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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The foundation for the notions of development presented in this article consists of an objectively existing contradiction between new and old, which the author conceptualizes through the contradiction between culture and society, as well as of the mediation (mediana – Latin for “middle”, media – Latin for “environment”, mediation – meaning “searching for middle” in English) method for eliminating said contradiction. The proposed concept for studying development contains a certain question: where and how should one look for socio-cultural semantic spaces in a person’s thinking, together with the corresponding mental settings aimed at development? It also contains a hypothetical answer: within a certain interpolar “middle” as a basis. The theoretical notion of a “middle”, “median”, “search for middle”, “mediation”, “average capacity”, which describes the dynamics of western society as an emerging “median culture”, itself originated in ancient Greek ethics (Aristotle), while undergoing ontologization in classical German philosophy (G.W.F. Hegel). It was given social substance in French anthropology during the 19-20th centuries (L. Levy-Bruhl, C. Levi-Strauss), and, after going through new Testament Christianity, existentialism and post-modernism, helped with comprehending the structure and main tendencies in the development of modern society. The methodology of the socio-cultural analysis of society utilized in this article allows for revealing the logic and structure of mediation processes as a basis, together with the mechanisms for development. The basis for the notion of modern mediation processes is comprised of theoretical developments by Russian scientists A.S. Ahiezer (mediation logic) and V.S. Bibler (dialogics), as well as of criticism of the purpose of “middle” in the works of Y.A. Levada and Y.N Afanasiev, and the ideas of A.V. Tikhonov, G.L. Tulchinskiy, I.M. Klyamkin, V.V. Petukhov and V.G. Fedotova.
development, Europe, the West, mediation, middle, culture, society, religion, Christianity, sociocultural analysis.
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