chapter  1
36 Pages

An account of and an analysis of a disenchantment

THERE SEEMS little doubt that philosophy has constantly had a twofold aim, that of knowledge and that of the coordination of values; and the different philosophical systems have in different ways sought their more or less complete unification. A first approach is pre-critical: philosophy attains complete knowledge and thus directly coordinates values to particular or scientific knowledge. A second approach characterizes the Kantian critique: specificaIIy philosophical knowledge consists, on the one hand, in determining the limits of all knowledge and, on the other, in giving a theory of scientific knowledge, and the establishment of such limits leaves the field free for the coordination of values. While not claiming that this account is exhaustive, we list a third group of solutions; this exhibits two tendencies. On the one hand, certain branches of philosophy are separated, i.e. those which have become autonomous disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, logic, and increasingly epistemology, which is becoming part of science. On the other hand, values are coordinated by reflection. This latter proceeds (in a countless variety of ways) by a critical examination of science and by looking for a specific mode of knowledge; and this is either immanent in this critique, or is boldly established on the fringe of scientific knowledge, or above it.