Posts tagged ‘sehnsucht’

October 18th, 2012

The Epistemology Directory

by Max Andrews
Below is a collection of all my blog posts specifically related to epistemology.
  1. My Evidentialist Epistemology
  2. Onto-Relationships and Epistemology
  3. Why Plantinga’s Warrant Cannot Circumvent the Gettier Problem
  4. A General Rule for Gettier Cases
  5. Empiricism and Being in the Right Phenomenological Frame of Mind
  6. Meet Philosopher Linda Zagzebski
  7. The Connection Between Phenomenology and Existentialism
  8. A Response to Alvin Plantinga’s “The Reformed Objection to Natural Theology”
  9. Alex Rosenberg on Whether Philosophy Emerges from Science
  10. Steven Wykstra’s “Toward a Sensible Evidentialism: ‘On the Notion of Needing Evidence.'”
  11. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Epistemology
  12. New Paper: “Epistemological Scientific Realism and the Onto-Relationship of Inferentially Justified and Non-Inferentially Justified Beliefs”
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May 19th, 2012

CS Lewis’ Sehnsucht and the Epistemic Split

by Max Andrews

Lewis’ argument from desire posits a certain degree of ignorance as to how the object of desire fulfills that Sehnsucht (literally meaning mind-search, a deep and mysterious longing for something, usually lasting).


  1. Every natural, innate desire corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
  2. But there exists a desire space, time, or anything can satisfy. This desire is not the difference of degree of natural desire but a different kind.
  3. Therefore, There must exist something more than these natural [natural], which can satisfy this desire.

He ascribes certain subjective pleasures to an object, which rests at an epistemic distance.  There is a concrete/abstract dilemma, which keeps us from knowing a thing completely.  We can know about it; we can experience it.  Both cannot be done simultaneously and each has its limits when isolated.  This epistemic problem, or the lapse in knowledge in illicit pleasure, is due to a separation of the subject from the object[1].  Lewis roots the epistemic dilemmas, the loss of concrete thought, in a long process of separation that begins in the fall. 

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