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Science, Reason, and Knowledge in SRW-Methodology

A.A. Piskoppel

Working out and implementing modern programs that elaborate «methodological» ways and methods of Reason have a history of their own that is connected to the development of views on methodology. The most radical view on the ontological status and functional meaning of methodological reason and knowledge is inherent to the proposal called SRW methodology («Structured Reasoning Work Methodology»).

Activities of one of the trends within modern methodological movement found their expression through this comprehensive proposal, which served as a means of reflection and self-organization for the Moscow Methodological Circle (MMC); the history of this comprehensive program’s coming into being is at the same time the history of the MMC itself, which passed through a number of conceptually meaningful stages during its development, each of which was directed by a distinct program.

With regard to the MMC’s trend of methodological thought, there are a number of points that can be singled out and considered separately. The most important of them is: its fundamental and consistent refusal to treat Methodology in a traditional way as self-conscious, or self-reflective of science, and thereby treating it as a part of science, or as a special scientific discipline.

SRW methodology connects its ideological origin to the proposal on Logic developed by A.A. Zinoviev in the period from 1949 to 1954, in which he argued for the necessity of organic interaction between an inquiry on Logic with a detailed analysis of scientific knowledge and scientific reason. As far as the content is concerned, this proposal was on the one hand opposed to traditional concepts «of formal logic» and «of dialectic logic», which were widely in use at that time [Translator’s note: we are talking about the USSR mostly], and on the other hand, opposed to the guidance of the development of methodological work represented in the proposals «Philosophical Problems of Natural Sciences» by I.V. Kuznetsov and B.M. Kedrov and «Dialectic Logic» by E.V. Ilyenkov. The program on content and the genetic inquiry of reason and knowledge (content-genetic logic), which was drawn up by 1955-1956, was its immediate continuation and development; it was also the first proposal to come out of the MMC (at that time it called itself the “Moscow Logic Circle”, MLC).

The leading motive behind the creation of this proposal was a deep dissatisfaction with the status of the inquiry on logic and development and its place in the tank of modern scientific knowledge. From the point of view of this program’s creators, traditional logic neither examined nor could examine modern scientific reason and consequently contributed nothing or next to nothing to the development of science and scientific inquiry. Yet it is logic that should investigate reason and formulate its laws (i.e. act as a theory of reason). It is logic-and not the traditional one, but a new logic (content-genetic)--that should study and generalize the main laws and rules of scientific inquiry, laws and rules for constructing theories. Our outcome will be a modern methodology of science.

This program has emanated from an a priori proposition that science, scientific reason, is the basic form of existence of human thought in general and that by virtue of this fact, such new logic would be the Logic (and Methodology) of Science, i.e. it would be the program of development of the theory of reason (a scientific theory of a special type), capable of executing functions of logic and Methodology within scientific inquiry.

The basic points of the program of content-genetic logic were:

  • An assertion regarding the historical nature of human reason (geneticism)
  • An assertion regarding the dependence of forms of reason on the conceivable contents and therefore about their multiple nature (pithiness)
  • An assertion about treating reason primarily as an activity within a theoretical framework, as opposed to its being treated as knowledge (activitism).

Implementation of the proposal assumed conducting both an inquiry into and a report on the main regularities of reason in views and knowledge, which is viewed through a prism of the problem category, i.e. represented as problem solving. Carrying out «logical» inquiries of this kind required engineering of a system of means and propositions permitting the analysis of language texts of various natures, taking them apart so as to reconstruct the processes of reason as such and to represent them specifically as those of reason.

The first step down this road was the analysis of the premises of a formal logic proposition on the processes of reason, and conditions and restrictions on methods for their submission connected to these premises. In the course of the analysis, the principle of the form and contents of reason being parallel was formulated as the basic principle of formal logic and epistemology. Accordingly, renunciation of this principle of their parallelism became the basic assertion of content-genetic logic. This renunciation in its positive plane resulted in putting forward a hypothesis, that reason is a kind of «two dimensional» traffic, i.e. it allows for simultaneous movement in the planes of designator and designated, and that the genetic inquiry of reason requires the analysis and sign form of language expressions, and objectivity of its content, without the understanding of which a valid revelation of the structure of expressions of language is impossible.

Methods were offered for the analysis of the objective content of basic knowledge presented in object-practical comparisons of an «object» under investigation with «control objects» and were then fixed in the sign form of knowledge. Thereby reason and knowledge within its content-genetic interpretation were considered from two perspectives from the very beginning: firstly, as an image of certain objects, as fixed «knowledge»; secondly, as a process (or «activity»), by means of which this image is formed, and by which it then is used. It is the procedural, or activity plane of reason that was put forward here on the foreground; first in the form of object-practical operations with actual objects, and then in the form of operations with symbols of the language itself as with special abstract objects replacing actual objects of a practical operation/action. As a result, there was formed a vision of reason as activity of a special kind ascending via planes of sign substitution. In other words, from the point of view of such functional-activity theory, the reason acted-first of all and primarily-as an operation with objects, substitution of units originating at the expense of it by symbol forms and raising new levels above these forms at the expense of operations with signs.

According to the accepted proposal, the work was planned to be recurrent in design: at first a theoretical discourse of initial means of the analysis, then logical-empirical analysis of the original philosophical and scientific texts, which embodied «reason in action» using specifically constructed means, then reflection on the obtained outcomes and again methodological deployment of means of the analysis in the course of another theoretical discourse, etc.

Classical works by Aristotle and Aristarchus of Samothrace, Euclid and Galilei, Newton and Descartes were used as historical scientific material. Analysis of similar examples of scientific reason was at the centre of MLC interests. The work was conducted using various historical scientific materials, embracing concepts and model propositions of the molecular-kinetic theory of gases, structural models of organic chemistry, and chemical physics, etc.

Alongside creating a «theory of reason» per se and logical methodological inquiries using concrete scientific material within the framework of the argued proposal, there was also a metawork on clarification of initial proposals about logic, Methodology, gnoseology, etc., mutual relations among them, which, on one hand, opened new horizons for further development of this scope of problems, and on the other hand took into account usual historical traditions of philosophical views.

According to the views accepted at that time, in the history of philosophy there was formed a group of methodological, or epistemological, or Logical (with the capital letter) disciplines, that had a distinct specific subject of their own, different from those of concrete sciences, and this subject was: the interrelation between an object and knowledge under the condition of their separation and opposition to each other.

It was supposed that within the framework of this group of disciplines integrated by a uniform object basis there are quite definite boundaries between separate disciplines. There were selected two historical cultural lines and forms of philosophical reason-logical and ontological-to actualize the boundaries. At this point, logic and logic inquiries were different because they were of a generalized character and revealed the eternal and constant structure of reason (logos), and the ontological inquiries were of a more individual and partial character and were streamlined within themselves into two trends: the ontological one per se and the methodological one. And the methodological trend was thought of as a branch of the ontological one, which stretches through the entire history of philosophy, and, in its concrete philosophical plane joining together various attempts to bring about an explanation for the origin and usage of certain individual concepts, knowledge or theories.

According to such a view on the genesis of philosophical trends and disciplines, methodology, the one that was servicing science, (methodology of science) was considered as including, on one hand, a group of logical disciplines (subdivided into ontological, epistemological and formal logic), and on the other hand, a group of purely methodological disciplines (subdivided according to their scientific subject).

The results of the development of the historically usual form of methodology of science were considered on the whole as unsatisfactory. For, on one hand, there were distinct, fairly generalized-and seemingly easily transferable from one field to another-general logical notions resulting from said development. But they did not work, i.e. they could be transferred, but there was no need for that. And on the other hand, there were very witty methodological treatises explaining the history of certain concepts. But all of them were of an extremely narrow nature and could not be transferred onto other fields.

Therefore further direction of the MLC was thought of as a transition from empirical methodology to logic, i.e. a transition from concepts circumscribing certain concrete scientific theory to description of the structure of concepts of a certain abstraction level or stage of reason development as such. This movement from empirical methodology to broad generalizations was considered a turnpike path of the construction of the logic of science, i.e. an explanation of single concepts’ “life” based on universal/general concepts of logic. And logic itself (the new logic) was treated as the upper, abstract floor of empirical science for processes of reason. And logic or theory of knowledge should, for this purpose, historically and functionally represent reconstruction of object of knowledge at the expense of comparing knowledge about it historically following one after another.

The general framework of the forwarded proposal of content logic and methodology of science has become ”... a decisive problem on

  • Whether there is a way around the sinister, opposing pair, “formal logic” or «psycho-logism»?
  • Whether a non-psychological theory of reason is possible?
  • What should reason be and what it really is as the subject of study of the genuine methodology of science? “ [G.P. Shchedrovitsky 1997: 241].

Here first of all it is necessary to note one major feature of the MLC-MMC immediately connected to the search for the answer to the «decisive» problem based on a possibility of a non-psychological theory of reason. This peculiar feature was an organizational form of intellectual communication accepted within the framework of this movement: discussion of ideal content, “thrown into” team/brainstorm theoretical discourse. This was a special form of team/collective interaction, which was reflected upon later as an organizational, practical form of methodological work as such.

As a result, historically, the search for a solution for this problem had two initial equally significant foundations: 1) reflection on the course and outcomes of logical methodological inquiries into the history of science and 2) reflection on the set-up of team/collective discourse itself within the MLC-MMC regarding the content of logical methodological inquiries of scientific history. In the course of comprehension and intellectual synthesis of these general work foundations, two key concepts emerged in the foreground while developing a means of similar inquiries and submissions and regulatory metaprinciples servicing it, which were later on turned into independent theories: the concepts of activity and system.

Bringing meaning to these two concepts is linked to the creation of the next proposal, that of the MMC itself and of a new stage of its development, a proposal for «an activity approach and general theory of activity», which guided the course of inquiries and treatises of this methodological movement from the beginning of the 60s through the beginning of the 70s. At this stage, the results of the work within the framework of content-genetic Logic were reviewed, generalized, thought over, and assimilated in a new plane. A new vision of the meaning and role both of methodology and methodological work was put forward.

Inquiry into the content of the concept of activity as a specifically methodological concept was connected to realizing the existence of a special reality embodied by the mechanism of the continuous assimilation of the implemented processes and the transformation of the implemented procedures into means and methods. This mechanism was singled out and was identified as one of the basic and major mechanisms of the development of reasoning activity and of activity in general, the ”functioning” of which results in the fact that the analysis of performed activity changes its (the activity’s) material and mechanism. An inevitable conclusion followed, that a turn in its (activity’s) understanding and interpretation as of a category should be the premises of constructing its subject.

Such a turn was impossible without further development of main conceptual means and propositions, without a modification of views on Methodology per se. Among such means, first of all, it is necessary to designate systemic structural concepts and views, which become the basic means for providing concepts for the activity universe. Within the MMC movement there took shape a special trend connected to the development of a methodology of systemic structural inquiries and elaborations, and this was also connected to creating conceptual means of systemic analysis as one of the imminent means and methods of methodology. The extension of the field of the problem and conceptual means stimulated in turn a modification in the vision of methodology. This was a view of methodology as a completely separate discipline, where methodology was no longer considered to be one of the trends in scientific research activity (methodology of science), but as «a theory of human activity», the subject of which was not only the activity of knowledge, or reason, but all historically known activity of mankind, and it came to change our view of methodology as an empirical methodology, or as a self reflection of separate sciences, as a part of methodology of science, to be absorbed by the logic of science.

Development of views on activity, the specific models and theoretical patterns and appropriate conceptual means, become the major objective for methodology as an activity theory. Among major distinctions necessary for presenting activity as a theory, distinctions were drawn between «subject» and «object» of knowledge, «structures» and «organizations», « systems of a subject » and « systems of an object », «relation» and «link», and a methodological version of the concept «system» was also developed.

The major opposition, to which the new interpretation of methodology as a separate and independent discipline was connected, has become the opposition of «subject» and «object» (of knowledge), within the framework of which the subject of knowledge acted as a structured, ranked system of substitutions of the object by knowledge (of the object) included in certain systems dealt with, in which these systems of substitution really exist as objects of a special kind. The main feature distinguishing subject from object is that the former is a product of research (human activity) and as such is subordinate to special regularities, which are distinct from the regularities of the object.

Another basic distinction included in explication of almost all system-structural concepts has become the opposition between «relations» and «links» between objects. “Relation” within the framework of this distinction can be established practically between any qualitatively homogeneous objects at the expense of referring to the system (medium): space, object, time, etc., which includes them. «Link» is always an outcome of the analysis/synthesis (actual or conceivable) of some whole into elements and is used for restoring the initial wholeness. The population of modally homogeneous links of a whole derivates an appropriate «structure» (of an object or subject); and that which is integrated by a structure, or that which is left if the structure is excluded, was called the «organization» of the object (subject).

«System» in turn, or, to be more exact, the submission of an object as a system, assumes that the object (subject) is a composition of organized structures: remedial, functional, and morphological. Submissions of this type have received the name of systemico- structural ones.

The indicated distinctions constituted a basis for a purely methodological, «structural ontology», where conceptual distinctions of «place» and «filling» (function and material), «operation» and «genesis», «properties-functions» and «attributive properties», «morphoprints» and «systematicness» etc., found their place. Among these new concepts (or new interpretations of already existing concepts) the major ones for further development by theMMC movement were concepts of «place», «filling» and «morphoprint» (the concept which updated and replaced the one of organization).

The distinction between «place» and «filling» disclosed the meaning of the concept of «system element», which, on one hand, underlined the presence of a population of links (requested functions) with other elements within it, defining its special place in the system, and on the other hand, it underlined the presence of that material (either the real or the ideal object), which is capable of independent existence outside the system, and which carries out the requested functions assigned to it.

Another major concept that came around was the concept of a «morphoprint» (though it has a number of different interpretations) as a part of the distinction  «process versus morphoprint ». Here «morphoprint» is a material, morphological trace, which is left behind by a «process» going on in some material and preserved as its form after the «process» is completed.

Systemic objects of various types were subjected to methodological inquiry based on the above-argued view; structural models of «reflective» systems, «centaur-systems» etc. were built. Such means of methodological analysis as «a pseudo-genetic method,» method of «configuration», the method of «double» knowledge etc. were updated.

With the help of the conceptual methodological means of systemic structural inquiries and elaborations within the framework of a structurally functional model of social - industrial systems, the concepts of cultural «norm» and process of «transmission» of norms, most important for the further development of the MMC movement, were presented. For want of it «norm» (the cultural one) was considered as a sample of a method of activity permitting an activity to be continuously reproduced (to exist historically); the sample, which is separated from actualization of activity and begins to exist (to be transmitted) within a separate incidence (that of culture) under its own rules.

These concepts allowed it to enter a basic theoretical concept «of methodological work» (activity) as a co-operation of at least three types of activity: a scientific inquiry, history of cultural «norms» of activity, and methodological/methodical activity.

Problems and approaches of methodologies of science and general views on science and history of science were, in turn, reviewed through the prism of systemic structural concepts and basic concepts of «theory of activity». The review was first of all connected to crossing the boundaries of the research approach to science only and reflection on the MMC movement practice as a special, activity type approach to socio-cultural phenomena.

At this stage, as opposed to previous installation of reducing various approaches and submissions of science to logical alone, all object submissions (sociological, culturological, social-psychological etc.) were recognized to be important and essential to the construction of the theory of science. In light of this new vision of the essence of methodological work, the initial situation is treated as typically systemic, and the primary problem in this field of activity was understood as being a problem of constructing a systemic model of a science.

But appreciating the right and necessity of the existence of a number of approaches to the phenomenon of science did not mean their equality; priority was given to the logical approach as expressing the nature of scientific knowledge itself. The logical approach was not equated with traditional, or logical-positivist views (since they are professing the principle of parallelism), but with a content-genetic interpretation of the essence of the logical point of view, i.e. with the approach within which logic acted as «a science about reason and scientific subjects».

This logic, as opposed to that logic, which deals with logical units only in the form of sentences and phrases, adds to its armoury the principle of the plurality of logical units and the impossibility of reducing them to «knowledge» itself as far as functions, or structure is concerned. Among such types of logical epistomological units that cannot be reduced  to each other, it singles out «problems and assignments», «facts», «means of expression and languages», «the ontological figures», «operational systems», «knowledge» etc. The logical methodological block diagram, joining these logical units together, presented scientific discipline as «a scientific subject». The scientific subject represents some kind of an open system, because such it elements, as, for example, «problems and assignments», are reflexive entities in relation to the systems in which they are included. They are connected to certain constellations of ideas, socio-cultural conditions, people, groups of people and organizations, and represent their historical correlation to each other; they represent a form of interception of purposeful human actions within the reality of history.

This very logical methodological vision was offered as the initial abstraction for formulating and answering such questions as what science is, where the boundary between «scientific» and «non-scientific» lies, etc., and as an abstract basis for the consequent connecting of all other views on science.

The tenor behind introducing similar links (system strategy) consisted of considering scientific knowledge and systems of knowledge as morphoprints of activity and reason lying at the interception of many processes and thereby belonging simultaneously to structures of artificially developed logical epistemological systems, behavior structures of both separate people and groups, structures of historical evolution of activity etc. and representing all these processes in organization of their material. Creating means and working out views permitting the implementation of a similar approach to correlating and binding to each other logical epistemological, sociological, social - psychological etc. submissions about science in the beginning of the 70s were put forward as the main problem and the objective of theoretical activity methodology in MMC movement.

Such an approach was intentionally elaborated from the idea of reason development and activity, and in turn considered science and similar formations as «centaur systems», historical views on which as about certain integral entities should integrate in itself moments of natural evolution, artificial development, artificial natural development, and natural - artificial becoming of their subsystems.

From the perspective of such systemic views, T. Kun’s idea about absence of necessary succession and regularity in change of one system of knowledge by another (scientific revolution as the replacement of paradigm) was assessed as misunderstanding because of the absence of the concept of categories «natural - artificial» in the set of conceptual means and as a consequence, there was confusion about the parity of artificial and natural parts in science development.

Such interpretations of problems of the methodology of science come to life in the MMC movement in the 70s, when views of theoretical activity underwent a systemic interpretation. System wholeness, i.e. «reasoning activity», and not reason and activity, acts as the main ontological reality. At the same time there is a new theory about methodology and methodological work connected, firstly, to comprehension of significance of a modification of a practical relation to science and, on this basis, extension of practical application of methodology in general and methodology of science, in particular, and secondly, connected to reflection on work of MMC itself and accepting regulation principles for its work as paradigmatic basis of methodological work in general. In the course of this original work it was necessary to integrate and to practice on equal basis different points of view and approaches to «objects»: historical, normative, methodical, projective, and research one per se. As an outcome, the major focus shifted during the reasoning and practical methodological work from purely scientific installations to statement of problem of interrelation of science and methodology as of relatively independent forms of «reasoning activity/work».

A new MMC proposal and new stage of its development, that of «structured reasoning work (SRW) approach” was formed, embracing period from the early 70s through the early 80s.

Consistently retaining the view on reason as a function of sign means, and historically coherent substantive and sign measurement standards called for permitting equivalence of a set of historical forms of reason and object oriented forms: mythological, religious, philosophical, scientific, projective, engineering, methodological etc. From this point of view on reason, the scientific reason acts only as one definite form of reasoning activity, converting some of its design rules into “nature laws”, and the population of these rules will derivate a science nucleus of its own.

Such interpretation of «nature» of reason has reduced in inversion of the contents of a traditional view on interrelation of science and methodology. The shift in views was closely connected to theoretical activity view on science, to categorial development of both theoretical means and «theories of activity» views.

The first proposal has emanated from a traditional view that methodology is a science of a special kind judged both by its style and method, that it is a scientific reflection on science, that it is, accordingly, raised above science. Within the framework of the SRW approach methodology is considered as a more broad and science embracing formation. In this case it is not science that gives birth to methodology, but methodology to science, through treatises by such thinkers as Kepler, Bruno, Kopernik, and Galilei.

The Methodology, as conceived within ontological level of SRW approach, acts as a special activity formation (supersystem); i.e. an incidence, or organism of activity. Labeling a system as «an incidence of activity» category implies that its bottom line purpose and reason d’etre, consists not of serving other incidences or organisms, but in self-development by processing the material of all the past culture of mankind: values, knowledge, significances, meanings, etc.

Methodology, as an incidence of activity, has a structure and a form of reason of its own: methodological reason called to produce new means and new technology, namely, means and technology of reason, which is above all objects. From this point of view on logic and historical basis of methodology, there is no and there cannot be any «doctrines about methods», and there can exist only methodology as a/the special organization of reasoning activity focused on reflection equipped with special means and procedures.

Existence of a number of types of reason contradicted uniqueness of logic. Therefore, to satisfy with both the proclaimed historicism and with the principle of development of reason and activity, the principle of logic’s multiplicity was introduced. According to this principle, as the logic is the only system of means rationing reasoning activity, so each logic leans on a certain type of methodological disciplines (between methodological theories and logics there are mutual correspondence and links) and ensures programming of technologies of reasoning work, i.e. it is a special sign knowledge technology itself.

In the context of similar views science acted first of all as a population of compoundly organized, cooperated organisms and incidences of activity divided inside themselves into a number of morphoprints, i.e. of specialized scientific subjects. The self-movement of science as an incidence of activity is a major reality and necessarily the starting point within the framework of methodology of a science, all the rest are only our historically varying and historically transient views on nature and society.

As viewed from the perspective of such a vision of science, the mechanisms of naturally developed inquiry activity and knowledge are gone. The nuclear activity of modern inquiry activity is not knowledge as such any more, but guidance, control, and management. Modern full-scale collaborative inquiry activity is effective only in case that there are fully developed various societal supportive structures of organization and management above it. And it is only methodology as a new form of organization of the human reason, which is capable of connecting different styles and methods of reason, and is called to supply managerial work with appropriate sign and knowledge means.

The methodology, which is capable of accomplishing similar «commitments», should be a multiplex whole structured in a compound way. According to views developed at the beginning of the 80s within the framework of MMC movement, structural-systemic methodology is viewed as a heterogeneous and geterohierarchicized system having both hierarchizied and «matreshka-like» structure in synchronic plane alone as opposed to a ‘usual” compound structure and compound system/organization .

A general «view» on system - structural methodology reveals five strata, each of which is as though raised above the preceding one and assimilates it at the same time: 1) engineering, managerial, pedagogical and other similar «practices» act as the stratum of «practical activity»; 2) a stratum of scientific, engineering, project and other «subjects»; 3) stratum to service individual methodological inquiries (of methodologies); 4) stratum of general methodology; 5) stratum of metamethodology (systemic selfreflection of methodology) [G.P. Shchedrovitsky 1981].

What are the essential features of such a «cultural project » and proposal of organization of methodology?

Any concept, - as A.A. Lubitschev once noted, - is best of all determined by pointing at the opposite concept. The concept of methodology, methodological work was always by and large entered via opposition, on the one hand, to philosophy and philosophical method of reason and, on the other, to the metaphysical one.

First of all, and this is what distinguishes methodological reason (being philosophical as per type) from concrete scientific (metaphysical), it is catering on «activity” as opposed to “natural” reality.

Such a focus in catering means that objectivisation of outcomes of such reasoning activity is ensured by their reference (projection) to organizational activity ontology (finding their place in the «picture of the worldmap» of human activity). But at the same time this opposition is not absolute, as «activity» here is not a substance existing alongside with «a natural object» seen as a different substance. It is always an activity directed at an object, which is intentionally implanted in it.

Thereby natural object ontology appears to be included in activity ontology. And “natural objects” themselves are considered for want of it as special morphoprints of reasoning work, created inside philosophy and metaphysical subjects alongside with other ones; metaphysical focus on the so-called natural objects appears to be one of many subdivisions in organization of our knowledge and our reason.“ [G.P. Shchedrovitsky 1981: 207].

Methodological reason and activity differ not only by their focus on activity reality, but also by its special, reflexive relation to it, ensuring methodological reasoning work to be included into activity reality (its complicity).  It can be defined as effective (active) relation as opposed to natural contemplative. It is here, where it is necessary to search for premises of the view on methodology, which considers it as «forms of organization» of reason, which is capable of executing «specific function of a regular foundations of theoretical activity». [Methodological problems … 1984: 7] and to determine «the direction and ultimate goals of the given kind of activity » [Rakitov 1982: 23], «to optimize and to adjust» the process of knowledge”.  [Heuristic and methodological... 1980].

Taking into consideration this feature, methodology can be treated as an incidence and form of activity focused on development of paradigms of the «practical» activity assimilated by it. It is obvious, that this circumstance is meant, when “methodology of science is thought of as an applied discipline of an engineering type, and its subject is thought of as assigned first of all not by the peculiarity of the surveyed activity, but by the population of problems, solving of which must be ensured by necessary means.” [Rosova 1985: 13].

Paradigmatic units of different nature (projects, constructs, views, norms, instructions) and generality levels (aims, principles, methods etc.) are being produced and function within methodology. However we shall remark, that from the structurally functional point of view by no means everything that is on it arms, has paradigmatic character, the same as not knowledge alone, but also logical epistemological units of a different quality (problem, methods etc.), exist within scientific activity (science). Knowledge, and first of all scientific knowledge is the necessary «material» of methodological reason and activity.

Joining together «the knowledge about activity and reason with the knowledge of objects of this activity and reason or, inverting this relation, object knowledge per se with reflexive knowledge » [G.P. Shchedrovitsky, 1981: 204] is to be considered a distinctive feature of their cooperation, condition of their transformation into methodological knowledge per se.

“Construing” knowledge like this, attaching a flavour of a position to it is a direct corollary of the activity focus, by virtue of which natural - object ontology appears embodied into in the activity (organizational activity) one.

We should also keep in mind that the very opposition of knowledge and paradigm has a categorical character and, therefore, is not absolute with regards to the subjects of categorial idealization. Knowledge is by and large included into the genetic structure of any paradigm, as «methodological principles are not randomly chosen constructs of mind, but a summary, a finding from the history of knowledge and practice » [Heuristic and methodological …, 1980: 79].

The opposite (with regards to knowledge) is true, too. And it signifies, that process of «transformation» of paradigms into knowledge and knowledge into paradigms is an indispensable developmental part of the universal set of human activity. Therefore, only taking into account historical development of science and other forms of socially significant reasoning work as a cultural phenomenon can become an actual warranty of efficiency of any methodological paradigm.

The principle of unity of object and reflexive knowledge immediately results into some kind of a methodological version of «concrete» and accordingly «ascending from abstract to concrete». The plurality of views acts here as a characteristic and objective element of methodological reasoning work, as an expression of plurality of roles the “doer” has in relation to the object, and to the methods of its assimilation.

But plurality per se is not something «concrete», it should be in turn overcome by a new unity requiring combining of knowledge obtained in different roles. Within methodology such an «association of different knowledge happens, first of all, not according to the activity object’s structure, but according to the structure of the activity » [G.P. Shchedrovitsky, 1981: 206]. As we all know, the need for combining of knowledge arises when «one and the same» intentionally specified object becomes common for different forms of activity engaged with it, i.e. when their cooperation comes into play. The view on cooperation of activity also represents itself as a major means for combining different knowledge about the object and means of their methodological concrete definition.

The principle of cooperation can be considered as one of main principles of methodological reasoning work. Using it for selfreflection, i.e. not only in methodology, but also in Metamethodology, promotes revealing of the major methodology and methodological method peculiarities. In this light the very possibility for methodological reasoning work as a new form of organization of reason and activity is ensured by its representation and, thus, by reproducing the main forms and methods of culturally significant assimilations of object produced in the course of the history of human activity inside this form. In this case their cooperation itself, which variations open new measurements in cultural historical space of human activity and generate its methodological form, becomes a consciously targeted subject for reflection and cultural innovation. Projecting, criticism, and normalization are incorporated with inquiry and knowledge within it for a purpose: in order to work out paradigms, which ensure reproduction and development of activity.

While in the 70-80s the developed views on methodology and methodological work were of purely internal character and were practised outside MMC only incidentally, the 80-90s are the years of shaping of a special incidence and form of methodological practice.

The thesis, that methodology is not a doctrine only about both means and methods of reason and activity, but a form of organization and in this sense it is a framework of all reasoning work and habitability of the people, practically meant that it cannot be directly transferred as knowledge or a tool kit from one person to another, and it is only possible to grow, nurture, or, include people into a methodological reasoning work incidence new to them, and ensuring them having a full and whole habitability inside the said incidence. But by then there was only one type of such «framework»: methodological seminar with its special morphoprints of reason and activity as a selfreproducing form of interdiscipline collective intellectual communication. During consequent years a new method of transmitting the practical forms of collective organization of reasoning activity work was worked out: organizational activity games (OAG).

Though creation and practice of OAG were based on the totality of the arsenal of conceptual means of methodology, and long-term management experience of the methodological seminar, the new game reality appeared to be so complicated (both in content, socio-cultural, and in the spatially - time planes), that it was impossible to reflect on it and to describe it with the help of existing means. Different theoretical means, concepts and language (down to a new self-title - structured reasoning work (SRW) methodology), intellectual and managerial technologies, both game and psychology technicians were required.

As an outcome of reflection on the reasoning and practical experience of games conducting the vision of OAG was developed as a multifocal organizational technical system imitating an actual socio-cultural situation and including at least three focal points of managing it: methodological, inquiry and game technique, which were in the competitive relations to each other. In turn development of theoretical views on activity and reason has reduced in selection of three various «tops» on the reasoning work’s map: those of reasoning, reasoning communication, and reasoning work. With the help of similar views there was both organizational practical and organizational technical synthesis of different kinds of reasoning work; programming and problematisation, organization and communications, etc., as components of complex and systemic forms of organization of collective reasoning work, was carried out within OAG practice.

Once again we will note, that the peculiarity of the view on methodology and on parity of methodology and other incidences of human activity, first of all sciences, worked out and accepted within MMC movement obtains its meaning through the activity approach to the socio-cultural phenomena. This approach itself consists in transferring our attention and our focus from object as such onto means and methods of our own reasoning work, which creates objects and submissions about them. For «our submissions about an object, and object as a special morphoprint are set and are determined not only and not so much by material of Nature and Universe, but mostly by the means of methods of our reason and our activity » [G.P. Shchedrovitsky, 1995: 154].

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