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The article considers the phenomenon of social science debates in the form of the opposi-tion ‘West/Non-West’ and its social-political and identification consequences. The authors focus on the histo-ry of this opposition, the ways to overcome the scientific and social confrontations that were determined by it, and on the methodological significance of the concept ‘Non-Western theories’. The authors study the features of social and political knowledge of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America; compare social values of Western Europe, China and other countries to identify the ways for its integration in the course of postcolonial political and scientific development. In particular, the article compares the axio-logical triad of T. Heuss (democracy, Roman law, Christian ethics) and the Chinese dyad - the will of the people (minxin suoxiang) and three convents (sāngāng). Within the West/Non-West opposition, the Western European, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African, Latin-American social-political constructs are considered to assess the productivity of some categorical oppositions and contaminations adopted in the sphere of social knowledge and to prove the theoretical inconsistency of multiculturalism. The authors also consider the issues of eurocentrism and Western-European messianism on the examples of their relation-ship with Sino-Centrism, and the ideas of African and Latin-American nationalism. Such comparisons prove the metatheoretical status of the ‘West/Non-West’ opposition that can be explained within the paradigm of the social construction of reality. The authors conclude that the concepts ‘West’ and ‘Non-West’ do not have a truly scientific status; they are rather markers of social values claiming a special identifica-tion value, i.e. having a direct relation to self-representation. The concepts ‘West’ and ‘Non-West’ are a kind of political declarations tather than an evidence of epistemological differences in the foundations of social knowledge in different parts of the globe.

K V Radkevich

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198

A V Shabaga
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198

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