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Francesco Bonatelli: A Critical (Experience-grounded) Approach to Consciousness and Human Subject between Spiritualism and Positivism

By Davide Poggi


In the context of nineteenth-century philosophical reflection, Francesco Bonatelli (1830-1911) set himself the following goal: to defend the pillars of Spiritualism (the existence of a human subject with intellectual or supra-sensitive cognitive functions) and ontology (the notions of esse and substantia) through an careful examination of psychic contents and consciousness, while closely contesting both the psychology and the psychophysiology of Positivism (without rejecting its results in toto) and Spiritualism itself (with all its uncritical assumptions and unnecessary metaphysical speculations. In works such as Pensiero e conoscenza (1864), La coscienza e il meccanesimo interiore (1872) and Percezione e pensiero (1892-1895) Bonatelli puts forward his “critical experience-grounded philosophy” and proposes an original solution to the problem of the nature of the subject, (self-)consciousness and its unity, using an analysis of “sentiments” to reveal the inseparable tangle of the cognitive and ontological dimensions of the self

Topics: Positivism, Consciousness, Self-consciousness, Actus Essendi, Substance, Gnoseology, Philosophy. Psychology. Religion, B
Publisher: Mimesis Edizioni, Milano
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.4453/rifp.2016.0020
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