The Unity of Philosophical Experience

Front Cover
Ignatius Press, 1999 - Religion - 285 pages

The best summary of this book is in the authors words from the foreword: "It is the proper aim and scope of the present book to show that the history of philosophy makes philosophical sense, and to define its meaning in regard to the nature of philosophical knowledge itself. For that reason, the various doctrines, as well as the definite parts of these doctrines, which have been taken into account in this volume, should not be considered as arbitrarily selected fragments from some abridged description of the medieval and modern philosophy, but as a series of concrete philosophical experiments especially chosen for their dogmatic significance. Each of them represents a definite attempt to deal with philosophical knowledge according to a certain method, and all of them, taken together, make up a philosophical experience. The fact that all those experiments have yielded the same result will, as I hope, justify the common conclusion...that there is a centuries long experience of what philosophical knowledge is--and that such an experience exhibits a remarkable unity."


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Profound. He shows how certain philosophical attitudes recur throughout history, often as a reaction to certain failures within philosophy. He offers a history of metaphysics which not only underlies but helps to explain the kinds of philosophical moves - and mistakes - people like Ockham, Descartes, Kant, and Comte have made. 


Cartesian Mathematicism
Cartesian Spiritualism
The Physicism of Kant
The Sociologism of A Comte
The Breakdown of Modern Philosophy
The Nature and Unity of Philosophical Experience
Index of Proper Names

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About the author (1999)

Etienne Gilson was a professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, and director of the Institute of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.

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