Philosophy ETDs

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The "Prologue" to Speculum Mentis introduces a present disorder experienced by many Europeans in the life of culture. It formulates the problem and leaves the solution to the very special characters involved in the drama. These special characters are depicted as five definite forms of human experience. Each is essential to the problem; each contributes to the solution. In short, the coming to terms with the problem lies within each of them. The solution does not arise outside their action. The drama ends exhibiting a new "principle of unity." Philosophy, the self-conscious form of experience, solves the present anarchy experienced in the life of culture. But if philosophy teaches history that its real subject of study is its own self, the cry arises that Collingwood has failed to differentiate between history and philosophy as forms of experience. The critic asks: Which is it--history or philosophy that provides the new "principle of unity"? If it is history, philosophy has no function as a form. If it is philosophy, history must be some type of illusion and not a form as such. Yet this lack of an essential differentiation is not a problem of systematic import to Collingwood. His aim has been the integration of intellectual experience and self-knowledge. If certain forms of experience do attain this self-knowledge, then the lack of an essential differentiation is no problem for a philosopher seeking a new "principle of unity." Nevertheless, there seems to be a question as to how history and philosophy can be distinguished as forms. We will argue there is no essential difference with respect to the object of historical and philosophical experience. We will argue that the re-enactment of past experience develops this essential object in two distinguishable directions. Our study will be a defense of the thesis that Collingwood's later writings on history do not upset his earlier conception of the forms of experience presented in Speculum Mentis.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Donald Clark Lee

Second Committee Member

Howard N. Tuttle

Third Committee Member

Carl Stern



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