System analysis of the expression "healthy way of life"
L.P. Dodonova, associate professor, Ph.D.
Novosibirsk teachers' professional re-training institute, Novosibirsk
Key words: methodological components, system analysis, term system "healthy way of life".
The conceptual and terminological framework is known to characterize the level of development of specific science. System analysis is assumed a component of the methodology of scientific research.
The crisis of pedagogics is shown first of all in its methodological basis, in the categorical framework. D.I. Feldstein puts in : “candidates often use nontraditional terms and phraseological units, new concepts they feel unnecessary to define, not revealing their meaning and content”. It testifies to superficial, visual or common knowledge and even artificial “clink clank” (ultimately - unconscious or may be even worse, conscious facilitation of the rise of chaos).
One of the reasons of crisis in education is the fact that pedagogical concepts do not take into account human integrity (child, adult) and the specific scientific study prevents from complete understanding of its essence. Anthropology promotes full-scale awareness of its essence and is meant to trace the process of transfer from biological rules to social ones [2, P.6], but in fact undergoes isolation, narrow specialization of the knowledge of man and the “living material” of the biosphere. L.V. Belousov states [1, P.82], integrity has been discussed in biology for the second century, but the reductionism tradition has been dominant for many centuries. According to the conclusion of F.Sh. Teregulov the current innovative boom in pedagogics activates superficial description of pedagogical phenomena. Reductionism, dominant in biological and humanitarian sciences in XX and XXI, studies objects out of the complex biosphere, so they are not regularly correlated, but exist in some structureless and disorganized nature [11, P.22].
Specific sciences engaged in human studies have a vast volume of highly specialized knowledge, presented by the concepts of Ch. Darwin, V.I. Vernadsky and humanistic pedagogics, not matched to each other. Their conceptual framework is not operationally connected. Operational definition is applied in the beginning of studies of characteristics of some subject and stipulates for allocation of equivalents of specific concepts. That is to say, the system principle of the rational decomposition to particular problem spaces fails to provide for conceptual regulation of the problem spaces of modern education and to form qualitatively new horizons in the study of the human nature.
In these cases the conceptual framework of human sciences in different languages is one of the key obstacles when studying it as a complex essence. The recent researches refer to the studies of categories, concepts, terms and their systems both in general pedagogics and in the sphere of physical culture and sport (PCaS) , which is a part of the former. The author  mentions the logical disarray of the system of knowledge in the sphere of PCaS along with other crisis indicators. It is to be marked, that despite the fact that this sphere is a cross-disciplinary sphere of the knowledge formed on the interfaces between a number of disciplines (theory and methods of physical culture, development physiology, constitutional and development anthropology, bioenergetics, development psychology, sociology etc.). The expression “healthy way of life” (HWL) is among the groundless.
The purpose of the study was to examine the logical-substantive-semantic aspects of the expression "healthy way of life" and substantiate the expression "human healthy way of life" as a term system inclusive of certain system characteristics and the natural orientation to human development.
Results and discussion. The problem of health of the population of our country, including preschool, school children and students, is commonly known, as well as the factors determining human health and their interaction showing the “way of life” as the most significant factor stipulating for such results as quality of life of specific person, its duration etc. In other words, as proved by the modern science, human health is substantially determined by his way of life, behavior as a complex of real actions, external manifestations of his activity. Here we are to specify that they are stipulated not only by family and social habits but also the measure of awareness of personal responsibility (or irresponsibility) for health, available specific knowledge etc.
Nowadays the expression “healthy way of life”, mechanically copied from newspapers to the sphere of science (pedagogics, theory and practice of PCaS, medicine etc.) is very popular. This is what has been revealed during the system analysis of the expression human “HWL”. Firstly, as we believe, this expression reflects the visual common experimental, a certain interpretation of the sense and the meaning of this knowledge has been generated with the efforts of many practitioners in the second half of XX. The distribution of this expression was promoted by the newspaper “Sovetsky sport”, on the pages of which “health” activists shared their “recipes” of health improvement. However, as revealed in the recent statistics, the problem of health has escalated, proving ineffectiveness of the used ways, methods and means of solution of the quoted problem and the lack of full-scale interpretation of essential aspects of the health problem in the theoretical knowledge (methodology, basic concepts, including the expression “HWL” etc.).
Secondly, the study of the meaning (as definition of the function, purpose of some action [6, P.553]) of the expression “HWL” shows its routine use with an emphasis on the word “healthy”, that is human way of life promoting health. There exist approximately two hundred definitions of the “health” concept in the literature [12, P.43], testifying to its polysemantic interpretation by researchers and complicacy of approval of a certain definition. The great number of definitions indicates that the essence of the concept of “health” is unknown and the meaning of its constituents (simple terms, essential features etc.) is not fully defined. The expression “HWL”, as a complex judgement, is autonomous: “healthy” (and its broad interpretation) is the beginning of it and this concept should also be its end. Otherwise, this expression is “self-reserved”: 1) the fundamentals of human life, human “way of life” as a behavioral pattern providing for manifestations of human life activity and self-realization are unclear and ambiguous in its content; 2) the given interpretation of this expression has many definitions of the concept “health” and narrows the idea on the results of interpretation of human “multiple-vector” way of life to the single – “health”, that is the formulation “HWL” unilateral. When analyzing this expression you keep thinking in circle: human attention is drawn to itself, closing the circle of mental activity, it moves from self to self, is continually on the go, directionless.
Thirdly, the analytical study of the expression “HWL” reveals the following: the key word – “way”, it directs all the rest interdependent words: “way” of what? – “life”; whose “life”? – “human”; what kind of “way”? – “healthy”. Meanwhile, “way” is secondary related to the reflected [6, P.396], that is reality, which in our case is represented by “human life”; it is subjective by its form, relatively independent and fixes the obvious, live presentation in daily life. The words and various sign models are the material form of images [6, P.396]. Consequently, in this expression the genetic term is “human life”, specific – “way”, and the attribute “healthy” takes the lowest position related to genetic one. Thus, the adjective “healthy” only specifies certain specifics of manifestation of “life”, expresses correlation and interconnection with ”human life”. The genetic term is superordinate [6, P.519], expresses essential characteristics of the class of subjects and reflects a special qualitatively certain state, in our case biomatter, of man as a biosystem. So, as a genetic term “human life” is wider in volume than “healthy” compared to it.
Structure and such of its characteristics as integrity and hierarchy of organization are determinative of the system [11, P.25].
From all has been said it follows that the expression human “HWL” is internally organized (structurized), its components are subdominant by the scalar principle: the higher rank (by volume characteristics and due to internal, central position) belongs to the dominant component (the genetic – “human life”), and the subordination of the others (“way” as an idea of “life” and specifying “healthy”) are determined by their place (peripheral) and value related to the dominant one within the studied expression as an integral. Subordination of these components and their correlation characterize the expression human “HWL” as a term system, express activity of this system as an integral (in this case on the level of single aspect of perception - ”health” concept), and allocation of the key component (the genetic “human life”) indicates to centralization. Consequently, the essential characteristics are to be searched in the concept “human life”.
Fourthly, the expression “HWL” will always be actual as an ordinary, but transformed into a concept, idea (of the “common” level) or common judgement. To define a concept is to establish its limits, framework, providing for distinguishing it from other concepts related to it, and stipulate distinctive, dominant features of the subjects revealed in this concept [6, P.409]. The division of the concept volume is to be based on an essential feature of practical value. One can judge on correctness or incorrectness of the definition of some concept by the fact “if it involves all possible cases in the area this definition refers to” [6, P.409]. As aforesaid, the formulation “HWL” fails to involve all the incidents of human “way of life”, reflects only one of the aspects of perception and practical manifestation of its complex essence and does not bring human perception to the “common” level but concentrates human mental activity on himself.
The stated above promotes amending the expression “HWL”, having been actualized in education in the recent years. We suggest substituting “healthy” for “right”. The meaning (semantics) of the word “right” involves: corresponding to genuine essence of someone, something; corresponding to some requirements of something, rules and standards, [9, P.413]. The synonym ring of the word “right” - correct, exact, strict, just. The formulation ”human right living”, same as the expression of human “HWL”, is also a term system. The term system of "right living" contains the basis providing for all possible cases of interpretation of “way of life” of any person as his behavioral pattern (described simultaneously from three points of view (biological, mental and social) and frequently valuable only among people), regardless of the place of residence (in Russia, Europe, Japan, USA etc.). This basis is presented by the genetic term “human life”. S.M. Shugrin states [11, P.182], “the basic life manifestation in the biosphere is its manifestation as activity transforming and at the same time supporting itself, its life area”. Then we consider, life principle (as a beginning of the essence of all flesh and man) reflects all flesh and all visible that functions via exterior form of this principle. Activity is expressed in human activity (mental and physical), defined, on the one hand, by the purpose of some actions, and manner of this activity, ranging from reproductive to creative, on the other hand. We assume human creativity needs all the elements and complete sensed image, in this case “way of life”, so man is to have all the basic psychophysical qualities as the elements of his essence.
Ultimately, the genetic “human life” and the specific “right life” take cognition to the new level of “common”. Therefore, the term system of "right living" engages the rules following from the features, qualities of “life” itself, its essence. Thus these rules should be described in the ideas, concepts on “human way of life” and realized in practice then the results of this life will fit in the mode of functioning and development of the large system (biosphere), which part is represented by both single man and populations (groups of people). The “rule of correspondence of the external action to inner features”, child’s characteristics [3, P.147] is an example of the rule following from the essential features, qualities of the biomatter (human body characteristics), when the peculiarities of human motor profile (stipulated by his somatotype) are meant to determine the volume of physical loads during physical education or sports training.
The adduced considerations promote the operational hypothesis: if “human way of life” correlates with specific rules submitting to the genetic term “life” and following from the immutable laws of life, the results will be human development (physical and mental), health, professional work, his improvement and others shown as consequences. The quoted assumption conforms with some requirements to hypotheses: a) gives hope for explanation; b) can be determined; c) expresses ultimate generality and d) logical simplicity; e) successive related to existent knowledge; f) expands the limits for search for new cause-and-effect relations.
Therefore, the formal study of the people’s behavioral patterns (their biopsychosocial aspects indicating to genetic and specific differences) should be presented by a set of patterns (global and local), solving different-scale tasks. The patterns are to be ranged by the characteristic important for the strategy of human development (within ontogenesis, genetic line and, ultimately, human evolution). It will determine the scale of behavioral patterns which is very wide in the life hierarchy. Then the model described as a term system of "right living", takes the place stipulated by the order, hierarchical principle, controlling processes in the biosphere, where man, humanity, is a part of it. Besides, the abovementioned principles of structuralism, centralization and hierarchical structure of the term system of "right living" are considered as common system rules in modern science. The allocated here variety of patterns of the formal description of human “way of life” (behavior) agrees with the established by the author factor of simultaneous course of growth processes in biosystems on different organization levels (micro-, meso- and macrolevels, which are: single person (people) with specific somatotype(s), cohorts of people, consolidated by the same somatotype, and population of people as a complex of these cohorts) . The given fact (of formal description of the scale of behavioral patterns of single person or people (in view of psychosocial aspects), and human biological aspect, of people as biosystems of different organization levels) interprets the superposition principle .
It is common knowledge, that if the system has at least one of the four characteristics, for instance, structural complexity, it presupposes ontological complexity. Complex systems from the gnosiological (cognitive) viewpoint presuppose variety of patterns, descriptions via a set of patterns of different accuracy and complexity levels.
The sense (as determination of the target, purpose of some action) and vocabulary of the term system of "right living" contain the question: what basic (genuine essence, requirements, rules and standards) should “human way of life” (and society) correspond to and what his (their) actions should be like? Moreover, another essential aspect is direction of development associated with the purpose of education, it refers to the problems of way of life and human development (as static and dynamic component of human life activity). Does development take place in any direction, particularly within modernization of education, introduction of new federal state educational standards and the “Education act”, in conditions of accelerated social and other processes on the planet? Is acceleration and intensification in the educational process is for the better? Or they might be necessary only in the directions providing for development of human optimistic features, formed within a certain (still unclear for us) way of life? What are these ways of development? The answers to these questions determine more profound awareness of the purpose of education and evaluation criteria of activity, reflecting the active and the value components and “human way of life”, and strategies of development of the educational system of the country. The author's interpretation of these components of the content of education is the subject of another publication.
1. The author's treatment of the term system of human right living was proved determined via the nearest generation and specific differences. The established qualitative specific of the term system represented by the features of structural complexity, centralization and hierarchy construction, i.e. reflects system organization as a static component of human behavioral pattern. The genetic "human life" is associated with the types of simultaneously distinguished aspects: here biopsychic and psychosocial; the mental aspect shows the interdependence and the keen unity of these aspects. The genetic "human life" has its rules stipulated by the immutable laws of life (e.g. ontogenesis). The specific "right living" contains an "image" of behavioral pattern as an idea of the rules to lay the basis of human behavior.
2. The author's interpretation of the principle of life as an origin of all flesh and man. It is described by the common fundamental characteristics of the biosphere (structure, functioning, evolution), defining the internal structure and development of all levels of the biosphere as common grounds. The substantiation of the term system of "right living" provides for combination of traditional ideas on the rules of human development (in ontogenesis and evolution) in terms of biology, with the concept of humanistic pedagogics. Then the concepts “structure”, “functioning”, “evolution” and their equivalents are to be the common grounds in design of the theory of biosocial systems of different organization levels (of single man and groups of people). The equivalent of the concept “structure” for cross-disciplinary studies is proved by the author in the publication .
3. Human “activity” as a factor of human psychophysical activity and equivalent of the concept ”functioning” was proved to be the general feature for all biosocial systems of different organization levels (of single man and groups of people), involving a wide range of human activities: from reproductive to creative. The author’s treatment of the concept “human creativity” – requires manifestation of all psychophysical characteristics, qualities as elements of its essence, as well as integrity of the sensed image based on the nuance principle.
4. The concepts "activity" and "functioning" were proved to be logically compatible, facilitating further operational development of the conceptual construct. This index is treated as a criterion of methodological correctness [11, p.10]. The obtained data promote correlation of the concepts and terms used in biological perception with the pedagogical, psychological and sociological conceptual and terminological systems and operationally consolidate the conceptual frameworks of these areas of specific scientific areas.
5. In view of the system analysis, the correlations of genetic and specific concepts in the term system of human right living (its biopsychosocial aspects), were allocated coordinated as a whole and as parts. This coordination is a criterion of right interpretation [11, P.25].
6. The formulated hypothesis synthesizes knowledge and comes out of the limits of specific scientific facts and overspecialized knowledge. The design of the hypothesis can assign the strategy of an interdisciplinary study, including indication to genetic and specific differences – variety of relationships and cause-and-effect relations of specific sciences (biology of human development, sphere of PCaS, general pedagogics, social psychology etc.). While studying complex objects (single man or groups of people) one should apply complementary methodological principles (reductionism, structuralism, cyclism etc.).
7. The human biospheric and social statuses were proved to be considered inseparably one from another, so man as a part of the biosphere cannot pursue only his selfish ends. In other words, one should not only distinguish these statuses but also learn to see the reality in the interaction to become aware of his own role in the biosphere and take the inevitable evolution of man and other living creatures on the earth.
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