immanence

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immanence

immanence (ĭmˈənəns) [Lat.,=dwelling in], in metaphysics, the presence within the natural world of a spiritual or cosmic principle, especially of the Deity. It is contrasted with transcendence. The immanence of God in the world is the basic feature of pantheism. Among the most important philosophies using the concept of immanence are Stoicism and the systems of Giordano Bruno and Spinoza. In general, the great monotheistic religions have held that God is both immanent and transcendent, although individual thinkers have tended to emphasize one or the other aspect.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Immanence

 

a concept referring to one or another quality (or law) that exists within and is inherent to some object, phenomenon, or process. Materialist dialectics, for example, holds the view that opposing principles, dialectical contradictions, are immanent within all objects and phenomena.

In the history of philosophy immanence is contrasted with transcendence. As a problem in the theory of knowledge, immanence has had an important role since the time of Kant, who posed the problem of the so-called immanent use of reason, that is, of its limitations: in Kant’s view, the valid use of reason was limited in scope to the world of phenomena given in experience (as opposed to the invalid, or transcendent, use of reason, which goes beyond the bounds of possible experience). The adherents of immanentist philosophy refer to their conception by that name because in their view the object of knowledge appears as the internal content of consciousness. The term “immanent” is also used for philosophical criticism that considers a doctrine from the point of view of how consistently it adheres to its own premises.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.