Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis is a critical examination of Eric Voegelin's historical conception of philosophy. Voegelin is of particular relevance to a student of religion in that he argues that philosophy and history can only be properly understood in terms of a "divine ground." Central to this thesis, then, is the attempt to understand in what sense philosophy and history can be spoken of in relation to a divine ground, how that ground is known, and what it is.
Voegelin's arguement is wide-randging: it involves 1) a powerful criticism of contemporary understandings of science and philosophy; 2) a detailed argument about the proper nature of political science; 3) an extensive analysis of the main political-philosophical writings of the West, particularly those of Plato and Aristotle. The scope of his writings and so of his argument presents a problem for any analysis - but I will be selective in terms of the issues raised in the first paragraph.
A substantial part of this thesis involves the attempt to clarify and recount Voegelin's argument as he makes it in his various writings. However, I think that certain critical questions can be raised about. his position and these will be developed as his position is clarified.
Bourne, David Alexander, "The Problem With Eric Voegelin's Historical Conception of Philosophy" (1981). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5611.
McMaster University Library