Irrational Components Of Value Rationality


The structure of real scientific knowledge and its methodology is examined from the standpoint of identifying irrational, unconscious and irrational components. The ideas and works of I. Kant, G. Hegel, D. Dewey, Husserl, Dilthey, G. Gadamer M. Polani, J. Piaget, M. Horkheimer, G. Marcuse, T. Adorno, J. Habermas, Bergson, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Jaspers, Schleiermacher, Simmel, P. Feyerabend and modern domestic researchers of problems are used. Ss irrational components of knowledge the author offers definitions of hidden truth: non-verbal and preverbal truths. It is shown that irrational moments in the new, value rationality reflect the trends of a sharp convergence of natural science and socio-humanitarian knowledge, as well as the irrationalization of culture, as the main consequence of the turn of science to non-classical and post-non-classical and the transition of society to the information stage of post-industrial civilization. Examples are given of how the problem of this article has direct access to various theoretical and ideological spheres of spiritual life, to a broad public consciousness.

Keywords: Value rationalityscientific knowledgeirrationalmethodology


Formulation of the problem. Formulation of goals and statement of tasks. The methodology of scientific cognition has now departed from the traditional classical interpretation of rationality as the rationality and expedient activity of the cognizing subject according to the systematic, ordered, logically coordinated achievement of truth. It also became apparent that knowledge, not yet separate from the subject, is a complex formation, the unity of the logical and psychological. Significant elements of the irrational, non-rational, and unconscious appeared in the structure of rationality.

Problem Statement

The purpose of the article is to analyze the corresponding components of scientific rationality. These components can be not only knowledgeable, factual in nature, but ideological and methodological in nature.

Research Questions

Analysis of recent achievements. Knowledge is not just a system of signs and images, but also plus subjective potentialities, elements of will, attention, recognition, discrimination, etc. Moreover, the psychological side is a peculiar, albeit necessary, background that is formed both in the process of discovering the truth and depending on the rational argumentation of the adequacy of knowledge. Psychological experience consists of non-rational and irrational, intuitive, empathic acts of discernment of meaning, appreciation, emotional empathy, etc., accumulated from the very beginning of the formation of the correspondence of human representations to the subject of cognition. At the same time, the irrational is concentrated in unconscious acts of the formation of non-verbal and preverbal truths. In acts of experience, gnostic emotions are obligatory about the personal meaning of the meanings of truths, including its cognitive aspect. The acts of understanding and explanation of reflection, which contribute to the awareness of the adequacy of the image to the prototype, as a whole do not rationalize all the irrational elements of the cognitive form, it always preserves certain subjective attitudes, the volume of the unconscious, non-rational and irrational that form the emotional and psychological aspect is quite significant ( Bilalov, 2009).

Presentation of the main research material. Feeling, faith, intuition, etc., which make up the content of irrational and irrational, are specifics of not only the earliest forms of cognitive processes of a person, united under the so-called archaic thinking and characterized by extreme emotionality, affectiveness, imagery. In modern psychology of cognitive processes, the aforementioned content includes a whole series of so-called Gnostic emotions – the desire to understand something, to penetrate its essence, curiosity, feelings of surprise and perplexity, feelings of conjecture or proximity to solving a problem, annoyance from a mistake, etc.

These and other gnostic feelings according to the information theory of emotions are generated due to the ideal needs of cognition. The pursuit of objective truth causes will. A faith appears in a similar way, in which, as you know, more is non-rational and irrational than discursive. Polany ( 1985), who considers the passionate contribution of the cognizing personality as a necessary element of cognition, draws attention to the subject's ability, for example, to feel hidden inference as accessible on the basis of existing premises. This sensation as a psychological element guides guesses in the right direction. Heuristic needs imply a belief in the existence of an unconscious, true idea of satisfying them. The discovery, “appeared in response to our search for something that we are convinced is present before us, always comes to us, accompanied by the belief that this discovery is true” ( Polany, 1985, p. 77). In the concept of Polany’s implicit knowledge non-verbalized practical knowledge, individual skills, abilities are inalienable from the subject, elements of a "living" consciousness.

For this and to clarify the anatomy and chronology of the reflexive rationalization of cognitive forms, especially those that are considered irrationalized, in our opinion, it is important to take into account the features of such a powerful layer of consciousness as implicit knowledge. After all, what is a discovery, an open truth? Even if the ultimate basis of everything ideal is material, it can be argued about the direct origin of open truths in two ways: as a reflection of a person’s operation of objective phenomena from his subjective world. From this world, rationally realized by the subject of knowledge, it turns into open truths, explicit and implicit phenomena, of which the implicit is least studied.

In implicit knowledge, one should differentiate true images, which at one time were personal and socialized knowledge, and those that never were. Combining the former under the name of implicit truth, we express the specificity of the latter by the term hidden truth – such a true element of existing knowledge that is currently unknown to anyone, even the creator of this knowledge. The phenomenon of hidden truth, as for the time being an unconscious and unspoken form of consciousness and self-consciousness of the subject, is demonstrated by convincing examples – the excessive content of abstract objects, unknowable and unverbalized truths of individual consciousness, etc. The features of hidden truth are primarily associated with the question of its types of existence. In the "living" consciousness, in our opinion, it is advisable to single out non-verbal and preverbal truths. Of course, the criterion for substantiating their truth is not simple, but their existence is certain.

To non-verbal hidden truth it is logical to attribute truths that, in principle, cannot be expressed in language. Their being is indisputable. Polany’s nonverbalism turns out to be a specificity of even all implicit knowledge, which he reduces, in essence, to skills and abilities, inalienable from the communicative activity of people. Of course, such a hypertrophied approach narrows the scope of implicit knowledge, implicit and hidden truth. In “living” knowledge, such spiritual formations are also real that for a certain time can remain in the preverbal, more precisely, preverbal state ( Bilalov, 2010). The presence of the preverbal phase of the true intuitive results of creativity is shown experimentally: psychological studies of the problems of ontogenesis of children's behavior and the progress of solving creative problems by developed people. An indirect confirmation of this, given the unity of ontogeny and phylogenesis in cognitive activity, is the well-known conclusion about practical cognition carried out outside and before mastering the language, made on the basis of materials collected by J. Piaget about sensomotor intelligence.

Hidden truth is immanently inherent in consciousness, contained in the structure of implicit knowledge. It is the result of an instinctive, non-intentional, unplanned, peripheral activity of consciousness. By virtue of this, although not being consciously and not subjected to direct analysis and verification, it nevertheless appears as a very real, initial cognitive form, corresponding to such efforts of the subject, which can be considered the very first steps towards obtaining true knowledge. It is worth remembering here that according to one of the postulates of Freudianism, every psychic act begins as an unconscious, and who knows if the laws of unconscious activity are more fundamental than the well-known laws of cognition? Maybe in these irrational principles of cognition there are secrets of obtaining true knowledge, subjected to reflection in the Platonic anamnesis, Cartesian nativism, Kantian a priori ...?

The process of creativity, its main stages – discovery and justification – cannot but include the rationalization of latent as a vector of cognition, outwardly not manifesting their functions, unconscious parts of implicit knowledge. The rationalization process consists of discretion, isolation, verbal and conceptual design of the hidden truth, and then, after the formation of open truth, understanding, explanation and justification, consisting of mental and practical actions and developing into an epistemological reflection. Its rational nature, both in terms of means and purpose, in this cognitive case is a powerful testimony of a rational, rather than mystical, way of comprehension of the truth and, at the same time, helps to recreate a more complete image of the subject, not as a rationalized, but full-blooded and active person. And only in this way it is possible to understand what is in knowledge from the object, and what is from the subject, the measure in it of cognitive and value, rational and irrational, etc.

The understanding of creativity as a kind of stronghold of irrationality due to the lack of a predictable algorithm has received widespread recognition in the methodology of science. Heuristic searches, conjectures, of course, contain intuitive processes in interaction with logical ones; their ratio depends on specific mental activity. It turned out, for example, that in solving problems, intuition prevails in determining the area of search, and discursive operations complete the solution. In the period of formation of abstract constructions, hypotheses, truths, intuition and the unconscious application of formal logical methods dominate, along with their conscious use. At the second stage – the justification and assimilation of truth – there is an understanding of the process of its construction, which dramatically reduces the share of the unconscious. Dewey ( 1915) noted:

At the early stage of acquaintance with the subject, a large amount of spontaneous and unconscious play of thought can be allowed, even at the risk of experimenting at random: in the later stages, conscious wording and revision should be encouraged. Design and reflection, going straight ahead and turning back for thorough research should alternate. Unconsciousness gives freedom and freshness, while consciousness gives conviction and control. (p. 72)

At the stage of generating a hypothesis, when it is not yet verbalized, that is, it is an implicit representation, its personal meaning “is not always realized (it can only reveal itself through emotions)” ( Heroimenko, 1989). Then understanding rationalizes the unconscious elements, including the truth of the hypothesis or conjecture.

Let us say that Feyerabend ( 1986) is largely right in his well-known criticism of rationalism. In his opinion, one should not assume that in science there are no areas in which the accepted rules are violated. In every possible way encouraging non-recognized approaches, he advocates the principle of proliferation, overcoming uniformity and conformism, and therefore is the only one, as he believes, compatible with the humanistic position in science. Bordering individual psychological permissiveness, proliferation is linked to “irrational means, such as propaganda, emotions, ad hoc hypotheses, and appeals to all kinds of prejudices” ( Feyerabend, 1986, p. 19). This set of psychic means is necessary, according to Feyerabend, to defend a blind faith, which, by an estimate completely devoid of the irrational, must then be turned into genuine knowledge.

The structure of scientific texts contains a variety of implicit foundations and prerequisites – philosophical, ethical, aesthetic, general scientific – as well as traditions and customs, presumptions, omens, prejudices, integrated from the point of view of hermeneutics in the concept of “experience”. Gadamer ( 1988) traces its evolution in the hermeneutical tradition. He shows that experience forms the theoretical and cognitive basis of Dilthey’s knowledge (V. Dilthey called the connection of understanding and experience an interpretation) ( as cited in Mikeshina, 2008). However, Gadamer endows this concept with great semantic content, not exhausting the function of the last given and the basis of all knowledge. He is for correlating the experience with the "totality of life" and, summarizing the corresponding definitions of Bergson, Schleiermacher and Simmel, he writes that any experience is advanced from the life continuum and at the same time connected with the whole totality of one's own life", while “aesthetic experience is only a kind of experience that exists along with others, but also a representation of the very essence of experience in general” ( as cited in Gadamer, 1988, p. 27).

In the “critical” epistemology of the Frankfurt school, the laws of cognitive acts are denied and all attention is directed to the “irrational essence” of knowledge. It is available, as is believed, to intuition, artistic methods, etc. Even in scientific knowledge, the role of logical methods is denied. It is rightly considered irrational – the result of spontaneous insight, habit, faith, passion, a friend of the spontaneous unconscious elements of creativity. Adorno, for example, openly opposes systemic thinking, which is constrained by certain frameworks, and attaches particular importance to open definitions of individual moments of the phenomenon, suggesting "vagueness, ambiguity, the possibility of gradually compiling them, etc." ( Farman, 1986, p. 73). These methods constitute a method of constellation – the main one, in his opinion, in scientific knowledge. The expressionist method, designed to express the truth through deliberate exaggeration, exacerbation of the situation, is popular. Freudianism also hypostasizes the place of the irrational in the mastery of truth, considering intellectual emotions as sublimations of instinctual drives.

Purpose of the Study

By analyzing the place and role of the irrational in the work of true knowledge, it is necessary to distinguish it from an irrational, temporarily unconscious characterizing illogical forms of a person’s mental activity – a hunch, intuitive foresight, etc.

Research Methods

The complex dialectics of rational, non-rational, and irrational in obtaining true knowledge determined the specifics of a number of historical and philosophical concepts of cognition.


All these ideas of the past, twentieth, century are in line with the strangeness and paradox of modern science, which were already included in textbooks and education. By linking these different-sized features of the ideological forerunners of the neoclassic into the system, it is possible to summarize that the knowledge of the idiom so significant for future destinies as innovation, revision, self-assertion, picking with tradition, experimentation, unconventionality, convention, departure from the theory of spirituality of the beginning of our century visuality, conceptualism, symbolism, an altered pictorial strategy ( Ilyin, 2004). At the same time, in the 21st century, the idea that “in the origins of heurism, so necessary for the discovery of a new, rational less than non-rational, irrational and irrational, is becoming increasingly clear. Rationalism has not found an adequate explanation for the act of creativity” ( Leshkevich, 2001, p. 63). We can agree with the fact that the “unconscious” of science, manifested in the subjectivity and bias of scientists, their emotional attitude to the world under study and to each other, is a source of scientific creativity, the basis of the life force and productivity of science” ( Yurevich, 2005, p. 33). Some Russian philosophers are known to use in this connection the term “flexible” rationality to characterize logical cognition in combination with prelogical and anthropological premises; here rationality is not identified “with the laws and rules of logic”, but deploys the mental essence of an actively knowing subject in its inseparability of the irrational and rational ( Masalova, 2009). Thus, the flexibility and openness of rationality opens the methodological gateway to predominantly irrational and irrational elements of cognition.

The modern methodology is not based on a new idea: even developed, “pure” thinking is not entirely rational and uniformly logically structured. Even Hegel substantiated the Kantian idea of the ability of the mind to deliver the concept of an image through imagination, as the ability of the mind, overcoming dogmatism and the formalism of rational reason, to transfer to a new rationality. Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Jaspers and other outstanding philosophers are right, who give a sharply different idea from the traditionally rationalistic about the nature of thinking. S. Kierkegaard, by “developing an irrational teaching, does not leave the sphere of thinking, but it is in it ... trying to justify irrationalism,” which “can be called intellectual” ( Mudragei, 1985, p. 47).


The problem of this article has direct access to various theoretical and ideological spheres of spiritual life, to a broad public consciousness. A vivid illustration is the socio-political problem, which is global for mankind – the “great jihad,” which is spoken of in Islam, referring to spiritual renewal, a revolution in the minds of all Muslims, regardless of currents and directions. With closer attention, this revolution requires a synthesis of rationalistic and irrationalist trends in cognition, recognition of the intellectual virtues of Sufism as pan-Islamic, as an integral part of the "Arab mind." According to one of the most prominent philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century, Muhammad Abid al-Jabiri, the former “Arab mind” failed in the matter of a new revival and now the task is to criticize this inherited mind and reliance on new critical rationalism ( Frolova, 2013), rationalism, presumably, cultivating value rationality, which, as you know, is not alien to the irrational abilities of the subject of knowledge. And here the role of Sufism, its unauthorized interpretation of faith, the wealth of irrational and irrational means of cognition, etc., is important ( Bilalov, 2016).

The real research and practical functioning of scientific rationality is based primarily on its classical interpretation. The new rationality implies that rationality goes beyond logic, taking into account the emotional, worldview, cultural-historical and value in its structure. The “open” rationality is therefore open because it does not limit the presence of these elements in its content. Irrational moments in the new, value rationality reflect the trends of a sharp convergence of natural science and socio-humanitarian knowledge. Revolutionary changes in the methodology of epistemology, its synergetization and sociologization, reliance on ethics, aesthetics, culturology, etc., qualitatively change the modern cognitive culture, carry out its subjectivization and irrationalization. These turns in the methodology are designed to be effective research and educational paradigms.


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31 October 2020

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Bilalov, M. I., Babatova, A. S., Yenikeev, A. A., & Magomedova, K. G. (2020). Irrational Components Of Value Rationality. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1484-1490). European Publisher.