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Publication Details

The Task of Philosophy in Disputes on Genetics

(Original title: Nad úlohou filozofie v genetických sporoch)
Otázky marxistickej filozofie, 20 (1965), 5, 459-471.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The task of philosophy in disputes on genetics is illuminated from the viewpoint of its position in the system of forms of societal consciousness and in the superstructure of society. In view of the nature of its generalizations, philosophy constitutes a specific connecting link between the ideologico-political sphere and the sphere of specific scientifical research. The ideological and political directives, concentrated on special sciences, and vice versa: the theoretical and organisátory problems of special science which touch upon the ideologico-political sphere always pass through philosophical cognition where the results and requirements of both parts are subjected to creative elaboration, where are scientifically and philosophically elucidated and motivated, and thus actually indirectly recommended or not recommended. Philosophy, in fulfilling this his mediatory fuaction (or to be more exact, the officially invalidated line of philosophy) yielded, to the pressure of some practicistically and ideologically wrongly oriented political directives. Instead of creative elaboration, it mechanically implemented political requirements, it adapted philosophical means to defend these requirements which were very often contrary to the requirements of science. This resulted in bringing about a vast chain of deformations in the posing and resolving of philosophical questions of biology, and even in treating the most fundamental problems of philosophy. The theoretical point of departure of these deformations in the identification of scientifically verified facts and cognitions with an idealistic philosophical interpretation, parasiting on them. Criticism, which in many aspects was able to see the metaphysical and mechanistical limitations of classical genetics, became owing to the wrong theoretical point of departure — purposeless or self-purpos,ed since it was not interested in disencumbering the theory and hypothesis of genetics of its one-sidedness and idealistic ballast; actually, the insufficiencies became mere pretences for its total negation. Philosophy cannot avoid to fuilfil its above described mediatory function. It is not bound to fulfil this function in accordance with its internal scientific and methodological requirements and criteria; it is bound to preserve the unavoidable measure of its relative independence and self-containedness.
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