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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 1

Yudin B. G. Scientific Cognition of Human Being and Values

The article was prepared with the support from Russian Foundation for the Humanities (grant No. 13-33-11120).

(The Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow University for the Humanities)

Abstract ♦ Complex human study faces a methodological problem of the overcoming of rigid dividing lines that separate the approach to human being as a natural creature, on the one hand, and as a substantially supernatural phenomenon, on the other hand. This problem cannot be solved by the determination of the borders between natural and human sciences. The author conceives that the person stands out among all possible objects of cognition from the perspective of values. This axiological foundation becomes the initial for the differentiation of two types of scientific cognition: the object of one of them is human being; the object of the other is everything that does not relate to the human kind. Consequently, both the cognition of human being as a natural, biological creature and its cognition as a supernatural creature (social, cultural, spiritual, etc.) belong to the first type. Thus, the interaction between the biological and the social is considered as something that is evident, significant and realized not in some highlighted points of the continuum of human existence, but over its whole duration. This means that their interaction can be discovered (if it is desired and made in a certain attitude of mind) in any point of this existence.

Further, the author examines two examples of a situation when the consideration of such an interaction is extremely important. The first one relates to the sphere of biomedical investigations where a distinction between human-being-in-general and human-being-as-test-person appears. It is shown that Japanese research center Unit 731 was developing biological weapons during World War II and applying them to the prisoners called maruta (logs in Japanese). This was deteriorating the value of the test persons as humans. The second example is connected with the dual attitude to the application of placebo technology in biomedical investigations.

Keywords: human being, human sciences, values, biomedical investigations, the biological and the social.

Yudin Boris Grigorievich, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Science (philosophy), professor, chief researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, director of the Bioethics Center of the Institute of Fundamental and Applied Studies, Moscow University for the Humanities, full member of the International Academy of Science (Innsbruck, Austria). Postal address: 14 Volkhonka St., B. 5, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991. Tel.: +7 (499) 697-90-67. E-mail:


Citation: Yudin, B. G. (2014) Nauchnoe poznanie cheloveka i tsennosti [Scientific Cognition of Human Being and Values]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 3549. (In Russ.).

Submission date: 10.12.2013.



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