POST NON-CLASSICAL SYNTHESIS OF KNOWLEDGE IN MODERN BIOTECHNOLOGIES
Keywords:philosophy of science, biotechnology, genetic engineering, CRISPR, post non-classical synthesis of knowledge, nonlinear natural science, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, ethics of science
The article is devoted to modern biotechnologies: genetic engineering technologies, particularly CRISPR, PGD technologies, IVF, etc. Modern biotechnologies differ fundamentally from traditional technologies. The latter were created on the basis on applied scientific knowledge. Modern biotechnologies directly arise from the field of fundamental research grounded on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods.
The modern biotechnologies are considered in the context of the post nonclassical type of scientific rationality, which was developed during the modern global scientific revolution to explore holistic, complex human dimension systems capable of self-organization and self-development. The norms of scientific research of this modern type of scientific rationality were established for nonlinear science, particularly for the theories of self-organization whose variable nonlinear dynamics is described by nonlinear equations with several solutions chosen by chance. That is why the explanation of a certain state of the self-organizing system should take account of system's specific choice of the version of further movement; therefore, it is a description by its logical structure. Even in modern physics, nonlinear theories are descriptive because nonlinear equations are solved by means of numerous approximation methods, describing specific systems in specific conditions of their existence. Thus the contraposition of fundamental theories with the applied ones, which is typical of linear physics, is becoming less relevant. Hence, long-standing critical remarks against biological theories for their inconsistency with idealized hypothetical-deductive standards turn out to be inadequate and misleading in terms of the specifics of biological objects. Ultimately, biology has been provided with the norms of scientific research of the holistic complex systems, which are self-organized and self-developing, in conformity with the nature of living things. From this it follows that biological theories may well be and are descriptive.
Given that the article deals with technologies, the problem of the relation of the artificial and natural take center stage. Exploring this problem, we relied on Herbert Simon's classical work entitled "The Sciences of the Artificial", which was once devoted to cybernetics in the main, though it has wider application. The artificial is created on grounds of human aims, whereas it works according to natural laws. Unlike technique that designs artificial devices, it is critically important that technological processes are not "designed", but originated under certain conditions, and they often deal with the aspects of self-organization. In addition, it is vitally important for biotechnology that any design in genetic engineering should not disrupt the processes of self-organization in living organisms. The nonlinearity of these processes provides a possibility of human intervention that is due to the fundamental variability of such processes, when the intervention creates conditions for a favorable choice. However, a risk remains. Moreover, the definition of favorability is not always clear. Thus, value aspects are irrevocable and they require an appeal to ethics and humanitarian research in general.
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