Uncertainty as a global phenomenon and its manifestations in education





uncertainty, determinism, education, complexity, scientific picture of the world


The phenomenon of uncertainty is considered from a philosophical standpoint as a manifestation of existence, its attributive properties (determinism), as well as properties of knowledge (especially in education). The manifestation of the phenomenon of uncertainty is considered in relation to science education, where it manifests itself most vividly and explicitly. In this connection, the structure and evolution of the scientific picture of the world is discussed. Three main stages of its evolution are distinguished: classical, non-classical and modern. In the classical era, Laplacian determinism dominates, which loses its significance under the pressure of new facts and V. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which has become the basis of quantum mechanics as a fundamental physical theory. At the third stage of evolution, the concept of determinism is further generalized and the phenomenon of uncertainty becomes a fully attributive characteristic of existence.

The role of definition as a logical procedure that reduces possible negativism due to the uncertainty of knowledge is discussed. The relationship between the concepts of uncertainty and complexity is considered; it is argued that complexity in some situations can be the basis of uncertainty.

The article presents specific examples of uncertainties in education (the situation of students’ acquaintance with new material; the selection of new literature in the library; residual factors of postmodernism, etc.). It is shown that uncertainties should not be considered as a reason for concern in education, that with minor refinement of successfully working educational models, these uncertainties can be overcome.

Author Biography

Volodymyr Ratnikov, Vinnytsia National Technical University

Ph.D., Dr.Hab., Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities;  Field of scientific interests: epistemology and philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, philosophy of education.


Barnett, R. (2014). Conditions of Flexibility: Securing a more responsive higher education system. York: The Higher Education Academy.

Barnett, R. (2013). Imagining the University. International Higher Education, 71, 6-8.

Brookings (2017). Meaningful Education in Times of Uncertainty: A collection of essays from the Center for Universal Education. August 3, 2017. www.brookings.edu/research/ meaningful-education-in-times-of-uncertainty

Jammer, M. (1966). The conceptual development of quantum mechanics. New York: McGraw-Hill book Company.

Gorbunova, L. S. (2015). Philosophy of Transformative Education for Adults: University Strategies and Practices: Monograph. Sumy: University book.

Dobronravova, I. S. (2017). Practical philosophy of science: a collection of scient. works. Sumy: University book.

Dobronravova, I., & Gorbunova, L. (2016). Achievements and prospects of synergistic research in domestic humanities (Materials of the round table). Philosophy of education 18(1), 189-220. https://doi.org/10.31874/2309-1606-2016-18-1-189-220

Dunayeva, E. (2008). Social uncertainty as a characteristic of the educational space of youth. Informational humanitarian portal “Knowledge. understanding Skill” 1(2). http://www.zpu-journal.ru/e-zpu/1(2)/Dunaeva/

Kahneman, D., Slovyk, P., & Tversky, A. (2005). Decision-making in uncertainty: Rules and prejudices. Trans. from English. Kharkiv: Humanitarian Center.

Knyazeva, E. N., & Kurdyumov, S. P. (2002). Foundations of synergetics.. Saint Petersburg: Aleteia.

Mielkov, I. (2020). Higher Education under the Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty of the World: Post-non-classical Development Strategies and Personal Dimension. International Scientific Journal of Universities and Leadership (9), 62-77. https://doi. org/10.31874/2520-6702-2020-9-1-62-77

Mielkov, Y. (2020) From sustainable development to degrowth: philosophical and educational strategies for sustainability. Philosophy of Education 26(1), 37-53. https://doi. org/10.31874/2309-1606-2020-26-1-2

Mises, R. (1924). The main ideas of modern physics and the new worldview. Petrograd: Seyatel.

News. (2022). What teachers are [not] silent about in conditions of uncertainty (social survey). Found Site. 12/18/2022. https://znayshov.com/News/Details/pro_shcho_ ne_movchat_vykladachi_v_umovakh_nevyznachenosti

Peirce, C. S. (1931). The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Vol. 5. Ed. by C. Hartshorne, & P. Weiss. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Prichinyn, A. E. (2001). Innovative education: foundations of the principle of indeterminacy. Education and Science 84(5), 29-39.

Prigogine, A. I. (2007). Disorganization: Causes, types, overcoming. Moscow: Alpina Business Books.

Prigogine, I., & Stengers, I. (1997). The End of Certainty. New York: The Free Press.

Semichenko, V., & Artyushyna, K. (2019). The problem of uncertainty in the theory and practice of higher education. Bulletin of the National Aviation University. Series: Pedagogy. Psychology: coll. of science works 15(2), 141-152.

Stenmark, M. (2019). Fallibilism. Encyclopedia.com. https://www.encyclopedia.com/ education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fallibilism

Vernadskyi, V. I. (1990). About the scientific worldview. Alekseev, P. V. (compl.). On the break. Philosophical discussions of the 20s. Philosophy and worldview. (Pp. 180-203). Moscow: Politizdat.


Abstract views: 38



How to Cite

Ratnikov, V. (2023). Uncertainty as a global phenomenon and its manifestations in education. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 29(1), 180–201. https://doi.org/10.31874/2309-1606-2023-29-1-10






Download data is not yet available.