V. A. Lektorsky
The philosophy of pre-Marxist materialism evolved a definite understanding of the cognitive process, an understanding which was accepted by the natural sciences and prevailed in the minds of scientists virtually right up to the 20th century. This notion assigns to the cognising subject, the knower, the role of more or less passive receiver of objective information from without. The cognitive process is thus related to a real person and treated as a product of the activity of a material formation, the brain (the philosophical conception being a materialist one). However, the fact that the cognising subject is involved in the structure of reality was not fully realised and his activity in relation to the objects being cognised (particularly his experimental activity) was regarded as something that created only the external conditions for the process of cognition.
This notion ran into trouble as science developed in the 20th century. The revolution which then occurred and is still occurring in various natural sciences, and which is expressed in the breakdown of their conceptual apparatus and revision of their basic propositions, has been accompanied by attempts to rethink the basic philosophical and methodological premises of scientific activity.
Here we shall attempt to outline some of the basic problems of the methodology of modern science to the solution of which the understanding of the dialectic of subject and object evolved by Marxist philosophy is of particular importance. This problem has received increasing attention in recent Soviet philosophical literature.
A fundamental feature of the Marxist approach to the analysis of cognition is recognition of the need to consider all forms of cognitive activity in the context of the real activity of social man, in the context of the practical transformation of natural and social reality.
It is not in cognition but in practice, i.e., in actually doing something with objective reality, that Marxism sees the starting point of man's relationship with the world. Practice, as social man's changing of the natural and social environment, as the creation of new forms of life activity and hence changing the subject himself, is a specific feature of man and sharply distinguishes him from the animal. Man is not passive in the face of external nature, he treats it as the object of his activity, as something that should be changed in accordance with some aim of his own.
In actual practice cognition of the object as it is "in itself", and goal-setting, the setting of the task of changing the object, are directly united.
It is important to realise, however, that even when cognition does not directly involve material activity and emerges as a specialised form of production - science -its specific features can be correctly understood only if we realise that at all stages of its development cognition depends on activity involving objects, on object activity, on practice. Cognition and practice are not simply two different forms of human activity between which a mere external link may be established, although this is what they may seem on the surface of things. Practice is not only genetically the point of departure of various forms of human fife activity; it also essentially determines their functions at each given moment. And if the development of cognition leads to its external isolation from the activity of changing the world, this does not exclude the fact that in the deeper sense science at all stages develops as something dependent on human practice.
Practice is the actual unity of the subject and the object of activity. Moreover, as Marx understood it, the problem of the relationship between the subject and object is not identical to the basic question of philosophy, i.e., the question of the relationship between consciousness and being, because the subject is not simply consciousness, it is a real and acting person, and in its turn the object is not simply objective reality, but that part of it which has become the target of the practical or cognitive activity of the subject. It is important to remember also that the subject of activity and cognition is not simply a separate, "corporeal" individual. A person becomes a subject, doer, knower, only to the extent that he has mastered the modes of activity evolved by society. At the same time even the singling out of the object from objective reality occurs through practical and cognitive activity Logical categories, language, the system of scientific knowledge, etc.) which have been evolved by society and reflect the properties of objective reality. Thus Marx's theory of knowledge is indissolubly linked with his understanding of the nature of man. So it is no accident that the Marxist "practical materialism", which understands man as a transformer of reality and points to the changing of social conditions by means of revolutionary activity, stands in opposition to the metaphysical, contemplative materialism not only in its social conclusions, but also in its understanding of the fundamental questions of the theory of knowledge.
An object is exposed to the cognising subject from various ,,angles", in various aspects. But it is the task of scientific knowledge to reproduce the properties of the object "as it is", and not in its relationship to this or that "point of view" of the subject.
The development of knowledge is, in fact, characterised by the tendency to become aware of reality as a "thing in itself", that is, as a single, systemic whole, to connect all the known "fragments" of reality (various systems of relationships) into a unified objective system presenting its various aspects and sides to the cognising subject. It is important to note that the realisation of the abovementioned tendency in scientific knowledge presupposes that the subject is aware of his place in the system of objective reality. This implies, above all, that the subject must be aware of his object characteristics as a part of the actual cognitive situation, that is to say, the subject must view himself as a natural body forming part of the general objective interconnection and interaction with other bodies and, on the other hand, investigate the results of his own objectified activity, the world of socially significant objects (instruments, tools, linguistic symbols, etc.). Thus it is a necessary condition of the objectivity of knowledge that we should be aware of the object characteristics that have, as it were, "grown together" with the subject either because they are immediately connected with the subject's physical body or, as Marx put it, because they express his "inorganic body", i.e., the world of objects produced by the subject. This means that objectivity of knowledge in the form in which it is established by science presupposes awareness of the part played by the subject's measuring operations, the instruments he uses, his frames of reference, his means of codifying knowledge in one or another system of reference (and the ability to distinguish the code from the content of knowledge). In other words, in developed knowledge (scientific knowledge at any rate) the subject is, as it were, divided; he places himself in a "third position" in relation to himself and the object and attributes this or that subjective "point of view" to a certain "projection" of the object on to the subject, this explanation being given within the framework of the objective system of relationships of reality as a single systemic whole, that is, a "thing in itself".
Thus objective knowledge necessarily presupposes that the subject is aware of his place in the structure of reality because only then is it possible to unite the various aspects of the object (which appear to the subject as various "angles" on the object) and to detect the special features of the "thing in itself". However, the subject's understanding of his place in the objectively real situation depends on the degree of objectivity of knowledge, on how deeply it has penetrated into the object.
We must emphasise yet another fundamental feature which characterises the Marxist conception of the subject-object dialectic and which strikes us as highly relevant to the problems of the methodology of modern science. The object of activity and cognition is to be understood as a historical phenomenon, that is, an object in which change is dependent on the development of social practice.
It is the practice of the subject which singles out from activity, from objective reality, the object upon which practice is directed (this is why the object is not identical to objective reality because not every object of reality has the function of being an object of practice). The object is cognised in forms of practical activity and this refers even to those objects that man is not immediately concerned with changing. This is expressed in the fact, first, that an object may reveal a functional connection with the object of immediate transformation and therefore acquire a practical interest. Thus the firmament became the object of astronomical observation and cosmogonic study only after knowledge of the positions of the stars revealed their importance for navigation and so on. Secondly, the actual means of contemplation, immediate observation, seeing of reality, that is, the identification of its objective characteristics, background and so on, are mediated by the preceding (individual and social) experience of practical operation with the object.
Changes in the form and character of practice change the object of practice and cognition.
Having understood reflection as active reflection, having understood cognitive operations as practical actions that have undergone special change (this idea is being increasingly recognised both in the methodology of science and the modern psychology of thought - suffice it to mention the works of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget or the studies by such Soviet psychologists as L. Vygotsky and A. Leontyev and others) Marxist philosophy makes it possible, on the one hand, to show the active role of the subject in the ideal reproduction of the object, the part played in this process by ideal constructions, the devising of patterns, models, abstract objects, etc., and, on the other hand, to understand theory itself as a pattern of potential means of operating With the object. This is not to say that any theoretical operation may be interpreted as a possible form of practical activity because the majority of theoretical operations have no immediate practical significance (their objects-ideal, abstract, etc.-can be presented only in symbolic form). Theory provides possible means of practical activity to the extent to which the ideal operations used in creating it can be linked with direct practical operations, such as operations of experimentation and measurement,
which are particularly important for the theories of natural science and endow theoretical concepts with concrete meaning. These practical operations are a special form of practice, a special way of testing and understanding theoretical scientific hypotheses. For modern works on the methodology of the natural sciences it is axiomatic that the evaluation of theoretical concepts presupposes the establishing of certain empirical dependencies by means of situations reproduced by practical experiment and also by the empirically established results of these situations (this was expressed, although in a distorted, subjectivistic form, by operationalism).
It is a notable fact that this dialectic of subject and object, though characteristic of modern natural science, is not always given an adequate philosophical interpretation by scientists themselves and sometimes leads to subjectivist interpretations.
The subjectivist interpretation of quantum mechanics that some prominent physicists defended in their day is well known.
The prominent German physicist Max Born, opposing such interpretations, emphasised that science should reproduce objective reality existing independently of the consciousness. In Born's view, the key to the concept of reality not only in physics but in any sphere of knowledge is the concept of the invariant of the group of transformations. "Invariants are the concepts of which science speaks in the same way as ordinary language speaks of 'things', and which it provides with names as if they were ordinary things." [Physics in My Generation, 1956] Most measurements in physics, Born believed, are not directly concerned with the things but with some kind of projection.
The part played by detection of the invariant characteristics of an object in building up objective knowledge is recognised today by many natural scientists. Jean Piaget, for instance, one of the most eminent psychologists of modern times, places the problem of forming invariants at the centre of his theoretical conception. Piaget sees the essence of intellect in the system of operations derived from objective action. Moreover, action becomes an operation only when it has a certain interconnection with other actions and is organised in a structural whole in which some operations are balanced by other reciprocal operations. The reciprocity of operations means that for every operation there is a symmetrical one that restores the initial position.
It must be noted, however, that attempts to identify the structure of objective knowledge with the identification of invariant characteristics of the object run into serious philosophical difficulties and in Max Born's consideration of the "criterion of reality" the nature of these difficulties becomes particularly apparent. One has the impression that Born is inclined to identify the sum-total of invariants with the
reality reproduced in knowledge, and in this connection regards "projections" as something unreal, existing only in relation to physics with its measuring instruments. But the point is that the instruments with which the physicist carries out his experiments act in this respect as quite real physical bodies interacting with other bodies according to objective laws, and so both the results of the interaction and the properties in general arising as a result of the relationship of one object to other objects-the so-called "projections"-must exist in objective reality. What is more, invariance is not an absolute characteristic of one or another property but is revealed only in a particular system of relationships, and what is invariant in one system may be non-invariant in another.
On this basis the critics promptly pointed out the logical vulnerability of the "criterion of reality" proposed by Born. The physical picture of the world includes both invariant and non-invariant magnitudes. Both of them have real meaning and express definite aspects of an object.
Virtually the same difficulties were encountered by the classical philosophical systems, such as Plato's and Kant's, which treated the criterion of invariance as an indicator of the objectivity of knowledge. Kantian philosophy places great emphasis on the subjective character of the sensations in contrast to the objective judgment of reason. In Plato's philosophy the same problem emerges in the form of the impossibility of clearly and logically defining the relationship of the world of constant and immutable ideas to the world of mutable "non-existence" and "becoming". All these difficulties are rooted in the metaphysical, dualistic opposition between immutable objective essences, realities, on the one hand, and the world of subjective variable experience, sensations, "projections" of the thing on the subject, on the other hand.
The conclusion to be drawn from all this would appear to be not denial of the role of the criterion of invariance as an indicator of the objectivity of knowledge (the facts of cognition convince us of its validity), but rather the need to rethink the relationship of the invariant and stable to the non-invariant, the changeable, and also the relationship of the objective to the subjective, which leads to the paradoxes that cannot be solved from metaphysical and idealist positions.
The point is that invariant characteristics themselves can be isolated only through variability, through movement, that the invariant necessarily envisages a difference which becomes, as it were, a manifestation of the invariant and a means of its realisation. Moreover, the development of knowledge is characterised by the fact that non-invariant characteristics are explained through the action of invariant characteristics, that is, general, necessary relationships, are included in the system of general necessary dependencies and have their own objective place in this system. It stands to reason that relationships that are invariant in one frame of reference may be non-invariant in another. At the same time, developed theoretical knowledge is characterised by a search for ways of passing from one system to another which offer the possibility of formulating universal laws. The discovery of a new system in which laws and relationships hitherto considered universal fail to operate stimulates a search for new invariants, etc. It must be stressed that the whole process is carried out on the basis of objective practical interaction between the subject and the object.
The connection noted above between the identifying of invariant characteristics of an object and the objectivity of knowledge, and also the dialectic of the invariant and the non-invariant indicates the inadmissibility of an external, metaphysical dualist counterposing of the subjective and the objective. The subjective and the objective pass into one another; knowledge is subjective not "as it is", but only in relation to another, more accurate, more comprehensive system of knowledge. The development of knowledge is movement from the subjective to the objective, the constant overcoming of subjectivity, the "pouring" of the subjective into the objective (Lenin), the raising of the degree of objectivity of knowledge.
Now we must consider the subjectivist interpretations of the role of objective activity in the theoretical reproduction of the object.
We have already said that the practice of modern science lends increasing conviction to the thesis that evaluation of theoretical concepts presupposes the establishing of certain empirical dependencies between situations that can be reproduced by practical experiment, and also between the empirically established results of these situations. This does not mean, however, that the content of theoretical concepts can be reduced to the content of a series of measuring operations. In P. W. Bridgman's operationalism, however, the meaning of theoretical concepts is virtually identified with the content of measuring operations and it is emphasised that various concepts correspond to various sets of operations of this kind. From the standpoint of operationalism it is pointless in science to speak of objective reality independent of the operations of the experimenter.
But the notion of knowledge as a form of purposeful activity by the subject does not override the fact that knowledge is simultaneously the reflection of the object, the ideal reproduction of the reality which exists independently of the consciousness.
If we do not accept the facts that experimental and measuring operations by the subject are, like theoretical operations, determined as regards content by the object, we cannot understand the meaning of these operations themselves. Bridgman's attempt to define the theoretical concepts of physics in terms of experimental operations
entailed the necessity of discovering criteria for generalising various operations (since all operations are bound to differ from one another). Such criteria could not be established operationally in terms of Bridgman's operationalism because he understands operations as something directly given, carrying its content in itself (in approximately the same sense as that of the doctrine of the logical positivists on immediate sense-data). Since any operation depends for its content on the object upon which it is directed, operations with the same external form may have quite different cognitive content. It is the structure of the actual object of cognition which makes us unite different experimental and theoretical operations as operations referring to one and the same object and characterising the meaning of one concept. Despite the formulas of the operationalists, modern science recognises the tremendous significance of theoretical concepts, which make it possible to pass from one set of measuring operations to another, and which reflect the properties of objective reality.
Yet another problem which has increasingly claimed the attention of specialists in the methodology of science is that of the need to take into account the involvement of the scientific theoretical relationship to reality in the wider system of the various means of knowing the world employed by social man. The philosophy of logical positivism, which until recently dominated research on the methodology of science in Western Europe and the United States, proceeded from the fundamental opposition between the philosophical ("metaphysical") and the specialised scientific, cognitive and evaluative relationships to reality, ultimately treating theoretical research as a special means of describing the "immediately given" empirical facts. Today, however, Western writing on the "philosophy of science" gives priority to another school of thought, represented by the work of Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend and others. This school emphasises the necessary connection between the formulation and discussion of any scientific problem and the acceptance of a definite "paradigm" (Kuhn) or "research programme" (Lakatos), based on various philosophico-"metaphysical" assumptions. But if the connection of the latter with the acceptance of a certain system of value orientations is generally acknowledged, science-according to this way of studying it -cannot be accepted as it is, without taking into account its place in the wider system of culture (Kuhn emphasises close connection of the "paradigm" with the system of social and cultural institutions). And besides, in itself the scientific theoretical relationship to the world expresses a certain value orientation (Feyerabend particularly stresses this point). Finally, if a theoretical construction is not simply an "abridged description" of facts or outline of the transition from some facts to others, if the very description of the empirical data presupposes evaluation and interpretation through the prism of theoretical propositions, the gap between evaluatory statements and statements of facts turns out to be not very great.
At any rate, according to these notions science not only as a social institution but also as a system of means of obtaining knowledge (i.e., analysed in its methodological aspect) would appear to be closely involved in the wider context of various human relationships to the world and cannot be fully understood without taking the latter into consideration.
As Feyerabend emphasises (quoting Marx), it is necessary to take into account the essentially human character of science, its involvement in the system of activity. The most rigorous standards of research, he continues, are not imposed on science "from without", but are inseparably linked with the creative essence of the cognitive process.
At the same time it must be noted that as a whole the representatives of this trend in the "philosophy of science" offer not so much acceptable solutions as an uncompromising statement of some of the questions involved in the philosophical-methodological study of science.
But the approaches recommended by this school, the dependencies which they consider fundamental (historical analysis of knowledge, connection between philosophical and specialised scientific thought, unity of empirical description and theoretical interpretation, etc.), and which are regarded in contemporary British and American literature as a radically new orientation of the "philosophy of science" in a fundamentally different philosophical and scientific context, all these dependencies characterise the Marxist analysis of knowledge, admittedly (and this is of fundamental importance!) in an essentially different philosophical and scientific context. Awareness of the fact that scientific knowledge is involved in the system of social relationships, in the context of the various means by which social man comprehends the world, is one of the fundamental features of the Marxist tradition in the study of knowledge, and within the framework of this tradition substantial scientific results have been obtained.
It is not debatable that science cannot exist without man. And when the logical positivists maintained that the task of the "philosophy of science" amounted to the analysis of the logical language of ready-made theoretical systems, they realised full well, of course, that theoretical systems and their language do not exist outside human activity. The whole point is how man, the subject, is included in the subject-matter of the methodology of science. In recent years Karl Popper has been propagating the idea of "epistemology without the subject". The essence of this conception is not so much the elimination of the subject from epistemological, methodological analysis (after all, recognition of a "cognitive subject" does not contradict the basis of this point of view), as the treatment of the content of logical and methodological norms as irrelevant to the subject's creative cognitive activity and imposed on him, as it were, from without.
Marxist philosophy, while emphasising the objective character of scientific knowledge, its reflection of an objective reality existing independently of the subject, nevertheless maintains as a necessary condition for the acquisition of genuinely objective scientific knowledge that the place of the subject as a real being in the production of knowledge must be taken into account. Scientific knowledge is not only genetically conditioned by the practical-object relationship of man to the world, but also functions continuously in the broad system of practical-value orientations.
Essential to the Marxist understanding of the categories of materialist dialectics as the methodological apparatus of scientific knowledge is the historical approach to the analysis of knowledge, awareness that the dialectically interpreted history of the subject-object relationship brings about changes not only in knowledge, but also in its logical structure. The development of science goes hand in hand with the transformation of its logical structure, which is expressed, on the one side, in the changes that take place in the relationship between the theoretical and empirical levels of knowledge, the role of models and mathematical formalisms, and, on the other, in the changes affecting the categorial structure of scientific thought. Thus, for example, the revolutionary shift currently experienced by science (an essential component of the scientific and technological revolution) finds specific expression in the promotion of those categories of scientific thought which were "in the shade" during the period of classical natural science (object-relationship, system-element, subject-object, and so on). This shift is also expressed in a change in the logical relationships between the categories functioning in cognition (often described as the new "style" of natural scientific thought).
Of great importance in this context is Lenin's idea that the Marxist theory of knowledge and dialectics should be built up from such fields of knowledge as the history of philosophy, the history of knowledge in general, the history of the specialised sciences, the history of the mental development of the child, and of animals, the history of language, the psychology and physiology of the sense organs. [Lenin's Philosophical Notebooks, p253]
"Continuation of the work of Hegel and Marx," Lenin wrote, "must consist in the dialectical elaboration of the history of human thought, science and technique." [Lenin's Philosophical Notebooks, p146] Materialist dialectics as the methodology of cognition points to the wealth of the historical experience of mankind's cognitive activity and emphasises the relative, limited character of any "closed" logico-methodological system.
The categories of Marxist dialectics are not just a set of rigid devices that never change. These categories do change and are enriched as science and social practice develop. So the Marxist methodological analysis of science cannot be reduced to the application of a set of cut-and-dried categories or to the analysis of this or that ossified scientific theory. It presupposes an essentially historical approach both to science and to philosophy. At the same time the full realisation of the broad programme proposed by Lenin for the study of the history of knowledge is a task that has yet to be accomplished by the Marxists of today.
We must now consider yet another aspect of the dialectic of subject and object, an aspect which has particular significance when one is discussing the methodological problems of the sciences concerning man. We have already stated that the production of objective knowledge presupposes not simply the subject's passive assimilation of content that is externally given; it implies purposeful activity on the part of the subject, activity which also includes a certain degree of self-reflection, that is to say, the subject's awareness both of his place in the objective world, and also of the character of his activity in relation to objects. Now we must emphasise another fundamental element of Marxist philosophy: the subject can know himself only insofar as he clarifies his place in objective reality, insofar as he relates himself and his world-the world of his mind, an ideal world-with the world of real objects, natural bodies, on the one hand, and, on the other, the socially significant objects created by mankind (instruments of labour and other products of human activity comprising socially-tested means of operation, language symbols, etc.).
Only by knowing the objective world and establishing the results of his cognition in an objectified form can the subject arrive at himself, at the world of his consciousness, at the psychological and the ideal. There is no other way for the subject to know himself.
Thus not only is the object not given immediately for the subject; it has to be reproduced by the activity of the subject more and more accurately in knowledge. Nor is the subject himself given immediately in relation to himself (in contrast to the views held by Descartes and Husserl). At the same time the subject does not stand "beyond" his activity as a kind of mysterious "thing in itself", whose manifestation in the world of phenomena has nothing in common with its essence (Kant and Schopenhauer). The subject removed from his activity in objectivising, transforming and ideally reproducing the objective world is empty, meaningless and simply does not exist as a historical subject. "Neither nature objectively nor nature subjectively is directly given in a form adequate to the human being," wrote Karl Marx [1844 Manuscripts, Critique of Hegel's Dialectic]. Man's experiencing of himself as "ego" presupposes his learning the forms of human intercourse (in relation to any given individual they appear to be an objective force) and the possibility, to a certain degree, of regarding himself from the position of "another person", the generalised representative of society, a social class or group.
Man cognises himself by cognising the forms of social life activity created by mankind. Moreover, the process of self-knowledge is endless because his cognition of these forms is accompanied by constant creation of new forms. Thus the point is not that the subject as a ready-made, definite object in himself is simply infinitely complex in his internal connections and mediacies, but that the subject is not ready-made at all; on the contrary, he emerges as something which is not equal to himself, as a continuous "outlet" beyond his own limits. Moreover, any act of cognition of the object forms created by mankind turns out to be connected with the subject's rethinking of himself, with his setting new tasks and creating new forms of activity. It is this fact that is reflected in the Marxist conception of practice as the global historical process of the object-transforming activity of the subject in the Marxist understanding of man not as a passive product of externally given objective conditions, but as the creator of his own history in accordance with the objective laws of historical development. Hence the thesis of the subject's socio-historical nature which is of such importance in Marxism.
Also fundamental to Marxism is the thesis that the subject of practice and knowledge is not an "epistemological Robinson", but a vehicle of sociality, "the ensemble of the social relations" (Marx). Since the subject's being socially conditioned implies his membership of a social group, particularly some class or other, this is bound to have an effect on the character of both practice and knowledge. In class society there can be no single "universal human" practice. There is only the practice of different, often opposed social classes and, above all, such classes as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. This fact has a very substantial effect on the character of cognition by subjects involved in various types of social activity.
It is beyond the scope of this article to consider in detail the methodological problems connected with the subject's cognition and such specific forms of his life activity as the consciousness, mentality and the ideal. We can only refer to the fruitful work being done in contemporary psychology on the problem of the ideal as realisation of the Marxist philosophical thesis that the subject should be understood not as a special "purely spiritual" thing standing alongside the world of objective things, but primarily as the socially conditioned subject of practical activity. We have in mind above all the works of the Soviet psychologists L. Vygotsky and A. Leontyev.
In these studies the notion of the ideal is realised not simply as passive contemplation of certain ideal essences distinct from real physical objects, but as a special form of activity, an activity whose operations stem from practical activity in transforming real objects, although it is not directly concerned with them but with objects that represent other real objects (language symbols, the drawings and symbols used in knowledge, the canvas and paints in painting, the marble in sculpture). The ideal object is distinguished from the real not by the fact that it exists somewhere in another world (the ideal can be established only insofar as it is embodied in material, sensuously perceptible objects), but by the fact that the ideal object represents another object, i.e., "speaks" not about itself but about this other object. Thus the ideal is a special kind of activity embodied in an externally sensuous form. This does not rule out the fact that certain moments of ideal activity may subsequently become "involuted", that is to say, the subject may cease to be aware of them and the ideal may thus become "interiorised", in which case the ideal presents itself to the subject as direct contemplation of an externally given object and appears to be a kind of essence existing in some special ideal world.
At the same time we must not forget the distinction between ideal and practical activity. The distinction lies in the fact that ideal activity takes part as a necessary component in human life activity as a whole only to the extent that it succeeds in one form or another (as a rule, in a rather complex and mediated form) in finding a way to practical activity. The product of practice has value for man in itself. The ideal object as a product of ideal activity is valuable not in itself, not in its "corporeal", objectified nature, but only as related to another object, as a representative of reality. In other words, practice changes reality, while ideal activity is the reflection of reality.
This article has dealt with only some fundamental elements of the relationship between the Marxist understanding of the subject-object dialectic and contemporary problems of the methodology of science. The whole great complex of these problems demands comprehensive and detailed working out from Marxist positions.