Contemporary Perspectives in Philosophy of Religion
Edited By Sebastian Kolodziejczyk and Janusz Salamon
From Thinking about God to Experiencing the World: Theory of Transcendentals and the Debate about the Nature of Experience
Sebastian Tomasz Kołodziejczyk
This paper is devoted to one of the most intriguing metaphysical theories – the theory of transcendentals – that was invented by mediaeval theologians and philosophers who searched for tools that might help to explain the nature of God. Here I do not focus on the theological dimension of this idea, but instead I want to show that it is worthy of attention because of its potential philosophical usefulness and its explanatory power. Somewhat surprisingly, the theory of transcendentals seems to shed light on the problem of 'pure experience' that must not have nothing to do with any concepts and theories. Putting forward so-called 'Basic Furniture of Mind Hypothesis' I will argue for fruitful and mutual connection between thinking about God on the one hand, and the world on the other.
My paper is divided into three sections. In the first section, I will consider the idea of pure experience. In the second section, I outline the theory of transcendentals. The last section contains discussion about the relations between the theory of transcendentals and the problem of pure experience.
The theory of transcendentals – both from the historical and the systematic point of view – belongs to one of the most fundamental theories that allow to link thinking about God with formulating the conditions of experience and thinking about the world. This medieval – today underestimated – theoretical construct is based on two assumptions: (1) one can speak about God only in a transcategorial...
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