Volume 16, Issue 2, 2004
Philosophy and Mysticism
Toward a Typology of Their Relation
The history of philosophy exhibits recurrent interest in the phenomenon and claims of mysticism. Contemporary philosophers (e.g., Blondel, Heidegger) have recognized the irreducibility of mystical experience to philosophical analysis, and adopted a receptive attitude toward it, considering it a valuable source of insight into the religious way of life. In Philosophie et mystique, Breton pursues this latter task according to a phenomenology of relations in which “being-in” the element of the Absolute appears as the essential structure of mystical experience. From this perspective, it becomes necessary to see a rationality that is both proper to mysticism and intelligible to philosophy.