Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Mind As The Only Object Of Knowledge

This will be brief. I think I now have a way of understanding the most general claim of Speculum Mentis. I certainly don't grasp all the details, all the nuance of it all. Because there is a lot.

But the most general claim of the book is that art, religion, science, and history all mistake the object that they are trying to gain knowledge of; they misstate their claim to truth. Art believes truth and knowledge are to be found in the world of the imagination and in the work of art that is created. Religion claims that knowledge is to be found in god. Science claims that it is to be found in the natural world. History asserts that it is to be found in the human world. All of these objects, for Collingwood, are false objects.

The true object of knowledge, the only thing that we can truly know, is the mind itself. And this is what philosophy strives to do. It strives to know the mind so that the mind can know what it knows. Collingwood admits that most philosophy dose not achieve this dual goal of the mind that thinks about its own assumptions, but that this should be philosophy's goal. Also, Collingwood feels that philosophy and history are inseparable in this quest for a self-knowing mind.

Anyways, I'll have to do more work with Speculum Mentis at the time. But the real issues seem to be epistemological. The problem is that of knowledge and how it is possible. Collingwood approaches it 'ideally', in that only mind can be known.

Over and out.

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