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Thomas B. Fowler
Introduction to the Philosophy Xavier Zubiri


Spanish philosopher Xavier Zubiri (1898-1983) has rethought philosophy in a bold, original, and radical way. He has integrated many traditional notions as well as key ideas from phenomenology, after overhauling them, into a new vision of reality and truth. His work encompasses modern science as well as areas as diverse as linguistics, psychology, neurology, and theology. Zubiri’s approach is always to analyze the problems that earlier approaches yielded, and then penetrate one level deeper to understand what went wrong, and how a better solution could be found. Thus he develops his philosophy of sentient intelligence, which underlies any possible metaphysics or epistemology. This leads to a rethinking of the notions of truth and reality, which Zubiri recognizes are first and foremost associated with our most basic process of understanding, what he terms “primordial apprehension”, rather than its later stage, “reason”, as has traditionally been assumed, thus giving both a solid foundation that no earlier system could convincingly deliver. In theology, Zubiri has disclosed that rational thought about God, such as proofs of his existence, must rest on something prior and more fundamental to human experience, what he terms “relegation,” which is an aspect of our experience of the power of the real.


Thomas B. Fowler is founder and president of The Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America, devoted to disseminating the work of Xavier Zubiri in the English-speaking world.  He serves as editor of two journals, The Xavier Zubiri Review and The Telecommunications Review, and is author of over 100 articles, papers, and reviews.  He has translated two books of Zubiri’s writings, and has given courses and papers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Europe.  Evolution, especially its systems and mathematical aspects, has been a subject of lifelong interest to him.  His book, The Evolution Controversy, A Survey of Competing Theories was published in 2007 by Baker Academic.  He serves as adjunct professor at George Mason University, teaching graduate courses in optics and optical communications.  He has a doctorate in systems and control theory from George Washington University, a Master of Science from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park.  He is also a Senior Principal Scientist at Noblis, Incorporated, a not-for-profit consulting firm working entirely in the public interest specializing in objective analyses of issues, proposals, and problems in science and technology. 


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