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The experience (Classical Thoughts)


Throughout history philosophers have tried to solve problems which arise out of the tension between the capability of reason of constituting its own insight into the formal natures or the general principles of different objects, on the one hand; and on the other, the fact that life is experienced as a flux in which objects are fleeting, vague and elusive. This tension has fueled the dynamics and development of the history of philosophy in which experience has always been at stake. This article tries to describe the insight of experience in the history of philosophy

In the Platonic dialectic the principle of constitution and intelligibility was not co-terminal with the experienced phenomena. Therefore the contents of experience must be viewed in terms which both relate an event to an idea and interrelate the cluster of aspects constituting the event. This has led philosophy to the search for truth as its main concern. The results depend on the reflexive mode of inquiry.

Aristotle’s view was diametrically opposed to the that of Plato. He agrees that experience is of the singular and science is always expressed in universals, but the latter is to be seen in a demonstrative rather than in a reflexive mode of inquiry. The universe is eternal in the sense of having perpetual motion and change. The meaning of the eternal world must be within the world, and its immediate principles of constitution are simultaneously the total source of intelligibility. Hence the overarching philosophical problem became the understanding of motion, and not the character of truth.

Medieval philosophy found its position between the two traditions. In spite of their differences, in general the medieval philosophers share the same view, that there has been a public Revelation. The Revelation exhibits the immanence of God in the affairs of men, and also speaks of the nature, history, and destiny of man. The acceptance of Revelation, however, created a problem alien to the Greeks : how could human interrelate the truth divinely given with those truths which s/he discovered and formulated.

The philosophic preoccupation of the medievals was then, the problem of truth. Revelation provided a warranty that human inquiry could result in the discovery of truth, but it also obliged the seeker to pursue her quest in an expanded universe of meaning. Revelation gave the quest for the intelligibility of the things experienced a gratuitous sanction which could not be discovered from experience. Everything was impregnated with divine causality; and there was equally an intelligible interrelatedness among all things which was synopsized by the term “providence”.

But because the Revelation is public, the criteria of truth is also public. “All truths are true by virtue of the First-truth” said Thomas Aquinas. A notion which was common to such diverse philosophers as Augustine and Ockham. The publicly revealed criterion of truth, in turn, brought the consequence of making inquiry personal and reflexive. Erigena declared all created things to be “theophanies”. Augustine searched everywhere for vestigial of the Trinity. Thomas used Aristotle’s language of demonstrative science but organized his arguments in the Platonic dialectical mode. The fact was that the divine sanction of truth could not be encapsulated in proposition which were the products of human understanding. The application to theology of the method of Aristotelian science could result only in hubris, and a demonstrative philosophy that was properly ancillary to theology could hardly avoid pretentiousness.
Published: 2007-03-02
Author: agustinus hartono

About the author or the publisher
Male, not married, fresh graduated in philosophy.I'm very interested in writing articles or books about philosophy or politic. On march of 2007, I publish my first book tittled "Skizoanalisis:Sebuah Genealogi Hasrat".In this book,i claim that the history based on ratio had produced an unconsciousness abnormality.Therefore,I invite you to live your life based on your desire to live the real life.nowadays,all of us can say that it's a new era of


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