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(2014) Phenomenology in French philosophy, Dordrecht, Springer.

Receptions of phenomenological insights in French religious thought, 1901–1929

Christian Dupont

pp. 169-215

This chapter is the first of two treating the reception of phenomenology among French religious thinkers, comprising theologians, philosophers of religion, and religious philosophers. It focuses on two representatives of the latter category, Édouard Le Roy and Pierre Rousselot , who were influenced by the phenomenological insights of Bergson and Blondel . In a 1901 article for the Revue de métaphysique et de morale on the philosophy of science, Le Roy proposed a "new positivisme" (positivisme nouveau). In a more controversial essay, "Qu'est-ce qu'un dogme?" ("What is a Dogma?"), which appeared in 1905, Le Roy argued that dogmas have a primarily practical rather than speculative significance, serving as dynamic principles for orienting and directing the assent of faith. In a collection of essays published in 1929 on the problem of God, Le Roy interpreted Bergson 's élan vital through Blondel 's notion of action to arrive at a spiritualist pragmatism. Le Roy 's attempts to show the contradictions inherent in negative solutions to the problem of God and especially his dialectical phenomenology of the will evinced strong affiliations to the method of immanence advanced by Blondel and Lucien Laberthonnière . Rousselot meanwhile applied the insights he gained from his study of Aquinas , Blondel , and Maréchal toward the resolution of pressing theological problems, including the understanding of the development of dogma and the act of faith. In so doing, Rousselot championed the cause of intellectualism, which would prove significant for the later receptions of Husserlian phenomenology among neo-Thomists because Husserl's doctrine of intuition was intellectualistic in character.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4641-1_4

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Dupont, C. (2014). Receptions of phenomenological insights in French religious thought, 1901–1929, in Phenomenology in French philosophy, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 169-215.

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