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Critical Realism - 9780217696951

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THE ADVANCE OF THE PERSONAL WE HAVE seen how, upon reflection, Natural Realism breaks down. The common, external world, supposedly open to the inspection of all, loses its definiteness and certainty and becomes more and more hypothetical, while the personal element gains in strength and assurance. It is the movement of the inner, personal sphere upon the outer, common sphere which we shall call the Advance of the Personal. The Advance of the Personal does not necessarily lead to idealism, but it does result in the recognition of the personal element in knowledge and raises questions which cannot be answered without a thorough analysis of the individual's experience. With the Advance of the Personal, the old contrast? cherished in the heart of Natural Realism ?between the physical world, which directly fronts the individual, and the inner sphere of images, ideas, and feelings, is reduced to a working- distinction within the individual's experience; that is, within the personal. The personal in this large sense covers both those experiences which are usually considered personal, or private, and those which are regarded as common. The one common world accordingly transforms itself into as many worlds as there are individuals. Yet at this new level, the question as to the nature of knowledge becomes ever more pressing. It alone offers to lead the individual into a common and independent world, transcending the isolation which the Advance of the Personal threatens to bring in its wake. The application of the term "personal," in this generic sense, to all experiences needs further examination. We hear so much of "experience-as-such," or "experience-in-general," that the assertion that experience is always personal, commonplace as it is from one point of view, bec...

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