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Philosophy and the Historical Perspective$
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Marcel van Ackeren

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266298

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266298.001.0001

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What Has History to Do with Philosophy? Insights from the Medieval Contemplative Tradition

What Has History to Do with Philosophy? Insights from the Medieval Contemplative Tradition

Chapter:
(p.155) 10 What Has History to Do with Philosophy? Insights from the Medieval Contemplative Tradition
Source:
Philosophy and the Historical Perspective
Author(s):

Christina Van Dyke

, Marcel van Ackeren, Lee Klein
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266298.003.0010

This chapter focuses on the corrective and complementary roles that a historically oriented approach can occupy in philosophical discussions. First, it argues that analysis of the development of key definitions, concepts, principles and so forth can often illuminate problematic prejudices that should motivate a re-examination of the philosophical considerations in their favour. Second, it claims that this re-examination should involve looking at the relevant historical context in which the idea developed. Third, it demonstrates (via the case study of medieval mysticism and modern conceptions of mystical experience) that turning to the relevant historical context can sometimes provide viable philosophical resources with which to complement existing discussions. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this approach can also help philosophers engage in meaningful interaction with scholars working on similar topics in other disciplines.

Keywords:   mystical experience, historical context, medieval mysticism, corrective, complementary role

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