Structuralism and Hermeneutics by T. K. Seung

By T. K. Seung

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1. Naive prescientiEc knowledge We turn first to the naive type of prescientific knowledge, which has a very important function for philosophical knowl­ edge. For the present, however, our concern is to show how this nai've form of taking cognizance of something differs from the philosophical. Philosophical taking cognizance of something is always dis­ tinctly thematic. This means that contact with the object is decisively ruled by the theme of appropriating some knowledge 38 THE NATURE OF PHILOSOPHICAL KNOWLEDGE 39 about it.

Consider, for example, those learning experiences in which we intend to acquire knowledge of a language, of a history, or of any science. In these cases, the gaining of knowledge as such is the theme, and the theme goes in the direction of a sound and lasting possession of the object through knowledge. It is evident, of course, that no knowledge can exist unless the object also exercises a certain thematic role. By its very nature knowledge is directed toward the object and is con­ cerned with the object.

We limit our­ selves to those cases in which we actually think about an ob­ ject, in which we, on the basis of certain premises, infer this or that about an object, or else have recourse to certain argu­ ments which we learned from someone else and which seem obvious. In fine, we limit ourselves to those cases wherein we still have knowledge in the broadest sense of the word. This kind of theoretical knowledge comes either from a certain scientific or philosophical thesis which has percolated down into the general common culture and has been taken over WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?

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