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LECTURE I NOTE K.—P. 26.

RELIGIOUS AND THEORETIC KNOWLEDGE.

A. Dorner states the distinction as it appears in recent theology and philosophy thus: “It has recently been sought in manifold ways, under a stimulus derived from Kant, to find an essential distinction between theoretic knowledge, and a knowledge which does not extend our knowledge of objects in the least, but stands solely in the service of purely subjective interests. This latter has only the significance of expressing in any given case the worth of the object for the subject; these notions have nothing whatever to do with the knowledge of truth, but only with practical interests; therefore our knowledge is not furthered through any of these notions, but they are only the means for the attainment of subjective ends. Shortly, knowing is placed here at the service of another mental function, and on this account produces, not objective knowledge, but only representations (Vorstellungen), which are formed in a foreign interest, but are perfectly indifferent as to whether they also 388extend our knowledge—help-representations we may call them, formed in order by their means to reach other ends. Should reference be made to truth, this would still in nowise have anything to do with knowledge; the truth of such representations would he measured solely by this, whether with their help one does or does not attain the wished-for end,—irrespective of whether these representations were in themselves mere phantasies or not. Just for this reason is all metaphysical worth refused to such notions, e.g. aesthetic or religious.”—Das menschliche Erkennen,Die auf Werthurtheile ruhenden Begriffe,” pp. 170, 171.

The kindredship of this view to the “aesthetic rationalism” referred to in last note is greater than is sometimes acknowledged; in one disciple of the school, Bender, it becomes indistinguishable from it. (See his Das Wesen der Religion, 1886.) It should, however, be remarked that Kaftan has severed himself from the extreme positions of this school, and has sought in his various works to find an adjustment between faith and theoretic knowledge which will avoid the appearance of collision between them. He expressly hays down the proposition that “there is only one truth, and that all truth is from God”; acknowledges that faith-propositions have their theoretic side, and that “in the treatment of the truth of the Christian religion it is the theoretic side of these which comes into consideration”; explains that “truth” in this connection means simply what it does in other cases, not subjective truth, but “objective”—“the agreement of the proposition with the real state of the case,” etc. (Die Wahrheit, pp. 1–7.) Most significant of all is his statement in a recent article that he has abandoned the expression “Werthurtheile” altogether, as liable to misunderstanding. “I have,” he says, “in this attempt to describe the knowledge of faith according to its kind and manner of origin, avoided the expression ‘Werthurtheile,’ although I have earlier so characterised the propositions of faith (in which the knowledge of faith is given). They are theoretic judgments, which are grounded upon a judgment of worth, which therefore cannot he appropriated without entering into this judgment of worth which lies at their foundation.”—“Glaube und Dogmatik” in Zeitschrift für Theol. und Kirche, i. 6, p. 501.

Cf. further on this distinction, Stahlin’s acute criticism in his Kant, Lotze, und Ritschl, pp. 157ff. (Eng. trans.); Hartmann in his Religionsphilosophie, ii. pp. 1–27; Lipsius in his Dogmatik, pp. 16–93. Hartmann and Lipsius deal at length with the distinction and relations of the “religious” and the “theoretic” “Weltanschauung.”

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