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Sources of military-psychological knowledge: approaches to analysis and evaluation

The modern development of military psychological research is characterized by profound changes and new trends, not only in their dynamics, but also in the comprehension of their results, which serve simultaneously as a source base for further scientific research. In other words, a reorientation is planned in the analysis of the historiographical basis of military psychology towards the adequacy of reality and the objectivity of its assessment.

Like many other areas of humanitarian knowledge, the assessment of the source base of military psychological research should be susceptible to the effects of a whole set of modern objective factors, among which stand out:

a) a general increase in the importance of humanitarian priorities in psychological scientific knowledge;

b) rethinking the role and place of psychological sciences in the modern dynamically developing world;

c) the pluralization of philosophical, ideological and ideological foundations of military psychological work.

However, it is important to note: the inclusion of these factors in the analysis of the development of military-psychological research occurs sporadically and spontaneously. Therefore, the “methodological respite” observed and prolonged here urgently requires the focused efforts of collectives of military scientists and psychologists to reflect its causes and consequences, to develop ways and means of overcoming it. Hence the need for a special methodological analysis of the processes that are currently unfolding in Russian historiography on the problems of military psychology is quite obvious.

In this regard, it should be noted that in recent decades, military psychology has found itself in a fundamentally new situation, requiring answers to a number of questions of a scientific and philosophical nature. These include the following:

Is it possible to use different approaches in evaluating research on military psychology, while realizing the principles of pluralism and multivariance?

What are the criteria for scientific, objective and adequate reflection of the problems of military psychology in historiographic research?

What is the degree of sociocultural and scientific autonomy of modern historiography of the problems of military psychology?

To what extent can domestic military psychologists rely on the experience and achievements of domestic and foreign military psychological science?

Answering the questions posed and analyzing the approaches that have developed in the modern methodology of science, in our opinion, it is legitimate to draw attention to new, actively developing science-historical trends that would enhance the adequacy of the estimates of military psychological research. Their essence lies in an attempt to form a new image of modern science based on the allocation of specific criteria in the thinking style of researchers of various historical eras. In this regard, we note that in the history of science modern scholars distinguish its classical, non-classical and post-non-classical images or types of rationality. Recall their main essential and substantial features.

Classical science, originating from antiquity, took shape in European civilization of the 17th century (Cartesian psychology) and the Enlightenment (associative and empirical psychology). She represented the world of strict determinism and the uniqueness of the result (for example, the model of the reflex ring of R. Descartes). The main ideal for scientists of this era was mathematics. The main value of any psychological research was proclaimed knowledge, as a rule, about human behavior, and the main task was to obtain truth identical with objective (especially natural, physical and, as a result, mechanistic) reality. Moreover, the classical science of the soul, and then of consciousness, implied the exclusion from psychological cognition of socially significant social and subjective-personal values ​​and goals, which were considered as factors that “distort” the scientific result. However, it must be recognized that the approaches of the authors of the so-called “Classical concepts” even today seem obvious and optimal in psychological research at certain levels (including in the military sphere), which we have no right to ignore. Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that the question of the so-called "absolute purity" of classical science has remained debatable to date.

Non-classical science, which arose at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rejected absolute determinism and introduced new criteria and ideals: the perception of reality (including the psyche and consciousness) is not “in itself”, but through the subject of knowledge and the means used by it; comprehension of the relationship between the knowledge of the object and the nature of the means and operations of the subject of cognition as an integral part of cognizable reality. The results of psychological cognition are determined not only by the specifics of the phenomenon, fact or event being studied, but also by the way the researcher interacts with him, his “inclusion” in the studied mental process, the ability to let it through “through itself”. The problem of the truth of psychological knowledge is solved from the standpoint of relativism, the relativity of theories and scientific paradigms. The mosaic nature of the holistic picture of psychological knowledge, its past, present and future, is affirmed. The organizational and scientific design of the variety of cognitive psychological systems, directions and schools of psychology is becoming characteristic. In a state of "methodological bewilderment," scientists proclaim the beginning of an era of "open crisis" in psychology. Nevertheless, there is a growing understanding in various areas of human culture and its history that science, incl. and psychology, in many respects depends on social circumstances, on the value and target orientations of cognition.

Post-nonclassical science (a type of scientific rationality) begins to take shape in the last third of the twentieth century and is realized with increasing force in most social and humanitarian ones, including psychological research. Integrating existing approaches, we single out the most significant work features of post-non-classical science: the spread of interdisciplinary and problem-oriented forms of research, integrated research programs, a synthesis of fundamental and applied psychological research; the intensification of the processes of integration and differentiation in building a picture of psychological knowledge, the desire to reflect mental reality, in the center of which is a person, the problems of values ​​and the meaning of his being; the inclusion of value factors in the explanatory provisions of psychological research, the approval of the principle of historical reconstruction in psychological research of various levels and areas; increasing the importance for the development of military psychology of socio-economic, spiritual, political and other factors and goals, the presentation of psychological science as part of the life of society, determined by the general state of culture.

The criteria of social and humanitarian knowledge corresponding to post-non-classical science are also numerous and diverse.
Briefly, their essence is summarized in the following distinctive features:

a) polyontological;

b) updating of introspective approaches to the study of man, his past and present;

c) recognition as a priority value of cognition of human development and self-development.

In military psychological research, the post-nonclassical type of scientific knowledge begins to be successfully implemented in a number of dissertations, collective works and monographs. Their objective basis was the sociocultural processes of the 80-90s of our century, covering all spheres of human life, including psychological research. Of particular importance here are the psychological problems of the “price of victory” in wars and conflicts of the past and present, the psychological consequences of warfare, various reforms and reorganizations of the Armed Forces.

After an era when military operations were considered only as military-military confrontations, and primarily in the physical sense, it becomes more and more obvious that the assessment of any military action to a much greater extent than before is a combination of various, including psychological approaches. There is a further differentiation of the psychological picture of past wars and conflicts, the processes of military construction in various countries and eras. Prerequisites are being created for changing the typology and reassessment of the source base of military psychology. The humanitarian aspects of their assessment are being updated.

In this regard, the analytical activity of the study of military-psychological publications is increasingly viewed through the prism of objects and systems that are directly related to man. Historiographic studies can no longer be constructed in a self-sufficient and egocentric manner. In other words, military-historiographic research on the problems of military psychology should acquire a pronounced “human dimension”. Hence the requirements for their theoretical and methodological level increase. It is safe to assume that at present, under the influence of general cultural and general scientific factors, we are witnessing the formation of new trends in the vision of the past and present military psychology.

At the same time, summing up a brief overview of cognitive paradigms in the analysis and evaluation of military psychological research, we note that the generally described change of one image of science to another does not need to be understood “mechanically” - simplified in the sense that each new stage in the development of science leads to the disappearance of the norms, criteria and ideals of the previous stage, i.e. "Scientific nihilism." In the process of changing “worldview prisms” of evaluating research results, their continuity must be maintained: the restriction of the “old” should coexist with the “new” —it is fruitfully used in specific research situations and areas of military-psychological knowledge.

Let us summarize some characteristics of the methodological aspects of the historiographic analysis of military psychological research.

The directions of analysis and evaluation of the source base of military-psychological research are based on the dynamics of their following substantial components: understanding of mental reality and human consciousness, psychological characteristics of its activities within the military system; the impact on the process of military-psychological research of means of cognitive activity; determining the role of the value factors of military-psychological knowledge, including the subjective-personal values ​​of the researcher; interpretation of the role and place of military psychological research in military psychology and in the "big" science, culture, society.

A relevant and necessary objective result of the development of historiography of the problems of military psychological research is its orientation toward the post-non-classical image of science. The direct basis for the transition in historiographic studies of the problems of military psychology to the new ideals of science is deideologization and humanization of approaches and assessments, rethinking of value priorities in the analysis of historical sources - the consistent introduction of an increasing number of parameters characterizing social, moral, i.e. the human dimension of psychological cognition through a dialectical correlation with military-professional, state and universal values.

The impact of post-non-classical science on the dynamics of the image of military psychological research is not direct and unambiguous. Firstly, it is carried out through a number of sociocultural spheres (state-political, social, ideological, moral and others). Secondly, the unevenness of the change in the images of science in concrete science research, the possibility of the coexistence of different types of scientific thinking and their manifestations in them is manifested. Thirdly, the impact of general scientific processes on the content of the analysis of the sources of military psychology can be distorted by the presence of a number of reductions.

These aspects imply the preservation of a certain methodological autonomy in the assessment of the development of military psychological research - certain manifestations of conservatism in order to protect it from unjustified generalizations and approaches, hasty and hasty historical conclusions and decisions. These provisions inevitably require further improvement of the general scientific and theoretical and methodological potential of modern science and historiographic tools for analyzing the development of military psychological research.
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