Between Experience and Theory, Or about Some Problems of the Philosophy of Mysticism Cover Image

Między doświadczeniem a teorią, czyli o niektórych problemach filozofii mistyki
Between Experience and Theory, Or about Some Problems of the Philosophy of Mysticism

Author(s): Aleksander R. Bańka
Subject(s): Philosophy, Special Branches of Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL & Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Keywords: mysticism; experience; phenomenon; spirituality; theory

Summary/Abstract: Mysticism today is not only a popular term often referred to the strange and incomprehensible phenomena, oscillating between psychology and spirituality. Mysticism is also a research problem, which has long been analyzing by the specialists from various scientific disciplines. Philosophy also has its own contribution to the study of mysticism. Moreover, one can also put forward the thesis about its special competencies for this. There is no doubt that a mystical intuition accompanies the philosophers from the very beginning, and for a long time the philosophy itself has been also developing, here and there, as a mystical philosophy. Currently, the attention of philosophers dealing with mysticism is mainly focused on problems determined by the philosophy of mysticism. Here the most important discussions and disputes are taking place—especially the so-called dispute between essentialism and contextualism. The author of the article formules the thesis that moderate contextualism, as the position that opts for the existence of several irreversible types of experiences defined today as mystical, better explains the complex phenomenon of mysticism than the reductionist essentialist attitude. This does not mean, however, that it gives an exhaustive explanation. Although the dispute examined in the article does not seem to be possible to unambiguously settle, the philosophical analysis of the most important, constitutive themes allows us to better understand the nature of the main processes that shape the broadly understood mysticism. The purpose of this article is therefore to identify the way in which philosophy enters the area of mysticism, the contribution it makes to the analysis of the mystical experience, as well as several major methodological problems that it encounters.

  • Issue Year: 68/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 137-159
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish