Projective Thinking and Future of the Humanities —Mikhail Epstein’s lecture >> Karazin University

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September 18, 2013

Projective Thinking and Future of the Humanities —Mikhail Epstein’s lecture


Karazin University was visited by the famous philologist, philosopher and culture expert, Professor M. N. Epstein. The professor gave a lecture “Projective Thinking and Future of the Humanities” for faculty, scholars, doctoral, postgraduate and undergraduate students of the University. The event was held with participation of the Dean of the School of Philosophy, Professor I. V. Karpenko and Head of the Department of Media Communications of the School of Sociology, Professor L. V. Starodubtseva.

“The Humanities are undergoing a crisis due to the decline of interest in them among students. That is why the future of the Humanities is at stake while projective thinking, an ability to step outside the existing patterns and to creatively approach the process of developing new concepts are just what is needed to change this situation, to outline the new vector for development of the Humanities,” dwells M. N. Epstein on the lecture relevance.

The professor understands projective thinking as an art to create new notions and concepts, to search for update terminological vocabulary, to develop and expand models of scientific cognition in the Humanities related spheres. In his lecture M. N. Epstein devoted particular attention to the methods of the Humanities and generation of practices (secondary arts) on their basis transforming the very subject of their studies. According to M. N. Epstein we are witnessing the process of inculcation of the new generative theory of the XXI century that does not only study what has been formed in the humanitarian field but also creates new concepts, genres and disciplines (trans-linguistics, trans-poetics, trans-aesthetics, etc).

He particularly touched upon the methods of updating vocabulary and grammar of the natural sciences as well processing of the theoretical and practical aspects of word creation. In the professor’s opinion, symbol creation (introduction of new symbols into the language) as a method of word creation should be duly developed along with symbol merging (language) and symbol description (metalanguage). M. N. Epstein is convinced that development of electronic means of communication will make creation of new symbols play an increasingly more important role in culture as compared to merging of the existing symbols. It is scientific and creative work in the time of information technologies that opens up vast space for projective thinking.

Within the visit’s framework there was also held a panel discussion “Alternative Thinking: Mikhail Epstein’s Network Projects and Virtual Worlds”.

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