in a long chain of information commerce, between the environment and the population of genes. This commerce is not without friction, of course. Sexual reproduction and recombination interfere directly with selections ability to describe the environment. But over time, natural selection manages to adapt organisms to the environment, by differentially favoring alleles. Of course real environments fluctuate and vary. The planet we live in now is quite different than that of Pleistocene, and spatial variation from pole to pole is at last as great as temporal change. As a result, some of the information that organisms accumulate about the environment is meta–information, information about information in the environment. Whenever a seed assays available moisture and postpones germination as a result, the plant is employing this kind of accumulated meta–information. In less philosophical language, it learns. Learning is a kind of phenotypic plasticity, a condition in which information in the genome teaches the organism to respond to information in the environment. Instead of natural selection building in a direct description of the environment, there is instead meta–information about variation in the environment. This meta–information might be an array of phenotypes that are triggered as the organism receives information from the environment, during its development. This is what the seed does, when it “decides” whether or not to germinate. The meta–information can also be an exploration strategy, however, so that instead of the organism’s genome containing information about, say, the location of a water source, the genome contains information about how to find a water source. This information is still relevant to only some environments, and is therefore information about these environments, because different exploration strategies – different ways of learning – are better or worse under different conditions. These are two kinds of information about the environment: information built into the genome by generations of natural selection and information we acquire during our individual lifetimes, interpreted in light of information in the genome. But there is also an important third sort of information that some species make use of. Much of the knowledge that most farmers employ to manage wheat accumulated over many generations, but it isn’t contained in anyone’s genome, at least not in any simple sense. Instead, farmers inherit each generation the accumulated culture of farming. This information is fit to the environment, just as other human traditions can exhibit amazing adaptation. But no individual in the course of his or her lifetime could accumulate it. Instead, it has taken many generations to develop, in a way similar to how information over many generations accumulated in wheat’s genome. In the case of wheat, humans built the information directly into the plant. In the case of other elements of culture, humans built the information into human brains, and later books and other forms of storage that human brains can access. This information is also often meta–information, providing strategies for solving specific problems as well as strategies for learning in itself.
McElreath R. The coevolution of genes, innovation and culture in human evolution. In Kappeler P.M., Silk J.B (eds) Mind the gap: tracing the origins of human universals. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer–Verlag, 2010. P. 451–474.

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