NotaBene .


Epigenetics and Overcoming the NaturalSocial Dichotomy

The paper presents a new trend in biology, epigenetics, and its Importance in reconsideration of the relationship between the natural and the social. The roots and the evolution of ideas of epigenetics throughout the centuries have been revealed, with emphasis being laid on its contemporary stage. Epigenetics marks the end of genetic determinism pointing out the basic fact that genes expression is regulated and controlled by the complex cell environment. The basic mechanisms of that process have been indicated. In close connection to that, attention is paid to another important aspect: outer environment also made an epigenetic imprint on gene expression, and in its turn that imprint influences structures, functions and behaviour of the respective organism, and quite often on its descendants. With humans almost all outer environment factors are social or contain a significant social element. In this respect, one can claim that the social is biologised by its epigenitic imprint and the biological in the shape of that imprint generates social consequences. There are facts testifying that epigenetic mechanisms lead to biologising, to racialising of social stratification. In this respect epigenetics is a great challenge to social sciences which remain beyond the scope of Bulgarian social science.


Durkheim and Durkemanism: a Society sui Generis and the Erasure of Nature

The subject of the study is the evolution of Durkheims views on society, the further development of his ideas on the part of his eminent followers (Mauss and Halbwchs) as well as the reception of Durkheims ideas on the part of sociologists and anthropologists beyond the narrow circle of his disciples. The focus of the analysis is the problem of the relationship between society and nature. The contradictions in Durkheims ideas of society and the failure of his attempt to combine biologism (the strife for existence) and moralism are discussed. Durkheim finds a solution in the separation of society from nature and its description as a reality sui generis. Social facts are declared to be creations of collective conscience; material things, in their social being are transformed into a purely passive element (substrate). Human masses become a kind of substrate as well. Durkheims disciples keep this conceptual frame, whereas other Durkheim adherents change it substantially in various directions. In the whole Durkheim tradition, however, (sociology and anthropology) society has been interpreted as entirely separated from nature in biological and telluric aspect. So, Durkheimian, and mainstream sociology altogether, turn out to be theoretically unprepared for the arising ecological problems and face the attacks of reductionist biosociology of the last several decades. So contemporary development brings us back to the Durkheims initial dilemma about the relationship between the natural and the social.
Keywords: Durkheim, Mauss, Halbwachs, Malinowski, Radcliff-Brown, Levi-Strauss, sociology, anthropology, society, nature, biological


Status of Things and the Theme of Ecology in Marxs Social-Philosophical Conception - Part I

The paper considers the various modes of things in Marxs social context: as objects and tools of labour, as means of production, determining the social process, and also as goods-fetishes. In the first mode, things in Marx are entirely subordinate to human will. In the last two, they acquire autonomous strengths and even reign over the humans but that is linked to specific, historically transitional social conditions. Marks ideal is of complete domination over things in a future rationally organized society. In this framework, Marxs view on nature and the option of ecological interpretation of his works is discussed as well. Finally, the question is raised concerning the possibility of alternative categorial scheme of the relationship between nature and society.


Contradiction Between Economic Theory and Reality, Ergo, Necessity of a New Theory and Value Programmed Practice

Abstract: The study presents an analysis of the contradiction between the dominating neo-classical economic theory and economic reality. Facts and theoretical arguments are adduced proving the presence and the considerable scale of such a contradiction. An essential reason for the deficiency of the theory is its false view of the economic man. This construct is in controversy with contemporary visions of the nature of man in philosophy, sociology and psychology. There are forces and factors in economy disproving the myth of the market being an autonomous mechanism for harmonious development, which meets the criterion of justice as well; a mechanism, leaving an insignificant space for public regulation.
Another thesis expounded in the article is that of the necessity of a new theoretical synthesis to integrate real social forces and factors. This view does not mean crossing out the market as an institution. It is an accomplishment of civilization which is to be used reasonably like every other instrument. The untenability of the idea of growth stimulation is pointed out and is argued that there is need of programmed economic development on the basis of values eminent for human existence (decent material conditions, health, education, personal autonomy).

Keywords: Economic theory, market failures, corruption, politics, values.