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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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PIERLUIGI LIA Experience and Faith: Freedom as a Foundation. Some Reflections in the Wake of F. W. J. Schelling 179

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179 Experience and Faith: Freedom as a Foundation. Some Reflections in the Wake of F. W. J. Schelling PIERLUIGI LIA Experience, faith, and freedom command huge attention in the philo- sophical and theological forum and are the object of often irreconcilable approaches and considerations ranging from metaphysics to the neuro- sciences. In the following pages the freedom experienced by man is assumed as real; besides, freedom is assumed to be man’s own qualifying feature; the reason for, and the possibility of, his knowledge, his conscience, and that unique form of existence which characterizes him, which we call experi- ence. All these exist within that perspective which, at least since Pareyson, is commonly known as Ontology of Freedom (Pareyson 2000). This defini- tion is found ambiguous by C. Ciancio, although the same author has shown its actual relevancy and usefulness within the philosophical dis- course (Ciancio 2009, 155). The assumption that freedom is the qualifying feature of man and his world implies its non-incontrovertible evidence. As regards knowledge [of freedom] as a ‘ground non-ground’ the only adequate route is that of the wager. […] Truth is given only if the origin has been determined, that is, if freedom has made a choice. This choice, though, coming from an unfathomable freedom, cannot be demonstrated and may be confused with an arbitrary and non- essential manifestation. To acknowledge it as freedom, the authentic manifestation of the origin, can only be the result of a free act […] in itself the attestation of an unnecessary truth...

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