The Catholic Turn to Philosophy as an Alternative Tradition

  • Gabriel Motzkin
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 1)


Our story began with tradition as a set of practical injunctions and a way of conferring identity at the same time. The concept of tradition was disclosed as being applicable to the notion of a tradition of revelation legitimating institutions. Then tradition began to imply tradition as a constitution of individual identity in relation to a society as a tradition of feeling. The next step in our story, the working-out of the notion of a tradition of knowledge, should be seen as a rationalist reaction to the Romantic notion of tradition as a tradition of affect. The tradition of affect, as we saw, shared with the Enlightenment the notion that the basis for identity is innate. It substituted the notion of an emotional identity for an intellectual identity, feeling for reason, and suggested that feeling is what is innate and reason is what is acquired. In turn, the formulation of a tradition of knowledge in the late nineteenth century would continue to preserve this notion that knowledge is acquired rather than innate.


Nineteenth Century Mechanical Time Human Time Religious Culture Historical Interpretation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Motzkin
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

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