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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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SERGIO GALVAN – CIRO DE FLORIO The Role of Metaphysics between Science and Faith 15

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The Role of Metaphysics between Science and Faith SERGIO GALVAN – CIRO DE FLORIO Science’s technological offshoots have made it the great protagonist of the contemporary world. Yet, beyond its enormous merits and successes, the scientific adventure is in itself a continual source of problems: the very nature of science, its position in the fabric of human knowledge, the rela- tionship between research procedures and ethical principles – to mention just some possible discussion topics – are areas needing a conscious and mature critical consideration. Such consideration cannot, however, be placed on the same theoretical level as the actual sciences, since these and their relationship with other dimensions of reality form the very object of this inquiry. It is therefore clear that such considerations must be situated on a meta-level: they must be exquisitely philosophical. 1. From the Philosophy of Science to the Philosophies of Sciences The branch of philosophy which has always studied the nature of scien- tific knowledge, with all that this involves, is, in fact, the philosophy of science, or epistemology1. Indeed, in philosophy departments worldwide, epistemology is one of the fundamental research areas; this is confirmed by the ample panorama of international philosophy periodicals. It seems 1 The Italian translation of the English term ‘epistemology’ is ‘teoria della conoscenza’, or ‘gnoseologia’, whilst the Italian ‘filosofia della scienza’ translates as ‘philosophy of science’. Sometimes, however, ‘epistemology’ is used as both a study on the human possibility to know and a philosophical meta-reflection about science. It is interesting how the partial...

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