HPP/IRC Seminar: Hubert Dreyfus, "Dostoevsky on How to Save the Sacred from Science"
In The Brothers Karamazov one of the monks tells Alyosha that "the science of this world has … analyzed everything divine handed down to us in the holy books. After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred of old.” The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoyevsky's answer to the alleged loss of the sacred. There he quite explicitly interprets Christian practices such as baptism, confession, and even belief in miracles, so that they allow one to appreciate the sacred without having to deny the validity of modern science. He even makes clear in each case which specific sacred experience he is existentializing. As far as I know, no one has understood Dostoyevsky's profound accomplishment. I will present, discuss, and defend his view.