Roczniki Filozoficzne 61 (1):19-51 (2013)

Authors
Deborah Savage
University of Essex
Abstract
THE CENTRALITY OF LIVED EXPERIENCE IN WOJTYLA’S ACCOUNT OF THE PERSON S u m m a r y The aim of this paper is to illuminate the centrality of lived experience in Karol Wojytla’s account of the person and identify its significance for philosophy and praxis in the contemporary period. Specifically the author intends to pursue the meaning of Wojtyla’s claim that “the category of lived experience must have a place in anthropology and ethics—and somehow be at the center of their respective interpretations.” The paper seeks to recover an important insight into the task of philosophy: according to Karol Wojtyla, if philosophy is to perform its essential function in the recovery of our culture, we have no choice but to turn our attention to the subjectivity of human persons— and this can only be done by taking up the somewhat risky challenge of studying the reality of lived human experience. The paper will analyze Wojtyla’s argument that the problem of human subjectivity is at the epicenter of debates about the human person and will argue that his solution reconciles the dilemma posed by the historical antinomies that have characterized anthropology and epistemology, viz., the “objective” or ontological view of the human being and the “subjectivism” often associated with the philosophy of consciousness, and their corollaries, realism and idealism. At least in the English speaking context, where the validity of individual experience has risen to the level of almost dogmatic significance for social and political life, Father Wojtyla’s claim appears either to have gone unnoticed or to have been rejected. And perhaps, at least on the surface, this is not without reason. The modern interest in human subjectivity is blamed for many contemporary THE CENTRALITY OF LIVED EXPERIENCE IN WOJTYLA’S ACCOUNT OF THE PERSON S u m m a r y The aim of this paper is to illuminate the centrality of lived experience in Karol Wojytla’s account of the person and identify its significance for philosophy and praxis in the contemporary period. Specifically the author intends to pursue the meaning of Wojtyla’s claim that “the category of lived experience must have a place in anthropology and ethics—and somehow be at the center of their respective interpretations.” The paper seeks to recover an important insight into the task of philosophy: according to Karol Wojtyla, if philosophy is to perform its essential function in the recovery of our culture, we have no choice but to turn our attention to the subjectivity of human persons— and this can only be done by taking up the somewhat risky challenge of studying the reality of lived human experience. The paper will analyze Wojtyla’s argument that the problem of human subjectivity is at the epicenter of debates about the human person and will argue that his solution reconciles the dilemma posed by the historical antinomies that have characterized anthropology and epistemology, viz., the “objective” or ontological view of the human being and the “subjectivism” often associated with the philosophy of consciousness, and their corollaries, realism and idealism. At least in the English speaking context, where the validity of individual experience has risen to the level of almost dogmatic significance for social and political life, Father Wojtyla’s claim appears either to have gone unnoticed or to have been rejected. And perhaps, at least on the surface, this is not without reason. The modern interest in human subjectivity is blamed for many contemporary THE CENTRALITY OF LIVED EXPERIENCE IN WOJTYLA’S ACCOUNT OF THE PERSON S u m m a r y The aim of this paper is to illuminate the centrality of lived experience in Karol Wojytla’s account of the person and identify its significance for philosophy and praxis in the contemporary period. Specifically the author intends to pursue the meaning of Wojtyla’s claim that “the category of lived experience must have a place in anthropology and ethics—and somehow be at the center of their respective interpretations.” The paper seeks to recover an important insight into the task of philosophy: according to Karol Wojtyla, if philosophy is to perform its essential function in the recovery of our culture, we have no choice but to turn our attention to the subjectivity of human persons— and this can only be done by taking up the somewhat risky challenge of studying the reality of lived human experience. The paper will analyze Wojtyla’s argument that the problem of human subjectivity is at the epicenter of debates about the human person and will argue that his solution reconciles the dilemma posed by the historical antinomies that have characterized anthropology and epistemology, viz., the “objective” or ontological view of the human being and the “subjectivism” often associated with the philosophy of consciousness, and their corollaries, realism and idealism. At least in the English speaking context, where the validity of individual experience has risen to the level of almost dogmatic significance for social and political life, Father Wojtyla’s claim appears either to have gone unnoticed or to have been rejected. And perhaps, at least on the surface, this is not without reason. The modern interest in human subjectivity is blamed for many contemporary THE CENTRALITY OF LIVED EXPERIENCE IN WOJTYLA’S ACCOUNT OF THE PERSON S u m m a r y The aim of this paper is to illuminate the centrality of lived experience in Karol Wojytla’s account of the person and identify its significance for philosophy and praxis in the contemporary period. Specifically the author intends to pursue the meaning of Wojtyla’s claim that “the category of lived experience must have a place in anthropology and ethics—and somehow be at the center of their respective interpretations.” The paper seeks to recover an important insight into the task of philosophy: according to Karol Wojtyla, if philosophy is to perform its essential function in the recovery of our culture, we have no choice but to turn our attention to the subjectivity of human persons— and this can only be done by taking up the somewhat risky challenge of studying the reality of lived human experience. The paper will analyze Wojtyla’s argument that the problem of human subjectivity is at the epicenter of debates about the human person and will argue that his solution reconciles the dilemma posed by the historical antinomies that have characterized anthropology and epistemology, viz., the “objective” or ontological view of the human being and the “subjectivism” often associated with the philosophy of consciousness, and their corollaries, realism and idealism. At least in the English speaking context, where the validity of individual experience has risen to the level of almost dogmatic significance for social and political life, Father Wojtyla’s claim appears either to have gone unnoticed or to have been rejected. And perhaps, at least on the surface, this is not without reason. The modern interest in human subjectivity is blamed for many contemporary maladies, including subjectivism, relativism and the pride of place now given to any individual point of view, no matter how ill informed. Claims about the existence of truth or an objective moral order often cannot find a foothold when confronted with the argument that such realities do not resonate with a particular individual’s personal “experience.” The priority given to subjective personal experience in determining what constitutes right thinking and moral human behavior, assuming that question is even asked, is now a commonplace assumption; it is something alternately deplored or celebrated both by intellectuals and the “man on the street.” Given this situation, that a philosopher of Father Wojtyla’s stature and obvious moral authority should make such an argument is a matter of critical importance, especially for those who seek to ground human action in objective moral norms in an era where an arguably flawed account of human subjectivity clearly has taken center stage. The paper shows that Wojtyla is not adverting to experience as an adjunct to moral relativism or personal preference as an approach to questions of the true and the good. On the contrary, the author shows that the philosopher Karol Wojtyla provides a way to remain grounded in the metaphysical and ontological categories that not only comprise our intellectual heritage, but refer to real and profound truths, while simultaneously accounting for the subjectivity and dynamism of the person. The paper concludes with an argument that this account provides a key hermeneutical device for understanding the enormous importance of the work of Pope John Paul II.
Keywords lived experience  anthropology  subjectivity  objectivism vs. subjectivism  suppositum humanum  person  metaphysics  ontology  epistemology  phenomenology
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0035-7685
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,700
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

L'antropologia di k. Wojtyla come sintesi del pensiero clasico e della modernità.Antonio Malo - 2006 - Acta Philosophica: Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia 15 (1):11-28.
Beyond Nature.Jameson Taylor - 2009 - Review of Metaphysics 63 (2):415-454.
Who's on First? Living Situations and Lived Experience.Pierre Steiner - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (2):27.
On Human Experience.Ling Gao - 1998 - Philosophy and Culture 25 (1):17-26.
On the Lived‐Experience and Dynamics of Health and Illness: Phenomenological Complexity and Learning Organizations.Darren Stanley - 2007 - Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 16 (3):57-68.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-11-29

Total views
7 ( #1,019,055 of 2,432,322 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #466,190 of 2,432,322 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes