Department of Philosophy and Methodology of Science

History and modern state of the chair

The history of the chair of philosophy and methodology of science begins in 1921, the year when the Belorussian State University was founded. From the very first days of BSU the big attention was paid to the development of social and humanitarian education. The deserved place among the humanitarian sciences was taken by the philosophical disciplines taught by the experts of the chair of philosophy. For years of the university existence it repeatedly changed the name, institutionalization forms and administrative submission. But nevertheless it always remained originally philosophical chair, which traditions and heritage make a basis of the chair of philosophy and methodology of science in its modern state.

The formation of the chair took place in 20th – 30th years of the XXth century and is connected with the activity of such known scientists and researchers as S. Volfson, B. Bykhovsky, V. Ivanovsky, S. Kotsen­bogen, etc. In the 40th – 60th the most significant contribution to the development of philosophy in BSU was made by I. Lushchitsky, V. Stepanov, G. Levin, etc.

In 1973, due to the development of philosophical education and scientific research on the basis of the chair of philosophy two independent chairs were organized: the philosophy of natural sciences which was headed by the Doctor of Philosophy, the professor, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the BSSR V. Stepanov; and the philosophy of humanitarian faculties which head was the Doctor of Philosophy, professor G. Davidjuk.

In November, 1979 the chair of philosophy of natural sciences was headed by the Doctor of Philosophy, professor I. Zhbankova, in the next 1987 till the 1989, it was headed by the Doctor of Philosophy, professor A. Elsukov, and since 1989 till 1991 – by the Doctor of Philosophy, professor P. Karako. During this time the chair successfully provided educational process at natural sciences faculties of BSU, trained the post-graduate students, worked out and developed the scientific problems in the field of the theory of knowledge, social philosophy and philosophy of science.

In 1981 the chair of philosophy of humanitarian faculties was headed by the Doctor of Philosophy, professor V. Stepin. While him being the head the chair stuff achieved significant results both in pedagogical activity, and in the scientific research. During this period the teaching of students and post-graduate students in the field of philosophy has been developed on systematic professional basis, the research groups and scientific schools were created and had successfully declared themselves. The special role among them in the field of philosophy and methodology of a science was played by the "Minsk school" which creative achievements are widely known not only in Belarus, but also in many countries of the world.

In 1987 the chair of philosophy of humanitarian faculties in BSU was headed by the Doctor of Philosophy, professor A. Zelenkov and the chair continued the traditions of scientific research in the field of philosophy and methodology of science and achieved the significant results, serious monographic publications were made, important scientific conferences were conducted on the basis of the chair.

In June, 1991 by the decision of BSU Scientific Council two philosophical chairs were united within the chair of philosophy and methodology of science which became the largest chair of the university in the sphere of social and humanitarian sciences and received the status of all-University chair. The work of the chair was headed by the professor A. Zelenkov.

In the year 1991 there was conducted a research laboratory concerning the problems of philosophical and cultural and social-ecological research. Fundamental, and applied problems of social ecology and modern ecological culture are being researched at it. For these years the laboratory stuff researched problems of ecological consciousness deformation in conditions of a post-Chernobyl reality; interdisciplinary strategy in the development of ecological education and education of the person. One of the last projects is connected with studying of the dynamics and social and cultural status of an ecological ideas of nations of the world and assumes the publication of the four-volume anthology on the given problematics.

Since 1997 the chair of philosophy and methodology of science became a part of philosophy and economy faculty of BSU, and since the 1999, after its division into two independent faculties, became one of the organization developments of the faculty of philosophy and social sciences.

The chair is a widely recognized scientific centre known not only in Belarus, but also in many other countries. In numerous works of the chair members the system mechanisms of philosophy and science interaction at various stages of civilization process are worked out; the features of structure and dynamics of natural science and social theories are analyzed; functions of the traditions in formation and development of social and cultural systems of the West and the East are investigated; the nature of ecological values in modern culture is opened and possible tendencies of their changes under social and technical sphere influence are named.

The chair cooperates actively with the scientists and the researchers, representatives of many foreign scientific and educational centers. A number of well-known joint projects and publications were prepared by the chair stuff together with the philosophers from the USA, Germany, France, China, Bulgaria, Czechia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other countries.

The chair provides an opportunity to receive master and doctor degrees. Now the faculty provides the educational process in the sphere of philosophy and philosophical disciplines teaching at all departments of BSU not only for students, but also for post-graduate students of the university. Its stuff works actively on the development of new educational technologies in the field of social and humanitarian knowledge, basing thus on the accumulated experience and serious traditions in the pedagogical and research spheres. For years of the existence there were trained more than 2000 qualified graduates, over 300 candidates and 14 Doctors of Science in Philosophy.