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The Unity of Philosophical Experience Paperback – October 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Etienne Gilson was one of the greatest historians of philosophy in the 20th century. His brilliance shows throughout this work and so much could be quoted. For example: "As soon as Descartes published it, it became apparent that, like Caesar's wife, the existence of the world should be above suspicion . . . . Descartes had endeavored to prove something that could not be proved, not beacause it is not true, but on the contrary, beacause it is evident." (p. 146.)
If you are new to the study of philosophy, get this book for an introduction; if you are familiar with philosophy, this is a great "refresher course."
The most important thesis of the book, however, is Gilson's defense that philosophy and more importantly metaphysics is a process and not a conclusion. Once one has made metaphysics a conclusion it ceases to be Metaphysics. Metaphyics can supose a greater truth, like an octagon being closer to a circle than a hexagon, but to incompus all truth is at least a human impossibility.Read more ›
There's a pattern in the history of philosophy. A pattern of error. One philosopher's enthusiastic and idealistic doctrine will be taken by his followers to its ultimate conclusions, which then leads invariably to skepticism. The way out of skepticism has been mysticism or moralism. The book lays out how this happens in Medieval times, with Descartes, and in Modern philosophy after Descartes. He does not focus much on mysticism because that pertains to religion more than philosophy.
He concludes his book by telling us how all these philosophers have erred- repeatedly. And in doing so he gives us the guidelines, the principles, of what a philosopher would have to do in order to avoid repeating the same error again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delightful reading. Like a thriller, you just cannot drop it till the end page. Please bring it to Kindle format and I'll buy it AGAIN.Published on November 8, 2013 by Anthony Bates
When Etienne Gilson looked at the history of philosophy he saw a cycle repeated numerous times. To put it entirely too briefly, a new philosophical movement arises out of... Read morePublished on September 4, 2011 by Jordan M. Poss
"The Unity of Philosophical Experience" is an incredibly boring book by leading "Neo"-Thomist expositor Etienne Gilson. But then, have you ever read a *fun* book by a Thomist? Read morePublished on May 10, 2011 by Ashtar Command
This book is a deceptively light read. Gilson's writing is so clear that it's easy to miss the profundity of it. Read morePublished on May 6, 2011 by all4dopamine
This is a good book. However, it's not the best book ever written on the history of philosophy. For one thing, the focus is mostly on metaphysics, which is only one branch of... Read morePublished on February 9, 2011 by JJ Sylvia IV
This is one of my favorite books. I regularly recommend it as the best single book in the history of philosophy. Read morePublished on July 9, 2007 by Michael Pakaluk
I found this little book a quarter of a century ago. I have never seen it since, but I've never forgotten it. Read morePublished on August 13, 2000 by P. Hines