By Jacques Maritain

THIS booklet of seventeen chapters comprises ten from Raison et Raisons, released in Paris by means of the Librairie Universelle de France, and a few extra essays now not inside the French version. i'm hoping it has therefore been attainable to achieve a extra passable measure of cohesion. I hesitated to insert the fast essay which constitutes bankruptcy XII since it is barely a primary draft of a few extra thoroughly constructed pages in my e-book guy and the nation. i've got however stored it, for it kind of feels to me to symbolize a logical step within the improvement of the perspectives that I exhibit within the moment a part of the current meditation at the diversity of Reason.

Some of the essays amassed jointly right here have been written in English, others in French. i'm indebted to Mrs. Pierre Brodin who helped me in revising many of the former and in translating a few of the latter. I desire to convey my thank you for her cooperation and support.

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At this point a great problem arises, one which is far from being solved -- the problem of the universal intersolidarity. We have a feeling that there is a mysterious unity of the world, that the whole of mankind suffers from the iniquities which each one undergoes and is helped by the generosity and love which each one displays in his individual life. Somehow this feeling must be true. Yet it does not mean that there exists a soul of the world, in a Stoic or Spinozistic sense. We live in time; each man is a spiritual unit engaged in the world of matter and change; it is by some external expression in this world, by some utterance, that the inner achievements or disasters of these spiritual units may exert influence, and that this influence may worm its way into human history and endure in it.

Htm (8 of 15)27-Sep-05 20:00:46 The Range of Reason 4 What is the view that a Thomist, under these circumstances, might take of Pragmatism? If I may summarize in a few brief statements some considerations which would require further development, I would say tentatively that in my opinion the central intuition which lies at the core of Pragmatism is the intuition of the reality of time and becoming as immanent to experience and to the human conditioning of the effort of the understanding. And as regards the place in which, according to the Thomistic system of reference, both the inspiration and the specific principles of Pragmatist philosophy would receive, once duly transposed, a legitimate meaning, I would suggest that for a Thomist, Pragmatist philosophy is to be placed neither at the level of metaphysics nor at the level of the philosophy of nature, but at the level of ethics and moral philosophy.

II. "SUBJECTIVE" IMMORTALITY I am very far, nevertheless, from despising that kind of survival which consists in living in men's minds and hearts. Auguste Comte called it subjective immortality, and Fechner speaks of it in a much more profound manner, all the while mingling with it, and trying to superimpose upon it, a theory of genuine or "objective" immortality. To endure in human minds, and in the movement of human history is something momentous, in which each human person is interested by a deep-seated and more or less obscure aspiration.

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The range of reason by Jacques Maritain


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