Prince Sergius Nikolaevich Trubeckoy

The nature of knowledge and its presuppositions

translated by: Dimitrije Kalezić

pages: 226-232

Abstract

The author examines three basic trends in gnoseology: mysticism, rationalism and empiricism. He understands the human knowledge as personal and superpersonal (catholicity of knowledge in the Church). The latter is a collective function of cognizance, which is common to all Mankind. Hence, when I objectively know something, »I am in contact, within myself, with catholic totality of all men«. This is possible because every person in itself possesses a supernatural principle. The word, as a means of expression, is the incarnation of the catholic character of knowledge. This is the reason why the knowledge is not only personal.

The three gnoseological trends — mysticism, rationalism and empiricism — in the beginning were not separated, but in the new philosophy they are disintegrated: Germany is fond of mysticism and theosophy, England prefers empiricism, and France cultivated rationalism.

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