The Relationship Between Science and Morality
(Philosophical Aspects)

A. Arsenyev

Chairman of the Commission: "You read several languages, are familiar with higher mathematics and can carry out some jobs. Do you consider that this makes you a human?"

Otark: "Yes, of course. Do you mean to say that people have other knowledge?"

(From the science‑fiction story Day of Wrath, by S. Gansovsky)

The problem of the interrelationship of science and morality has been widely discussed in popular and literary publications and fiction as well as in the statements and works by figures in various fields of knowledge, from sociology to mathematics.

In this discussion the most varied opinions have been expressed. We meet the assertion that genuine science can only be moral because it will help man eventually resolve all problems plaguing his existence. At the other extreme the opinion is voiced that a scientific education is harmful to a moral upbringing, since science engenders the world of the contemporary machine civilization in which individuality is dissolved and overwhelmed along with the effacement of the personality and of the actual human relations. Because of this, it is said, mankind is suffering what may be called moral degradation.

There are many intermediary opinions between these two. For example, some say that scientific and technological progress does in fact unify culture and level out individuality but this process is one that is beneficial for humanity; others argue that although the scientific attitude is not identical with morality the "scientific principles" or bases for morality are indeed necessary. Finally, still others maintain that since science and morality are different, but both are necessary, each must be given to the individual in small doses.

The problem arises as to how can we correlate the moral development of the individual with scientific and technological progress. Does this progress simultaneously signify moral progress, as many think? Or is the opposite true, namely that science and technology are actively ousting morality from the realm of human life, replacing moral consciousness with scientific thinking and the moral motives for actions with scientific calculations?

These questions are more and more frequently discussed in the press, but the disputants often give diametrically opposite answers to them, adducing a large body of "facts" and "examples" to support their own versions of the truth. This should already put us on our guard against reference to "facts" as proof in the area under discussion. Apparently another path must be found to the resolution of the problem. In this article we will attempt to outline its contours within the framework of philosophy, assuming that this framework can place the analysis within a definite, historically evolved and objective system of thought, which will enable us to argue from the standpoint of theory rather than adopt the subjective “common sense” approach of one or another student of the problem.

Making no claims for the formulation of categorical "propositions", judgements or decisions, we wish only to present a possible (and apparently not the only) path to a philosophical analysis of the given question, drawing the reader's attention to the method of reasoning as such.

Theoretical thought differs from common sense above all in its systemic nature. Any theory represents a system possessing a base, an initial reference point for logical‑theoretical movement, a fundamental concept of theory (the concept of essence) which is developed into a system called a theory: [1] From this viewpoint for example scientific theory is a specific aspect of theory. It differs from philosophical theory in its premises, the methods through which it is systematized, and, as we shall see later, in its object of research.

From the standpoint of philosophy, the basic drawback of the numerous discussions on science and morality lies precisely in the lack of systematization and the argumentation "from the facts". Any set of facts may be collated to another set opposed to the former. Therefore the disputants risk remaining rooted to their subjective points of view, to each his own. This occurs because facts per se do not exist. [2] The choice of empirical events, the formation from them of a scientific or philosophical fact, is a complex process, based on the individual's mode of thinking, logic, and attitude to reality—that which in studies of science is o ten called a paradigm.

The failure to apprehend these premises forms the positivist illusion that science can be built solely on the basis of "facts".

But the apprehension of these premises outside the framework of history, outside the self-development of the individual as an historical subject, leads to the opposite assertion defending the a priori nature of theoretical foundations, for these premises, as well as moral principles, are not to be found within empirically given existence. Neither science nor morality can be understood without apprehending these historical foundations. One can only state the antinomic nature of science and "human values" and try to find out which is better (and what in the given instance does "better" signify?), knowledge taking values into account or values larded with knowledge.

Man's continuing becoming in our day and age is the environment and basis analyzing which we can try to understand science, morality, and the relations between the two.


Schools of philosophy offer widely differing conceptions of the essence and the evolution of man. In this article, theoretical argument is based on Marx's fundamental ideas concerning man as an object‑acting and historically developing entity.

Strictly speaking, the problem of object‑activity, approached in a dialectical manner, turns out to be that of the origin of man as homo sapiens, viz. as a socio‑historical subject. [3] However, contemporary theoretical knowledge (philosophy, anthropology, ethnography, psychology, history, paleontology, etc.) is still incapable of rendering a satisfactory theory for the question. Therefore we must begin with a statement that in one way or another man emerged. From the point of view of our problem, this signifies that nature split into subject and object. Instead of a direct expression of the need through action there arose the goal as the satisfaction of need, mediated by the production of tools and removed to the future. But, then, the goal is something which though not existing in material reality in some manner exists in the subject. At the same time this is also peculiar to objective reality (taken, according to Marx, as a human reality), though not of its actual but of a future condition. The manner in which potential reality exists in the subject is in fact thought, while in its actual being it emerges as objective reality. Simultaneously it is a manner in which the subject of necessity exists for itself (reflects, to use the philosophical term). At this point many complex questions come to the fore, of which we will mention only the following:

a) Object‑activity expresses the identity of the subject and object. At the same time at each moment in this activity the subject and object are determined by opposite means. The state and movement of the object, considered in its opposition to the subject, depends upon its directly preceding condition, that is to say here the past determines the present. In the subject the goal, that is e future, determines his activities in the present. These two counterposed manners of determination lead to the fact that activity is a developing contradiction which is uninterrupted by being solved but is never resolved as a whole.

b) The instrumental nature of object‑activity makes the individual independent of the limited character of his natural organs of action (hands, teeth, etc). When the individual utilizes the objects and forces of nature as tools, he thereby makes nature act upon itself, and such a mode of activity has in principle no limits except nature as such. For this reason Man is potentially a universal and infinite being. Actually he is always limited because at any given moment his tools and sphere of activity are not universal (only recently he had no knowledge of atomic energy, he had not reached the Moon, while today he has no effective cure for cancer, does not know and cannot do much which is even difficult to imagine). His universal substance is conditioned by potentialities as a goal and in turn determines them in the form of incompleteness, that is to say, of the historical process. [4] History consequently appears as a process resolving the contradiction between the potential universality of Man and his actual limitations at any given moment.

Man, however, according to Marx, is a creature whose generic essence cannot be considered a part of his biological heredity. He must become a personality through individual development, actively assimilating the historical forms of material and spiritual culture through his inclusion in the world of human relations. This clarifies the role of all forms of human intercourse. For example, in certain historical epochs the main forms of culture and intercourse through which the individual acquired his generic essence were systems of mythology or religion. The European of the Middle Ages in worshipping the deity thereby communicated with man in his universality albeit in the distorted form of religious alienation. It was only in this sphere that he felt himself to be a human, equal (to be sure in the form of "insignificance") to all other humans, to humankind ("before God all are equal"). This feeling of insignificance was expressed in self‑humiliation and abnegation—the primary virtues of a Christian. But since this insignificance was a form of closeness to and communion with God, to that extent the Christian believed that he belonged to a higher spiritual realm, extended to him and existing within him (the blessing). Therefore, feeling himself to be the slave of God, he could simultaneously look down at the infidel with pity and superiority, as at one not having received the sacrament.

c) History functions as a complex and contradictory process bearing upon the development of the individual. The latter may be regarded as a goal‑oriented subject determined by his own ends rather than by external expediency. In a word, he is a free subject. But the development of the individual into a unique universal personality is possible only given unhindered social intercourse with all other unique and free personalities making up the society of the future. The richer and more universal is intercourse, the richer and more universal will be the individual and the wider will be the opportunity for him, through his existence and free activity, to facilitate the formation and development of other individuals in the collective. In such a collective the value of the human being is internal, it lies in the uniqueness and originality of his personality rather than in the external products of his activity.

From this point of view history may also be represented as a process bearing upon the development of forms of communication.


A widespread schemata used to describe the development of science is as follows: antiquity—the origins of scientific development; the European Middle Ages—stagnation and even retreat; the Renaissance—an awakening of interest in science; Galileo and Newton—science already stands on firm ground and begins its triumphal march, an exponential growth continuing to this date. Its future is unlimited, unless it accidentally leads to the self-annihilation of mankind.

In our opinion this schemata is lacking in historicity. The culture of each epoch as well as the corresponding mode of thought is not incorporated as an historically evolving and distinctive whole. The dominant form of scientific thought is adopted uncritically (or ahistorically, which amounts to the same thing) and made an absolute basis and measure for judgements on past epochs and for propositions concerning the future.

Therefore, considering for example the European Middle Ages, the historian of science finds "elements of science" among the "debris" of religious mystical ideas, magical incantations, etc. These "elements" are chosen simply for their resemblance to contemporary. scientific forms of knowledge and often seem to be ingenious insights anticipating later developments in science. In point of fact these "elements" were part of an entirely different cultural and thought system and played a different role. It is quite possible that progress in the life and thought patterns in this system was fuelled not by these elements but rather by those which the researcher is inclined to call the "debris".

As a self‑activated and organic system science could not emerge from elements or fragments. We could make, perhaps an analogy with a building made of bricks. This is the manner in which only the so‑called mechanistic systems come into being. Contemporary science was born as a whole, granted that initially this whole was insufficiently defined and differentiated. In addition the new in an organic system arises initially as a function which subsequently acquires (in a certain sense "forms", constitutes) the corresponding structure. Therefore to derive the origins of modern science from antiquity, referring to the Euclidean system, to Archimedes, etc., is just as absurd as it is to search for the origins of capitalism in antiquity, basing oneself on the "facts" of the existence of manufactories, commodities, money capital, legal system, etc.

We regard contemporary science as a social system carrying out in present‑day society the function of producing theoretical knowledge. The word "theoretical" signifies that the result of cognition—knowledge—is fixed in science in the form of theory. Theory is an abstract model of the process under study. As distinct from the mental subject produced in the imagination, theory is a logical model.

Theory incorporates, on the one hand, logical relations in their generalized form and lacking direct ties with the specific of the given object. On the other hand, it incorporates relations which fix in an ideal (mental) form certain ties and relations pertaining to the object of cognition (to be more precise, its mental "model"). These ties and relations remain constant despite changes in the object within the sphere of its practical utilization. These are like logical invariants of the motion of the object, through which it may be described in a static, that is to say, actually given form. Fixed in an ideal form these invariants are the laws of science. Thanks to this constancy relative to real time the motion of the object can be "modelled" in theory, outside real time, so that the result of this motion in theory is always actually given in implicit form. This circumstance forms the basis for scientific prevision and consequently for the possibility of applying science in practice.

We will not dwell here on the evaluation of science as a system of scientific institutions, as a sphere of professional activity, or as a productive force. Science appears all these just as it is the totality of theory, the sum of knowledge and the form of social consciousness. The author only wishes to provide a brief description of science as an integral system.

Contemporary science was given form in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in connection with those revolutionary advances in the sphere of material production which led to the development in Western Europe of the commodity capitalist system of social relations.

While production served the natural‑type economy of the Middle Ages, its product preserved the individuality of its producer and consumer. The technology underlying the manufacture of the product also varied to a considerable extent although as a whole it followed a general design worked out over the centuries. Under these conditions it was not connected with logical systems reproducing material processes; indeed no demand for such reproduction (in form both objective and universal as well as adequate to these processes) arose. The theoretical form of knowledge did not stand out on its own; rather it remained contiguous with the forms inherent to art. Knowledge accumulated in production, but it did not take the form of science. Rather it existed as practical recipes, methods and skills, in part accessible to all, and in part making up the secrets of the artisans guilds.

The emergence and development of the commodity capitalist mode of production had transformed the entire system of material and ideological relations in society. Above all the nature of labour changed fundamentally. In the new conditions specialization was required for the manufacture of one type of commodity, but now in mass quantities. The operations and their succession were repeated unendingly in the production of each unit of a  commodity, and acquired the character of an algorithm, permitting the introduction of the division of labour according to operations and the beginnings of the widespread application of machines. Given the above the special skills of labour became more and more abstract, indifferent to individual contribution which had in an earlier period required virtuosity and artistic mastery. Labour was increasingly becoming an abstract activity which was purely mechanical and therefore impersonal and indifferent to its specific form. It was turned into formal or, much the same, a purely material activity.

We believe that precisely this nature of production (and labour) had led to fundamental changes in the forms of knowledge pre‑dating it. The goals of cognition were changed as well as the form in which they were fixed. For the first time in history the socially set goal of cognition became the search for and investigation of the properties, relations and forces of the natural bodies and processes for their inclusion in an artificial system created by humans—production. Observation and experiment, which came to be regarded as the most important starting points in cognition, began to expand.

The commodity capitalist mode of production and the system of the social division of labour endemic to it brought into life a new form of knowledge—science. [5]

But can we deduce from concrete practical needs and tasks of developing commodity production the emergence of that form of thought which we call science and, consequently, the scientific forms of knowledge? Were the emergence and development of scientific knowledge a direct answer to the needs articulated by this production? Even a brief look at history forces us to give a negative answer to this question. In the course of the seventeenth, eighteenth and the larger part of the nineteenth century production, on the one hand, and science on the other, operated as more or less independent spheres of activity. The situation changed and science began to be transformed into a productive force only in the 1870s and 1880s. We may note modifications in the relationship between science and practice by comparing, for example, the creation of the steam engine (first half of the nineteenth century) and of the atom bomb (middle of the twentieth century). Only after the steam engine had been designed and widely applied did Nicolas Leonard Sadi Carnot establish a full scientific explanation for it. On the contrary, the atom bomb was first "exploded" in a scientific theoretical sense, and only then was the explosion enacted in real life.

By all appearances the emergence of science was determined not by the direct and specific goals of commodity production but by the result of its development as a whole. It seems to us that such a general result, determining the transformation of the social process of cognition into that form which we call scientific cognition and, correspondingly, scientific thought, was the world of object relationships engendered by the human activity as something independent of, and even dominant over, the man.

This dictatorship of the material elements of labour over live labour is realized and established as a result of its capitalist organization. It is precisely the latter which engenders a specific mode of thought as well, the dominant element of which is the thing elevated over man. Concerning such a converted thought‑mold, Marx wrote: “Since the economists identify past labour with capital—past labour being understood in this case not only in the sense of concrete labour embodied in the product, but also in the sense of social labour, materialised labour‑time—it is understandable that they, the Pindars of capital, emphasise the objective elements of production and overestimate their importance as against the subjective element, living, immediate labour. . . . The producer is therefore controlled by the product, the subject by the object, labour which is being embodied by labour embodied in an object, etc. In all these conceptions, past labour appears not merely as ail objective factor of living labour, subsumed by it, but vice versa; not as an element of the power of living labour, but as a power over this labour. The economists ascribe a false importance to the material factors of labour compared with labour itself in order to have also a technological justification for the specific social form, i.e., the capitalist form, in which the relationship of labour to the conditions of labour is turned upside‑down, so that it is not the worker who makes use of the conditions of labour, but the conditions of labour which make use of the worker.” [6]

In the natural economy of the Middle Ages the product was put out in the main only as a use value. This signifies that it only existed vis‑à‑vis a man. If in fact there arose relations between products they did not bear an independent character and were not transformed into a system of materialistics standing independent of humans. Therefore medieval thought only conceived of the relationship "human‑thing", but not of the independent "thing‑thing" relationship, for the entire world of things was considered to be but a shadow, a “projection” of the spiritual world.

The development of commodity production begins with the emergence of a universal market, on which the relations between products function as independent entities regulated by the market laws independent of the commodity producer. It is only through the relationships of things (commodities) that their relationship to man is enacted as are the relationships of people and social groups to one another. Man is enslaved by the world of things and accumulated (past) labour dominates over live labour. As a result of this process uncovered by Karl Marx, human activity and the human world appear as the world of things, in which things enter into independent, objective, properly material relationships.

The reader might say that there is nothing extraordinary in this, since the discussion concerns the real physical world of nature. But according to Marx thought is given form only through activity. Therefore the physical world of things, being independent, becomes the object of thinking and the goal of cognition only when the relations in the realm of activity function independently of the human and man himself functions as a thing. Until that time the entire physical world has been perceived as a symbol of the spiritual world. When, however, the activity is centred on the production of things of the independent material world, the world of nature is also apprehended as an entity independent of man. This world can be mastered only through understanding it, through discovering its properties and relationships existing independent of man. As Marx demonstrated this world of material relations dominating man is an alienated form of the world of man per se, just as the goal of human activity turns out in the end to be man himself rather than things. But for the member of bourgeois society this activity is directly subordinated to the relations between things. Following the logic of these relations activity itself becomes variously alienated from man in the form of algorithms, formulae, technology, etc., i.e., it begins to be regarded as something "thing‑like", mechanical. [7]

But after all this is a fundamental change in the mode of thought! To us today the authoritarian and "bookish" nature of medieval knowledge is astonishing. When the scholastics discussed a natural phenomenon they referred to the Holy Scriptures, the church authorities, the ancient philosophers; but they never turned to experiment, they never inquired of nature itself. This was, by the way, quite consistent with medieval thought. Independent existence was granted only to the spiritual world while the world of things remained a dependent, determined aspect of the former. Therefore there was nothing to "inquire of nature". It made more sense to inquire of religion which precisely represented a form of spiritual communion. Thus alchemists and astrologists saw behind the real relations of things secret and mystical ties governing these things, and resorted to rituals and magic in the hope of exerting an influence on these ties.

It is only once man's own activity appeared to him to be the activity of things that the material world was isolated in his consciousness from the spiritual world as an independent entity; the doctrine of the duality of truth arose and the protracted struggle waged by natural science against the church was initiated. At this point experiment becomes both possible and necessary, as a means of investigating the relationships between things as such. The study of nature gradually acquires the form of a science, and philosophy witnesses the emergence of materialistic notions based on mechanistic natural science and sharing the latter's historical limitations.

The mission and meaning of cognition now begin to be understood as the discovery of the laws governing the interactions of things in the form of abstract and universal relationships. With this goal in mind experiments are drawn up, the results of which are then "generalized". The laws of science accumulated allegedly through the "generalization" of the sensual empeiria are interpreted as a direct representation of the "laws of nature" independent of man, of his history and modes of thought. Since the "limitations of human nature" somehow blur the picture received, they are of course an alien element in scientific knowledge, which must be got rid of as far as possible; in other words "knowledge must be purged of subjectivity". Hence the distrust of fantasy and hypotheses and the homage paid to the "objective" empeiria and to the methods of adjusting it.

Material production proper and the production of knowledge are now separated from each other. Knowledge participates in production not as a process but as a "finished product drawn from another sphere. Since this result must be transferred from the sphere of cognition to that of practical application, it must be expressed in an informative and general form. In the world of material relations unmediate universality, is expressed as an abstract, formal and mechanistic one, both in material production as such and in logic. For that reason there exists the tendency to express knowledge in formal logic and symbolic structures. This is also facilitated by the division of labour which in any given sphere (with the exception of art) leads to a division into leaders and executors. In such a system knowledge acquires effective practical force only if it is articulated as a formalized system convenient for the elaboration of unambiguous and precise algorithms guiding behaviour. Finally, knowledge considered as a system embodying general results ready for application (viz., as  a formal system: formulae, equations, projects, the technological process, etc.), becomes the product of theoretical production, while the materialization of intellectual labour becomes a thing, albeit a special one, in virtue of its universal character and the particular form of its consumption, which is connected with the fact that knowledge is the result of universal intellectual labour. This thing becomes a part of the general system of material relations.

All of this leads to the situation under which precise natural science based on mechanics becomes a model of sorts for other spheres of knowledge. Its research methods and theory constructs (including the relation to empeiria, formalization and mathematization) gradually pervade all spheres of cognition, imparting to them the specific form characterizing contemporary science.

The completed revolutionary transformation of West European culture as a whole could be presented as a unique “turnabout” in consciousness, thought and the human psyche.

In the Middle Ages knowledge of the subject, of the spirit (in the form of Christian religion, metaphysics, etc.) made claims to universality and endeavoured to explain all of nature, including its objective, material side (this explains, for example, the magical rites and incantations accompanying the alchemist's production of chemical reactions).

In modern times science becomes the predominant social form of knowledge as material relations begin to dominate strictly human relations, and so the knowledge of the object, of matter (in the form of science and various materialist or "common sense" schools) lays claims to universality, encompassing all nature, including its subjective, spiritual side. This explains the idea of “man as machine” in its various (and in fact little differing) historical modifications, from seventeenth‑century mechanics to contemporary cybernetics. It further explains the attempts to scientifically manipulate man.

The medieval world looked upon nature through the prism of the spirit; spirituality tinged the whole resultant picture. Consequently explanation was considered to be given to that which agreed with a certain spiritual goal (in the form of a "heavenly" goal). The contemporary European looks upon nature through the prism of matter; materiality tinges the picture of the world (world as matter in motion). at for which a material cause is found is to be explained. Endeavouring to explain something or other, the medieval thinker (and the medieval layman) tried to answer the question "what for?". The scientist of today (and the man of common sense) accepts as explanation that which answers the question "why?'.

Science rejects goal determination as unfounded teleology, mysticism and idealism. Its rationalism consciously relies upon experiment and upon that logic which represents a formally general scheme of material relations, relations of causality deprived of their dialectical correlate and opposition, i.e., goal relations. Such one‑sided causality inevitably degenerates, in theoretical and scientific terms, into a quasi‑spatial relationship, that is to say, into a structure in which temporal relationships are reduced to sequential relationships within some logical space.

This leads to a "geometrization" of science and, on the one hand, is the basis for scientific prevision and practical might, and on the other, replaces explanation with description, investigation of process with analysis of structure. Therefore, for example, biology which is concerned with self‑developing systems, i.e., with processes and expediences, is a difficult nut to crack for contemporary science.

Engendered by the development of commodity capitalist production, science itself becomes a sphere of the division of labour and functions as a particular field for the professional activity of a narrow circle of people. It stands in opposition to the mass of individuals as an "external force" completely independent of their will and consciousness, as a "materialized force of knowledge" the plenipotentiaries of which are the scientists, who personify and thus monopolize this general force of knowledge, although in the final analysis it turns out to be a force for capital itself, standing in opposition to labour.

At the same time, since science is a social institution, a system of social theoretical production, it is also opposed to each scientist as an "external force", the more so because the division of labour and specialization penetrate more and more deeply into scientific production. We note the appearance of' divisions into theoreticians and experimenters, into creative thinkers and functionaries. Science is more and more differentiated into specialized spheres and the scientist himself becomes more and more a narrow specialist.

At the same time we observe a process of integration, a synthesis of separate specialized branches of science through both the elaboration of broader theories and the appearance of "generalizing" scientific disciplines (cybernetics, or example, aspires to the latter role). However, such integration does not eliminate the growing division of labour in science nor does it liquidate its effects, since, on the one hand, specialization continues within each branch of science and, on the other, "synthetic", "generalizing" scientific disciplines bear the same abstractly universal nature, which also tends to turn the scholars engaged in such disciplines into narrow and one‑sided specialists.

All of this, together with the formalization and mathematization of science, leads us to conclude that in and of itself a professional concern with science is insufficient for the formation of the versatile individual. In fact scientific work itself begins to resemble industrial production in terms of its functional division of labour. Utilising the newest research techniques (e.g., accelerators) and data processing methods (e.g., computers) major scientific research centers work on the resolution of a given cluster of problems, while within this center there also exists a "technical" division of labour. In this fashion a professional concern with science forms the person as a "partial individual" with all the resulting consequences.

A professional concern with science gradually leads the thought of the scientist to a formal system somewhat alienated from him and ultimately corresponding to the system of material relations, and forces him to act in accordance with its laws, to submit to it. On the contrary, creative ability and its corresponding aspect in the development of knowledge is expressed in the substantive movement of reflection. It can be formed and alienated only after it has led to a definite result and so after it has been subtracted, that is to say, when it is actually absent. This aspect represents the creation of the new, the development of new ideas and principles which can serve as the basis for new theories. Therefore in order to be innovative in science the scientist must free himself not only of old theory restricting his horizons and hardened into a formal system (in which the resolution of a theoretical problem is embodied in a collection of definite methods necessary for the realization of the given problem) but also from that mode of thought which seemed to him to be the only scientific one.

Movement within the framework of a formal system seems natural and normal for thought (the more so because within this system it is precisely the formal apparatus of theory which is applied in practice). Only a limited number of scientists succeed in overcoming this hurdle and in operating as the creators and inventors of new ideas, while the creative act itself turns out to be inexplicable within the framework of the accepted formalism. Therefore, this act is not brought to completion at the moment when, say, the scientist devotes his energies to the particular problem forcing himself to concentrate within the confines of logic, which he considers to be scientific. This is why the "scientists find out things first and then rather ineffectively muse on the way they were discovered". [8]

Scientific discoveries and theories within the system of commodity capitalist production are utilized for the improvement of this system, for its further standardization and automation. This leads to increments in labour productivity and in the volumes of goods, and consequently to further enslavement of live labour by accumulated (past) labour. The might of the social subject is intensified while the individual becomes more and more impoverished and standardized. Simultaneously all the negative sides of the division of labour grow more pronounced. Marx characterised this process in relation to science as follows: “. . . natural science has invaded and transformed human life all the more practically through the medium of industry; and has prepared human emancipation, however directly and much it had to consummate dehumanization”. [9]

In connection with this mass production and science (as the mass production of theoretical knowledge) launch an offensive, as it were, on the "eternal human values" (moral, aesthetic, etc.). A situation is created in which scientific thought develops to the detriment of morals.


If we look at contemporary science as a sphere of the social division of labour, a system bearing the function of producing theoretical knowledge, then the conclusion is inevitable that such a system is peculiar to a historically limited stage in the development of mankind.

Science itself prepares its own liquidation as a historically limited form of the production of theoretical knowledge. It functions as a necessary factor in the formation of man, his liberation from all aspects of uncreative activity. The development of civilization begins with the emergence (as a result of the social division of labour) of conditions under which the inactivity of a few is "the condition for the development of the universal strength of the human mind'' (Marx). The inactivity of the few is made possible through the hard labour of the many, who are transformed into "talking tools". Such an initial and crude division demonstrates the actual historical limitations of man—the potentially universal, creatively active and thinking being. Human activity itself turns out to be largely inhuman, and, for ensuring free creativity of the few (in the given instance embodying the spiritual progress of the whole) it becomes necessary to transfer to the shoulders of the many the unfree and uncreative activities. To add to this, such a division "projects" direction to the further development of mankind.

This direction consists in the development of the material body of civilisation as the inorganic social body of man (it is built by man as an inorganic system with specialized functions). Man unremittingly transforms nature into his inorganic body. It is precisely in this way that he can gradually free himself from uncreative aspects of activity. In other words the separation (and consequently the formation of ties) of the intelligent being—man (who himself is nature in its universal potentiality)—from the unintelligent nature, the splintering of nature into subject and object, continues even today. The subject must become in actuality what he is in potentiality—intelligent, purposeful universal being. In the future the material body of civilization, the developing inorganic societal body of man, will take upon itself all mechanical, repetitive, uncreative aspects of labour, having freed each and every individual for spiritual, i.e., human and not material activity.

The entire history of the social division of labour may be regarded in this sense as the history of the separation and splintering from human activity of uncreative aspects of work, or in other words, as the formation of human activity as such, the formation of the human being himself.

The world of material relations and mechanical, formal activity developed by capitalism on the basis of machine production and the division of labour, is the necessary condition for the separation of the uncreative types of activity from human activity proper. The evolution of society as an organic system here also follows the general law of the development of organic systems: at first function is separated—material activity, but the corresponding material structure is still lacking, and the function must be carried out by the human. Then man himself creates the corresponding structure in the form of an inorganic body, a structure capable of carrying out the given function.

This structure operates in the form of machine civilization. The ever more complex and independent system of machines takes over a larger share of the work functions of the partial man. The development of cybernetics and automated production demonstrates that in principle any repetitive operations, be they physical or mental, may be formalized and transferred to a machine. Such operations are not creative, and so they are not human forms of activity.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in their criticism of Max Stirner, observed that “what Sancho [Stirner—the author] here calls human labour is, disregarding his bureaucratic fantasies, the same thing as is usually meant by machine labour, labour which, as industry develops, devolves more and more on machines". [10] One hundred years later our contemporary, the founder of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, wrote: ". . . most of the human labour which the automatic factory displaces is an inhuman sort of human labour. . . .” [11] In this context it is revealed that the inhuman nature of machine civilization (which is often portrayed in contemporary literature and in scientific essays as an assault by the world of machines on man, as the divesting of human functions from man by the machine, and finally as the enslavement of man by the machine), exists only so long as machine functions must be carried out by man transformed into a specialized tool in a specialized machine. Such an enslavement of man is eliminated when he transposes to his inorganic body (in the form of machine civilization, i.e., the developed automated system of machine production) all uncreative operations. Labour then becomes free, creative activity.

It becomes clear that the evolution of the world of material relations is the formation of a structure which must take upon itself the functions of formal material activity (both in the material and ideal expressions, both in physical and mental work). It is also clear that this world itself is a necessary but a subsumed moment in the human world. In this manner that which so often emerges in contemporary literature as an assault by machines upon man is in reality a complex and dual process. On. the one hand, the actual social being of man acquires an increasingly "inhuman" character; the system of automated machines strips him of a variety of work and social functions, extending even to that of management. If we are to believe certain cybernetics experts when they assert that man is a machine and promise that the creation of an artificial intellect is imminent—this really is a catastrophe. But if it is true that what bears a machine character in the activity of man is forced upon him by the actual historically transient form of his social being, then this very same process may be seen in a different light. By divesting the human of a number of functions, the on‑going scientific and technological revolution "explains" to him that these are not properly human functions, and prepares him for a comprehension and implementation of that activity the goal of which cannot be a thing, but only per se. This prepares the liberation of man from all machine elements of his activity and at the same time from its reified, alienated nature, that is to say, it sets the ground for the "humanizing" of man.

From this point of view contemporary science is a necessary historical stage in the mastering of the material side of reality, which is independent of man. But in the final result this mastering bears on human reality and can be nothing else but the theoretical expression of the object‑activity of the human (see, for example, Marx's first thesis on Feuerbach). As a result of the socio‑historical conditions discussed above (the commodity capitalist system of production), the objectively material side of reality operates in thought as the entirety of activity and, consequently, formal knowledge—as all rational knowledge. Moreover, the expansion of the formalized methods of science seems to be of deep socio‑historical significance. Formalization in these conditions turns out to be a powerful tool and a theoretical criterion for inquiry and for the division of the contemporary historical form of object‑activity into the human activity proper and machine activity (which man is engaged in for the time being considering it a truly human occupation). The latter also, of course, remains a human activity, but not an unmediated one. It is mediated by the material body of civilization and represents that fragment of reality which man in principle can, and in the future must transfer to the shoulders of his inorganic body.

All knowledge and all forms of labour which are amenable to formalization must therefore be so constructed. Any information and any process can be formalized if they have taken on a certain structure (or, in philosophical terms, if they are expressed in a certain "measure", and represent this measure). But since there is no unstructured knowledge or processes, everything may in principle be formalized. The formal theoretical model of any phenomenon also represents a measure, considered from the aspect of its spatial‑logical relationships—that of the elimination of quality by quantity. Not amenable to formalization is only the moment of substantial creative movement to new knowledge, connected with the transcendence to the sphere of the immeasurable through the development of a concrete-universal contradiction.

When this new knowledge arises as a new measure it is of necessity formalized and, as such, is utilized in practice. As a consequence formalization becomes a tool and a criterion for the division of activity into creative (which is both properly human and properly spiritual) and uncreative, algorithmic (material, the laws of which are those of the functioning of the inorganic system, and which therefore may be transferred in toto to the inorganic body of man).

All social production is marked by a tendency to bifurcate into the sphere of the object‑spiritual, creative and the sphere of the material, properly speaking, the latter being gradually transferred to the system of machines, demanding less and less direct participation by man in uncreative repetitive operations. We note from the start that the devolution of production into spiritual and material by no means corresponds with a division into mental and manual labour. The types of labour, as social categories, pertain in equal measure to the sphere of material production as such (multiplying that which has already been created), and so the elimination of the existing contradiction between them is possible only as the liberation of man from the power of material production through the transfer of this production to the automatic system of machines. Thus, for example, from this point of view, a solution of a mathematical equation, according to the known algorithms is a material activity while the sculptor, molding the clay for his work, is occupied with spiritual labour. Spiritual labour is also the creation and the search for new algorithms.

But indeed even the search itself may in the ultimate result be formalized. It is possible to find and use some algorithms for the search for new algorithms. We have arrived at a notion of that activity and production in which there is no fixed boundary between the creation and the production of formal material activities (mass production), viz., in which in principle it is impossible to draw up a list of operations which are amenable or non‑amenable to formalization. Any result achieved through spiritual production efforts is formalized and ceases to be a direct end of human activity. It enters into the sphere of the strictly material, mass, automated production. That which yesterday was the goal of creativity, today becomes the standard of mass production and a cause in the relationships of things, a tool of utility. The mechanically structured—unfolded in space—division of labour among social groups (the social division of labour) is in this manner replaced by the dynamic—unfolded in time—system of the division of labour between man per se and his inorganic body in the form of the machine system. Thereby we observe the elimination of the conditions for the existence of social groups (including classes), the conditions for the alienation of labour and of man; activity sheds its reified form, its direct goal becomes the production of forms of human intercourse, i.e., the development of man himself as a creative universal being. Man stands "beyond the sphere of actual material production". [12]

These changes in activity and the elimination of social division of labour must be accompanied by the disappearance of the historical mode of the production of theoretical knowledge connected with these factors. It will be converted into a higher form just as medieval knowledge gave way to modern science. Marx retains the name of science for this future form of knowledge: "History itself is a real part of natural history—of nature's coming to be man. Natural science will in time subsume under itself the science of man, just as the science of man will subsume under itself natural science: there will be one science." [13] For Marx the science of man is not anthropology in the contemporary meaning of the word, but the science of the development of the social subject and individual, of the development of humanity, the latter of necessity being understood as a natural historical process. Consequently, according to Marx the future united and universal science of man will absorb all—natural science, social science and philosophy. It will correspond to the universal nature of labour which will be directly aimed not at the production of material objects but at the development of man himself.

Thus, it must be kept in view that the science of the future, of which Marx speaks, represents a different form of knowledge in comparison with that which is commonly called contemporary science. At this point it is still difficult to describe it in some detail. It is clear, however, that it will differ substantially from contemporary science both in subject (its direct subject will be the world of man as the objectivized man, not as the alienated world of things) and in its internal logical structure, in its social organization, relations to production and in its role in the education of man.

The formally logical and abstract side, which in contemporary science forms the basis for the practical application of knowledge and is turned into a fetish, is often taken to be the sole scientific and even only rational aspect of science. But it will cease to be the end in itself of theoretical work; rather it will become more machine than directly human activity. On the contrary, the dialectical movement of knowledge which is the foundation of creativity and which contemporary science regards as something irrational, transgressing its boundaries, will become the immediate rational activity of the social subject, and consequently of every individual since the latter will reflect in a universal form, being the subject of the social process as a whole.

Since there will be no grounds for the emergence of formal‑symbolic fetishism, there will be no need for "insane" ideas, for that which transgresses the boundaries of the existing formalism. Apparently the "dynamic" division of labour between man and the machine system cannot be ultimately completed. It is simply a new form of the uninterrupted life activity of the social man, a new form of ongoing human history. It tends to transform all nature into an inorganic body which, naturally, cannot be completed in finite time. From the philosophical point of view this is the continuing process of the dichotomizing of nature into subject and object, the formation of man as a subject, i.e., progressing anthropogenesis.

We shall refrain here from entering into a detailed discussion of this question. We must note only that the modern form of scientific education must yield to a different mode of upbringing including an equal measure of logic and aesthetics. For this new form of knowledge the connection between theory and practice is not a problem, since this form is not a sphere of the division of labour or a professional occupation isolated from other aspects of social production. The means of research here are simultaneously the means of production and objects of consumption, since man stands in need of them for his human development just as he stands in need of food, clothing, etc.

At the same time the basic aspects and features of this future form of knowledge are contained within contemporary science. To wit, science, and physics in particular, is already prodding many scholars to a recognition of the fact that scientific theories reproduce the thing not only as pure object but also as man's manipulation with this thing. Werner Heisenberg wrote, apropos of this subject: "If we take another look today at the various closed systems of concepts which were created in the past or will be possibly created in the future for the purpose of scientific research, we will readily see that these systems are disposed, to all appearances, in the direction of increments in the contribution of subjective elements to the system of concepts" [or, more precisely, in the direction of an increased awareness of these contributions by scientists themselves—the Author]. [14]

We could give other examples demonstrating the contradictions in the development of contemporary science, in which the tendencies of the new form of knowledge are given expression and which could be named the science of the future. Generally speaking it is a purely terminological question whether or not to designate as science the modes of spiritual-theoretical production of antiquity and the medieval world, as well as the form of direct universal spiritual production of the future. It is only important to distinguish between the historically determined, transient form of production of theoretical knowledge, called contemporary science (or the science of the new age) and the qualitatively different forms, peculiar to other epochs and comprising different cultural systems. Many scholars in our opinion mistakenly consider the features of modern science to be characteristic of theoretical knowledge as such.

The same mistake is committed by scholars who endeavour to clarify what percentage of people possess creative abilities and even declare the derived figure to be a "natural" or "biological ceiling". The generally accepted figure is rather low, usually fluctuating around 6‑8 per cent. But it must be taken into account that man and his abilities are shaped through object‑activity. Under capitalist production this activity (including. education) is such that the formation of mass creative abilities is excluded (or at least rendered purely fortuitous). What is more, this activity is quite vigorously utilized, in the appropriate phrase of C. Wright Mills, for the cultivation of "cheerful robots". The question then must be formulated in the reverse fashion: how great are the creative potentialities of man, if, despite the entire system of upbringing and education he undergoes, a limited number of individuals nevertheless succeed in developing these innate potentialities!

The extrapolation of contemporary man's features to man in general and the similar extrapolation of the parameters of contemporary science and the logic of contemporary thought to forms of knowledge and thought in other epochs reflect an uncritical attitude to existing empirical reality and are a manifestation of the antihistorical tendencies in scientific thought (as material thought it is capable of depicting structure, but not process in the logico‑rational way). From the point of view of these tendencies those elements of the knowledge of antiquity and the Middle Ages which are at variance with knowledge in the form of contemporary science seem to be exclusively "mistaken" and "insufficient", stemming from the lack of adequate experimental data, imperfect techniques, the imposition of religious ideology, the oppression of the church, etc.

The notion that science evolves gradually through the accumulation of scientific knowledge is ordinarily underscored by references to the "science of antiquity" or, more cautiously, to the "scientific knowledge of antiquity". In this context we meet with particular frequency the Euclidean system and Archimedes' law of floating bodies. In our opinion the epithet "scientific" applied to this knowledge is a projection upon the past of the customary conceptions of the present. In the era in which it evolved the Euclidean system did not play the role both in theory and in practice, which it does in the system of contemporary scientific knowledge. Indeed it was created without the intent of clarifying the spatial relations of the material world, but was rather research into the ability of man to build analogous systems. Therefore in the eyes of its contemporaries it had not an objective but primarily a subjective and even individual, personal meaning: it was an astonishing example of the subtlety of its creator's wisdom, both amazing and worthy of homage.

Archimedes' law is another case in point. It is said that Archimedes found a practical application for his discovery by determining the admixture of silver in a gold crown. However, the legend describing this incident does not regard it as a universal, impersonal technological method, and we search in vain for signs of interest in the law itself or in the technological opportunities for applying it. This comes as no surprise since the goal of the legend was to praise the wisdom of Archimedes as an aspect of his astonishing personality. The same goal is served by the legend surrounding his death, when Archimedes would not permit a soldier to step on his draughts in the sand. Both these stories were of equal value to his contemporaries since they related to the same subject and depicted one and the same personality.

The "spiritual production" of every epoch, including the production of theoretical knowledge possesses fullness as a qualitatively unique concrete‑historical system. Only after examining this system as a whole may we grasp it as a dependent element in a system of a higher order—object‑activity as a whole, incorporating spiritual production and thought .

Thus, contemporary science and contemporary scientific thought with its logic, its specific understanding of man's attitude vis‑à‑vis the world of things, with the extension of exact methods to all spheres of spiritual activity, with the corresponding form of organization of scientific institutions and scientific work—all this is a historical form of production of theoretical knowledge. It arose with the emergence of commodity production, a necessary element of which it became. Its terminal point is located in the abolition of the social division of labour and the development of communist production. Its historical mission lies in the liberation of man from uncreative material activity, his transformation into the master of material relations, the assimilation of the entire world as a human world and the preparation for the emancipation of man as universal being.

It goes without saying that the development of science is not the sole factor in the emancipation of man. It fulfills its mission only given the transformation of the entire system of social relations. But the development of science itself is a necessary condition of this transformation, a powerful instrument for remaking the world (in this article we shall not discuss the other factors).

The historical process marking the branching off of positive scientific knowledge from philosophy may be regarded as the separation of knowledge of things from knowledge of the subject (and consequently, of thought, of man as the subject of knowledge). The possibility of this separation is inherent in the contradictory nature of object‑activity itself. The subject can only transform the object by de‑objectifying it, that is to say, by transforming the thing‑form of the object into the form of its strictly subjective movement, into the form of thought. This movement of necessity incorporates a moment of passivity, contemplation in the form of knowledge of the object in itself, independent of the action of the subject, knowledge of the causal determinacy of the object as an externally independent thing. The subject, in this fashion, must subordinate its activity to external material necessity.

At the same time activity remains on the whole active; the moment of passivity turns out to be but the expression of its universality, its ability to reproduce any form. Thought, as the universal reflection of activity, turns out to be movement capable of reproducing any conceivable form, this form being each time simultaneously the mental reproduction of thought itself in a specific form. This is expressed in the knowledge by the subject of itself as an active subject, transforming the material world into its object‑world, into its inorganic body, implementing its aim. It is consequently expressed in the knowledge of the goal‑determinacy of the world as human world.

These two sides of activity and knowledge are transformed by the social division of labour into independently existing functions attached to different social groups and representing professions as such. Positive science and philosophy operate in such a capacity [15]

The first participates in actual material production, in the production of the world of things.

The second should take place in the formation and development of man. But because contemporary production is directly and predominantly concerned with the production of things and does not aim to "produce" man, and because of the social division of labour, philosophy turns out to be outside the sphere of the social organisation of this production. From the point of view of positive science, philosophy is a "parasite".

Whereas the professionalism of science (under commodity capitalist production) is the inherent characterisation of science, the condition of its actual practical strength, professionalism of philosophy is an indicator of its actual practical impotence in the given conditions, and of its only potential possibilities. [16]

Since knowledge necessarily reflects, each of the separated sides relates to its object‑sphere and to itself as to an all‑embracing and confined whole (a whole in itself). Therefore, putting at a distance its own reflection, science gives birth to various forms of "scientific" philosophy. For example English empiricism of the seventeenth century, French materialism of the eighteenth century, positivism, neopositivism, contemporary “science of science” are all theoretical constructions which endeavour to depict the development of science, scientific cognition and thought in logical forms practised by science itself, that is, within the framework of material relations. Within this framework rational reflection cannot grasp determination in terms of the whole; for it the sole scientific mode of determination is that proceeding from the part to the whole, from the past to the present—cause. Hence the numerous attempts to treat cognition simply as the generalization from the sense date derived from empeiria. Consequently, here the general cannot serve as the basis for reasoning, and these forms of the reflection of science as they emerge are opposed to philosophy as metaphysics, as science of man, as the reflection of knowledge considered in its direct universal form, treating it from on high and ridiculing it as reactionary, outmoded, unscientific and useless, and boasting of their own "scientific" origin. But in point of fact this so disdained "metaphysics" is the historically universal reflection of knowledge, and is the real foundation for scientific self‑consciousness in the broadest sense of the word.

Thus knowledge turns out to be split into the knowledge of things (ordinary consciousness, practical keenness of wit, common sense, science) and the knowledge of man (morality, religion, art and philosophy).

Let us specify our understanding of this split relative to science. The fact of the matter is that both in the Russian and in the German the term "science" (nauka, Wissenschaft) has a rather vague meaning. Hither it is customary to refer any knowledge which is considered objective and authentic. Therefore we find listed as science the widest range of knowledge—in terms of content, mode of derivation and mode of definition which results in confusion and misunderstanding. To wit, having looked over the essential differences between the natural‑scientific and humanitarian knowledge, the neo‑Kantians had to divide Wissenschaft into the science of nature and the science of culture. Such a division leaves unclear the position of psychology, philosophy and political economy. The partition of nauka into the natural and social sciences practised in several countries suffers from the same insufficiency. For instance, the social sciences come to include aesthetics and economics which differ sharply in terms of tasks, methods of research, definitions and the application of results.

In this context the methodology and logic of the so‑called exact sciences remain the model and criterion of scientificity for all spheres of knowledge. We tried to demonstrate that these exact sciences represent the consistent development of adequate knowledge of the world, seen as the world of things separated from and opposed to knowledge of man. In this sense to regard the exact sciences as the model and the criterion of aesthetics or history means in the final analysis to reduce personal relationships to material relations between things, man to a machine, etc. On the other hand, political economy—a traditional social science—in that part in which it regards man as labour power, bears the character of knowledge of things. When, however, it is concerned with an inquiry into the conditions for forming the individual and relations between individuals it must borrow all the initial parameters for these relations from without, in particular from philosophy. The same may be said of sociology in so far as it endeavours to objectively investigate man as a thing, as an object.

Therefore, calling science the concrete‑historical form of knowledge of things, we have in view not only its genesis but also a contemporary understanding of the methods and logic of science, the model for which remain the so‑called exact sciences. In this context we feel that a more accurate rendition of the substance of the matter is given by the English "science" than by the Russian "nauka" or the German “Wissenschaft”.

In the context of material relations scientific inquiry (medicine, anthropology, psychology, etc.) treats man as only an object in its material, causal form. But indeed he is also a subject, and it is this which is most important about him.

Man is a material being and in this sense operates of course as a thing. Such a conception of man allows one to see, abstractly speaking, what he has in common with other things (including cybernetic devices) but not what distinguishes him from these things and makes him specifically human (e.g., will, freedom, creativity, morality, etc.). Thus positive science is incapable of analyzing man from the point of view of his “humanity”. [17] Once again we find above all a recognition of this not in the special sciences but rather in philosophy and art. In support of this we might cite the following statement by Samuil Marshak: "Scientists use a yardstick which does not reach the full height of man; they measure man physically, physiologically, etc., i.e., they measure the higher with the lower. Here there is always the danger of reducing the higher to the level of the lower. I consider myself an enemy of idealist philosophy. But I do think that sometime they will arrive at another, the most perfect yardstick, that of spirituality, poetics and the poetic imagination. The lower will be measured by the degree of the higher existing within it. And much will be discovered along this path."  [18]


Ethical doctrines have been in existence since antiquity. Ethnography, and the history of culture, religion and philosophy have uncovered a multiplicity of ethical doctrines and systems both practical, determining the forms of human intercourse and education in a given society, collective or social group, and theoretical, making claims to an explanation of one or another form of ethical consciousness.

The problem of ethics (conscience, duty, etc.) in philosophy is one of the almost complex. The ethical consciousness turns out to be contradictory and when attempts are made at analyzing it on a formal demonstrative-logical level it splinters into an endlessly diverging series of antitheses. Therefore we find in the history of philosophy numerous attempts to present ethics in a contradictory and splintered form (to wit, Kant in the form of an inner dialogue between intelligible and empirical characters).

In the present article we have set ourselves a modest task: to present in its most general framework a possible scheme for discussing the ethical consciousness in the context of Marx's theory.

It must be mentioned from the outset that ethical relations were not a direct subject of research for Marx. Nevertheless his fundamental ideas on man, society, and history, as well as isolated statements encountered in his writings give us a basis for a general discussion of the ethical consciousness in the framework of his theoretical conception.

We recall that the historical dialectical conception set forth by Marx had its origin in the process of the critical reworking and "inversion" of the corresponding conception advanced by Hegel. We shall try to briefly delineate Hegel's position in the sphere of ethics. Hegel attached a historico‑dialectical meaning to the splintered and anti‑nomical nature of the ethical consciousness (exposed and presented in theology and philosophy) and distinguished ethics from morality, presenting the epochs of the development of self‑consciousness of the Absolute Spirit as differing, in particular, either in the dominance of ethics or of morality. Further, according to Hegel, these forms coexist—given the dominance of one or the other—in each historical epoch in complex dialectical interrelationships. As distinct from many philosophers and in particular from Kant, for Hegel ethical forms are not only forms of individual consciousness, but also objective characteristics of actually existing social structures and relations (the state, law, the family, etc.).

According to Hegel, the meaning of the terms "ethics" and morality" in their historical modifications correspond to the general scheme of development of the Absolute Spirit, passing through, in particular, the stages of subjective and objective spirit and being elevated to the ever greater fullness and concreteness of self-consciousness.

Correspondingly Hegel first considers the state which may be signified as the existence of the objective spirit "in itself", and calls this the state of ethics. In history this corresponds to the absorption of the individual, his (dissolution) in the tribe, and the absence in him of an individual consciousness as opposed to the collective.

The next stage was signified by Hegel as the moral: it consists in the development of the subjective, individual (and therefore accidental) spirit. Here the individual isolates himself from the collective, apprehends himself as personality and, on the one hand, finds within himself conscience, duty and other ethical motives underlying his behaviour and relations to people, and on the other, detaches these motives from himself, ascribing to them the general, form of necessity which he, although he found it within himself, now must submit to. This universal self‑apprehending form, serving now as a criterion for the evaluation of intentions and behaviour (both one's own and that of others) is in fact morality. Here the spirit is fragmented and dispersed in. the mass of individuals comprising civil—bourgeois—society.

But, apprehending himself as a free moral subject, a personality, the individual must make the further step, viz., he must recognize the higher (vis-à-vis his subjectivity) necessity of the objective spirit in its universal form and must submit to it. Now the spirit becomes integral once again, subsuming individualities, absorbing the personalities, and thus bearing within itself morality as its form. It once again becomes ethical, but, in comparison with the primitive unreflected (and therefore internally undifferentiated) form of ethics richer and internally differentiated. The objectified form of primitive ethics turns out to be, according to Hegel, the family, the tribe, the objectified form of morality—the civil society; and the supreme universal objectified form of the moral spirit—the state with its institutions (law, the bureaucratic apparatus, the police, courts, etc.).

Since the morally free personality must now freely and consciously submit himself to a supreme necessity, the Hegelian formula emerges that "freedom is cognized necessity". The new and higher moral state is regarded to be the objective spirit, which having passed through the stage of morality has apprehended its own ethical content (and now exists not only "in itself" but also "for itself") and implemented it in the form of the state. Thus "the fact of the matter in no way depends on the wishes of separate persons, on whether or not they want for law and  justice to be effectuated . . . law and justice derive their force not through this agreement of the individuals. The universal does not need the approval of separate persons and when its laws are violated it shows its power in punishment." [19]

The individual is offered as a sacrifice to the universal which appears in the form of necessity and external expediency. There exists one superpersonality (übermensch)—the Absolute Spirit. The individuals form its tools and material and can never become a "whole in itself" that is, personalities. The awareness by the individual of the necessity of submitting to this universal force is declared freedom and ethical consciousness.

Ludwig Feuerbach's proclamation of humanism in the form of an anthropological principle was a direct reaction against this anti‑humanist concept of Hegel's. Here the centre of attention and the sole value is declared to be the human individual as a natural, sensuous being. His free strivings to self‑fulfilment and happiness become the foundation of ethics. However, having rejected the Hegelian absorption of the individual in the universal, Feuerbach overlooked the complex dialectical relationship between the individual and the collective, a relationship which ensures the reproduction of human generations and thereby ensures the historical being and development of the individuals as such. For Feuerbach man is an abstract natural individual, and for this reason his humanism and ethics remain abstract. Analysing the Feuerbachian position, Engels remarked that his theory of morals is ". . . designed to suit all periods, all peoples and all conditions, and precisely for that reason it is never and nowhere applicable". [20]

In opposition to Hegel and Feuerbach, Marx believed that the problem consisted in explaining whether and how it is possible for the individual to develop into a free and universal personality. As distinct from Hegel, Marx regarded man as a whole within itself, as a potentially universal and free being, developing into a personality. As distinct from Feuerbach, for Marx the individual can become a personality only in society and only in the process of the historical development of this society.

The dominance over man by an external abstract universality is connected with the existence of the social division of labour, social groups and, in the final analysis, with the definite, historically limited level of the productive forces. This must be overcome through historical development. (One of the most important means for this overcoming, as we saw above, is scientific and technological progress.)

 In the opinion of Marx the existence of certain universal interests, submission to which is demanded from the individual by morals, is an illusion. Under the mask of general interests there always operate the interests of real single individuals, making up social groups, classes, etc. "Communist theoreticians," wrote Marx and Engels, "the only ones who have time to devote to the study of history, are distinguished precisely because they alone have discovered that throughout history the general interest is created by individuals who are defined as private persons."  [21]

In affirming the social being of man Marx has in mind not the subordination of the individual to the universal interest, which is a historically transient and limited form of his being, but rather the circumstance that society is the natural environment for man, where in comprehensive contact with other individuals he is formed as a human and can stand apart as personality. “The man is not only a social animal, but an animal which can isolate himself only in society.” [22] However, as a result of the historical development of the social division of labour, human activity as the sphere for the self‑molding of the individual turns out to be divided up among social groups—estates, classes, professional and other amalgamations, the tie between which assumes a material form. Consequently activity (becoming the abstract labour of the abstract individual) and its aims also take on a material and abstract form. To the extent that any social group bears a definite (and thereby a partial, limited) function of social being, to this extent does the formation of the individual as a member of a social group signify, in Marx's phrase, the molding of a partial man rather than of a universal and harmonious personality. In submitting himself to material goals, man becomes dependent upon the system of material relations. He becomes a thing among other things, labour power. Therefore, according to Marx, the task consists in overcoming any forms of group community which are an obstacle in the development of universality and subordinate the individual to forms of "external expediency"; man must turn away from religion, the family and the state to proper human, viz., social being.

Therefore Marx and Engels speak of distinguishing the individual as a personality from the class individual. Communism is that form of collectivism in which "the transformation of labour into self‑activity corresponds to the transformation of the earlier limited intercourse into the intercourse of individuals as such" [and not as members of the socium—the Author] [23]. Communism is individuals in unity. Its basic principle is the full and free development of each individual, the absence of social boundaries limiting his formation as a personality. Communism is regarded as an "association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all". [24]

Turning to Marx's writings on morality, we note that he (as well as Engels) emphasizes its class character and the possibility of its utilization for the selfish aims of dominance over men. In particular morality, as a rule, ideally expresses the conditions or the existence of the ruling class, which the ideologues of this class transform theoretically into something self‑contained. These conditions are advanced by the dominant class against the oppressed class in the capacity of vital norms, as the recognition of its dominance on the one hand, and as a moral means to this dominance, on the other. Giving expression to group interests, morality is a form of external expediency, limiting the freedom in the formation of the universal personality. But, "the mortal danger for every being lies in losing itself. Hence lack of freedom is the real mortal danger for mankind." [25] Engels wrote that “in reality every class, even every profession, has its own morality, and even this it violates whenever it can do with impunity.” [26]

We must now consider the individual in contemporary bourgeois society with its division of labour, classes, etc. This society begins to indoctrinate him from the moment of birth. Morality and its standards represent one of the means used for this channeling and for behavioral regulation. The individual perceives these standards and demands as an external factor, acting upon his "ego". The problem arises as to what are the origins of this "ego" which society endeavours with varying results to transform into the moral individual, a "useful" member of society (the relationship of usefulness is in fact the material relationship)? Can it be that this "ego" is not a product of society, of the social environment? So why is it that this product turns out to be such that it must be infused with the social principles and moral standards while it sees them as external and often limiting its freedom and suppressing its individuality?

To add to this, sometimes moral standards, and principles contradict the individual's inner convictions of what is just and humane. For example, the situation often arises in which to act according to the dictates of morality means to act unconscionably and inhumanely. But this very evaluation ("unconscionably and inhumanely") is an ethical judgement and pertains to ethical consciousness. It only remains to admit that the ethical consciousness of our individual is contradictory, that the demands of morality and the conscience often do not coincide, and that the notion of duty turns out to have disintegrated into contradictory notions.

This contradiction may be explained by reference to the contradictory nature of the socium. But such an explanation is limited: beyond its confines we may locate a certain ethical content which cannot be explained by actual social conditions. For example, it is impossible to derive from social conditions of the past or present the unconditional commandment "thou shalt not kill" (below we shall attempt to demonstrate that an acceptance of this unconditionality can be derived, but by other means).

We may outline the path leading to a resolution of this problem if we turn to the Marxist conception of man. Man is a potentially universal and therefore a free being but he realizes his potentiality only in the infinite historical process of his development. "The universally developed individuals whose social relations are their own collective relations and are therefore also subordinate to their own collective control, are the product of history and not of nature." [27] The universal character of his activity determines future man as universal and free. Historically, however, he is determined by the social conditions of this activity in the present, and is limited as "private" and unfree.

The actual social system of which the individual is inescapably a member determines his activity (and consequently, his consciousness and psyche as a whole) objectively as cause, as external expediency, objectified activity, completed and snuffed out in the actual structure of being (including the activity of preceding generations). In the temporal context this is determined by the past. On the other hand, this activity is simultaneously determined by the subjective will, by the goal, that is, by the future. Man "not only effects a change of form in the material on which he works, but he also realises a purpose of his own that gives the law to his modus operandi, and to which he must subordinate his will". [28] Moreover, all material goals, consistently subtracted by historical motion, turn out to be converted forms of the solely true goal, which is man as a "tribal" (directly collective) creature.

This potential universality, existing in the form of the goal, leads to the formation of a value system in agreement with conceptions of the infinite perfectibility of man (and mankind as the medium of his universal intercourse and likewise of the formation of his "generic essence"). It does not depend upon the actual form of the socium, and what is more, is the negation of this limited form, being in this sense absolute.

On the other hand, the determination of activity by the conditions of actual being (causal determination) requires of man the formation of a different system of values, connected with the structure of a given concrete socium. The individual is included within it as a member of a social group, class, as labour power, in a word, as a private individual. The norms and requirements put before the individual by the socium are connected with an unconditional value system, but only in the manner displaying its converted, partial, finite form, adapted to the limited conditions of the given socium. Therefore, they contradict this unconditional system as a universal and general one.

The first of these value systems says to man: "Be free and universal, for you are a personality, a citizen of the world."

The second recommends: "Subordinate your will and interests to interests which lie without you (the church, socium, social group, etc.), for you are a member (of the church, socium, social group, nation, state, etc.)." To be sure, the second, as a rule, does not say: “You are a partial human” and often also asserts: “You are a personality if you submit . . .”, and often tries to pass itself as the only true, just, universal and pan‑human system of values. The individual nevertheless perceives it as external expediency, as a limitation upon his freedom, although as long as, under the sway of certain situations, there does not arise within him an acute inner conflict he may not note this and may even regard this expediency to be the only just path. There exist individuals who do not notice this under any circumstances and also those who notice, but do not act in the corresponding manner.

Marx gave the name "morality" to this conditional, concrete-historical system of rules of behaviour and requirements laid before the individual on behalf of society in the conditions of its alienated social being. Now we may understand his negative stance towards morality which may have provoked puzzlement at first glance. Morality is for Marx above all one of the forms of external expediency, making the individual an unfree, partial man. We refer the reader to a few of the limited statements Marx and Engels made concerning this question. "The Communists do not preach morality at all,'' [29] they affirmed. Speaking of the emergence of communist and socialist attitudes they note: “That shattered the bases of all morality. . . .” [30] In The Holy Family and The German Ideology the attempts to argue from morality in the investigation of social relations are mocked. In Capital Marx, considering the economists' views notes that all and sundry considerations are irrelevant.

For Marx and Engels the intensification of moral preaching and the insistence upon the holiness of universal interests is an indicator of a deep split between the productive forces and the ideology of a society, between various social groups, when traditional notions cease to correspond to the form of intercourse in practice. Such conceptions, "in which actual private interests, etc., etc., are expressed as universal interests, descend to the level of mere idealising phrases, conscious illusion, deliberate hypocrisy. But the more their falsity is exposed by life, a the less meaning they have for consciousness itself, the more firmly are they asserted, the more hypocritical, moral and holy becomes the language of this normal society." [31]

There exist historical and historico‑philosophical considerations that the general and unconditional value system which stands in opposition to morality should be called ethical or ethics in the strict sense of the word, regarding morality as its own opposite and as a form adapted to being of the partial man and historically limited socium. We are concerned here not with a term but with the fact that ethical consciousness is contradictory and its contradictory forms must be different. In the given instance this distinction is important if only because the interrelations between these forms of the modern man's ethical consciousness on the one hand, and science, on the other, differ widely, and this makes his own relation to science extremely complex and ambiguous. As we see, in the Marxist philosophical system this differentiation is carried out according to the principles opposed to those in the Hegelian system, and the results achieved are also opposite.

The internal cleavage of the moral consciousness had been depicted in the prose as well as the religious, philosophical and scientific literature of the world. We could, for example, characterize the conflict depicted in Tolstoy's play The Living Corpse as the collision between morality and law on the one hand, and ethics on the other. Boris Pasternak in Safe Conduct Pass employed what is in our opinion a very precise phrase: "unethical morality" (beznravstvennaya moral).

The commandment "thou shalt not kill" considered in ethical terms is an unconditional injunction because it implies the man whose value is unconditional and self‑contained, the man as a personality, as an aim in itself. If we recall that according to Marx such a personality can be given shape only through the universal creativity of forms of intercourse and in the process of this intercourse itself, then the nature of this commandment connected with the universal development of man as aim in itself becomes clear. In killing another human one not only kills that which is human within oneself, but also takes a stance against mankind in general (against freedom, against the very principle of intercourse in which the personality as such is molded and developed as the highest and absolute value).

Therefore, murder can only be perceived as the gravest of crimes, graver even than suicide. In the future, to all appearances any coercive restriction imposed upon the freedom of human intercourse will be assessed as a grave ethical crime.

The very same "thou shalt not kill" considered on the level of a moral injunction is hemmed in by a cluster of conditions, reservations and exclusions and lives quite comfortably with the bonfires of the inquisition, wars and the death penalty.

Morality presupposes award or retribution not only in the ideal but often in the material form.

Ethics on the other hand, excludes awards or retributions in the material form. Its only award or censure lies in the self‑awareness of the individual. It is justified not by the immediate goal implemented in actual being, but only historically as a form of movement into the infinite future. Therefore it does not "reckon" the consequences of the individual's deeds either for himself or for the actual social conditions. The individual often finds himself in a situation in which he is compelled to choose whether he ought to act in accordance with existing morality (which, as a rule, more or less agrees with common sense and allows a given action to be rationally justified in one way or another), to win approval and praise or ought he to commit an "incomprehensible" or "unreasonable" deed, even, perhaps, to the extreme of perishing and of drawing upon himself the curses and disdain of his contemporaries, but in so doing, to realize himself as the personality, that is to say, act truly ethically.

We must caution against drawing the conclusion from our brief discussion that ethics is "good" and morality is "bad" or vice versa.

In the first place we must take into account that our consideration of these aspects of ethical consciousness in isolation is in fact a method of theoretical analysis, rendering possible an exposition of the complex and contradictory structure of the ethical consciousness unfolded in space and time, and thereby marking out one of the possible paths of approaching ethical phenomena. So far as the real individual, our contemporary is concerned, a clear‑cut awareness of the mutual opposition of these aspects arises only, as a rule, in acute conflict situations, and even then not always and not for all people. Ordinarily the conflict is not rationally apprehended. Rather it takes the form of the remorseful conscience, of the vague awareness that "something is not as it should be", of conflicts in the emotional sphere and so forth. Practically speaking morality and ethics are indistinguishable in the mind of contemporary man, forcing him to agonize over internal contradictions, to reflect, choose, etc. Movement within the framework of these contradictions is the only possible avenue for personality formation under the dominance of material relations and the social division of labour.

In the second place the actual life of the individual within any given, historically limited socium cannot be governed by pure ethics, since by virtue of their unconditionally universal nature ethical principles will always conflict with actual and historically limited conditions, and the individual, guided by these principles, will always be out of place. When such individuals appear, as for instance, Dostoyevsky's Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, who are variously called by society "holy", "prophets", Don Quixotes or "idiots", they turn out to be, to paraphrase Ludwig Feuerbach, more likely candidates for the other world than active participants in this world.

In the third place, if we approach the question historically we can demonstrate that in the tribal collective there was no cleavage of the ethical consciousness into ethics as such and morality. This is explained by the fact that the individual was entirely absorbed in the collective and did not isolate himself as a personality. The cleavage in the ethical consciousness at a later date is a testimony to its higher form of development. The syncretic, integral ethical consciousness of the primitive world was the "tribal" consciousness of a given collective; it determined the substance of man's actions and did not foresee the possibility of the separating out and development of the individual into a personality. In this syncretic state the individual's ethical consciousness does not suffer cleavages. The social system of education making him a member of the tribal collective directly creates his self‑awareness so that for him to be human means to be a member of precisely this given collective (the kin, tribe or tribal community). Such an individual is fuller and more harmonious than contemporary man, who is marked by multiple cleavages in his inner world and is agonizing over endless problems. But according to Marx, the isolated individual at the early stages of development functions more fully because he has yet not worked out the fullness of his relations and has not juxtaposed these relations to himself as social forces and relationships independent of him. Morality operates as the first and therefore an abstract form of reflection of the ethical consciousness in its alienation from itself (this is clearly expressed, for example, in Kant's categorical imperative with its principle of formalism).

In the form of morality the ethical consciousness operates as a certain impersonal force, to which the individual must subordinate his "ego". But at the same time, because of this formal abstractness the substantial resolution of this ethical task remains in the hands of the individual himself, forcing him to agonize over this resolution. This is the torments of creation, the birth pangs of the personality.

The formalism of morality turns out to be substantially interpreted by the actual sociality (that is, by social groups). At the same time in its abstract universality morality is a limited, converted, but nevertheless universal form of pan‑human ethics overcome by historical development.

The extent and the means by which the morality of one or another social group carries the content of pan‑human morality to all appearances, depends upon the concrete historical role played by this group (class) in the given socium. It is possible that this is in some way connected with the ability to transcend this socium, that is, to transform society into a new form. These are very complex problems the analysis of which depends upon one's notion of historical progress (we leave aside this problem). In any case, proceeding from the conception of the revolutionary role of the proletariat in bourgeois society Engels wrote of the forms of morality and coinciding themes of ethics existing in this society: "Which, then, is the true one? Not one of them, in the sense of absolute finality; but certainly that morality contains the maximum elements promising permanence which, in the present, represents the overthrow of the present, represents the future, and that is proletarian morality." [32]

We argue in this circumspect and non‑categorical way concerning the character of correlations between the morality of definite social group and pan‑human ethics because even so far as the revolutionary class is concerned the dialectical contradiction is retained between its apprehension of itself as the final social group and the expression in this form of the infinity of human development. Therefore Marx and Engels regarded revolution as that change of people in the course of which the class carrying out the revolution is also fundamentally transformed. It is always a process of self-change.

With the abolition of the social division of labour and of the dominance of the world of material relations the ethical consciousness must overcome its cleavage. It will leave no room for morality as a form of external expediency subordinating the individual to itself. This consciousness will express a form of activity the direct aim of which will be not the production of things but the development of the human faculties as an end in itself.

So far as the problem pertaining to the formation of the dual nature of the individual ethical consciousness is concerned, in the present article we may only briefly point to that sphere in which in our opinion is located the possibility of providing a substantial analysis of this problem, since we have arrived at the extremely complex question of human knowledge—and one which goes beyond the range of this article—directly connected with the question of anthropogenesis: “What is time? What is history?”

The object active intercourse of the individual by means of which he assimilates his human essence is determined by two different spheres of social being or, in other words, by two superimposed fields of force: that of actual being, unfolded in space and in its contemporary configuration represented by the  social structure; and the field of historical being, unfolded in time and represented by culture. In the field of the socium the individual feels attached to a given social group as its part, and his activity is carried out jointly with other individuals as synchronous labour discrete in space. In the field of culture he feels himself to be the heir of the past and the creator of the future. He perceives the past as his own, as living within him, acting through his hands, looking through his eyes, and the future as his future, created by him, for which he is directly and personally responsible before himself, his contemporaries and his descendants. The individual carries out his activity in the field of culture as "general spiritual" labour, connected not only with his contemporaries but with the spiritual labour of past and future generations—that is to say, unfolded in time. To the extent that by the instrumental nature of his activity man is "projected" as a universal being, to that extent his unfolding in time turns out to be infinite and his universality is embodied as his incompleteness. Therefore man appears as a being living in the future, realizing himself in goal‑positing and goal‑implementing as an uncompleted process.

As a cultural‑historical subject man today can assimilate his generic essence only in a disjointed form, corresponding to the cleavages marking his social being. He can do so (a) in the complete and limited form of actual being as such, of sociality, to which at the level of activity correspond joint labour, alienation and material relations, and at the level of ethics—its socially conditioned and converted form, morality; or (b) in the incomplete, general, historical‑cultural potential form, connected with spiritual labour, the development of personal relations, and at the level of ethics, with its unconditional pan‑human form, which we indicated to be ethics in the proper sense of the word.

According to Marx, a form of sociality is the historically transient form of the dominance of material relations where man as a "generic being" feels himself disjoined and partial. But at the same time this form is the first, still abstract form of universality, and is thereby counterposed to the concrete individual, regarding him as an abstract entity, for example, as a subject of law, as labour power. It is a step in the direction of that form of universality in which the relations of man as a generic being will include all of mankind as a genus. For this reason the form of sociality must be preferred to the narrowly limited tribal relations of the earlier period in human history.

In this way man as a being living in time, as an historical subject is from the outset determined in two different ways. As a product of the past history he is conditioned by the activity of preceding generations, and is determined by the past causally. Such determinacy makes the man an actually limited being and is perceived by him as necessity. But as the creator of history he is conditioned by his future, his goal. This determination is the negation of the now existing as the limited, which is connected with transgressing the boundaries of the self and of actual reality—transcendence into the sphere of the infinite. This transcendence makes him a potentially universal being, and is perceived by him as freedom. (In connection with this man could be defined as a transcending being.)

Man cannot bring this freedom into existence in a single act, for the real transformation of the object‑world (natural and social) compels him to tailor his goals to existing reality. This is perceived by him as a limitation imposed upon his freedom, his personality. From here also stems the above‑mentioned reaction of the individual to the demands put to him in the capacity of moral rules and standards—his inner protest. The lower the cultural level of the individual the less conscious and controllable are the forms taken by his protest, including actions which violate juridical norms. These actions may appear strange and unmotivated to his neighbours, since the common sense of contemporary man, fortified with a dose of "scientific" logic, will look for an explanation of sorts in the individual's conditions of life, in the causal‑object and psychological "situation" of his action, while this situation, as we have seen, may well not be confined to the sphere of causality.

The cleavage of ethical consciousness into ethics and morality, as we have presented it in our discussion, is a rather crude and schematized distinction, merely an abstract reference point for the analysis of the highly complex interweaving of sentiments and ideas making up the content of the man's ethical world. These aspects may be regarded as coordinate axes of a sort, as general tendencies determining the nature of concrete disjunctures, engendering the necessity of further fragmentation and synthesis, since a final and complete disintegration along these axes would indicate the disintegration of the personality (not in the psychiatric sense, but rather as an ethical phenomenon). At the same time the clash of these tendencies can be externally embodied in conflicts between individuals, between the individual and the social group or social environment, etc. (in this instance an inner or total rupture between the individual and his social group or environment is possible).


In connection with the matter at hand a number of conclusions can be derived and further questions posed, touching upon the interrelation of science and ethics, scientific education and ethical upbringing.

If each is considered in relation to its object sphere, science and ethics remain mutually indifferent. The sphere of science is the world of things and material relations. That of ethics is the world of man and human relations.

We recall, however, that according to Marx the world in its entirety, including the whole of nature, must be understood as the world of man, of human activity. Nature apprehends itself in man, and man initiates the remolding of nature. The world of material relations from this point of view is the historical phenomenon of the alienation of man from himself and from nature. Therefore, strictly speaking, science cognizes not the pure world of things, but rather the material forms of activity and the man's attitude to the world. In other words the object of research for any given science turns out in the final result  to be the process of human labour in a definite sphere.

For its part ethics is broken up into ethics proper and morality. The latter, being adapted to the material relations of actual being, is close to science as the systematized theoretical form of expression of these very relations. The relationship between scientific and ethical consciousness is complex and contradictory. The complexity of its analysis for ordinary common sense is determined by the fact that science functions as the only representative of the "materialized force of knowledge", permitting man to master the world of external nature, and by the fact that morality, expressing the interests of a definite social group, masquerades these interests as pan-human. This complexity is aggravated by the difficulty of drawing a line of demarcation between ethics and morality, owing to which the ethical consciousness seems to ordinary common sense whole and monolithic. However, this demarcation line stands out in bold relief as soon as an acute conflict situation emerges.

Since morality is akin to prudent common sense, the temptation arises to "verify harmony with algebra": to scientifically assess the moral action. Given this, from the point of view of common sense, science and morality everything looks respectable. Let us consider, for example, the knotty problem frequently and astutely discussed by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. For the good of mankind is it admissible to sacrifice the life of even one man? From the viewpoint of science, common sense and morality this is not only possible but necessary. Here science and morality differ only in that the former will follow this dictate without unnecessary lamentation.

But then, suppose it is necessary to "eliminate" one hundred thousand people for the good and use of humanity? Or perhaps a million? Science will answer: of course it is a difficult situation but the reckoning is clear; if it is necessary to sacrifice millions of lives to save billions, we must act accordingly. The moralist will suffer, but when all is said and done, will acquit the scientist who has made such a decision. He will sympathize with the difficult moral pains accompanying this decision and feel the weight of the responsibility before humanity which he bears, etc.

Now suppose that for the good and the use of humanity it is necessary to conduct medical experiments on human beings? At this point morality is indignant! But, by the way, science can demonstrate to morality that it errs.

However, from the viewpoint of ethics (and from Dostoyevsky's position) the problem offers no resolution, because, as we have demonstrated above, man as an individual is a potentially universal and infinite being. In this sphere of the universal and infinite (and it is precisely here that ethics takes shape) the individual is incomparable and immeasurable. He is the equivalent of any other individual, but also of all humanity and the entire universe, remaining (precisely as a result of this) unique and irreplaceable. Therefore the sacrifice can only be made  by the individual as a freely made self‑sacrifice; no one else may sacrifice him. Thus it is clear why the doctor who conducts dangerous experiments with the diseased evokes aversion while simultaneously the experiment conducted on himself summons forth praise and turns him into a hero.

The situation is still further complicated by the fact that in the world of the capitalist machine civilization science itself begins to be regarded as a value and as a universal evaluative criterion. The word "scientific" is becoming a synonym for "good" where "unscientific" takes on a "bad" shade of meaning. Hence the conclusion follows that good knowledge is scientific knowledge and therefore that knowledge of man must be restricted to that which is "scientific". Without a doubt science can and must study man. But it must be taken into account that it will portray him one‑sidedly, namely from his material, objective aspect. In fact even human physiology turns out to be conditioned by the subjective, spiritual side of man (firewalking, the inducement of burns, stigmata, and iatrogenic symptoms) to such an extent that this mode of insight turns out to be quite insufficient. Certain aspects of psychic life do not fit (and should not) into the causal‑material explanatory mode. From the viewpoint of rational common sense, of science and scientific logic they must be left inexplicable, bordering on the miraculous.

In a society which is dominated by material relations and in which science directly disposes of practical might, ethics, as a rule, is proselytized in the form of morality; in its pan‑human form it turns out to be the object of ridicule for its practical helplessness, as a result of which immoral people are often the victors in life. But this victory is at the same time a defeat, the blotting out of that which is human inside, and the process of blotting out is often accomplished quietly and by degrees, unnoticed by the individual himself. Merging with his social role and becoming a pure functionary, he nevertheless continues to regard himself a human. This transformation is sometimes accompanied by the formation of a distinctive duplicity: operating in the external social environment within the confines of prescribed group morality the individual also preserves certain ethical principles strictly for "domestic consumption". As self‑affirmation and for the inner justification of his immoral actions he might think of himself as "living in agreement with a strict moral code, never having caused harm to anyone". But if this does not work and our individual is plagued with restlessness and an unpleasant aftertaste, then he must make an objective and logical judgement (on the scientific, so to speak, level). In such cases it is always possible to demonstrate, as surely as two times two makes four, that it was necessary to act in such a manner, for it was precisely this sequence of actions which brought the greater benefit, the greater use to society, etc. In this context the personality's spiritual loss is simply not considered, in fact it cannot even be fixed within the scheme of causal logic (therefore excluding it from the realm of common sense and science as well). It was precisely for this reason that such primitive arithmetic provoked the hatred of Dostoyevsky.

But matters are complicated by the fact that the world of material relations also belongs to human activity just as does the spiritual culture. Therefore morality, strictly speaking, is no more impersonal than is ethics external to society. Their divergence in conflict situations is simply one of the forms expressing the temporal historical nature of human existence, that is to say, the simultaneous determination of man's present being by both the past and future. Thus the question: is science moral or immoral—yields no simple answer. Considered on the historical level science functions as the means with which man masters the world of things and turns this world into a moment subordinated to human life activity as such. In other words it serves the "emancipation of man". At such a level science has a profound ethical sense. Considered, however, on the level of existing social being, it inevitably operates as a factor subordinating man to material goals, turning him into labour power, an object of social manipulation and so forth—crowning the process marking the dehumanisation of human relations. In the same sweep it opposes ethics, turns out to be immoral.

The relationship of science to the formation of the individual also turns out to be ambiguous. As a form of the development of one of the "essential strengths" of man, it shapes within him a consciousness of truthfulness and of the sovereign might of his thought and relations to the world. Science fosters a dedication to and unswerving pursuit of the truth. In short, it develops certain ethical qualities in the individual. But at the same time this conviction in the sovereign might of thought turns out to be connected with a historically limited form of specifically scientific thought and a scientific stance towards the world as the world of things. The same devotion to science and unswerving pursuit of scientific truth is thereby transformed into the extension of scientific logic and methods to the world of man, of ethical relations. Man begins to be measured with an inadequate (material) yardstick, which ultimately leads to the false, immoral and antihuman conception of the "human machine".

At the same time science requires critical, that is to say reflective thought, which is a necessary condition of the possibility of transcendence (an outlet to the boundless and the formation of a new yardstick—that of creativity). Consequently it contributes to the shaping of the personality. However, according to its tendency, the indicated reflection is formally rational. [33] It is precisely for this reason that it is incapable of adopting a universal form, to be turned to itself, to become the reflection of a reflection (that is to say, to move into the sphere of the concrete‑universal, that of philosophy). The attempt theoretically to consider oneself in a purely material, objectivized form leads to the construction of a hierarchy of metasystems, to "bad" infinity, but not to universality.

For this reason scientific reflection assumes a critical stance towards any given partial result or assertion, but not towards itself as a whole. This indicates that it cannot be pan‑human. Nor can it be adequate in this sense for the individual or for ethics.

If we accept the approach towards science outlined above, then the position of, say, C. P. Snow, professor at Cambridge University, must be recognized as mistaken. In an article entitled "The Moral Un‑Neutrality of Science" he asserts: "There is no need for an extrinsic scientific criticism, because criticism is inherent in the process itself." Snow has much to say about the duty of the scientist, his moral responsibility and so on, but he overlooks the fact that his evaluation is fully applicable to the serviceman, diplomat or politician (although he endeavours to counterpose the "moral code of the scientist" to the "military code of morality").

He would like to deduce the moral qualities which he ascribes to scientists from the intrinsic morality of science as such, in which he sees two moral impulses: the "search for truth" and "knowledge". "The way in which a scientist tries to find the truth imposes on him a constant moral discipline," writes Snow. [34] However a few pages later he asserts: "I see no evidence that scientific work on weapons of maximum destruction has been in any intellectual respect different from other scientific work. But there is a moral difference." [35] Since scientific methods bear upon the intellectual rather than the moral sphere (and precisely for this reason the absence of a moral framework has not to this date hindered anyone in the development of weapons of maximum destruction), we may regard the preceding assertion by C.P. Snow to be refuted by his latter statement.

There remains ". . . a spring of moral action in the scientific activity which is at least as strong as the search for truth. The name of this spring is knowledge". In the fact that it is “at least as strong” we are soon persuaded, for knowledge "throws upon scientists a direct and personal responsibility. . . . For scientists have a moral imperative to say what they know. (Is this a distinctive feature of the scientist?—the Author). It is going to make them unpopular in their own nation‑states (does this pertain to divulging military secrets because of moral impulses?—the Author.).'' For the "moral" to arise it is necessary that respective knowledge be possessed by the moral individual. That no moral direction is inherent in knowledge as such is clear, since we may imagine numerous situations when "to say" means, from the viewpoint of group morality—to commit treason, that is, to act with the utmost amorality. Even C. P. Snow seems to sense the untenability of his argument, for he finishes the article with the words: “I cannot prove it, but 1 believe that, simply because scientists cannot escape their own knowledge, they also won't be able to avoid showing themselves disposed to good.” [36]

The problem of science and ethics becomes in our day especially topical, if it is considered in terms of the shaping of the individual. Here the problem emerges as that of the interrelationship of a scientific education and ethical upbringing, subject to the discretion of the educator. Not wishing to intrude into the sphere of competence of the educator, we shall restrict ourselves to a few brief remarks on behalf of philosophy.

The common type of contemporary school providing a general education evolved in its general features (including its tasks, methods of their realization and didactic principles) in the epoch of the European Enlightenment. The assimilation of scientific knowledge was regarded by the Enlighteners as the decisive factor in the development of the individual and of mankind. This conception was justified for the task of practical mastery of the material world as the causally conditional world was pressing indeed, a task connected with freeing this sphere from the sway of religion, which had blocked off avenues to cognition and activity adequate to this very world. Therefore in school as well ethical education was relegated to an inferior position and became a random factor dependent on the family, the immediate social environment and religion. During the Enlightenment this was also justified, since both religion and family and kinship traditions still enjoyed immense authority for the bulk of the population in maintaining a definite value system. Family and kinship ties and traditions are much weaker in contemporary society than they were three hundred years ago. The separation of the school from the church and an atheistic education have virtually excluded religion as a factor in upbringing. This is only natural since the value system which could be fostered by religion, the family‑kinship and communal traditions bears no correspondence to the contemporary socio‑historical situation.

But in this instance, the type of the enlightenment school which has lived to see our day, marked by the primacy of scientific education over ethical upbringing is also unacceptable. In the course of the last three hundred years science has not only ousted religion from the sphere of knowledge of things, but, as we have seen, has also actively intruded in the sphere of human relations. The "scientification" of the school, for example, in the organization of the pedagogical process has proceeded as far as suggestions to formalize the entire process in algorithms and even to replace the teacher with machines as if the pupils were computers rather than human beings. Such an approach excludes the possibility of personal contact with the educator, which would otherwise make a significant impact on the shaping of the pupil's ethical consciousness. As far as curriculum is concerned, even those disciplines which judging by their social functions would seem to be intended to foster an aesthetic and ethical awareness (such as literature and history, are now dismembered and analyzed in a so‑called "technological" manner and transformed into a list of dates, events and of the “character traits” of the heroes, spiced up with vulgar sociological maxims. The assimilation of the forms of pan-human culture is replaced by "pumping" with knowledge. As a result the school "drops" (if not completely, at least to a significant measure) from its range of influence an important sphere of the spiritual world of the student—that of the molding of truly human ethical relations.

When the problem of shaping the ethical personality arises educators and psychologists often respond in the following manner: draw up a list of ethical (in their view) qualities of the personality, and the question boils down to developing methods with the help of which these qualities can be drummed into the child. In point of fact to cultivate the ethical personality means to foster an individual who is sensitive to the inner conflict between morality and ethics, who is capable of differentiating them, who is capable of making the appropriate decisions and of bearing full and undivided responsibility for them. To this date we know of no means of accomplishing this other than that of personal contact and a mastery of the world of pan‑human culture. In this situation, apparently, in the process of imparting scientific knowledge, the attitude must be fostered in the pupil to science as to an instrument, a powerful tool produced by man for the mastery of material reality; but the ability to utilize this tool, though necessary, nevertheless does not make a human being a man.

We note that the discussion which we have engaged in on the pages of this article represents only one of many possible approaches and makes no claims to being either exhaustive or comprehensive. The problem which we have touched upon in a general form (the relationship of cause and goal, of materiality and spirituality) has been the centre of discussion for thousands of years—from various angles and in a range of diverse historical modifications. For example, in early Christian theology the problem at hand took the form of the doctrine that man belonged to two societies, the "City of God" and the city of his birth (to cite the Augustinian distinction). In the milieu of the European Middle Ages, tinged with spirituality, it appeared in a multitude of forms, including that of the contradiction between the scholastics and the mystics or the church and the secular world. This specific feature of medieval culture was observed by the Russian scholar P. Bitsilli: "The life of the church and that of the world were thought to proceed on different levels and be subordinated to different types of law. The destinies of the church can be understood only from a teleological standpoint whereas the transformations of the world, viewed in themselves, irrespective of that role which it (the world) fulfills as a receptacle of the Church, are subordinated to causality." [37]

In modern times the problem of the dual nature of man continued to occupy the attention of philosophers, taking various forms. The historicism of West European culture, with its specific development of understanding and perception of time—and moreover its explosive development against the background of the stagnating cultures of the East, may be connected precisely with this form of cleavage in man (both as an individual and as a social subject), a cleavage emerging at some point in antiquity and representing one of the conceivable historical modifications of the subject‑object relation.

In Marx's theoretical conception in which the world is considered as the world of human object‑activity, this cleavage emerges as a historically conditioned division of activity into the general spiritual and material production proper (in the form of the social division of labour); a division to be sublated in the course of historical development. Material production in turn is divided into mental and manual labour with further cleavages engendering the social structure of contemporary society, the phenomenon of alienation, etc.—with all the complex and contradictory collisions marking the contemporary man's being. We took precisely this conception as our starting point in trying to put forward our ideas and ascertain the place and role of science and morality as socio‑historical phenomena.

This evaluation briefly and schematically outlines one of the possible approaches to the theme. Here we touch upon a knot of problems so complex and broad in scope that a single article cannot provide even a simple exposition not to speak of a theoretical analysis of them. A thorough analysis of these problems requires a colossal effort and cannot be completed in principle, as, incidentally, the analysis of any problem which has adopted a universal categorial form. We are travelling here in a sphere of such logic where each logical step, each rung on the ladder of theoretical knowledge is simultaneously a critical analysis and overcoming of the previous step, the previous rung. This unending process is a form of the existence of truth.

Let us point to a few of the contradictions to which the argument presented in this article leads and which must, in our opinion, testify to its vitality, responsiveness to change and receptiveness to transcendence. We speak of the cultural and historical subject, of that which we call the "field of culture" unfolded in time. But the historical subject is a paradoxical entity and, in a demonstrative‑logical framework quite unimaginable for he must change, remaining just the same. If we attribute to him only change, then we have no basis to believe that temporally sequential states in fact represent phenomena of one and the same subject. Times become “out of joint”, history disappears: there remain discrete states without time as temporal change. If we assume that our subject is not changing, remains the same, then there is no time, there is only eternity and once again no history. The first of these possibilities is embodied in the theory of discrete, hermetically sealed cultures (civilizations). The second is exemplified by mythological thought patterns. The Christian eschatological consciousness realizes both conceptions in a twofold manner. First, in the image of Christ, who, being both God and man, belongs at one and the same time both to eternity and to time. As a man he is causally determined by external necessity and perishes on the cross. As God he is free, that is to say, determined by the goals immanent to him, and emerges before man as an envoy of the future, of the very goal which, in Christian terms, mankind must implement through its history. The image of Christ is consequently the first (as far as we know) theoretical model of the historical subject (hence, of man as creator and reformer and as ethical creature). So we observe the formation in Christianity of a notion of universal history and of man as the representative of mankind as a whole. Secondly, the Christian consciousness actualizes this notion in the idea of the discrete—in relation to time—being of the world. Indeed universal history, according to Christianity, is only a limited moment of being and its boundaries are strictly and precisely defined: the commitment of the primal sin (and this sin bears directly upon our theme, since it consists in the cognition of good and evil!), sets in motion the historical clock, the Last judgement stops it. Before and after history there is only eternity.

Certain scholars attempt to portray Marx's understanding of communism as eschatological, viz., as an absolute goal the realization of which signifies the end of history. [38] To us such views seem quite unfounded. Both the direct statements of Marx and the entire thrust of his theoretical construction demonstrates that communism in Marx's understanding is man's transcending beyond the boundaries of limited sociality, placing man in dependence upon external expediency, making him unfree, partial. That is why communism is characterized by Marx either through negation (the absence of the social division of labour, of classes, the state, etc.) or through the parameters of the infinite (freedom, the universal development of the essential forces of man, universal intercourse, etc). We observe that Marx's negative observations pertain to the socium, and positive‑infinite—to man.

Thus, that which we might call the present or actual sensuous being of the historical subject is determined in two opposite ways: from the past to the present (causal determination) and from the future to the present (goal determination). The former is expressed in the dependence of the subject upon the external world (necessity), the latter—in the dependence of the world upon the activity of the goal‑positing subject (freedom). The degree of dominance held by the second way over the first could most probably be taken as a criterion, thereby a definition of historical progress (of course, not the sole criterion).

This twofold determination has not been grasped by contemporary scientific thought, which regards as explanation only the discovery of cause and therefore repeatedly inquires: “Where, then, is the cause of the goal?” This  question can be answered only in one manner: "The same place as you'll find the goal of the cause," that is to say, in nature, in the universe. In pointing to the cause for a given goal we are committing, perhaps unwittingly, an act of reduction; we reduce time to space ("geometrize" time), man to matter ("the human machine" or "labour power"), freedom to necessity ("freedom is cognized necessity"), process to structure (system analysis applied to history), history to sociology and ethics to morality. At the historical level this indicates that we, in explaining the past, investigate the causes and motives underlying processes and actions, that is to say, man within the sphere of causal logic. But as soon as we try to extrapolate this mode of explanation into the future, we arrive at one or another form of fatalism. For the notions of "freedom" and "subject" there is no place in such a conception; hence there is no room for the concept of  history. One is compelled to state that there exists a fundamental distinction between the future (the logic of aim) and the past (the logic of cause). The world of things does not know such a distinction, therefore extrapolation "works" perfectly there (in the form of scientific prediction), but it does not know real time either (time is "geometrized"). Science presents a picture not of nature as such but rather of its "material projection", a view of nature through the prism of the logic of things and material relations.

Still, what goal does in fact "project" human history and man as a historical subject? In philosophy the answer was found long ago: man as goal in itself, as universal being. In such an instance the entire history may be regarded as the formation of man, as continuing anthropogenesis. The point of origin must be considered the emergence of reflection; that is to say, the ability to make of oneself an object (and consequently a goal), to detach oneself from one's own life activity (and hence to make this life activity the means to an end). The ability to reflect signifies the possibility of standing outside oneself, viz., transcending the boundaries of the self, which in fact is the definition of infinity, universality and of a being living in time (the equivalent—in the future), and perhaps even the definition of time itself.

This "projecting" of man lives in him, and is carried out in the concrete‑historical, transient images of various cultures. Giving expression and accomplishing these images man is not absorbed by this concreteness, and cannot in this act of accomplishment express himself exhaustively, completely, for in each instance he divorces himself from his embodiment and transcends—remaining through all changes himself to an equal measure—i. e., unfulfilled, potential universality.

This tantalizing feature of man compels him throughout the history to search out for the eternal in all cultural manifestations and try to detach it from the "transient"—from historically conditioned forms. The images of the eternal cosmos, eternal gods, eternal substance and eternal matter are nothing but an attempt to explain the "many" through the "one", the temporal through the eternal. The existence of the idea of the transcendent and of truth as process demonstrates that this search is necessary, but at the same time cannot be brought to completion. The very existence of this enquiry reveals to us man as a be "projected" by his own future (not extrinsically but intrinsically, not of necessity, but freely). One of the forms of this projectivity, or as was commonly said, of "man's mission", turns out to be, as we have tried to demonstrate, ethics.

Without an analysis of this determinacy the understanding of history as the becoming of man, as continuing anthropogenesis is impossible. This means one cannot understand the origins of man, that is, his past, without analyzing his future, in particular, such forms of determinacy by and of the future as ethics. Incidentally our argument permits an unambiguous resolution of the question so hotly debated in contemporary science: is man homo habilis or is he an animal? [39]

The fact that homo habilis possesses the aptitude for instrumental action demonstrates that despite his pithecoid morphology he already detaches himself from his life activity, i. e., reflects and is capable of transcendence. But this indicates that he is already a man, for in him is already "projected" all of subsequent genuinely human development: all of history, culture, ethics, etc. Incidentally, the morphology of the homo sapiens species is also projected. All of his subsequent development is not of a biological type, nor is it determined by biological laws. Thus even anthropogenesis is regarded only as the establishment of the biological species homo sapiens, even here it is necessary to formulate a thesis which is paradoxical from the viewpoint of modern anthropology: the emergence of the biological species homo sapiens is not a biological process. In this context our image and understanding of anthropogenesis turns out to be substantially different from that accepted in modern science.

The way in which we in this article have presented the formation of individual ethics meets with yet another series of contradictions and paradoxes. We posited the spatial‑temporal existence of the individual as the development of his life simultaneously on two levels—the social (spatial unfolding) and the cultural‑historical (temporal unfolding). A concrete analysis of cultural‑historical determination of the individual implies that the given historical culture be taken as a qualitatively unique whole. But the representation of culture through definitions characterizing it as a whole, links the historical origins of this culture with its end, and it takes shape before us as a structure and not as a process, that is to say, once again in the "spatial unfolding", as one both confined and again in limited (in general any definition is a limitation). Ethics, which bears pan‑human and absolute content, turns out to be beyond the scope of our investigation, and remains elusive. Time is in this context ousted to the sphere of transition from one culture to the next, i.e., to the immeasurable, the transcendent.

But then the effort can be made to approach the analysis of concrete-historical culture from the other side, namely to define it as a whole through its "future‑past", viz., to ascertain from what and how it emerges and into what it is being transformed. With such an approach culture appears as the struggle between the past and the future and its own essence appears as a contradiction in substance. Culture in this instance bears within itself universality in the form of the possibility of transcending its own limits. Then the opportunity arises of understanding it as a unique phenomenon and as the embodiment of universal human history, and hence, as pan-human ethical content in the forms of the ethical consciousness set forth by the given culture. But even this is not quite so simple, since the very understanding of the universal also changes and for an elucidation of the meaning of history it is necessary to understand what "projects" man per se. It remains to define man through his "future‑past" since, as we have made clear, no universal structural definitions are applicable in this instance and since the essence of man lies in transcendence. Once again we have arrived at an understanding of history as a problem of anthropogenesis—an unending problem, requiring simultaneous theoretical movement both in the past and in the future, both in the forms of causal logic (in particular, scientific) and of goal logic which itself is still a problem.

The argument we have presented concerning the succession of ethics through the "field of culture" permits us, as we have sought to demonstrate, to clarify certain relations between ethics and science as a historical phenomenon. The question becomes much more complex when we touch upon the formation of the ethical consciousness of a separate individual. Here we encounter instances revealing the insufficiency and one‑sidedness of this argument.

One instance is the full ethical transformation of the individual, an upheaval of sorts leading him to a high ethical position. In this context we know of instances when such a transformation takes place in circumstances virtually excluding the mastery by the given individual of the substance of culture.

Research in psychology and education provides us with examples of mature ethical consciousness in children aged 7‑9 who, naturally, have not had the time to assimilate culture to the degree permitting us to consider this assimilation the source of the evolution of their ethical consciousness.

Sometimes the image of a person encountered by the individual in his life serves over a stretch of years as the ethical criterion for this individual's actions. The assessment of the action in this context takes on the form of a question: "What would X say about this?" or "How would X act in this situation?"

This example, to all appearances, marks the path to an understanding of the earlier ones: there took place an encounter with a personality, with a man in whom personal qualities were pronounced. If we recall that the personality (as a transcending entity) is boundless, it becomes clear that contact with a personality can lead one beyond the boundaries of limited sociality and hence, on an ethical level, offer the individual the opportunity of appraising the restricted nature of existing morality. This in turn leads to the development of that inner conflict which we have attempted to portray as forming the individual's ethical consciousness. Moreover, as a result of this boundlessness, contact even with one isolated individual may exert more influence on the individual and in his eyes be more important than his social and quotidian environment.

This personality (this X) may turn out to be one's school teacher, school- or play‑mate and so forth, perhaps even an incidental acquaintance. Apparently of great import in this context is the role played by extreme situations when a sole instance either experienced through or witnessed by the individual can bring him to an ethical turnabout.

We can thus state that the formation of the individual's ethics is not of necessity directly connected with his assimilation of forms of culture. Ethics (just as in the opposite case—immorality) is infectious and the "infection" can take place through personal contact between individuals (their social intercourse is responsible for morality). The historical forms of culture and social relations in this instance determine the objective conditions and opportunities for personal contact and, apparently, the susceptibility of the individual to this "infection".

The Christian church was a social institution controlling education for hundreds of years because in particular, it organized each individual's encounter and contact with an ethical ideal and image presented in the personality of Christ. We call attention to the fact that this ideal is simultaneously a "model" of the historical subject and an image of culture. As such it is not confined within the framework of the church, which bears all the limitations and flaws of a social institution. The Reformation tried to resolve this among other contradictions, although the attempt was unsuccessful.

In conclusion we observe that forms of culture and direct personal contact do not apparently exhaust all modes of the "'projection" of man by his "future‑past". Indeed even the historical development itself of these forms is in turn "projected" in man, i.e., human history is projected within man. We still know very little of the means by which this is carried out (this, too, is a problem of anthropogenesis). Thus, the theme which we have touched upon remains open for further inquiry.


1 See A. Arsenyev, V. Bibler, M. Kedrov, An Analysis of the Developing Concept, Parts I and III, Moscow, 1967 (in Russian).

2 This circumstance gave rise to the entire body of literature, both in the natural science and humanities. We refer the reader, for example, to Louis de Brouglié, Sur les sentiers de la science (Paris, 1960); Albert Einstein, Physic und Realität; P. F. Preobrazhensky, Ancient Ideas and Images, Moscow, 1965, pp. 663‑65; Istochnikovedenie, Moscow, 1964, pp. 59‑101.

3 "The individual is the social being. His life even if it may not appear in the direct form of a communal life carried out together with others—is therefore an expression and confirmation of social life" (K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, pp. 104‑05). It should be mentioned that the overwhelming majority of theories on anthropogenesis are unsatisfactory precisely because they are incapable of explaining the origin of the collective, social essence of man.

4 “The individual's universality, not as a perceived or imagined one but as the universality of his real and ideal relations. Hence also the understanding of his ideal own history as a process and the cognition of nature (as a practical power over it) as a real body in a way” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Works, Second Russ. ed., Vol. 46, Part II, p. 35). Counterposing man's universality as a future task to his limitations under the capitalist division of labour, Marx calls him a "partial" individual in the latter case.

5 Marx often discussed the problem of the genetic ties between science and capitalist production. We refer here to only a few of his remarks. See K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, pp. 100‑11, K. Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1971, pp. 81, 268; K. Marx, Theories of Surplus‑Value, Part 1, pp. 390‑91.

6 K. Marx, Theories of Surplus‑Value, Part III, Moscow, 1971, pp. 275‑76.

7 We shall not dwell at length on the problem of the materialization of activity, its interrelations and objectifications as well as its multiple social consequences. All this was worked out in detail by Marx. His arguments on this subject are especially numerous. We refer the reader to the summary article by G. S. Batishchev, "The Active Essence of Man as a Philosophical Principle", in The Problem of Man in Contemporary Philosophy, Moscow, 1969 (in Russian).

8 J. D. Bernal, Science in History, London, 1954, p. 11.

9 K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 110.

10 K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, Moscow, 1964, pp. 429‑30.

11 Norbert Wiener, I Am a Mathematician, Garden City, N. Y., 1956, p. 311.

12 "In fact, the realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. . . . Beyond it [the realm of necessary and actual material production—A. A.] begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis." (K. Marx, Capital, Vol. III, p. 820)

"Within communist society, the only society in which the original and free development of individuals ceases to be a mere phrase, this development is determined precisely by the connection of individuals, a connection which consists partly in the economic prerequisites and partly in the necessary solidarity of the free development of all, and, finally, in the universal character of the activity of individuals (K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, p. 483.) See also K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, pp. 87, 91; K. Marx, Theories of Surplus‑Value, Part III, p. 122; K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, pp. 106‑07, 159.

13 K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 111.

14 Werner Heisenberg, Physik und Philosophie, Stuttgart, 1959, S. 95.

15 "The natural sciences have developed an enormous activity and have accumulated a constantly growing mass of material. Philosophy, however, has remained just as alien to them as they remain to philosophy." (K. Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 110 .)

16 "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it." (K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1969, p. 15)

17 The limits of the possible for science in this sense are recognized by scientists themselves. Here is what, for example, Max Born wrote on the subject: "It seemed to me then [in 1921—A. A.] that the scientific method was more preferable than other, subjective methods of forming the picture of the world—philosophy, poetry or religion. . . . Now I regard my former belief in the superiority of science to other forms of human thought and action as self‑deception (Max Born, Physik in Wandel meiner eit, Braunschweig, 1957, S. V.)

18 Quoted from the notes of V. Berestov, Yunost, No. 6, 1966, p. 83 (in Russian).

19 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Asthetik, Bd. 1, Berlin and Weimar, 1965, S. 182.

20 K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. III, Moscow, 1972, pp. 359‑60.

21 K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, p. 267.

22 K. Marx, Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie (Rohentwurf), 1857‑1858, Berlin, 1953, S. 79.

23 K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, p. 84.

24 K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1973. p. 127.

25 K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 30.

26 K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1974, p. 164.

27 K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, p. 178.

28 Ibid.

29 K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, p. 267.

30 Ibid., p. 460.

31 Ibid., p. 317.

32 F. Engels, Anti‑Dühring, Moscow, 1969, pp. 113‑14.

33 “Thought generating solely finite definitions and moving in them is called reason” (G. W.F. Hegel, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. V, Leipzig, 930, S. 58).

34 C. P. Snow, Public Affairs, London, 1971, p. 192.

35 C. P. Snow, Public Affairs, p. 195.

36 Ibid., pp. 197‑98.

37 P. Bitsilli, Aspects of Medieval Culture, Moscow, 1919, p. 133 (in Russian).

38 See Robert C. Tucker, "Marx and the End of History" (Paper presented to the international symposium at Triers, 1968, dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Karl Marx).

39 See the discussion in the journal Priroda Nos. 1, 2, 1973 (in Russian).

SOURCE: Arsenyev, A. "The Relationship Between Science and Morality (Philosophical Aspects)," in Science and Morality, translated from the Russian (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), pp. 130-187.

Note: Footnotes were converted to endnotes and renumbered for ease of reference.

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Science and Morality (book)

"The Relationship Between Science and Morality (Philosophical Aspects)" by A. Arsenyev
(this essay in original format)

See also:
"Knowledge, Faith and Morality" by E. Solovyov
"Scientific Truth and Moral Good" by O. Drobnitsky

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