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DOI 10.12887/28-2015-4-112-06



Kazimierz KRAJEWSKI – Experience: The Roots of the Unity of Philosophy and Its Ethos


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The goal of the article is to demonstrate that moral experience provides the source of the unity of philosophy and lies at the core of its ethos. The reason is that moral experience uncovers the fundamental truth about the human being, or person. The specificity of moral experience lies in that its axiological content has a normative aspect to it: namely, it reveals the special value (dignity) of the human being (person) which demands categorical respect from any other rational subject.

This axiological and normative truth about the human being may be discovered either when the human being is considered against the background of the (impersonal) world and cognitively grasped as the most perfect being, or when she grasps herself as both a witness to truth and its repository, as well as the subject responsible for the witness to truth and its repository in herself. The constitution of oneself as a witness to truth and its repository is accomplished in the experience of the normative power of truth. The integral nature of this experience, which makes it the basic resource for ethics, determines its simultaneously being the basic datum for epistemology, anthropology and metaphysics. An insight into moral experience renders it as both the source of the inner unity of philosophy and the source of its ethos. Indeed, anthropology, as well as epistemology and metaphysics, are invariably constituted in and solely through the experience of the normative power of truth. Therefore the unity of philosophy and its ethos are rooted in the integrity of this experience and its normative aspect. The experience of the normative power of truth is inherent in any cognitive act (also in a philosophical insight). The complement of moral experience is that of borderline (liminal) situations the meaning of which is hardly comprehensible to the human being. Such situations call for a transcendent source of meaning which may be found in God only.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska 

Keywords: moral experience, normative power of truth, person, unity of philosophy, ethos of philosophy, borderline situation, liminal situation, transcendent source of meaning

Contact: Chair of Ethics, Institute of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy,
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin,
Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland

E-mail: www.kul.pl/kontakt,art_16436.html
Phone: +48 81 445 4039
www.kul.pl/kazimierz-krajewski-phd,art_22256.html



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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 12.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887