Veber on knowledge and factuality

Acta Analytica 19 (33):241-263 (2004)
Abstract
The article deals with the development of the philosophy of France Veber (1890–1975), the pupil of Meinong and a main Slovene philosopher. One of the most important threads of Veber’s philosophy is the consideration of knowledge and factuality, which may be seen as a driving force of its development. Veber’s philosophical development is usually divided into three phases: the object theory phase, the phase when he created his philosophy of a person as a creature at the crossing of the natural and the spiritual world, who as an active, not merely passive subject possesses her own causal powers, and the third phase, when he supplemented his earlier philosophy with the theory of a special side of our experience which he called hitting-upon-reality. It is a direct experience of reality, a special kind of intentionality, which is however fundamentally different from presentational intentionality, which alone is taken into account by object theory or phenomenology. The questions of knowledge and factuality are closely connected in Veber’s philosophy since, pace Veber, knowledge is a kind of, we may say, justified experience the object of which is a factual entity. Hence, if we want to understand what knowledge is, we must face the challenge of comprehending factuality. There are five stages to be noted in the development of his epistemology. The first two belong to his object theory phase, the third to his person phase, the fourth is characterised by his distinguishing and exploring truth and validity with regard to the thought about God, and the basis of the fifth phase lies in his theory of hitting-upon-reality. In Introduction to Philosophy and The System of Philosophy , that is in the year 1921, Veber believed that factuality (“truth,”) was a property of the object, which we do present, but we do not present the factuality of this factuality (that is why he distinguishes between the merely objective truths and truths that are in addition transcendental truths). In 1923, in The Problems of Contemporary Philosophy and in the work Science and Religion , he already rejected such a view. There is something that makes things factual, but that is a complete unknown X. Therefore we cannot even say what kind of an entity this factuality is. Some people would probably demand the following formulation: if X is an ultimate mystery, we should not claim even that it is an entity. In The Problems of Presentation Production (1928) Veber claimed that factuality is not a property since this would lead to a regressum ad infinitum. Philosophy (1930) related internally correct experience to personal will. In T he Book about God (1934) he developed the thesis that factuality depends on the act of God. In The Question of Reality (1939) he importantly modified, developed and enriched the thesis that we do not present reality with his theory of immediate experience of (hitting upon) factuality.
Keywords development of the philosophy of France Veber  object theory  intentionality  knowledge  factuality  experience of reality
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