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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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FRANCESCO BOTTURI Experience: Reason and Faith 123

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Experience: Reason and Faith FRANCESCO BOTTURI Transcendentality of Experience Faith and reason are not just related to experience: they constitute it, since it is not possible to experience anything without a trust-based, rational intention. This assumption appears reasonable when leading to a non- reductive idea of experience, that is, an original idea of experience as the primary opening towards reality: a lived, known and relational intention- ality. In this sense it is already clear that experience remains on neither the subjective nor the objective side (though it does have a subjective dimen- sion as to the subject of experience, and an objective one as to its con- tents), but it is rather an original relationship where subjective and objec- tive become meaningful as the previous context of their mediation, whereby a subject relates to reality as world and the world is set as reality for the subject. Experience is therefore the name of reality as it is lived in the first person and the name of the person as someone living reality. The principal theoretical question on experience thus concerns its transcendentality, that is, its original quality and non-transcendentability: experience is a beginning beyond which it is impossible to go and by whose near side one can only abide, despite the epistemological multiplicity of its forms. The transcendentality of experiencing implies that experience is given according to necessary and universal structures: this is the paradigm of human experiencing, to which every form and every level of epistemol- ogy (sensitive, intellectual,...

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