Edited by Sebastian Tomasz Kołodziejczyk
Part II: Existence and Experience
Part II Existence and Experience Three Conceptions of Existence1 The person who decides to speak on the subject of existence may feel released from the obligation of making stipulations concerning both the fundamental character of this issue in metaphysics and the difficulties connected with it. The problems of existence have been included – explicite or implicite – in every definition of metaphysics starting with the Aristotelian description of the first philosophy as the domain of knowledge dealing with being as being, and ending with Ingarden’s proposition of understanding metaphysics as a science devoted to studying the essence of the factually existing world. Yet, there is no object of philosophical investigations that could be more difficult. This is a consequence of its specific elusiveness, comparable only with the elusiveness of time, of which St. Augustine famously said: “What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know.”2 In speaking about existence we have to refer to the experience of it given to each of us indiviualy – and try work it out our own risk. Moreover, when speaking about it and asking others about it we can never be certain whether we are talking about quite the same thing. Even language is not exactly our ally here: although the Greek εἶναι, the Latin esse or the German sein are equivalents of the Polish word istnieć, they have acquired such a multitude of explanations, interpretations and...
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