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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

The Miracle of Reality. Reflecting on G. B. Gutner’s Book “The Basis and Motivation of Scientific Knowledge. Discourse on Wonderment”

Ekaterina Poljakova, Ph.D. in Philology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, SFI (Moscow)
pp. 129–150
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25886
The article deals with the philosophical context of G. B. Gutner’s book in relation to its central thesis of the non-utilitarian origin of scientific practice which reveals itself as wonderment. The latter is understood not as a psychological state but as perplexity caused by the complexity and the obscurity of an object that does not fit into models created by scholars. This perplexity is fraught with converting the tool of theory into the object of research. As shown in the article, this approach to the research practice is fundamentally contrary to the assertion of the primacy of practice over theory which determines the evaluation of scientific progress starting with the modern age until now. Gutner’s thought runs counter both to the position of the so-called new realists and that of radical constructivism reinforced by evolutionary epistemology. Hidden debates with Heidegger and Wittgenstein as well as the “images of wonder” which were revealed by such outstanding thinkers as Euclid, Plato, Kant, Descartes, Einstein, and Heisenberg are also highly original. The article concludes by considering another important aspect of G. B. Gutner’s book, his understanding of the specificity of religious practices, their irreducibility either to explanatory theories or instructive rituals. Although, in part for this reason, religious and research practices differ from each other, they share their relation to reality as a miracle which is revealed by virtue of existential balancing between belief in it and wonderment that it actually happens.
Keywords: knowledge, realism, constructivism, reality, miracle, religion, G. B. Gutner

Last IssueIssue 45 (winter 2023)

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