Cognizability of the world and its patterns

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  Cognizability of the world and its patterns
K. Y. Andreev

The Objective Character of Truth

The question of the existence of objective truth is closely connected with the solution of the fundamental question of philosophy, the relation of thought to being, and has always occupied a central place in the centuries-old struggle between materialism and idealism in the field of the theory of knowledge. It was the question of the existence of objective truth that was the watershed in the theory of knowledge, which divided philosophers into two camps - the camp of materialism and the camp of idealism. 

Proceeding from the recognition of the primacy of spirit, consciousness, idealists of all varieties consider the world either as the embodiment of the “absolute idea”, “world spirit”, consciousness (objective idealism), or consider the world to be a product of the consciousness of individual people (subjective idealism). For idealists, only consciousness really exists, and the material world, being, nature exists only in our sensations, ideas, concepts. From the point of view of the idealists, we perceive not really existing objects, but only our sensations of these objects. So thought subjective idealists like Berkeley, Mach and Avenarius, for whom the whole world is a complex of sensations. So thought Kant, who assured that people can only know their own subjective representations, and the true essence of objects (“thing in itself”) is fundamentally unknowable. 

In contrast to this, Marxist philosophical materialism proceeds from the fact that all our perceptions, ideas, concepts, all our knowledge are images of objects and phenomena of the external world, that the objective world, matter, nature is the only source of sensations, consciousness, thinking, and therefore not consciousness. man, it was not his mental activity that gave rise to the external world, as the idealists assure, but, on the contrary, our consciousness, thinking are the essence of a reflection of objects and phenomena of the material world. Thinking itself is a product, a property of highly organized matter - the brain. 

Only the external, objective world is capable of evoking in us sensations, ideas, concepts. No knowledge is possible without the impact of the objects of the material world on our consciousness. “...Our ideas, our “I,” wrote I. V. Stalin, “exists only insofar as there are external conditions that cause impressions in our “I”. Anyone who thoughtlessly says that nothing exists but our ideas is forced to deny any external conditions whatsoever and, therefore, to deny the existence of other people, allowing the existence of only one’s “I”, which is absurd and fundamentally contradicts the foundations of science. ". (I.V. Stalin. Works, vol. 1, pp. 318-319.) 

Only due to the influence of real objects and phenomena on the sense organs can their images arise in our head in the form of sensations, ideas, etc. The theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism, Lenin teaches, is based on the recognition of the external world and its reflection in the human head. 

But if the material world exists objectively, i.e. outside of us and independently of us, then its true reflection in the human mind, i.e. our true knowledge of objects and phenomena of the real world, are also objective. Exposing the agnosticism and subjectivism of the Machists, V. I. Lenin proved that human ideas certainly have in themselves “a content that does not depend on the subject, does not depend either on man or on humanity ...”. (V. I. Len and n. Soch., v. 14, p. 110) . Dialectical materialism calls such knowledge of people about the external world objective truth. 

Take, for example, the law of universal gravitation. This law operates in nature not because Newton discovered it, and not since it was discovered. Every law of nature or society exists and operates regardless of whether people know about it or not. There was a time when people believed that the sun revolves around the earth, that the earth has the shape of a flat disk, etc. However, this did not stop the earth from revolving around the sun and having an approximately spherical shape. 

But in order for a person to take into account the laws of nature in his practical activity, to use them in the interests of people, he must discover these laws, formulate them, that is, reflect in his mind the presence of these laws in nature. The correct reflection in the mind of a person of objectively existing objects, phenomena, their connections, patterns is the objective truth. 

A striking example of objective truth and its use in the interests of people is the Marxist doctrine of the laws of development of human society. Relying on these objectively true laws, Marx and Engels not only scientifically proved the inevitability of the advent of the era of communism, but also ingeniously outlined the main contours of this new social system. 

The practice of building socialism and communism in our country, as well as socialist construction in the people's democracies, has brilliantly confirmed the objective character of this doctrine and the truth of its fundamental principles. 

Thus, dialectical materialism considers such a truth to be objective, which is a true reflection of phenomena, objects, processes of the material world. And this means that every true proposition, every truly scientific theory, is by its nature an objective truth. 

“To consider our sensations as images of the external world,” Lenin teaches, “to recognize objective truth, to stand on the point of view of the materialistic theory of knowledge, is one and the same thing.” (V. I. Lenin. Works, vol. 14, p. 117.) 

The recognition by dialectical materialism of the objective character of all truly scientific knowledge has always evoked attacks and impotent malice from bourgeois idealist philosophers. Expressing the interests of the reactionary imperialist bourgeoisie, they seek to distort objective truth in order to hide from the people the objective course of the development of history, disguise the true laws of its development, and declare unknowable phenomena of nature and social life. To this end, they distort the very concept of objectivity. For them, everything that serves the interests of predatory American imperialism, which is useful to Wall Street businessmen, which ensures "practical success" is objective. 

If religious ideas,” one of the leaders of modern American-English pragmatism, W. James, declares with cynical frankness, “fulfill these conditions, if, in particular, it turns out that that the concept of God satisfies them, then on what basis will pragmatism deny the existence of God? For him, it would be simply nonsense to recognize as "untrue" a concept that is so fruitful in a pragmatic sense. 

Another representative of modern reactionary bourgeois philosophy, D. Dewey, denies the objective nature of truth on the grounds that the world around us allegedly does not exist by itself, but is formed, created by human consciousness. All modern bourgeois idealistic philosophy is stuffed with such anti-scientific "revelations". 

It should be noted that some of our comrades, instead of waging the most ruthless struggle against the idealistic denial of the objective nature of truths, often themselves fall into the thrall of this anti-scientific theory. Mistakes of this kind were exposed by Comrade Stalin in his brilliant work The Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR. 

Revealing the nature and operation of economic laws, Comrade Stalin in this work showed the subjective-idealistic essence of the denial by some of our economists and philosophers of the objective nature of the laws of science, the laws of political economy under socialism. Blinded by the gigantic successes of the Soviet Union in transforming nature and human society, in successfully building a communist society in our country, these comrades decided that, in view of the special historical role of the Soviet state, its leaders could abolish the existing laws of political economy, could “form”, “ create new laws. So, for example, Sanina and Venzher argued that the economic laws of socialism arise only through the conscious action of the Soviet people. 

Comrade Stalin convincingly proved that such statements have nothing in common with Marxism and lead into the swamp of an anti-scientific idealistic worldview. 

Defending and developing the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the objectivity of truth, in particular, the objective nature of the laws of science, I. V. Stalin writes: 

“Marxism understands the laws of science, whether we are talking about the laws of natural science or the laws of political economy, as a reflection of objective processes that occur independently of the will of people. People can discover these laws, know them, study them, take them into account in their actions, use them in the interests of society, but they cannot change or cancel them. Moreover, they cannot form or create new laws of science.” (I. Stalin. Economic problems of socialism in the USSR. p. 4. Gospolitizdat. 1952.)

But the objective nature of the laws of science, teaches I. V. Stalin, their reflection of processes occurring independently of the will and desire of people, does not mean at all that people are powerless to prevent the results of the actions of the laws of nature, the results of the actions of the forces of nature. The destructive actions of the forces of nature do not always and everywhere occur with a spontaneous, inexorable force that is not amenable to the influence of people. “If we exclude,” I. V. Stalin points out, “astronomical, geological and some other similar processes, where people, even if they know the laws of their development, are really powerless to influence them, then in many other cases people are far from powerless in the sense of the possibility of their influence on the processes of nature. In all such cases, people, knowing the laws of nature, considering them, and relying on them, skillfully applying, and using them, can limit the scope of their action,(I. Stalin. Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 4.) 

To illustrate this position, I. V. Stalin gives an example of river flooding. In ancient times, when people did not know how to build dams and hydroelectric stations, river flooding caused great trouble to people. Being powerless to fight floods, people lost their homes, crops, etc. But with the development of science and human practice, people not only got the opportunity to avert flood disasters that previously seemed inevitable from society, but “learned to curb the destructive forces of nature, so to speak, to saddle them turn the power of water for the benefit of society and use it to irrigate fields, to generate energy. (Ibid., p. 5) . It was not for nothing that Lenin pointed out that "the laws of the external world, of nature ... are the basis of the purposeful activity of man." (V. I. Len and N. Philosophical Notebooks, p. 161.) 

It is true that people in the countries of imperialism sometimes have to go through similar natural disasters even at the present time. So, for example, quite recently a storm broke out in the North Sea region, causing flooding in Holland and England. As a result of the flood, thousands of people died or went missing, more than a million people were left homeless; caused a huge financial loss. However, such destructive consequences of natural forces take place in the capitalist countries not because people are powerless to fight against the elements, but to a large extent because the reactionary rulers of these countries are not concerned about the fate of their peoples, but about preparing for a new predatory war. 

The entire history of the development of human society shows that people are able to "bridle" nature, are able to prevent the destructive actions of some laws of nature, but not by violating, changing, or destroying the laws of nature, but, on the contrary, on the exact basis of knowledge of the laws of nature, the laws of science. 

This applies not only to the laws of nature, but equally to the laws of social development, in particular to economic laws, which are also objective laws, because they reflect economic processes that occur independently of the will of people. The task of science is not to destroy the laws of nature or society and replace them with other laws at the will of people. It is impossible to do this, because “it would lead,” I. V. Stalin points out, “that we would fall into the realm of chaos and accidents, we would find ourselves in slavish dependence on these accidents, we would deprive ourselves of the possibility not only that to understand, but simply to understand this chaos of accidents. (I. Stalin. Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 85.) 

The task of science is to cognize, discover objective laws and use them in the interests of the revolutionary transformation of reality.