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Read e-book online Religion and Practical Reason: New Essays in the Comparative PDF

By Frank E. Reynolds, David Tracy

This e-book comprises programmatic essays that concentrate on broad-ranging proposals for re-envisioning a self-discipline of comparative philosophy of religions. It additionally incorporates a variety of case stories focussing at the interpretation of specific religio-historical info from relatively orientated philosophical views.

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15 We may now reformulate the task of philosophy. As critical reflection on the most general understandings of human activity, philosophy is a form of critical reflection identified by the question: What is the valid comprehensive selfunderstanding, or what is human authenticity as such? I will call this the comprehensive question. Answers to it constitute the most general understandings of human activity, in the sense that human activity is the object of understanding. Just because human activity as such asks and answers the question, at least implicitly, answers to the question include the most general understandings of human activity, in the sense that human activity is the subject of understanding.

The same must be the case with any other characteristic, the affirmation or denial of which is said to distinguish religion and secularism in the sense here in question. Hence, the only pertinent distinction among different answers to the comprehensive question is between the valid answer and all others. In other words, the putative distinction between religion and secularism has no significance for human activity. What matters is the distinction between human authenticity and inauthenticity as such.

One may choose an understanding of oneself that one also understands to be invalid; one may choose a purpose that one understands to be morally wrong. To be sure, duplicity is a possibility for all human activities only if human activity as such is bound by a norm that our self-understandings might contradict. But we are now in a position to see that our choices are always moral choices because every particular self-understanding includes, at least implicitly, a comprehensive self-understanding.

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