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Understanding Human Experience

Reason and Faith

Edited By Francesco Botturi

Experience is a very basic concept and, at the same time, an extremely complex subject. How does our everyday experience as a human being relate with scientific knowledge and moral conduct? What kind of mutual relationship lies between human experience, reason and faith? This book gathers the results of a joint philosophical research which puts human experience in question from the diverse perspectives of a selected group of scholars. These collected essays lead the reader through a wide investigation articulated in two stages: the first goes from epistemology to theory of experience and the second moves from theory of experience to theology. Special attention is devoted to the many implications of human experience in the much debated and controversial relationship between reason and faith. The outcome is a plural account which looks with deep interest at a wide range of human experiences, especially those intertwined with the field of natural sciences, the challenges of ethical normativity or the traits of religious commitment.


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Introduction 7


Introduction To understand the nature of this book it’s useful to learn about its ori- gins. This volume comes from a long work, encouraged and funded by the Catholic University of Milan, and devoted to the relationship between three major concepts: experience, faith and reason. Two research groups were formed and this book presents the results of one of those, while the outcomes of the other one are illustrated in A. Ghisalberti (ed.), Mondo Uomo Dio. Le ragioni della metafisica nel dibattito filosofico contemporaneo (Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2010). Our group held a series of seminars during which the overall plan of this book was conceived and every contribution which is now here pre- sented was thoroughly discussed. The outcome traces a plausible itinerary even if it cannot be expected to offer an exhaustive and systematic account of such a wide topic. Our aim was rather to gather a series of essays com- ing from diverse disciplinary outlooks (epistemological, social, anthropo- logical, ethical and theological) around the relationship between faith and reason, considered under the perspective of experience. From these consid- erations comes the title chosen for this volume, Understanding human ex- perience: reason and faith. The book has to be read, then, as a series of essays which are united by a common reference to the general topic, but which are also distinct when it comes to their epistemological approach, as if they were different rays of light drawn upon the same object. The volume is divided in two...

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