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Publication Details

The Speciality of Science and Philosophy from the Ontological View­point

(Original title: Špecifikum vedy a filozofie z ontologického hľadiska)
Filozofia, 25 (1970), 2, 130-142.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The nature of science and philosophy may be delimited in various ways according to the starting point we hold. To determine it, from the ontological viewpoint, means to approach not only philosophy but science also from the philosophical viewpoint. The philosophical approach, of caurse, is not exhousted by the ontological approach, is much more profound. However, the ontological aspects in it are of determinative significance. The ontology of the old materialism concieved of the world as an aggregate of various forms and ways of the existence of the same substance — matter. The conscious (sensuous, emotional, spiritual, cognitive) activity of man was only the surface expression, the subsiadary phenomenon, the ideal reflection, and the ideal complement of the material processes. Consistently, science and philosophy, as well as other forms of consciousness, were considered as a certain reflection of the material reality. At this point, the old materialism, in fact, did not differ from the traditional objective idealism that saw science and philosophy as ideal substances too, but not as a reflection of the material world, but as the expression of the mental essence of man and his spiritual capacity that occasion man's matery of matter. Neither in the traditional materialism nor in the traditional objectivism was a qualitative difference between science and philosophy. There was drawn a moving and continuous line of division between them with the continuity almost direct. Marx, who took the life process of real people as the starting point of his philosophy, rejected all the exciting concepts of Being, Matter, Consciousness, Self-consciousness, and so forth, and developed a substantially new ontology. His notion of practice as the historically determined creative action of people that takes place in the dialectical interaction between man, the subject of doings, and given historical circumstancies, the object, implies an essentially new view on the nature of science and philosophy. However, science still remains the system of the specific, objective knowledge of a certain field in the world, though is not restricted only to that. Socience exists also in the results of the human productive work, and as such is the real, objective, inevitable, and uninterchangeable moment of social life. Following Marx’s ontological starting point, philosophy is not science in the sense of being the system of the objective, comprehensive knowledge about the world. But it is not equal to being unscientific. Philosophy involves the methodological procedures and the theoretical conclusions of science into the uncomparably wider context of its own specific processes that tend toward the intelectual reconstruction of the totality of practice as social existence in its subjecto-objective dialectic unity. Philosophy unconditionally respects the knowledge and the methods of science, and at the same time dialectically surmouns them, and thus differentiates itself qualitatively from science, though consequently abolishes the alienation between science and itself forming the ground for the wider, more fruitful contacts, the abolition of the misunderstandings and conflicts that occurred so frequently before. Adopting Marx’s starting point, there develops a real basis for the actual emancipation of both science and philosophy.
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