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Publication Details

Theoretical Knowledge and its Object. Some Problems

(Original title: Teoretické poznání a jeho objekt. Některé problémy)
Filozofia, 33 (1978), 3, 270-288.
Type of work: Papers - Dialectics and the Theory of Cognition
Publication language: Czech
The increasing complexity and abstractness of theoretical knowledge bring along certain problems of philosophical character. Beside others, it is the complex of questions connected with the nature and the limitation of the object of knowledge („gnozeological“ object] in science. One of the first problems dealt with in the paper, is that of the so called theoretical objects. The author has submitted this notion to critical investigation. He proves that its introduction has resulted from the overestimation of the automy of theoretical knowledge and its peculiarities and in its censequences it approaches the standpoint of „principal coordination“ of subject and object, while the theory of cognition becomes a criterion of its own. It is always a certain part of material reality (a thing, a process, a relation] that is an object of human cognition, it is never the very notion of this part of material reality. Notions, even with their extraordinary importance for knowledge, are only a means, they fulfil the instrumental function of the moment of the reflection process. If, after all, knowledge itself becomes the object fo knowledge, knowledge both as a process and as a product and its components and parts [perceptions, imaginations, notions, theories, etc.), then it is not as a substitute of these material objects that are produced in the subjective form (as ideas, ideals), but as an objectivized process that in its social-historical, psychological, linguistic and other conditionalities and shape becomes secondarily an object of specific investigation. The elucidation of these circumstances is not fully realizable without removing the confusion often accompanying the notion of existence. The author submits to criticism the opinions that mix the specific conception of existence in semantics, logic and mathematics with the philosophical (ontological) meaning of existence connected with temporal-spatial being of material objects. In conclusion the paper is concerned with the problem of the content and the cognitive functions of notions of potential object and hypothetical object and tries to determine their specific signs.
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