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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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GIACOMO SAMEK LODOVICI Virtue at the Crossroads of Experience, Reason and Trust 81


Virtue at the Crossroads of Experience, Reason and Trust GIACOMO SAMEK LODOVICI The present contribution is aimed at illustrating just some aspects of the relationship between virtue, reason, experience and trust. The meanings of these terms that the reader will find in this paper are not the only legiti- mate ones: they are just those which I have used here and which I want to define at once for clarity’s sake, as sometimes debates on such topics are affected by the different meanings with which these words are employed. – Ethical virtue: is the propensity to perform morally good actions1; – intellective virtue: is the propensity to perform the intellective acts that perceive the truth; – a virtuous action: is an action emanating from a virtue; – reason: is the faculty whereby the subject comes to know something about being and about acting; – experience 1 (in a minimal sense): is an event relative to a subject, in which the latter is involved both consciously and willingly (sometimes, however, we say we have experienced something which we have only undergone: we were passive, if conscious, patients); – experience 2: is a set of (somehow connected, not only juxtaposed) experiences 1 lived out by a subject, from which the latter draws some kind of lesson. I shall define an act of faith, or trust, in the next paragraph. 1 The very possibility of the existence of an ethical virtue is often disputed and opens a number of issues requiring a more thorough discussion than cannot be provided...

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