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We may generally distinguish three different views of the world. The first is that which comes easily and naturally and it depends on five-sense experience alone. It may be called materialism, and may take various shapes. The second is religious in its elementary state, depending on faith, and mystical in its higher stage, depending on intuition and transcendental experience. The third is scientific in its elementary state, depending on concrete reason, and metaphysical in its higher state, depending on abstract reason. Although these are the views generally held amongst men, they do not exhaust the possibilities of human intelligence. There is a fourth possible view which declares that none of the others can stand alone and that if we cling to any one of them alone to the detriment of the others we merely limit the truth. This view is the philosophic. It declares that truth may be arrived at by combining all the other views which yield only partial truths into the balanced unity of whole truth, and unfolding the faculty of insight which penetrates into hidden reality.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 19

-- Perspectives > Chapter 20: What Is Philosophy? > # 23






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