Thought Notes 8/1/2014

The last few days I’ve been reading about post-Kantian moral philosophy, primarily Fichte. It’s a very interesting project, which could probably be summed as an attempt to construct an ‘objective’ morality in the absence of God, using the ‘Ego’ or ‘I’ or ‘Self’ as an axiomatic starting point. It’s interesting – what started as a project grounded in the rejection of (what Fichte and Co. perceived as) ‘dogma’ ended up providing its own dogma in the form of the postulates of practical reason:

‘Failing a rational justification of morality, and granting that morality is inseparable from human life, there is nothing else to do but take morality for a self-justifying fact. But when morality does not flow from what we know, it becomes free to prescribe for us what we ought to believe.’ (Etienne Gilson, ‘The Unity of Philosophical Experience’, p. 186)

I’ve also been reading ‘Faith and Rationality’, and started William Alston’s essay on religious perception and experience last night. Alston locates religious epistemology in the realm of epistemic practices – practices of forming belief. Fairly interesting, and more readable than Plantinga’s essay. I love Plantinga, but sometimes he can be a bit dense.

Another thought I had was whether existentialism makes more sense as a psychology than as a philosophy or metaphysic. I’ll ponder this one a bit more.

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