The Socio-Cultural and Philosophical Origins of Science

Translated from the Russian by Ivan Zhavoronkov

by Anatoly Nazirov (Author)
©2020 Prompt X, 88 Pages


The Socio-Cultural and Philosophical Origins of Science discusses the formation of spiritual culture and reveals the prerequisites for the developments of philosophy (reflection), science (objectification), religion (spirituality), and art (conventionality) from a common root: animistic thinking. Philosophy emerges as reflexive thinking which transforms the animistic into the ideal, the polarization of which into a subject-object relation becomes the basis for the emergence and development of science. The study shows that any new thought in culture that answers the question of being goes through the same stages of mysticism, poetics, rhetoric, grammar, logic, and mathematics. The book is designed for students to prepare for the PhD candidate examination in the philosophy of science, as well as for scholars (scientists) interested in the methodology of scientific knowledge. It would also appeal to both students and professors in various disciplines across humanities and social sciences, as well as to anyone interested in understanding the commonalities and differences among, and the origins of, philosophy, science, religion, and art.

Table Of Contents


Special thanks to the acquisition editor Meagan Simpson, the editorial assistant Liam McLean, the copyeditor Kondappan Sathiaseelan, and the production editors Jackie Pavlovic and Sasireka Sakthi for helping to make this book possible.


This study discusses the formation of spiritual culture and reveals the prerequisites for the developments of philosophy, science, religion, and art from a common root—animistic thinking. Philosophy emerges as reflexive thinking which transforms the animistic into the ideal and forms the basis for the emergence and development of science. Philosophy as an element of spiritual culture—a culture which is involved in the process of the psychosomatic functioning of the human being—allows one to reflect on its own foundations and to understand the nature of the ideal, which is formed by logical instruments into what unfolds as philosophico-scientific rationality.

Chapter One

The Psychosomatic Foundations of Spiritual Culture

The formulation and discussion of the problem of the inter-relationship between spiritual culture and psychosomatics has become possible due to the expansion of the content and scope of the methodology of science that has occurred over the last decades. Such a change has been caused by the inclusion in the arsenal of methodological research of the question of the socio-cultural determination of the genesis of scientific knowledge—analyses of the relations between the rational and the irrational, the discursive and the intuitive, the naturo-scientific and the socio-human, and the cognitive and the valuative. This has led to the development and rethinking of the very concept of rationality, including the classification of its types, which has entailed the need to supplement rationality with the historical method of research.1

In the methodology of science, there are two opposite approaches to the question of the relationship between the rational and the irrational. The first—close to the traditional point of view—is that in the process of cognition the non-rational is constantly rationalized. This view is shared by philosophers who take the position of critical rationalism ←1 | 2→or stand close to it (e.g., J. Watkins). The second—non-traditional—approach recognizes the leading role of the irrational over the rational. In post-positivist philosophy, such a position is shared by supporters of historical schools (T. Kuhn, P. Feyerabend).

A third approach consists in the evaluation of the rational and the non-rational, not from the perspective of their individual specifics, but “primarily from the point of view of the nature of knowledge.”2 In this case, the discussion of the problem of the methodological analysis of knowledge is transferred to the context of the latter’s socio-cultural functioning, one of the essential aspects of which is imagination. “Any underestimation of the socio-cultural determination of the functioning of the imagination’s psychosomatic foundations leads to a loss of the imagination as an independent ability—to its dissolution into other human abilities.”3

The inventory of the modern methodology of science and culturology has been supplemented by a new method and subject field of research called hermeneutics, which relies, in particular, on the imagination in teaching ways of understanding and interpreting texts as elements of spiritual culture.4 The development of hermeneutics has led to the creation of the concept of a plurality of different types of understanding, which can be summed up into linguistic (learning the sense and meanings of expressions), psychological (learning the inner world of other people), and scientific-theoretical (knowledge of laws, causes, etc.) ones.5

The hermeneutic tradition in modern methodology allows identifying, on the one hand, the object of study that arises from the expansion of culturology over the field of psychosomatics and, on the other, the assimilation by psychosomatics of the system of socio-cultural factors as the sphere of culturology. G.I. Tsaregorodtsev and V.G. Erokhin, in bringing together various tendencies in research on the relationship between the psychic and the somatic (W. Cannon, I.P. Pavlov, S. Freud, H. Selye, K.M. Bykov, F. Alexander), have come to the conclusion that the scientific approach to the problem of psychosomatics involves a synthesis of P.V. Simonov’s informational theory of emotions, P.K. Anokhin’s theory of functional systems, and the biochemistry of brain hormones.6

←2 | 3→

This allows for bringing into unity separate study results on the mechanism of the effect of ideal images on the central nervous system, of the latter, in its turn, on the endocrine, and of the latter, in its turn, on the somatic of the organism. In such a union, there is a lack of a link that would explain the origin of ideal images themselves. This necessitates the addition to this approach of a conception that reveals the nature of images and connects them with the psychomotor, the behavioural, and the communicative level of human activity. Such a conception is the theory of practice’s mediating role in the relationship between the naturo-material and the ideal.7

The category of practice (Praxis) allows, in particular, revealing the specifics of the norm and pathology in a person expressed as the concepts of health and illness, which, unlike the concepts of norm and pathology, bear a social burden.

In his Theoretical Biology, E.S. Bauer formulated the universal principle of biology as the principle of a stable imbalance of living systems. According to this principle, living systems are never in equilibrium and at the expense of their free energy constantly work against the equilibrium such as required by the laws of physics and chemistry.8 With the appearance of humankind, this working-against is supplemented by both an external practical and an internal spiritual activity, which changes both the character of the negentropic processes and the criteria of the norm. In contrast to the biology of the animal world, the biology of the human being is pathological in nature since it is not adapted to function in non-social conditions. However, what is pathology for the biological system becomes the norm for the human being as a biosocial being.

The maintaining of the optimal functioning of the biosocial system constitutes precisely the content of the concept of health, often characterized in practice as the ability to perform labour operations, in addition to the optimal biological functioning.9 Conversely, the failure to maintain that optimality is indicative of illness.


X, 88
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (March)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. X, 88 pp.

Biographical notes

Anatoly Nazirov (Author)

Anatoly Nazirov is a prominent Russian philosopher at St-Petersburg State Marine Technical University, Honorary Worker of the Higher School of the Russian Federation, and acclaimed poet. His published works include Philosophy of Science, A Poet’s Gallery, and Zarathustra. Ivan Zhavoronkov received his PhD in humanities from York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a Nietzsche scholar and an awarded Russian and English-Canadian poet and poetic translator. His poetry book, Philosophical Stones in Poetical Tones, re-imagines major existentialists.


Title: The Socio-Cultural and Philosophical Origins of Science