(For an introduction to Findlay's rational mysticism, see the article by Sanford L. Drob in "About" on this website)
“I have definitely ‘stuck my neck out’, and attempted to construct a picture of transcendental experiences and their objects based solely on the premises that such experiences must be such as to resolve, at a higher level, the many philosophical surds that plague us in this life: the philosophical perplexities, e.g., concerning universals and particulars, mind and body, knowledge and its objects, the knowledge of other minds, etc., etc. What I have tried to work out could have been documented and confirmed by an immense amount of mystical and religious literature and experience, but I have not appealed to such support. While I do not accept any form of the widely-held dichotomy between logical and empirical truth, I do not wish, as a philosopher, to contribute to the merely empirical treatment of anything. If there is not an element of necessity, of genuine logical structure, in the construction of higher spheres of experience and their objects, they are for me without interest or importance.” (The Transcendence of the Cave, preface)
“The mysticism of these lectures differs from many other forms of mysticism in that it does not seek to do away with logic – nor indeed with ethics or science or anything else – but to round them off. The truly well-formed sentence, we may say, must involve some mystical terms and co-ordinates.” The Discipline of the Cave, p. 16.
This website, which was inaugurated in February 2006, is dedicated to the philosophy of J.N. Findlay (1903-1987) as well as to the development of themes (e.g. rational mysticism, axiological ethics) that emerge from his work. Anyone who might have content suitable for inclusion in this website, or who has a personal recollection of Professor Findlay should contact me at email@example.com. I will be adding quotations from Findlay's work and other material pertaining to his philosophy over the coming months.
Philosophy by rhetorical question, backed up by vividly pictured experiences and accounts of imagined tribal usages, is not easy to counter: often the only possible response to an appeal framed by Wittgenstein in such words as 'But aren't you always experiencing something different when you say X?' or 'Do you know of an experience characteristic of pointing to X', etc. is simply 'Yes' when the answer 'No' is expected, and 'No' when the expected answer is 'Yes' (Wittgenstein: A Critique, p. 6).
Wittgenstein, it may be observed, combined an original philosophical genius of the highest order, with a narrowness of philosophical scholarship which in some cases amounted to illiteracy (Kant and the Transcendental Object, p. 367).