4
RADICALLY ORIGINATIVE REFLECTION: TO THE ROOT OF REASON AND EXPERIENCE

I. We make our new beginning by way of the act of radically originative reflection. In this act we do not merely exercise a familiar function but transform a familiar function. Risking the charge of hubris, we describe the act as an ontological expansion of reason.

The kind of new beginning at which this book is aimed has now been established, and the difficulties that lie in the way of it have been explored. In the present chapter it is contended that our hoped-for new beginning is to be found in the act of radically originative reflection. It is inevitable that much of the chapter must be given over to expounding the nature of that act. But this way of proceeding does violence to what is at issue, for I do not intend to be describing a familiar function that we all exercise, but to be transforming a familiar function: by intent, the expression of what is at issue marches with that transformation, and, should the expression fail, the transformation will be to that degree unsuccessful, leaving us nothing but a more or less adequate description of an existing function. I am willing to risk the charge of hubris if that is necessary to be understood: I am claiming for the philosopher

-53-

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