Foundations of Knowledge: A Reevaluation

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“The inquiry into the foundations of knowledge is a systematic inquiry into the problem of truth. This problem constitutes one of the three main concerns of philosophical analysis, the others being the problem of beauty and the problem of goodness.” Thus Evangelos P. Papanoutsos, Greece’s leading contemporary philosopher, introduces this third book of his “Trilogy of the Mind.” The first two volumes covered aesthetics and ethics; this one is a major work in epistemology.

Combining rigorous analysis with thorough-going scholarship, displaying an intimate acquaintance with the physical and humanistic sciences, and drawing on a deep understanding of philosophical method and the history of philosophy, Professor Papanoutsos is held in high esteem by his European colleagues. This translation of his masterpiece will enhance his reputation and influence among readers of English.

The themes of The Foundation of Knowledge range over the topics that have been continually challenging to the modern era of philosophers: being and consciousness, experience and reason, common sense and science, and the domains of knowledge, including the nature of philosophical knowledge. Special attention is paid to the analysis of theoretical consciousness, the problems of categorical thinking, the theory of judgment, mathematics and logic, and the limits of historical understanding.
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About the author

Evangelos P. Papanoutsos was born in Piraeus, Greece, in 1900 and studied theology, philology, philosophy, and pedagogy at the Universities of Athens, Berlin, Tübingen, and Paris. His influence on the educational system of Greece has been profound, as teacher and administrator, as General Director and Secretary-General of the Greek Ministry of Education, and as advisor to Prime Minister George Papandreou and main author of the reform Law of Education which went into effect in 1964.

He teaches philosophy in the Atheosion, a School of Advanced Free Studies in Athens, and is Vice-President of the Athens Technological Institute. In addition to the present work, he is the author of five other major books in philosophy, from 1946 to 1961 was editor of Paideia and Life, a monthly review, and has written innumerable articles, many of which have been translated into other European languages.

John P. Anton, co-translator and editor of this volume, is Professor of Philosophy, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and Director of the Joint Ph.D. Program in Philosophy and Classics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Born in Ohio, he studied in both Greece and the United States, taking his doctorate at Columbia University. He is the author of Aristotle’s Theory of Contrariety and Meaning in Religious Poetry and has edited and contributed to other volumes as well as to the leading professional journals both here and abroad. Professor Anton has provided a lengthy introduction to the present book putting Papanoutsos’ thought into perspective for the American reader.

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SUNY Press
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Philosophy / General
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