Volume V Number 2

Ottawa, Canada

Fall 1993

Message from the President

Francis Peddle


This instalment of ELEUTHERIA contains the first part of an essay on Reason and Religion by James Lowry as well as Part One of an article by me entitled Hegel, Habermas, Piaget and Epistemology. Both articles deal with the critique of reason and knowledge that pervades the modern retreat from a single and unified concept of mind.

The Enlightenment emphasis on reason has been transformed into rationalities, perspectives and situational epistemologies. The Kantian critique of Enlightenment reason nevertheless resulted in a circumscribed doctrine of knowing. Kant laid down the objective conditions for a possible experience and a science of knowledge while postulating a scientifically impenetrable noumenal world. Hegel proceeded into this noumenal world, exposed it and its phenomenal counterpart as moments in the unfolding of the Idea, and thus brought back to any doctrine of knowing the issues of totality, unity and internal coherence.

Post-Hegelian modernity quickly lost sight of any principle of reason or knowing predicated upon a concept of truth that is necessarily allencompassing. Truth, knowing, mind and hence philosophy itself fell into a fracas of historicized doctrines, reductionisms and eventually formalized sub-disciplines. Many of these disciplines have forgot their own history and evolution. Philosophy is now slated for extinction in many of our most prestigious universities.

The essays in this issue of ELEUTHERIA show that philosophy must be unitarily rational and coherent. It is an undertaking that is prior to and comprehensive of religion and science. Modern epistemology is an attempt to be a dephilosophized doctrine of knowing that presumably will have some relevance to our socio-political and economic institutions. This is a contradiction that cannot be resolved by the assumptions of this epistemology. The same is true for religious doctrine. Only speculative philosophy sustains these contradictions while completing their resolution.

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The Institute now has available for purchase at $5.00 per copy Volume One in itsMONOGRAPH SERIES. The monograph, entitled, Speculative Philosophy and Practical Life, is by James Lowry, and originally appeared in the Fall, 1990 issue ofELEUTHERIA. Each volume in the MONOGRAPH SERIES contains a Concordance andLine Numbering for easy reference.