Antinomies of Values under Conditions of Information Age

Antinomies of Values under Conditions of Information Age

Liudmila V. Baeva (Astrakhan State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6122-6.ch013


The information age with its unprecedented acceleration changes a person's world and creates new virtual environments, forms of communication, and creative work. The character of these changes is antinomic to a large degree: information technologies give rise to super-powers, entrust a person with the power in time and space, but they create new challenges to individuality, freedom, and intelligence. Virtualization of communication, education, leisure, art following the evolution of high technology production, and consumption contribute to the substitution of real relations and amenities with virtual versions and simulacra. This chapter is devoted to studying of value antinomies of the modern age: information and knowledge, virtuality and reality, feelings and game, friendship and contacts, etc. Since values are the projections of the future in the present, this chapter helps to elicit to some extent the main trend of the social-cultural dynamics of the modern high-tech society.
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Development of the society in the conditions of mass penetration of information technologies into culture, lifeworld of a modern person reveals unique manifestations. New possibilities which the digital space provides multiply the potential of a person’s activity, create new forms of culture, transform phenomena and processes which had been forming for centuries. Informatization of such important spheres of the society existence as education, science, communication, art, leisure, along with the introduction of information technologies into production of goods and services, management, commerce and finances inevitably results in changes in the sphere of values of a person and society. Being the dominants of a person’s consciousness and behavior guiding his activity to the image of the proper, values modify the person himself and his environment. Studying the values of the youth of our time allows not only to diagnose the current situation in culture, but also to detect the trends of socio-cultural dynamics in future.

Transformation of values related to the information stage of the society development is also in focus of attention of the leading scientists studying psychological, cognitive, moral aspects of the value dynamics, pluralistic view of the values of modern person is being developed. This view is specific for a person lives actually in three parallel worlds: in the world of nature and physical objects, the world of his own consciousness and the world of virtual life (synthesis of the world of ideas and high technologies). The role and importance of the virtual world is developing so rapidly that people cannot imagine their life without the electronic space. The research aims at defining the most significant transformations in basic spheres of person’s life which are caused by the influence of this new form of existence. Characteristics of these changes will allow to determine the risks of the ultimate risk for a person and his value basis and thus for the development (or deformation) of culture.

For that purpose the following tasks should be solved: to specify the understanding of values as a polysemantic notion: to define the changes of the value priorities in cognitive, communicative, existential, interpersonal spheres. Multiplicity of the modern axiological picture will require application of the principle of antinomy in the analysis of values, this will help to avoid one-sided conclusions and will enable to forecast the alternative scenarios of development.

The research methods of our research are determined by the existential approach to understanding of values, application of axiological analysis of key anthropologic phenomena and processes in the society, papers of such theorists of the “information society” as D.Bell, M.Castells, etc.

The analysis of the values of the information age with be carried out by means of defining their antinomy. Antinomy as a principle underlies the human culture and mentality of a person who is choosing between various forms of worldview and behavior. The notion of “antinomy” was assigned philosophical meaning in the “Critique of Pure Reason” by I.Kant, where the author accentuates four main antinomies which arise from the contradictions in the subject’s understanding when he tries to consider the world of phenomena and “things-in-themselves” as an integral unity. I. Kant’s idea on antinomy was developed by G.Hegel who confirms the contradiction by the inherent objective characteristics of the Absolute idea. But unlike I. Kant Hegel supposed that the opposites are settled positively in their synthesis, their dialectical withdrawal. Further on the method of antinomy was efficiently applied in ontology and exact sciences (for example analysis of the theory of sets, antinomy of quantum mechanics, Bohr’s complementarity principle etc). We suggest that the method of antinomy analysis should be applied to studying values, for at present their studying inevitably faces the confrontation of the oppositely directed tendencies within the whole.

The research findings of our research can be used in the work with the youth, in carrying out of psychological trainings for the users of social networks, having problems of real communication, and Internet-dependent teenagers, as well as in conducting the courses in culture and ethics of the information age.

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