SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
Open Plenary Session I “Truth in Disciplines”
Regional research library, 59 Ordzhonikidze street, Tyumen
|Andrey Shcherbenok (SAS), Opening remarks|
Nikolay Ssorin-Chaikov (HSE-St.Petersburg), “Pravda as Law and Pravda as Truth: Notes towards a Conceptual Ethnography of Truth”
10:10–12:10 Nikolay Ssorin-Chaikov (HSE-St.Petersburg)
Pravda as Law and Pravda as Truth: Notes towards a Conceptual Ethnography of Truth
Boris Chicherin in his 1894 Course of the State Science argues that “law takes its origin in truth [pravdy],” with “truth being a constant and continuous will to give everyone its own.” These crisp formulation makes prefect sense in Russian as indeed pravo (law) and pravda (truth) are linguistic cognates, but his source of authority is Roman. This paper is an outline of a larger project in the conceptual ethnography of truth, which takes its cue from Koselleck’s conceptual history. My goal in this paper is to situate current claims of “post-truth” by asking what are some of the regimes of truth to which these claims are “after.” I suggest that here, as in many other instances, being “after” carries a double sense of copying as well as distancing and thus might have important and interesting genealogies. My case in point is the legacies of a legalistic notion of truth in the Russian “state science”, but the conceptual frame that I would like to introduce is much broader and includes relations of knowledge and power from Leninist theory of revolutionary action to Schmittian theories of sovereignty.
Aleksander Shevchenko (Institute of Philosophy and Law, RAS, Novosibirsk), “Truth and Luck”
10:10–12:10 Aleksander Shevchenko (Institute of Philosophy and Law, RAS, Novosibirsk)
Truth and Luck
The “post-truth” era in epistemology began in 1963, after E.Gettier’s article "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?". His counter-examples made one question the familiar definition of knowledge as “justified true belief”, drawing attention to the possible contingency of truth. This “epistemic luck” helped shift the focus to the second element of the formula – justification, analyzing either the reliability of justification, or personal characteristics of the justifying subject (in the framework of virtue epistemology). In the latter case, the focus is made on the intellectual virtues of the subject. Concerning the study of historical events, shifting the focus from truth to justification means that it is no longer sufficient just to declare truths even if there is a correspondence between the proposition and reality. The focus is now not on the truth itself but on how and by whom it was obtained. “Post-truth” in this case can be charitably interpreted as the insufficiency of truth obtained by inappropriate research methods or regardless of the intellectual virtues of the researcher.
Samantha Rose Hill (Bard College), “Departures from Truth”
10:10–12:10 Samantha Rose Hill (Bard College)
Departures from Truth
This essay explores the varying conceptions of truth in Hannah Arendt’s work departing from different points in her writing in order to explore how we think about political life. What does truth mean to politics when there is no truth in politics? As a philosophical concept truth is often deployed to political ends. And yet for Hannah Arendt not only is there no truth in politics, truth appears assomething antithetical to political life. Truth is not a fixed concept for Arendt. It is not something that can be held, possessed, or wielded. Throughout her work there are many formulations of truth — Historical Truth, Rational Truth, Factual Truth, to name a few. There is no “the truth” only truth in particular reference to events and facts of existence. The adjectives that Arendt attaches to truth transform the concept into something worldly, into something that indicates truth is always in conversation with something that is going on in the world, and so giving form to the world. In other words, although we might rest on certain forms of truth, truth is always on the move.
Aleksander Marey (HSE-Moscow), “The Truth of Authority or Why People Believe Their Rulers?”
12:30–14:30 Aleksander Marey (HSE-Moscow)
The Truth of Authority or Why People Believe Their Rulers?
In the modern worldview, the State is taken as a given, akin to primordial reality. A man, as a rule, is born, lives and dies within the State; he or she doesn’t ask what the State is and why they trust in it. The word of the State authorities is considered true by default, an attempt to challenge it may cause severe cognitive dissonance. The key reason is not the fear of the State but its position outside any doubt. In this paper I will try to analyze the phenomenon of the a priori credibility of the State itself and its functionaries using the methodological tools of the early modern political philosophy, in particular, the key concepts of authority, doubt, trust and power.
Alonso Muñoz Pérez (Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid), “New Men: Truth and Politics in the Post-11S Era and the Spanish and Russian Revolutions (1917–1934/6-2017)”
12:30–14:30 Alonso Muñoz Pérez (HSE-Moscow)
New Men: Truth and Politics in the Post-11S Era and the Spanish and Russian Revolutions (1917-1934/6-2017)
Spain and Russia had its “liberal” revolutions long time after the French revolution, being more traditional regimes until the beginnings of the 19th century. Apparently, Russia had a significant regime change whereas Spanish revolution (1934/1936/1939) was won by anti-revolutionaries. However, now Russian society appears to be more akin to traditional values than Spanish society. How is it possible? Where the different revolutions the cause? Or the regimes? How can a communist revolution be less damaging to traditional values than an allegedly traditional regime? Or it is more about the ethos ofthe people? Does it have something to do with the post-war actors: Anglo-Saxon culture vs. Russian-Oriental one? Is western social democracy more revolutionary than Leninist one? In this paper I will try to approach this paradoxes with a comparative method and with the help of the Dalmatian Spanish political school,the new Christianism of Saint-Simon, the new man of the Soviet era (M. Heller) and the state social-democratic myth of the new man (Dalmacio Negro).
Yuri Vasilenko (HSE-Perm), “The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 in the Interpretations of the Francoists-Revisionists”
12:30–14:30 Yuri Vasilenko (HSE-Perm)
The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 in the Interpretations of the Francoists-Revisionists
The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939s became a harbinger of the WW II and was remembered mainly due to the international brigades and the slogan "No pasarán!" The Francoists have come to power for forty years and then committed a political suicide by giving way to democratically elected governments. It is important that Spanish reconciliation has begun under Franco, and democratic transit took place under the slogans of national unity and all-forgiveness. Francoists who were the winners in the civil war admitted that they were not right in everything, Republicans returned to Spain and received a moral satisfaction. The civil war, it seemed, ended forever. However, history as past politics has its own logic: the more the Republicans engaged in revanchism, the louder became the voices of the defenders of the Franco regime. Sixty years after its completion, the civil war erupted with renewed vigor in the Parliament and in the media. The Republicans «old truth» about the civil war has turned out to be half-hearted, i.е. a lie; however, the «new truth» which pretended on the historical objectivism, has turned out to be just a revised version of the «old good Frankoism». Still, whereas Republicans reproduced their tradition, Francoists-revisionists have radically renewed their historical discourse.
Oleg Zhuravlev (SAS), “Revolution, Depoliticization and the Truth of Protests”
15:30–17:30 Oleg Zhuravlev (SAS)
Revolution, Depoliticization and the Truth of Protests
In my paper, I will investigate how the collapse of the USSR influenced the culture of youth protests. I will compare the youth protests in the 1940s-60s and today, in the USSR and post-soviet countries respectively. I will focus on what can be called protests’ “regimes of truth”. In other words, I will apply sociology of knowledge to the study of pragmatics of political action. How institutionalized ways of conceiving everyday situations in terms of truth and falsehood or obviousness and unreliability influence personal engagement and disengagement in collective action? I will answer this question comparing “theoretical”, or “ideological” protest cultures rooted in the “Soviet civilization” with post-Soviet protest cultures that rely on authenticity of facts confirmed by personal observation in contrast to ideological mumbo-jumbo. This study of the epistemologies of protest actions will help explain some outcomes of contemporary protests and uprisings.
Anastasiya Kazun (HSE-Moscow), “Coverage of Tragedies in the Russian Media: A Network Agenda”
15:30–17:30 Anastasiya Kazun (HSE-Moscow)
Coverage of Tragedies in the Russian Media: A Network Agenda
December 19, 2016 witnessed the occurrence of three tragedies that could not go unnoticed by the Russian media: dozens of people died as a result of a surrogate alcohol poisoning in Irkutsk, a Russian ambassador was killed in Turkey, and a terrorist attack took place at the Christmas market in Berlin. In this paper, I will use the network agenda theory to analyze how these tragedies were covered by five types of mass media: television; federal and regional newspapers; online newspapers and blogs. Although the different types of mass media have widely varied degrees of freedom, these events were covered in very similar proportions and in combination with similar other topics. The context in which the events were examined led to greater attention paid to the killing of the ambassador and less attention paid to surrogate alcohol poisoning, while the Berlin terror attack was used as a supplement to demonstrate the importance of the fight against terrorism. I will demonstrate that ties between the tragedy and a network of other acute issues are more important than objective characteristics and argue that indirect control of the agenda by the state can be exercised by creating a network of events that guide discussions about tragedies.
15:30–17:30 Maxim Alyukov (SAS)
Changing Cues — Changing Opinions: Facts and Narratives in Russian TV Viewers’ Reception of Media Coverage of the Ukrainian Political Crisis of 2013–2017
Since the unleashing of Russia-Ukraine confrontation in 2013 Russian political regime’s attempts to manipulate public agenda have been particularly intense. In response to RussianTV’ manipulations, scholars, experts and media professionals attempt to fight propaganda by launching projects raising media literacy and empowering citizens to check the credibility of the news. However, both the notion of the uncritical viewer and the potential of facts in fighting propaganda often remain a political assumption rather than an established fact. The viewer’s mind traditionally remains a ‘black box’ of media research, it should be unpacked and analyzed. Using focus group as a method, I address the issue of viewers’ reception of TV messages and the process of opinion formation through the lenses of the research on heuristic information processing. In this paper I will identify various heuristics used by Russian TV viewers in order to draw conclusions about credibility of the news and to understand political information they receive from the news.
Roann Barris (Radford University), “The Style of Truth: “Deconstructivist” Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, 1988”
18:00–20:00 Roann Barris (Radford University)
The Style of Truth: “Deconstructivist” Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, 1988
What began as an interest in the spectacular exhibitions of Russian stage design eventually became a multi-year study of exhibitions of avant-garde Russian art in the United States during the 20th century. Although my research continues, at this time the finding of most interest to me has been the way in which curators and donors have reshaped the meaning of Russian art, either for political, social or mercantile purposes. These exhibitions have, in many respects, served as a Rorschach test in terms of what they reveal about the American relationship with Russia. Thus, this study has opened my eyes to the interference of exhibition politics in the interpretation of art. Because I have been involved in compiling this history for some time, the part that interests me the most at this time is the part of my research that comes near the end. How did these exhibitions change in the years of block-buster exhibitions? How did the MoMA exhibition of deconstructivist architecture inspire a new interest in constructivism even as it completely misunderstood what that movement was about? And how did the art-world phenomenon of post-movements affect exhibitions of constructivism – just what is “neo-constructivism,” anyway?
Ilya Kalinin (St. Petersburg State University), “’Post-Socialist Realism’: Postmodern in Form and Conservative in Content, and Vice Versa”
18:00–20:00 Ilya Kalinin (St. Petersburg State University)
’Post-Socialist Realism’: Postmodern in Form and Conservative in Content, and Vice Versa
Versa “My divergences with the Soviet State are stylistic ones.” These are the words of one of the most subtle critics of the Soviet regime, Andrei Siniavskii. The central element of Siniavskii’s formula is the axiomatic opposition of power and style, power and culture, state authoritarianism and artistic autonomy. In this paper, I will be concerned with the inherent limitations of the discourse of cultural autonomy, which derive from its incapability to step beyond the matrix of opposition between culture and power. I will attempt to problematize this time-worn opposition whose terms must be reimagined and reformulated as the hegemonic language of power no longer exists in its monolithic form and has become a heterogeneous space of eclecticism, displacements of meaning, and semantic lacunae filled with contextual significance, all of which modally distances the subject from their speech. The language of contemporary power has long assimilated the situationist tactic of detournement and became an instrument of professionalized political trolling and populist play with clichés, repressed desires and collective fears. How is it possible to construct an effective field of cultural autonomy in the situation where the master subject of the language of power occupies the zone of being vnye, slipping away before it may be grasped?
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1
Closed Team Work Session “Disciplinary Truths”
Regional research library, 59 Ordzhonikidze street, Tyumen
|Andrey Shcherbenok, Team work outline|
Team 1: Philosophy
Team 2: History
Team 3: Cultural Studies
Team 4: Sociology
Open Plenary Session II “Disciplinary Truths”
|1||Andrey Shcherbenok, SAS||Anastasiya Kazun, HSE-Moscow||14|
|2||Samantha Rose Hill, Bard College||Maxim Alyukov, SAS||15|
|3||Nikolay Ssorin-Chaikov, HSE-St.Petersburg||Evgeny Grishin, SAS||16|
|4||Louis Vervoort, SAS||Peter Jones, SAS||17|
|5||John Tangney, SAS||Tomasz Blusiewicz, SAS||18|
|6||Roann Barris, Radford University||Duskin Drum, SAS||19|
|7||Anne Mulhall, SAS||Zachary Reyna, SAS||20|
|8||Ilya Kalinin, St. Petersburg State University||Anil Aba, SAS||21|
|9||Aleksander Shevchenko, Institute of Philosophy and Law, RAS||Elena Arbatskaya, SAS||22|
|10||Aleksander Marey, HSE-Moscow||Natalia Savelyeva, SAS||23|
|11||Alonso MuñozPérez, Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid||Svetlana Erpyleva, SAS||24|
|12||Yuri Vasilenko, HSE-Perm||Surendra Bhandari, SAS||25|
|13||Oleg Zhuravlev, SAS||Erika Wolf, University of Otago||26|