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The Destiny of Man
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The Destiny of Man

By Nicolas Berdyaev

This book is in good condition. There is minimal wear on the front, back, edges, and spine of the cover boards. There is no bumping or fraying on the cover boards. The previous owner has signed the inside front cover board. The pages are yellowing and tanning, but the pages are clear of any markings. "I do not intend to begin, in accordance with the German tradition, with an epistemological justification. I want to begin with an epistemological accusation, or, rather, with an accusation against epistemology. Epistemology is an expression of doubt in the power and the validity of philosophical knowledge. It implies a division which undermines the possibility of knowledge. Thinkers who devote themselves to epistemology seldom arrive at ontology. The path they follow is not one which leads to reality. The most creative modern philosophers, such as Bergson, M. Scheler and Heidegger, are little concerned with epistemology. Man has lost the power of knowing real being, has lost access to reality and been reduced to studying knowledge. And so in his pursuit of knowledge he is faced throughout with knowledge and not with being. But one cannot arrive at being - one can only start with it. In using the term 'being' I am not referring to any particular system of ontology, such as that of St. Thomas Aquinas, which is prior to a critical theory of knowledge. I do not believe that it is at all possible to return to a pre-critical, dogmatic metaphysic. All I mean is that we must return to reality itself, to actual life, and overcome the duality which undermines the value of cognitive activity. It was inevitable that philosophical knowledge should pass through this duality and critical reflection; such was the path of philosophy in Europe. It was its inner dramatic destiny the critical theory itself, claiming as it does to be independent of the concrete facts of life, was an expression of European life and culture. It was a higher and more subtle form of European 'enlightenment' which claims to be universal...." - Chapter One from The Destiny of Man