From Epistemology to Transcendence
Follow the link above to this paper thus summarized:
- Science and modern culture have paradoxically absorbed both Hume’s stipulation of the priority of sensory experience and Kant’s assertion that mental and mathematical abstractions are fundamental and prior to sensory experience. Whitehead resolves the paradox by postulating a universe created out of occasions that exemplify William James’s drops of experience. Fully comprehending these occasions requires the same mystical understanding as Plato’s unwritten, fundamental doctrines. Spiritual practice is key to such comprehension.
- The conjunction in ancient philosophy of intellect and practice was dissipated by medieval Scholasticism. Cultural differences mean that any modern practice which tries to regain the original function of practice in philosophy must necessarily differ from ancient practice.
- James laid foundations of a transpersonal psychology that suggests means by which philosophical understanding might be facilitated so that it is a way of life, rather than simply an intellectual endeavor.