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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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MASSIMO EPIS Theory of Experience and Truthful Form of Faith 163


163 Theory of Experience and Truthful Form of Faith MASSIMO EPIS The debate on the relationship between faith and reason has long been weighed down by the assumption that these two spheres are structured independently of, or even in opposition to, each other. The present contri- bution aims to show, however briefly, their actual, original articulation through a hermeneutical-phenomenological understanding of the human experience as the source of all meanings. To begin with, I shall briefly recall the unique identity of the Chris- tian faith and the critical responsibility produced by it (the epistemolo- gical explanation of the ratio fidei) (1.). Given the impossibility to pro- vide a full account of a centuries-old theological debate, I have selected as emblematic the difference between the Thomasian synthesis and modern problematization, to arrive at a discussion on the theoretical options contained in the apologetics of pre-Vatican II manuals (2.). While investigating the circumstances in which the Christian faith was insti- tuted I shall focus on the truth conditions for the actualization of ration- ality. Unravelling the mesh of reason and truth engages philosophy, first of all, to identify the anthropological medium whereby meaning is formed. (3.). In this direction I shall use Husserl’s analysis of perceptive experience, without sharing its withdrawal into transcendental idealism. The pathic-practical dynamism of subjectivity appears transversal as to the forms of transcendence (of Leib versus Körper, of others’ I, of the injunction connoting an individual’s uniqueness) that qualify perso- nal ipseity. (3.1.). An analysis of the...

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