And what are the specific ways of ascension to it?

 "Wisdom is to know everything - as one".


Let us analyze Raphael’s painting "The School of Athens". At its center one can see two great philosophers - Plato and Aristotle. Greybeard Plato, the founder of the whole European philosophy, points his finger upward, while the young Aristotle’s palm is faced down. With this technique Rafael emphasized the fundamental difference in their attitudes to the science sought by them - wisdom.

Same as Plato, Aristotle believed that knowledge of the general makes a man wise as "a wise man, - Aristotle writes in "Metaphysics", - as far as possible, knows everything, though he has no knowledge of each item separately"1.

This is because, Aristotle goes on, "knowledge about everything has the one, who has the greatest general knowledge, because in a sense he knows everything included in the general. However, perhaps the most difficult for a person is to know this most general, because it is the furthest from the sensory perceptions"2. Therefore, Aristotle names philosophy as the "divine science" because it, learning the wisdom of the Creator, is designed to solve His most general plan.

The difference of opinions was due to the fact that Plato considered all the common and maximally general concepts - "ideas", above which, as the beginning of all, dominated the most general "idea" of good as not only being outside the sensual world, but being represented either by classification or quantitative terms not able to reflect the movement of sensible things. Plato even argued that the general concepts do not refer to the sensible sphere, the knowledge of which is absent, but to the eidos sphere3.

Aristotle, on the contrary, looked for such general concepts, which are inseparable from sensible things and due to which it was possible to reflect their movement, emergence and destruction. According to his plan, they are not numbers and not classification concepts, as Plato proposed, but "the primary causes and principles" i. e. "types of opposition" as Aristotle called the comparative concepts.

And naturally, as an alternative to the Plato’s "Academy" in Athens there appeared Aristotle’s school - "Lyceum", which in addition to philosophy, having its practical orientation, carried out many specific scientific researches. One of the main objectives of the school was criticism of the most dangerous for the development of philosophy Plato’s ideas. Another objective was the approval of a sound development path of the philosophical wisdom.

Historically, it happened so that the dispute between the teacher and his most talented pupil, and then between the "Academy" and the "Lyceum" actually was won by the "Academy". Therefore, all subsequent philosophy having certain respect to the philosophical teachings of Aristotle did not follow him, it followed his teacher - Plato. Following his general plan, the philosophy began to be defined as "a system of the most general (classificatory!) concepts about the world and the man" using such extremely general terms as "being", "matter", "movement", etc. This way of development converted philosophy to a rational, definitive, abstractly-universal form of social consciousness.

The same thing happened to dialectics, which has become "the science of the most general laws of nature, society and thought". Besides, the opposites - the main category of dialectics - were understood not as specific difference between communicating parties provided by one of the "first principles", namely the "excess" and "deficiency" of a certain substrate relating to the intermediate state as understood by Aristotle, but any differences, among which the real opposites were also present. This generalization of completely different relations of reality transformed a concretely-universal comparative concept of "opposition" to an abstractly-universal classification concept that converted the originating theory of development to a science-like scholasticism.

Paraphrasing Anton Chekhov ("Lights"), we can say that our philosophical misery is due to the beginning of our thinking from the end. Normal people end up with what we begin following Plato. Our intellectual work comes to naught due to the desire of maximal generalizations. We are unable go down to lower levels, "and there is no way higher, our brain is at the freezing point - no up, no down".

Realizing the malignancy of the abstractly-general thinking, many philosophers have shied away to the other extreme refusing to build general and the most general knowledge. This completed the emasculation of philosophy having completely deprived it of any claim to wisdom.

Reflecting on the role of philosophy in modern society, Jurgen Habermas in his speech at the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy not coincidentally said: "We, the philosophers, are not the wisest men, who know better than anyone what to say about the man and his problems ... We do not have monopoly for the word. We are similar to other scientists, such as economists, political scientists, sociologists and others who use scientific knowledge to form an idea about the world"4.

Following Socratic-Platonic rational thinking as a model led to a split of the philosophy into a lot of different directions. This is because the thinkers following Plato began to select philosophical foundations randomly and base their consecutively related series of views on them. It left a particular imprint of their personalities in the teachings reflecting the subjective position of their creators. That’s why "their teachings are inappropriate for building a certain integral "collective" construction"5.

In this light, it becomes clear why the rational thinking of philosophers is unable to unite the fragmented science and make a complete picture of the world. Due to the same reason it could not prevent the split of the culture into two parts or into "two cultures" - scientific and humanitarian ones. Finally, the people belonging to them "have lost the ability to communicate and understand each other"6.

The above testify that all European philosophy has lost the essence of intellectual development direction and got into a blind alley, from which it cannot get out for almost two thousand years.

Besides, majority of philosophers ceased to understand the essence of their mission: their research activities are intended not to disclose any particular natural or social links - they must solve the general sense of the world order, find the most general laws of its development not appealing to the mythical supernatural forces.

Pluralism of opinions stimulated a torrent of new philosophies losing the only principles, which could ensure the establishment of generally accepted scientific philosophy. Stated by Aristotle, they not only were, but for all times remain the only possible scientific and philosophical principles that unlike many of the rational bases assert the dictatorship of reason. They are four kinds of oppositions "contradicting to one another", "contrary to one another", "correlated", " bereft and possessed", as well as the first "from" and the last "to where" - "such as different kinds of appearance and destruction"7.

With their impersonality, universality only these objective principles are able to integrate the science and to overcome the split of culture, and thus bring modern philosophical knowledge to the operating room of real science. All the rest, for the most part subjective approaches only prolong the mockery of philosophical wisdom.

Having meticulously comprehended the Aristotelian principles we come to understanding that one of the opposition types - "contradicting" - needs to be divided into two relatively independent comparative concepts: “ identical” A = A and "different" A and not-A. The other three types of opposition "correlated", "bereft and possessed" and "contrary", vice versa, require a combination into one kind labeled with a general term "gradual". The advantage of this concretely-universal concept is that in different properties of reality it identifies the main thing: increase or decrease of the properties intensity.

Taking a usual ruler as a measuring tool, we see that two types of opposition: "correlated" and "bereft and possessed" are two different manifestations of the same relationship. It is the connection between "less" and "more". In the case of "bereft and possessed", the "deprivation" is "lesser" degenerated to zero as its limit. This confirms the fact that the concept of "bereft and possessed" is a special case of "correlated".

The same applies to the concept of "contrary", which is not an independent relationship as it has no difference from the "correlated" except the choice of an objective point of view designated by the term "gradual".

It is important to note that the concept of "gradual" reflects the world order power - the essence of the force, which creates the world and which can be observed from the perspective of three objective points of view.

So, looking at the ruler (gradation) from the "less" point of view (in particular from the point of zero) we see the other end as "more". Same, if one considers gradation from the position of "more" - its other pole is seen as "less" (or bereft). And if one looks at the gradation from middle position there is "excess" and "deficiency" relative to the intermediate that is "contrary".

Since the "deprivation and possession" is a special case of "correlated" we consider not three, but two manifestations of gradual: in one case as "correlated", in the other case as "contrary" differing in one aspect - in the choice of an objective point of view for the given reality.

Therefore, out of the four types of Aristotelian oppositions we accept three types: "contradictory", "correlated" and "contrary", where the concept of "contradictory", as mentioned above, is divided into two parts: "identical" and "diverse", which are placed at different sides of the natural range of comparative concepts formed by us.

                  The natural range of comparative concepts

Making the ascent from the abstract identity (Identical) to the concrete manifestations of gradation (Correlated and Contrary) and comprehending all of their natural and social manifestations, a person acquires the first stage of wisdom, beyond which Aristotle predicted higher levels, but could not find the way to them8.

We complement the concept of "gradual" in the form of its two incarnations (correlated and contrary) with other comparative notions, reflecting more complex causal natural and social ties. Thus, we rise to more general theoretical models reflecting the harmony, reasonableness and unity of the universe9.

Aristotle thinks that every science aims to achieve general knowledge and also "looks for some principles and reasons for all matter related to it". Therefore, the doctrines of both nature and mathematics Aristotle considers as "only parts of wisdom". As for philosophy, it "does not consider partial" and explores every part "only in relation to being" as such10, i.e., to the entire universe. Therefore, the relationship between philosophy and other sciences interacting with it can be likened to a full-flowing river with the totality of its tributaries. Otherwise, as it is nowadays, all the sciences do not merge into a single stream of philosophical knowledge functioning separately.

The fragmentation of knowledge into individual sciences, including the school and university one, results in a fact that the common rational Socratic-Platonic academic philosophy with its plurality of subjective bases has not managed to combine the wisdom of each individual science into the stream of general scientific wisdom. It means that it has failed even to come close to understanding the overall "design" of the Universe.

We aim to show that although Aristotle, as well as all of his supporters have not reached the goal, but his understanding of wisdom not only as general knowledge, but also as the science of "first causes and principles" inseparable from sensible things brings philosophy into the fold of modern knowledge as a philosophical "Theory of everything". Its main idea is that it seeks to describe the relationships of reality in the form of natural range of more and more general comparative concepts starting with the relationship of "abstract identity" and ending with the relationship of "abstract diversity"


Such an approach solves the problem of building a system of the most general knowledge, which determines the integration of science including natural and social sciences, faced by Plato ("Academy") and Aristotle ("Lyceum")11.

Each of the comparative concepts can be comprehended through symmetric scientific categories that characterize the rise of reasoning from one stage to another without giving it an opportunity to jump through any of them.


 With such a purely scientific basis, the society will no longer be built spontaneously, as it was in the past and is happening in the present, but with the objective laws of history, i. e. understanding the kind of state we are building. In this case relationships between people will be considered as a decisive factor of socio-economic, political and cultural development of peoples12.

Therefore the philosophy, as “love of wisdom” must be defined as “a system of more and more general concepts about the world and the man”, almost the same as philosophers defined it for a long time. The only question is about the essence of these concepts: classificatory or comparative, abstractly-general or specifically-general?

Using classification concepts in the comprehension of reality we get an academic, rational, definitive form of social consciousness – philosophy. If one learns to think with more general comparative concepts, in front of him arises reasonable concretely-universal, i.e. developing its thinking higher level Lyceum philosophy, which unlike the previous stage is proposed to be named "aristology".

Such a division into academic and Lyceum philosophy not only eliminates the confusion between the abstractly-universal and concretely-universal forms of social consciousness. It draws attention to the fact that philosophy built on the basis of Aristotelian principles not only eliminates the division of science on subject base, but also includes the Platonic philosophy, within which only arbitrary rational thought acts as its special case. Thus the primary objective of aristology is not only to show short ways to mastering the wisdom of Nature, but also to make the Man more successful and better13 (aristos – the best).

To a large extent new organization of science will promote it. Its summit will be occupied by the "Lyceum", under the overall direction of which all today Academies, universities and secondary schools will be operating.


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