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{{PhilPsy}}
{{TOCright}}As an epistemological position, '''Idealism''' asserts that everything we experience is of a mental nature, or that we can only have direct, immediate knowledge of the contents of our mind, and can never directly know or experience an external object itself. Therefore, Idealism asserts that only minds and the objects of mind exist, and everything is composed of mental realities (e.g., thoughts, feelings, perceptions, ideas, or will). It is often contrasted with ''[[materialism]]'', both belonging to the class of [[monism|monist]] as opposed to [[dualism|dualist]] or [[pluralism (metaphysics)|pluralist]] [[ontology|ontologies]]. (Note that this contrast between idealism and materialism is the question of whether the [[substance]] of the [[world]] is [[mind|mental]] or [[physical]] — it has nothing to do with thinking that things should be [[ideal]]ized, or with coveting goods.) [[Subjective idealism|Subjective Idealists]] and [[Phenomenalists]] (such as [[George Berkeley]]) hold that minds and their experiences constitute existence. Objective Idealists hold either that all of reality is included in a Universal Thought or Experience (''Absolute Idealism''), or hold that the world is composed of mental realities. Panpsychists (such as [[Leibniz]]) hold that all objects of experience are also subjects. That is, plants and minerals have subjective experiences--though very different from the consciousness of animals. Most Idealists tend to reject [[representationalist]] views of experience and instead hold that the world of experience is the same as the world of reality.
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{{PsyPerspective}}
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{{Distinguish|Idealism (ethics)}}
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{{About|the philosophical notion of idealism}}
   
The approach to idealism by [[Western world|Western]] philosophers has been different from that of Eastern thinkers. In much of Western thought (though not in such major Western thinkers as [[Plato]] and [[Hegel]]) ''the ideal'' relates to direct [[knowledge]] of [[qualia|subjective]] mental [[ideas]], or [[image]]s. It is then usually juxtaposed with ''[[Philosophical realism|realism]]'' in which the [[real]] is said to have [[absolute]] [[existence]] prior to and independent of our knowledge. [[Epistemology|Epistemological]] idealists (such as [[Kant]]) might insist that the only things which can be directly ''known for certain'' are ideas. In Eastern thought, as reflected in [[Hindu idealism]], the concept of ''idealism'' takes on the meaning of [[consciousness]], essentially the living consciousness of an all-pervading ''[[God]]'', as the basis of all [[phenomena]]. A type of [[Asian]] idealism is [[Consciousness-only|Buddhist idealism]].
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[[Image:James Hopwood Jeans.jpg|thumb|240px|The 20th-century British scientist Sir [[James Jeans]] wrote that "the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine"]]
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In [[philosophy]], '''idealism''' is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. [[Epistemology|Epistemologically]], idealism manifests as a [[skepticism]] about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society.<ref>{{cite book |title=Sociology 14th Edition |last=Macionis |first=John J. |year=2012 |publisher=Pearson |location=Boston |isbn=978-0-205-11671-3 |page=88 }}</ref> As an [[ontology|ontological]] doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit.<ref name="Brittanica"/> Idealism thus rejects [[physicalism|physicalist]] and [[dualism (philosophy of mind)|dualist]] theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind.
   
==History==
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The earliest extant arguments that the world of experience is grounded in the mental derive from India and Greece. The [[Hindu idealism|Hindu idealists]] in India and the Greek [[Neoplatonism|Neoplatonists]] gave [[panentheism|panentheistic]] arguments for an all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality.<ref name="Noiré"/> In contrast, the [[Yogacara|Yogācāra]] school, which arose within [[Mahayana]] Buddhism in India in the 4th century CE,<ref>Zim, Robert (1995). ''Basic ideas of ''Yogācāra'' Buddhism.'' San Francisco State University. Source: [http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/Yogacara/basicideas.htm] (Retrieved 18 October 2007).</ref> based its "mind-only" idealism to a greater extent on [[Phenomenology (philosophy)|phenomenological]] analyses of personal experience. This turn toward the [[subjective idealism|subjective]] anticipated [[empiricism|empiricists]] such as [[George Berkeley]], who revived idealism in 18th-century Europe by employing skeptical arguments against [[materialism]].
'''Idealism''' names a number of philosophical positions with quite different tendencies and implications.
 
   
===Idealism in the East===
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Beginning with [[Immanuel Kant]], [[German idealism|German idealists]] such as [[G. W. F. Hegel]], [[Johann Gottlieb Fichte]], [[Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling]], and [[Arthur Schopenhauer]] dominated 19th-century philosophy. This tradition, which emphasized the mental or "ideal" character of all phenomena, birthed idealistic and [[subjectivism|subjectivist]] schools ranging from [[British idealism]] to [[phenomenalism]] to [[existentialism]]. The historical influence of this branch of idealism remains central even to the schools that rejected its [[metaphysics|metaphysical]] assumptions, such as [[Marxism]], [[pragmatism]], and [[positivism]].
Several [[Hindu philosophy|Hindu traditions]] and [[History of Buddhist schools|schools of Buddhism]] can be accurately characterized as idealist. Some of the Buddhist schools are called "[[Consciousness-only]]" schools as they focus on consciousness without any deity.
 
   
===Idealism in the West===
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==Definitions==
====Antiphon====
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''Idealism'' is a term with several related meanings. It comes via ''[[idea]]'' from the Greek ''idein'' (ἰδεῖν), meaning "to see". The term entered the English language by 1796. In ordinary use, as when speaking of Woodrow Wilson's [[idealism (international relations)|political idealism]], it generally suggests the priority of ideals, principles, values, and goals over concrete realities. Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike [[pragmatism|pragmatists]], who focus on the world as it presently is. In the arts, similarly, idealism affirms imagination and attempts to realize a mental conception of beauty, a standard of perfection, in opposition to aesthetic [[Naturalism (philosophy)|naturalism]] and [[Philosophical realism|realism]].<ref>[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idealism Dictionary.com]</ref><ref>[http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idealism Merriam-Webster]</ref>
In his chief work ''Truth'', [[Antiphon (person)|Antiphon]] wrote: "[[Time]] is a [[thought]] or a [[Measurement|measure]], not a [[substance]]". This presents time as an ideational, internal, mental operation, rather than a real, external object.
 
   
====Plato====
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Any philosophy that assigns crucial importance to the ideal or spiritual realm in its account of human existence may be termed "idealist". [[Metaphysics|Metaphysical]] idealism is an [[ontology|ontological]] doctrine that holds that reality itself is [[incorporeality|incorporeal]] or experiential at its core. Beyond this, idealists disagree on which aspects of the mental are more basic. [[Platonic idealism]] affirms that [[abstract object|abstractions]] are more basic to reality than the things we perceive, while [[subjective idealism|subjective idealists]] and [[phenomenalism|phenomenalists]] tend to privilege sensory experience over abstract reasoning. [[Epistemology|Epistemological]] idealism is the weaker view that reality can only be known through ideas, that only psychological experience can be apprehended by the mind.<ref name="Brittanica">Daniel Sommer Robinson, "Idealism", ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/281802/idealism</ref><ref>In ''[[On The Freedom of the Will]]'', Schopenhauer noted the ambiguity of the word ''idealism'', calling it a "term with multiple meanings". For Schopenhauer, idealists seek to account for the relationship between our ideas and external reality, rather than for the nature of reality as such. Non-Kantian idealists, on the other hand, theorized about mental aspects of the reality underlying phenomena.</ref><ref>Philip J. Neujahr would "restrict the idealist label to theories which hold that the world, or its material aspects, are dependent upon the specifically cognitive activities of the mind or Mind in perceiving or thinking about (or 'experiencing') the object of its awareness." Philip J. Neujahr, ''Kant's Idealism'', Ch. 1</ref>
{{main|Platonic idealism}}
 
[[Plato]] proposed an idealist theory as a solution to the [[problem of universals]]. A universal is that which all things share in virtue of having some particular property. So for example the wall, the moon and a blank sheet of paper are all white; ''white'' is the universal that all white things share. Plato argued that it is universals, [[The Forms]], or [[Platonic Ideals]] that are real, not specific individual things. Confusingly, because this idea asserts that these mental entities are ''real'', it is also called ''[[Platonic realism]]''; in this sense ''realism'' contrasts with ''[[nominalism]]'', the notion that mental abstractions are merely names without an independent existence. Nevertheless, it is a form of idealism because it asserts the primacy of the idea of universals over material things. <!-- More on maths here ? -->
 
   
Plato's [[Allegory of the Cave]] relates to epistemological idealism. The mental images, or ideas, that are immediately and directly known are not the same as the exterior objects in the real world.
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Subjective idealists like [[George Berkeley]] are [[anti-realism|anti-realists]] in terms of a mind-independent world, whereas [[transcendental idealism|transcendental idealists]] like [[Immanuel Kant]] are strong [[skepticism|skeptics]] of such a world, affirming epistemological and not metaphysical idealism. Thus Kant defines ''idealism'' as "the assertion that we can never be certain whether all of our putative outer experience is not mere imagining".<ref>Immanuel Kant, Notes and Fragments, ed. Paul Guyer, trans. by Curtis Bowman, Paul Guyer, and Frederick Rauscher, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 318, ISBN 0-521-55248-6</ref> He claimed that, according to ''idealism'', "the reality of external objects does not admit of strict proof. On the contrary, however, the reality of the object of our internal sense (of myself and state) is clear immediately through consciousness." <ref>''Critique of Pure Reason'', A 38</ref> However, not all idealists restrict the real or the knowable to our immediate subjective experience. [[Objective idealism|Objective idealists]] make claims about a transempirical world, but simply deny that this world is essentially divorced from or ontologically prior to the mental. Thus [[Plato]] and [[Gottfried Leibniz]] affirm an objective and knowable reality transcending our subjective awareness—a rejection of epistemological idealism—but propose that this reality is grounded in ideal entities, a form of metaphysical idealism. Nor do all metaphysical idealists agree on the nature of the ideal; for Plato, the fundamental entities were non-mental abstract [[Platonic idealism|forms]], while for Leibniz they were proto-mental and concrete [[monadology|monads]].<ref name="Stanford Leibniz">Mark Kulstad and Laurence Carlin, "Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind", ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-mind/</ref>
{{Quotation|This world that appears to the senses has no true being, but only a ceaseless becoming; it is, and it also is not; and its comprehension is not so much a knowledge as an illusion. This is what he expresses in a myth at the beginning of the seventh book of the ''Republic'', the most important passage in all his works … . He says that men, firmly chained in a dark cave, see neither the genuine original light nor actual things, but only the inadequate light of the fire in the cave, and the shadows of actual things passing by the fire behind their backs. Yet they imagine that the shadows are the reality, and that determining the succession of these shadows is true wisdom.|[[Schopenhauer]], ''[[The World as Will and Representation]]'', Vol. I, Appendix}}
 
   
====Plotinus====
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As a rule, transcendental idealists like Kant affirm idealism's epistemic side without committing themselves to whether reality is ''ultimately'' mental; objective idealists like Plato affirm reality's metaphysical basis in the mental or abstract without restricting their epistemology to ordinary experience; and subjective idealists like Berkeley affirm both metaphysical and epistemological idealism.<ref name="Gron">{{cite web |url= http://www.enotes.com/science-religion-encyclopedia/idealism|title=Idealism |author=ARNE GRØN |date= |work=Encyclopedia of Science and Religion |publisher= |accessdate=1 August 2011}}</ref>
[[Schopenhauer]] wrote of this [[Neoplatonist]] philosopher: "With [[Plotinus]] there even appears, probably for the first time in [[Western philosophy]], ''idealism'' that had long been current in the [[East]] even at that time, for it taught ([[Enneads]], iii, lib. vii, c.10) that the [[soul]] has made the [[world]] by stepping from [[eternity]] into [[time]], with the explanation: 'For there is for this [[universe]] no other place than the soul or [[mind]]' (neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima), indeed the ideality of time is expressed in the words: 'We should not accept time outside the soul or mind' (oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere)." (''Parerga and Paralipomena'', Volume I, "Fragments for the History of Philosophy," § 7)
 
   
Similarly, professor Ludwig Noiré wrote: "For the first time in Western philosophy we find idealism proper in Plotinus (''Enneads'', iii, 7, 10), where he says, "The only space or place of the world is the soul," and "Time must not be assumed to exist outside the soul." <ref>Ludwig Noiré, Historical Introduction to [[Kant]]'s ''[[Critique of Pure Reason]]''</ref>
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==Classical idealism==
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Monistic idealism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is [[Monism|monist]] because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.
   
====Descartes====
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[[Anaxagoras]] (480 BC) was known as "''Nous''" ("Mind") because he taught that "all things" were created by Mind, that Mind held the cosmos together and gave human beings a connection to the cosmos or a pathway to the divine.
Writing about [[Descartes]], [[Schopenhauer]] claimed, "… he was the first to bring to our consciousness the problem whereon all philosophy has since mainly turned, namely that of the ideal and the real. This is the question concerning what in our knowledge is objective and what subjective, and hence what eventually is to be ascribed by us to things different from us and what is to be attributed to ourselves." (''Parerga and Paralipomena'', Vol. I, "Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real") According to Descartes, we really know only what is in our own consciousnesses. We are immediately and directly aware of only our own states of mind. The whole external world is merely an idea or picture in our minds. Therefore, it is possible to doubt the reality of the external world as consisting of real objects. “I think, therefore I am” is the only assertion that can’t be doubted. This is because self-consciousness and thinking are the only things that are unconditionally experienced for certain as being real. In this way, Descartes clearly presented the main problem of philosophical idealism, which is awareness of the difference between the world as an ideational mental picture and the world as a system of external objects.
 
   
====Malebranche====
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Many religious philosophies are specifically idealist. The belief that beings with knowledge (God/s, angels & spirits) preceded insentient matter seems to suggest that an experiencing subject is a necessary reality. [[Hindu idealism]] is central to Vedanta philosophy and to such schools as [[Kashmir Shaivism]].<ref>"Among the various Hindu philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism (Kaśmir Śaivism) is a school of Śaivism identical with trika Śaivism categorized by various scholars as monistic idealism" http://www.allsaivism.com/articles/KashmirSaivism.aspx</ref> Proponents include [[P.R. Sarkar]] and his disciple [[Sohail Inayatullah]].
[[Malebranche]] a student of the Cartesian School of Rationalism disagreed that if the only things that we know for certain are the ideas within our mind, then the existence of the external world would be dubious and known only indirectly. He declared instead that the real external world is actually [[God]]. All activity only appears to occur in the external world. In actuality, it is the activity of God. For Malebranche, we directly know internally the ideas in our mind. Externally, we directly know God's operations. This kind of idealism led to the [[pantheism]] of [[Spinoza]].
 
   
====Leibniz====
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[[Christianity|Christian]] theologians have held idealist views, often based on [[Neoplatonism]], despite the influence of Aristotelian [[scholasticism]] from the 12th century onward. Later western theistic idealism such as that of [[Hermann Lotze]] offers a theory of the "world ground" in which all things find their unity: it has been widely accepted by Protestant theologians.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/648307/world-ground |title=world ground (philosophy) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia |publisher=Britannica.com |date= |accessdate=2012-08-17}}</ref> Several modern religious movements, for example the organizations within the [[New Thought Movement]] and the [[Unity Church]], may be said to have a particularly idealist orientation. The [[theology]] of [[Christian Science]] includes a form of idealism: it teaches that all that truly exists is God and God's ideas; that the world as it appears to the senses is a distortion of the underlying spiritual reality, a distortion that may be corrected (both conceptually and in terms of human experience) through a reorientation (spiritualization) of thought.
[[Leibniz]] expressed a form of Idealism known as [[Panpsychism]] in his theory of monads, as exposited in his Monadologie . He held Monads are the true atoms of the universe, and are also entities having sensation. The monads are "substantial forms of being" They are indecomposable, individual, subject to their own laws, un-interacting, and each reflecting the entire universe. Monads are centers of force; substance is force, while space, matter, and motion are phenomenal. For Leibniz, there is an exact [[pre-established harmony]] or parallel between the world in the minds of the alert [[monad]]s and the external world of objects. [[God]], who is the central monad, established this harmony and the resulting world is an idea of the monads’ perception. In this way, the external world is ideal in that it is a spiritual phenomenon whose motion is the result of a dynamic [[force]]. [[Space]] and [[time]] are ideal or phenomenal and their form and existence is dependent on the simple and immaterial monads. Leibniz's cosmology, with its central monad, embraced a traditional Christian [[Theism]] and was more of a [[Personalism]] than the naturalistic [[Pantheism]] of [[Spinoza]].
 
   
====George Berkeley====
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[[Wang Yangming]], a Ming Chinese neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general, held that objects do not exist entirely apart from the mind because the mind shapes them. It is not the world that shapes the mind but the mind that gives reason to the world, so the mind alone is the source of all reason, having an inner light, an innate moral goodness and understanding of what is good.
[[George Berkeley|Bishop Berkeley]], in seeking to find out what we could know with certainty, decided that our knowledge must be based on our [[perception]]s. This led him to conclude that there was indeed no "real" knowable object behind one's perception, that what was "real" was the perception itself. This is characterised by Berkeley's slogan: "Thier esse est aut percipi aut percipere" or "To be is to be perceived or to perceive", meaning that something only exists, in the particular way that it is seen to exist, when it is being perceived (seen, felt etc.) by an observing subject.
 
   
This [[subjective idealism]] or [[dogmatic idealism]] led to his placing the full weight of [[theory of justification|justification]] on our perceptions. This left Berkeley with the problem, common to other forms of idealism, of explaining how it is that each of us apparently has much the same sort of perceptions of an object. He solved this problem by having [[God]] intercede, as the immediate cause of all of our perceptions.
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The [[consciousness-only]] approach of the [[Yogācāra]] school of [[Mahayana Buddhism]] is not true metaphysical idealism<ref>Ian Charles Harris, ''The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogacara in Indian Mahayana Buddhism.'' E.J. Brill, 1991, page 133.</ref> as Yogācāra thinkers did not focus on consciousness to assert it as ultimately real, it is only conventionally real since it arises from moment to moment due to fluctuating causes and conditions and is significant because it is the cause of [[Karma in Buddhism|karma]] and hence [[dukkha|suffering]].<ref>[[Dan Lusthaus]], "What is and isn't Yogācāra." [http://www.acmuller.net/yogacara/articles/intro-uni.htm].</ref>
   
[[Schopenhauer]] wrote: "Berkeley was, therefore, the first to treat the subjective starting-point really seriously and to demonstrate irrefutably its absolute necessity. He is the father of idealism...." (''Parerga and Paralipomena'', Vol. I, "Fragments for the History of Philosophy," § 12)
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===Platonism and neoplatonism===
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[[Plato]]'s [[Theory of Forms|theory of forms]] or "ideas" describes ideal forms (for example the [[platonic solids]] in geometry or abstracts like Goodness and Justice), as [[problem of universals|universals]] existing independently of any particular instance.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://faculty.mdc.edu/jmcnair/Joe6pages/Plato%27s%20Idealism.htm |title=Plato's Idealism |author=J.D.McNair |date= |work=Students' notes |publisher=MIAMI-DADE COMMUNITY COLLEGE |accessdate=7 August 2011}}</ref> Arne Grøn calls this doctrine "the classic example of a metaphysical idealism as a ''transcendent'' idealism",<ref><code>{{cite web |url=http://www.enotes.com/science-religion-encyclopedia/idealism |title= Idealism|author= </code>Arne Grøn<code>|date= |work=</code> [http://www.enotes.com/science-religion-encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Science and Religion]<code> |publisher=eNotes |accessdate=7 August 2011}}</code></ref> while Simone Klein calls Plato "the earliest representative of metaphysical objective idealism". Nevertheless Plato holds that matter is real, though transitory and imperfect, and is perceived by our body and its senses and given existence by the eternal ideas that are perceived directly by our rational soul. Plato was therefore a metaphysical and epistemological [[dualist]], an outlook that modern idealism has striven to avoid:<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.philosophos.com/knowledge_base/archives_12/philosophy_questions_12.html |title= What is objective idealism?|author= Simone Klein|date= |work=Philosophy Questions |publisher=Philosophos |accessdate=7 August 2011}}</ref> Plato's thought cannot therefore be counted as idealist in the modern sense.
   
====Arthur Collier====
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With the [[neoplatonist]] [[Plotinus]], wrote Nathaniel Alfred Boll; "there even appears, probably for the first time in [[Western philosophy]], ''idealism'' that had long been current in the East even at that time, for it taught… that the soul has made the world by stepping from [[eternity]] into [[time]]…".<ref>'For there is for this universe no other place than the soul or mind'<br>''(neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima)''<br>''Enneads'', iii, lib. vii, c.10</ref><ref>''(oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere)''<br>Arthur Schopenhauer, ''[[Parerga and Paralipomena]]'', Volume I, "Fragments for the History of Philosophy," § 7</ref> Similarly, in regard to passages from the [[Enneads]], "The only space or place of the world is the soul" and "Time must not be assumed to exist outside the soul",<ref>''Enneads'', iii, 7, 10</ref> Ludwig Noiré wrote: "For the first time in Western philosophy we find idealism proper in Plotinus,<ref name="Noiré">Ludwig Noiré, ''Historical Introduction to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason''</ref> However, Plotinus does not address whether we know external objects, unlike Schopenhauer and other modern philosophers.
[[Arthur Collier]] published the same assertions that were made by [[George Berkeley|Berkeley]]. However, there seemed to have been no influence between the two contemporary writers. Collier claimed that the represented image of an external object is the only knowable reality. Matter, as a cause of the representative image, is unthinkable and therefore nothing to us. An external world, as absolute matter, unrelated to an observer, does not exist for human perceivers. As an appearance in a mind, the universe cannot exist as it appears if there is no perceiving mind.
 
   
Collier was influenced by [[John Norris]]'s ([[1701]]) ''An Essay Towards the Theory of the Ideal or Intelligible World''. The idealist statements by Collier were generally dismissed by readers who were not able to reflect on the distinction between a mental idea or image and the object that it represents.
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==Subjective idealism==
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{{main|Subjective Idealism}}
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Subjective Idealism ([[immaterialism]] or [[phenomenalism]]) describes a relationship between experience and the world in which objects are no more than collections or "bundles" of sense data in the perceiver. Proponents include Berkeley,<ref>" Berkeley's version of Idealism is usually referred to as Subjective Idealism or Dogmatic Idealism" http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_idealism.html</ref> Bishop of Cloyne, an Irish philosopher who advanced a theory he called [[immaterialism]], later referred to as "subjective idealism", contending that individuals can only know sensations and ideas of objects directly, not abstractions such as "matter", and that ideas also depend upon being perceived for their very existence - ''esse est percipi''; "to be is to be perceived".
   
====Jonathan Edwards====
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[[Arthur Collier]]<ref>Clavis Universalis, or A New Inquiry after Truth, being a Demonstration of the NonExistence or Impossibility of an External World By Arthur Collier</ref> published similar assertions though there seems to have been no influence between the two contemporary writers. The only knowable reality is the represented image of an external object. Matter as a cause of that image, is unthinkable and therefore nothing to us. An external world as absolute matter unrelated to an observer does not exist as far as we are concerned. The universe cannot exist as it appears if there is no perceiving mind. Collier was influenced by ''An Essay Towards the Theory of the Ideal or Intelligible World'' by "[[Cambridge Platonist]]" [[John Norris (philosopher)|John Norris]] (1701).
[[Jonathan Edwards]], an American theologian, went to [[Yale University]] in [[1716]] at the age of thirteen. After reading [[Locke]]'s doctrine of ideas, he kept a notebook entitled "Mind." In it, he wrote, at the age of fourteen, that the only things that are real are minds. He contended that [[matter]] exists only as an [[idea]] in a mind. Due to his theological manner of thinking, he asserted that space is God, due to its infinity. After adolescence, he never elaborated on these early idealistic notes.
 
   
====Immanuel Kant====
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[[Bertrand Russell]]'s popular book ''[[The Problems of Philosophy]]'' highlights Berkeley's tautological premise for advancing idealism;
[[Immanuel Kant]] held that the mind shapes the world as we perceive it to take the form of space-and-time. Kant focused on the idea drawn from British [[empiricism]] (and its philosophers such as [[John Locke|Locke]], [[George Berkeley|Berkeley]], and [[David Hume|Hume]]) that all we can know is the mental impressions, or ''[[phenomena]]'', that an outside world, which may or may not exist independently, creates in our minds; our minds can never perceive that outside world directly. Kant emphasized the difference between things as they appear to an observer and things in themselves, "… that is, things considered without regard to whether and how they may be given to us … ."<ref>''[[Critique of Pure Reason]]'', A 140</ref>
 
   
{{Quotation|… if I remove the thinking subject, the whole material world must at once vanish because it is nothing but a phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of ourselves as a subject, and a manner or species of representation.|''[[Critique of Pure Reason]]'' A383}}
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:"If we say that the things known must be in the mind, we are either un-duly limiting the mind's power of knowing, or we are uttering a mere tautology. We are uttering a mere tautology if we mean by 'in the mind' the same as by 'before the mind', i.e. if we mean merely being apprehended by the mind. But if we mean this, we shall have to admit that what, in this sense, is in the mind, may nevertheless be not mental. Thus when we realize the nature of knowledge, Berkeley's argument is seen to be wrong in substance as well as in form, and his grounds for supposing that 'idea'-i.e. the objects apprehended-must be mental, are found to have no validity whatever. Hence his grounds in favour of the idealism may be dismissed."
   
Kant's postscript to this added that the mind is not a [[blank slate]] (contra [[John Locke]]), but rather comes equipped with categories for organising our sense impressions. This Kantian sort of idealism opens up a world of abstractions (i.e., the universal categories minds use to understand phenomena) to be explored by reason, but in sharp contrast to Plato's, confirms uncertainties about a (un)knowable world outside our own minds. We cannot approach the ''[[noumenon]]'', the "Thing in Itself" ([[German language|German]]: ''Ding an Sich'') outside our own mental world. (Kant's idealism goes by the counterintuitive name of ''[[transcendental idealism]]''.)
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The [[Australia]]n philosopher [[David Stove]] harshly criticized [[philosophical idealism]], arguing that it rests on what he called "the worst argument in the world".{{citation needed|date=April 2013}} Stove claims that Berkeley tried to derive a non-tautological conclusion from tautological reasoning. He argued that in Berkeley's case the [[fallacy]] is not obvious and this is because one premise is ambiguous between one meaning which is [[Tautology (logic)|tautological]] and another which, Stove argues, is [[Logical equivalence|logically equivalent]] to the conclusion.
   
Kant distinguished his transcendental or critical idealism from previous varieties:{{Quotation|The dictum of all genuine idealists, from the [[Eleatic]] school to Bishop [[George Berkeley|Berkeley]], is contained in this formula: “All knowledge through the [[senses]] and [[experience]] is nothing but sheer [[illusion]], and only in the ideas of the pure [[understanding]] and [[reason]] is there [[truth]]. The principle that throughout dominates and determines my idealism is, on the contrary: “All knowledge of things merely from pure understanding or pure reason is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in experience is there truth.”|''[[Prolegomena]]'', 374}}
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[[Alan Musgrave]]<ref>Alan Musgrave, in an article titled ''Realism and Antirealism'' in R. Klee (ed), ''Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science'', Oxford, 1998, 344-352 - later re-titled to ''Conceptual Idealism and Stove's GEM'' in A. Musgrave, Essays on Realism and Rationalism, Rodopi, 1999 also in M.L. Dalla Chiara et al. (eds), ''Language, Quantum, Music'', Kluwer, 1999, 25-35 - [[Alan Musgrave]]</ref> argues that conceptual idealists compound their mistakes with use/mention confusions;
   
====Fichte====
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:Santa Claus the person does not exist.
[[Johann Gottlieb Fichte|Johann Fichte]] denied Kant's [[noumenon]], and made the claim that consciousness made its own foundation, that the mental ego of the self relied on no external, and that an external of any kind would be the same as admitting a real material. He was the first to make the attempt at a presuppositionless theory of knowledge, wherein nothing outside of thinking would be assumed to exist outside the initial analysis of concept. So that conception could be solely grounded in itself, and assume nothing without deduction from there first, what he called a [[Wissenschaftslehre]]. (This stand is very similar to [[Giovanni Gentile]]'s [[Actual Idealism]], except that Gentile's theory goes further by denying a ground for even an ego or self made from thinking.)
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:"Santa Claus" the name/concept/fairy tale does exist because adults tell children this every Christmas season (the distinction is highlighted by using quotation-marks when referring only to the name and not the object)
   
====Hegel====
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and proliferation of hyphenated entities such as "thing-in-itself" (Immanuel Kant), "things-as-interacted-by-us" ([[Arthur Fine]]), "table-of-commonsense" and "table-of-physics" (Sir [[Arthur Eddington]]) which are "warning signs" for conceptual idealism according to Musgrave because they allegedly do not exist but only highlight the numerous ways in which people come to know the world. This argument does not take into account the issues pertaining to hermeneutics, especially at the backdrop of analytic philosophy. Musgrave criticized [[Richard Rorty]] and [[Postmodernist]] philosophy in general for confusion of use and mention.
[[Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel|Hegel]], another philosopher whose system has been called ''idealism'', argued in his ''Science of Logic'' (1812-1814) that finite qualities are not fully "real," because they depend on other finite qualities to determine them. Qualitative ''infinity'', on the other hand, would be more self-determining, and hence would have a better claim to be called fully real. Similarly, finite natural things are less "real"--because they're less self-determining--than spiritual things like morally responsible people, ethical communities, and God. So any doctrine, such as materialism, that asserts that finite qualities or merely natural objects are fully real, is mistaken. Hegel called his philosophy ''[[absolute idealism]]'', in contrast to the "[[subjective idealism]]" of Berkeley and the "[[transcendental idealism]]" of Kant and Fichte, which were not based (like Hegel's idealism) on a critique of the finite. The "idealists" listed above whose philosophy Hegel's philosophy most closely resembles are Plato and Plotinus. None of these three thinkers associates their idealism with the epistemological thesis that what we know are "ideas" in our minds.
 
   
====Schopenhauer====
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[[A. A. Luce]]<ref>Sense Without Matter Or Direct Perception By A.A. Luce</ref> and [[John Foster (philosopher)|John Foster]] are other subjectivists.<ref>Review for John Fosters book A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=15785</ref> Luce, in ''Sense without Matter'' (1954), attempts to bring Berkeley up to date by modernising his vocabulary and putting the issues he faced in modern terms, and treats the Biblical account of matter and the psychology of perception and nature. Foster's ''The Case for Idealism'' argues that the physical world is the logical creation of natural, non-logical constraints on human [[Empirical evidence|sense-experience]]. Foster's latest defence of his views is in his book ''A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism''.
In the first volume of his ''Parerga and Paralipomena'', [[Schopenhauer]] wrote his "Sketch of a [[History]] of the Doctrine of the [[Ideal]] and the [[Real]]". He defined the ideal as being mental pictures that constitute subjective [[knowledge]]. The ideal, for him, is what can be attributed to our own minds. The images in our head are what comprise the ideal. Schopenhauer emphasized that we are restricted to our own [[consciousness]]. The [[world]] that appears there is only a [[representation (psychology)|representation]] or mental picture of objects. We directly and immediately know only representations. All objects that are external to the mind are known indirectly through the mediation of our [[mind]].
 
   
Schopenhauer's history is an account of the [[concept]] of the "ideal" in its meaning as "ideas in a subject's mind." In this sense, "ideal" means "ideational" or "existing in the mind as an image." He does not refer to the other meaning of "ideal" as being qualities of the highest perfection and excellence. In his ''[[On the Freedom of the Will]]'', Schopenhauer noted the ambiguity of the word "idealism" by calling it a "term with multiple meanings."
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[[Paul Brunton]], a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru, taught a type of idealism called [[Mentalism (philosophy)|"mentalism"]], similar to that of Bishop Berkeley, proposing a master world-image, projected or manifested by a world-mind, and an infinite number of individual minds participating. A tree does not cease to exist if nobody sees it because the world-mind is projecting the idea of the tree to all minds.<ref>http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/images/uploaded/file/Paul%20Brunton.pdf</ref>
   
{{Quotation|[T]rue philosophy must at all costs be ''idealistic''; indeed, it must be so merely to be honest. For nothing is more certain than that no one ever came out of himself in order to identify himself immediately with things different from him; but everything of which he has certain, sure, and therefore immediate knowledge, lies within his consciousness. Beyond this consciousness, therefore, there can be no ''immediate'' certainty … .
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[[John Searle]] criticising some versions of idealism, summarises two important arguments for subjective idealism. The first is based on our perception of reality;
There can never be an existence that is objective absolutely and in itself; such an existence, indeed, is positively inconceivable. For the objective, as such, always and essentially has its existence in the consciousness of a subject; it is therefore the subject's representation, and consequently is conditioned by the subject, and moreover by the subject's forms of representation, which belong to the subject and not to the object.|''[[The World as Will and Representation]]'', Vol. II, Ch. 1}}
 
   
====British idealism====
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:(1) ''All we have access to in perception are the contents of our own experience'' and
[[British idealism]] enjoyed ascendancy in English-speaking philosophy in the later part of the 19th century. [[F. H. Bradley]] of [[Merton College]], [[Oxford university|Oxford]], saw reality as a [[monism|monistic]] whole, which is apprehended through "feeling", a state in which there is no distinction between the perception and the thing perceived. Bradley was the apparent target of [[G. E. Moore]]'s radical rejection of idealism.
 
   
[[J. M. E. McTaggart]] of [[University of Cambridge|Cambridge University]], argued that minds alone exist, and that they only relate to each other through love. [[Space]], [[time]] and material objects are for McTaggart unreal. He argued, for instance, in ''[[The Unreality of Time]]'' that it was not possible to produce a coherent account of a sequence of events in time, and that therefore time is an illusion.
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:(2) ''The only epistemic basis for claims about the external world are our perceptual experiences''
   
American philosopher [[Josiah Royce]] described himself as an [[objective idealism|objective idealist]].
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therefore;
<!-- relationship with Husserl, phenomenology, existentialism, post modernism -->
 
   
====Karl Pearson====
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:(3) ''The only reality we can meaningfully speak of is that of perceptual experience <ref>[[John Searle]], ''The Construction of Social Reality'' p. 172</ref>
In ''[[The Grammar of Science]]'', Preface to the 2nd Edition, [[1900]], [[Karl Pearson]] wrote, "There are many signs that a sound idealism is surely replacing, as a basis for natural philosophy, the crude [[materialism]] of the older physicists." This book influenced [[Albert Einstein|Einstein]]'s regard for the importance of the observer in scientific measurements. In § 5 of that book, Pearson asserted that "...science is in reality a classification and analysis of the contents of the [[mind]]...." Also, "...the field of science is much more [[consciousness]] than an external world."
 
   
===Criticism of Idealism===
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Whilst agreeing with (2) Searle argues that (1) is false and points out that (3) does not follow from (1) and (2). The second argument runs as follows;
====Immanuel Kant====
 
In the 1st edition ([[1781]]) of his [[Critique of Pure Reason]], Kant described Idealism as such.
 
{{Quotation|We are perfectly justified in maintaining that only what is within ourselves can be immediately and directly perceived, and that only my own existence can be the object of a mere perception. Thus the existence of a real object outside me can never be given immediately and directly in perception, but can only be added in thought to the perception, which is a modification of the internal sense, and thus inferred as its external cause … . In the true sense of the word, therefore, I can never perceive external things, but I can only infer their existence from my own internal perception, regarding the perception as an effect of something external that must be the proximate cause … . It must not be supposed, therefore, that an idealist is someone who denies the existence of external objects of the senses; all he does is to deny that they are known by immediate and direct perception … .|Critique of Pure Reason, A367 f.}}
 
In the 2nd edition (1787) of his Critique of Pure Reason, he wrote a section called Refutation of Idealism to distinguish his transcendental idealism from [[Descartes]]'s [[Sceptic]]al Idealism and [[George Berkeley|Berkeley]]'s [[Dogma]]tic Idealism. In addition to this refutation in both the 1781 & 1787 editions the section "Paralogisms of Pure Reason" is an implicit critique of Descartes Problematic Idealism, namely the Cogito. He says that just from "the spontaneity of thought" (cf. Descartes' Cogito) it is not possible to infer the 'I' as an object.
 
In his Notes and Fragments ( 6315,1790-91; 18:618) Kant defines idealism in the following manner:
 
   
" The assertion that we can never be certain whether all of our putative outer experience is not mere imagining is idealism "
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:''Premise: Any cognitive state occurs as part of a set of cognitive states and within a cognitive system''
   
====Søren Kierkegaard====
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:''Conclusion 1: It is impossible to get outside all cognitive states and systems to survey the relationships between them and the reality they cognize''
Kierkegaard attacked Hegel's idealist philosophy in several of his works, but most succinctly in ''[[Concluding Unscientific Postscript]]'' (1846). In the ''Postscript'', Kierkegaard, as the pseudonymous philosopher Johannes Climacus, argues that a logical system is possible but an existential system is impossible. Hegel argues that once one has reached an ultimate understanding of the logical structure of the world, one has also reached an understanding of the logical structure of [[God]]'s mind. Climacus claims Hegel's [[absolute idealism]] mistakenly blurs the distinction between existence and thought. Climacus also argues that our mortal nature places limits on our understanding of reality. As Climacus argues: ''"So-called systems have often been characterized and challenged in the assertion that they abrogate the distinction between good and evil, and destroy freedom. Perhaps one would express oneself quite as definitely, if one said that every such system fantastically dissipates the concept existence. ... Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all."''
 
   
====Friedrich Nietzsche====
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:''Conclusion 2: There is no cognition of any reality that exists independently of cognition<ref>[[John Searle]], ''The Construction of Social Reality'' p. 174</ref>
<!--Can someone properly explain what Nietzsche is criticising about idealism rather than just quoting -- Dood if you understood this paragraph you would not ask this question "tautological premises and/or [[begging the question]]--finish reading this paragraph and it will explain everything"-->Friedrich Nietzsche was the first to mount a logically serious criticism of Idealism that has been popularised by [[David Stove]] (see below). He pre-empts Stove's GEM by arguing that Kant's argument for his transcendental idealism rests on a confusion between a [[Tautology (logic)|tautology]] and [[begging the question]], and therefore is an invalid, improper argument.
 
   
In his book ''Beyond Good and Evil'', Part 1 On the Prejudice of Philosophers Section 11, he ridicules [[Kant]] for admiring himself because he had undertaken and (thought he) succeeded in tackling "the most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics."
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Searle contends that ''Conclusion 2'' does not follow from the premises.
   
Quoting [[Nietzsche]]'s prose:
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[[Epistemological idealism]] is a subjectivist position in [[epistemology]] that holds that what one knows about an object exists only in one's mind. Proponents include [[Brand Blanshard]].
   
:"But let us reflect; it is high time to do so. 'How are synthetic judgements a priori possible?' Kant asked himself-and what really is his answer? 'By virtue of a faculty' - but unfortunately not in five words,...The honeymoon of German philosophy arrived. All the young theologians of the Tübingen seminary went into the bushes all looking for 'faculties.'...'By virtue of a faculty' - he had said, or at least meant. But is that an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? 'By virtue of a faculty,' namely the virtus dormitiva, replies the doctor in Moliére."
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==Transcendental idealism==
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{{main|Transcendental idealism}}
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Transcendental idealism, founded by Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century, maintains that the mind shapes the world we perceive into the form of space-and-time.
   
In addition to the Idealism of [[Kant]], [[Nietzsche]] in the same book attacks the idealism of [[Schopenhauer]] and [[Descartes]] via a similar argument to Kant's original critique of [[Descartes]]. Quoting [[Nietzsche]]:
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{{Quotation|...&nbsp;if I remove the thinking subject, the whole material world must at once vanish because it is nothing but a phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of ourselves as a subject, and a manner or species of representation.|''[[Critique of Pure Reason]]'' A383}}
   
:There are still harmless self-observers who believe that there are "immediate certainties"; for example, "I think," or as the superstition of Schopenhauer put it, "I will"; as though knowledge here got hold of its objects purely and nakedly as "the thing in itself," without any falsification on the part of either the subject or the object. But that "immediate certainty," as well as "absolute knowledge" and the "thing in itself," involved a ''contradictio in adjecto'', (contradiction between the noun and the adjective) I shall repeat a hundred times; we really ought to free ourselves from the seduction of words!
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The 2nd edition (1787) contained a ''Refutation of Idealism'' to distinguish his transcendental idealism from [[Descartes]]'s [[Sceptic]]al Idealism and Berkeley's [[Dogma]]tic Idealism. The section ''Paralogisms of Pure Reason'' is an implicit critique of Descartes' idealism. Kant says that it is not possible to infer the 'I' as an object (Descartes' ''Cogito ergo sum'') purely from "the spontaneity of thought". Kant focused on ideas drawn from British philosophers such as [[John Locke|Locke]], Berkeley and [[David Hume|Hume]] but distinguished his transcendental or critical idealism from previous varieties;
   
====G. E. Moore====
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{{Quotation|The dictum of all genuine idealists, from the [[Eleatic]] school to Bishop Berkeley, is contained in this formula: “All knowledge through the [[senses]] and [[experience]] is nothing but sheer [[illusion]], and only in the ideas of the pure [[understanding]] and [[reason]] is there [[truth]].” The principle that throughout dominates and determines my [transcendental] idealism is, on the contrary: “All knowledge of things merely from pure understanding or pure reason is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in experience is there truth.”|''[[Prolegomena]]'', 374}}
The first criticism of Idealism that falls within the analytic philosophical framework is by one of its co-founders [[G. E. Moore|Moore]]. This 1903 seminal article, ''The Refutation of Idealism''. This one of the first demonstrations of Moore's commitment to analysis as the proper philosophical method.
 
   
Moore proceeds by examining the Berkeleian aphorism ''esse est percipi'': "to be is to be perceived". He examines in detail each of the three terms in the aphorism, finding that it must mean that the object and the subject are ''necessarily'' connected. So, he argues, for the idealist, "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow" are necessarily identical - to be yellow is necessarily to be experienced as yellow. But, in a move similar to the [[open question argument]], it also seems clear that there is a difference between "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow". For Moore, the idealist is in error because "that ''esse'' is held to be ''percipi'', solely because what is experienced is held to be identical with the experience of it".<!-- This could be improved by someone with a better background in Moore - please help! -->
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Kant distinguished things as they appear to an observer and things in themselves, "that is, things considered without regard to whether and how they may be given to us".<ref>''[[Critique of Pure Reason]]'', A 140</ref> We cannot approach the ''[[noumenon]]'', the "thing in Itself" ({{lang-de|Ding an sich}}) without our own mental world. He added that the mind is not a [[blank slate]], ''tabula rasa'' but rather comes equipped with categories for organising our sense impressions.
   
Though this refutation of idealism was the first strong statement by analytic philosophy against its idealist predecessors this argument did not show that the GEM (in post Stove vernacular, see below) is logically invalid. Arguments advanced by Nietzsche (prior to Moore), Russell (just after Moore) & 80 years later Stove put a nail in the coffin for the "master" argument supporting idealism.
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In the first volume of his ''Parerga and Paralipomena'', Schopenhauer wrote his "Sketch of a [[History]] of the Doctrine of the [[Ideal (ethics)|Ideal]] and the [[The Real|Real]]". He defined the ideal as being mental pictures that constitute subjective [[knowledge]]. The ideal, for him, is what can be attributed to our own minds. The images in our head are what comprise the ideal. Schopenhauer emphasized that we are restricted to our own [[consciousness]]. The [[world]] that appears is only a [[representation (psychology)|representation]] or mental picture of objects. We directly and immediately know only representations. All objects that are external to the mind are known indirectly through the mediation of our mind. He offered a history of the [[concept]] of the "ideal" as "ideational" or "existing in the mind as an image".
   
====Bertrand Russell====
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{{Quotation|[T]rue philosophy must at all costs be ''idealistic''; indeed, it must be so merely to be honest. For nothing is more certain than that no one ever came out of himself in order to identify himself immediately with things different from him; but everything of which he has certain, sure, and therefore immediate knowledge, lies within his consciousness. Beyond this consciousness, therefore, there can be no ''immediate'' certainty ... There can never be an existence that is objective absolutely and in itself; such an existence, indeed, is positively inconceivable. For the objective, as such, always and essentially has its existence in the consciousness of a subject; it is therefore the subject's representation, and consequently is conditioned by the subject, and moreover by the subject's forms of representation, which belong to the subject and not to the object.|''[[The World as Will and Representation]]'', Vol. II, Ch. 1}}
Despite his hugely popular book ''The Problems of Philosophy'' (this book was in its 17th printing by 1943) which was written for a general audience rather than academia; few ever mention Russell's critique even though he completely anticipates [[David Stove]]'s GEM both in form and content (see below for David Stove's GEM). In chapter 4 (Idealism) highlights Berkeley's tautological premise for advancing idealism.
 
   
Quoting Russell's prose (1912:42-43):
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[[Charles Bernard Renouvier]] was the first Frenchman after Nicolas Malebranche to formulate a complete idealistic system, and had a vast influence on the development of French thought. His system is based on Immanuel Kant's, as his chosen term "néo-criticisme" indicates; but it is a transformation rather than a continuation of Kantianism.
   
:"If we say that the things known must be in the mind, we are either un-duly limiting the mind's power of knowing, or we are uttering a mere tautology. We are uttering a mere tautology if we mean by 'in the mind' the same as by 'before the mind', i.e. if we mean merely being apprehended by the mind. But if we mean this, we shall have to admit that what, in this sense, is in the mind, may nevertheless be not mental. Thus when we realize the nature of knowledge, Berkeley's argument is seen to be wrong in substance as well as in form, and his grounds for supposing that 'idea'-i.e. the objects apprehended-must be mental, are found to have no validity whatever. Hence his grounds in favour of the idealism may be dismissed."
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[[Friedrich Nietzsche]] argued that Kant confuses [[Tautology (logic)|tautology]] and [[begging the question|petitio principii]], and ridicules his pride in tackling "the most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics.".<ref>Friedrich Nietzsche, ''Beyond Good and Evil'', Part 1 On the Prejudice of Philosophers Section 11</ref> Yet he attacks the idealism of Schopenhauer and [[Descartes]] with an argument similar to Kant's critique of the latter ''(see above)'';
   
====A.C. Ewing====
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==Objective idealism==
Published in 1933 A.C. Ewing according to David Stove mounted the first full length book critique of Idealism, entitled ''Idealism; a critical survey''. Stove does not mention that Ewing anticipated his GEM.
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{{main|Objective idealism}}
  +
Objective idealism asserts that the reality of experiencing combines and transcends the realities of the object experienced and of the mind of the observer.<ref>Dictionary definition http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/objective+idealism</ref> Proponents include [[Thomas Hill Green]], [[Josiah Royce]], [[Benedetto Croce]] and [[Charles Sanders Peirce]].<ref>[http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_idealism.html Section; Objective Idealism]</ref>
   
====David Stove====
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===Absolute idealism===
The [[Australia]]n philosopher [[David Stove]] argued in typical acerbic style that idealism rested on what he called "the worst argument in the world". His critique of Idealism is perhaps the most devastating critique of subjective idealism in philosophy. From a logical point of view his critique is no different from Russell or Nietzsche's -- but Stove has been more widely cited and most clearly highlighted the mistake of idealist proponents. He named the form of this argument - invented by Berkeley -- "the GEM". Berkeley claimed that "[the mind] is deluded to think it can and does conceive of bodies existing unthought of, or without the mind, though at the same time they are apprehended by, or exist in, itself". Stove argued that this claim proceeds from the tautology that nothing can be thought of without its being thought of, to the conclusion that nothing can exist without its being thought of.
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{{main|Absolute idealism}}
   
The following is Stove's version of Berkeley's GEM (1991:139):
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Schelling (1775–1854) claimed that the Fichte's "I" needs the Not-I, because there is no subject without object, and vice versa. So there is no difference between the subjective and the objective, that is, the ideal and the real. This is Schelling's "absolute [[identity (philosophy)|identity]]": the [[idea]]s or mental images in the mind are identical to the extended objects which are external to the mind.
   
1) You cannot have trees-without-the-mind in mind, without having them in mind.
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Absolute idealism is G. W. F. Hegel's account of how existence is comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel called his philosophy "absolute" idealism in contrast to the "subjective idealism" of Berkeley and the "transcendental idealism" of Kant and Fichte,<ref>One book devoted to showing that Hegel is neither a Berkeleyan nor a Kantian idealist is Kenneth Westphal, ''Hegel's Epistemological Realism'' (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1989).</ref> which were not based on a critique of the finite and a dialectical philosophy of history as Hegel's idealism was. The exercise of reason and intellect enables the philosopher to know ultimate historical reality, the phenomenological constitution of self-determination, the dialectical development of self-awareness and personality in the realm of History.
   
2) Therefore, you cannot have trees-without-the-mind in mind.
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In his ''Science of Logic'' (1812–1814) Hegel argues that finite qualities are not fully "real" because they depend on other finite qualities to determine them. Qualitative ''infinity'', on the other hand, would be more self-determining and hence more fully real. Similarly finite natural things are less "real"—because they are less self-determining—than spiritual things like morally responsible people, ethical communities and God. So any doctrine, such as materialism, that asserts that finite qualities or natural objects are fully real is mistaken.<ref>An interpretation of Hegel's critique of the finite, and of the "absolute idealism" which Hegel appears to base that critique, is found in Robert M. Wallace, Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).</ref>
   
1) Is a tautology (self-referential statement); therefore the premise of this argument is trivially true.
+
Hegel certainly intends to preserve what he takes to be true of German idealism, in particular Kant's insistence that ethical reason can and does go beyond finite inclinations.<ref>See Wallace, ''Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God'', chapter 3, for details on how Hegel might preserve something resembling Kant's dualism of nature and freedom while defending it against skeptical attack.</ref> For Hegel there must be some identity of thought and being for the subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know an object (the world) at all.
   
2) Is not a trivially true conclusion. The logic flowing from 1) to 2) is valid (as this premise cannot lead to a false conclusion), '''but''' unsound because tautological premises can bring only tautological conclusions.
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[[Søren Kierkegaard|Kierkegaard]] criticised Hegel's idealist philosophy in several of his works, particularly his claim to a comprehensive system that could explain the whole of reality. Where Hegel argues that an ultimate understanding of the logical structure of the world is an understanding of the logical structure of [[God]]'s mind, Kierkegaard asserting that for God reality can be a system but it cannot be so for any human individual because both reality and humans are incomplete and all philosophical systems imply completeness. A [[logical system]] is possible but an existential system is not. "What is rational is actual; and what is actual is rational".<ref>Søren Kierkegaard, ''Elements of the Philosophy of Right'' (1821)</ref> Hegel's absolute idealism blurs the distinction between existence and thought: our mortal nature places limits on our understanding of reality;
   
Refer to Stove's 1991 book ''The Plato Cult & Other Philosophical Follies'' chapter 6 ''Idealism: A Victorian Horror Story'' for numerous elucidations and numerous GEM's quoted from the history of philosophy and GEM's reconstructed in syllogistic form.
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<blockquote>So-called systems have often been characterized and challenged in the assertion that they abrogate the distinction between good and evil, and destroy freedom. Perhaps one would express oneself quite as definitely, if one said that every such system fantastically dissipates the concept existence. ... Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all.</blockquote><ref>Søren Kierkegaard, ''[[Concluding Unscientific Postscript]]'' (1846)</ref>
   
====John Searle====
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A major concern of Hegel's ''Phenomenology of Spirit'' (1807) and of the philosophy of Spirit that he lays out in his ''Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences'' (1817–1830) is the interrelation between individual humans, which he conceives in terms of "mutual recognition." However, what Climacus means by the aforementioned statement, is that Hegel, in the ''Philosophy of Right'', believed the best solution was to surrender one's individuality to the customs of the State, identifying right and wrong in view of the prevailing bourgeois morality. Individual human will ought, at the State's highest level of development, to properly coincide with the will of the State. Climacus rejects Hegel's suppression of individuality by pointing out it is impossible to create a valid set of rules or system in any society which can adequately describe existence for any one individual. Submitting one's will to the State denies personal freedom, choice, and responsibility.
In ''[[The Construction of Social Reality]]'' [[John Searle]] offers an attack on some versions of idealism. Searle conveniently summarises two important arguments for idealism. The first is based on our perception of reality:
 
   
:''1. All we have access to in perception are the contents of our own experiences''
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In addition, Hegel does believe we can know the structure of God's mind, or ultimate reality. Hegel agrees with Kierkegaard that both reality and humans are incomplete, inasmuch as we are in time, and reality develops through time. But the relation between time and eternity is outside time and this is the "logical structure" that Hegel thinks we can know. Kierkegaard disputes this assertion, because it eliminates the clear distinction between [[ontology]] and [[epistemology]]. Existence and thought are not identical and one cannot possibly think existence. Thought is always a form of abstraction, and thus not only is pure existence impossible to think, but all forms in existence are unthinkable; thought depends on language, which merely abstracts from experience, thus separating us from lived experience and the living essence of all beings. In addition, because we are finite beings, we cannot possibly know or understand anything that is universal or infinite such as God, so we cannot know God exists, since that which transcends time simultaneously transcends human understanding.
   
:''2. The only epistemic basis we can have for claims about the external world are our perceptual experiences''
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Bradley saw reality as a [[monism|monistic]] whole apprehended through "feeling", a state in which there is no distinction between the perception and the thing perceived. Like Berkeley Bradley thought that nothing can be known to exist unless it is known by a mind.
   
therefore,
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{{Quotation|We perceive, on reflection, that to be real, or even barely to exist, must be to fall within sentience ... . Find any piece of existence, take up anything that any one could possibly call a fact, or could in any sense assert to have being, and then judge if it does not consist in sentient experience. Try to discover any sense in which you can still continue to speak of it, when all perception and feeling have been removed; or point out any fragment of its matter, any aspect of its being, which is not derived from and is not still relative to this source. When the experiment is made strictly, I can myself conceive of nothing else than the experienced.|F.H. Bradley|''Appearance and Reality''|Chapter 14}}
   
:''3. the only reality we can meaningfully speak of is the reality of perceptual experiences (''The Construction of Social Reality'' p. 172)''
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Bradley was the apparent target of [[G. E. Moore]]'s radical rejection of idealism. Moore claimed that Bradley did not understand the statement that something is real. We know for certain, through common sense and prephilosophical beliefs, that some things are real, whether they are objects of thought or not, according to Moore. The 1903 article ''The Refutation of Idealism'' is one of the first demonstrations of Moore's commitment to analysis. He examines each of the three terms in the Berkeleian aphorism ''esse est percipi'', "to be is to be perceived", finding that it must mean that the object and the subject are ''necessarily'' connected so that "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow" are identical - "to be yellow" is "to be experienced as yellow". But it also seems there is a difference between "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow" and "that ''esse'' is held to be ''percipi'', solely because what is experienced is held to be identical with the experience of it". Though far from a complete refutation, this was the first strong statement by analytic philosophy against its idealist predecessors, or at any rate against the type of idealism represented by Berkeley. This argument did not show that the GEM (in post&ndash;Stove vernacular, see below) is logically invalid.<!-- This could be improved by someone with a better background in Moore - please help! -->
   
Whilst agreeing with (2), Searle argues that (1) is false, and points out that (3) does not follow from (1) and (2).
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===Actual idealism===
  +
[[Actual Idealism]] is a form of idealism developed by [[Giovanni Gentile]] that grew into a "grounded" idealism contrasting Kant and Hegel.
   
The second argument for idealism runs as follows:
+
===Pluralistic idealism===
  +
'''Pluralistic''' idealism such as that of [[Gottfried Leibniz]]<ref>See Pluralistic Idealism, Version 1: Monadism http://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/idealism.htm</ref> takes the view that there are many individual minds that together underlie the existence of the observed world and make possible the existence of the physical universe.<ref>See Idealistic Theory No. 3: Pluralistic Idealism http://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/idealism.htm</ref> Unlike absolute idealism, pluralistic idealism does not assume the existence of a single ultimate mental reality or "Absolute". Leibniz' form of idealism, known as [[Panpsychism]], views "monads" as the true atoms of the universe and as entities having perception. The monads are "substantial forms of being",elemental, individual, subject to their own laws, non-interacting, each reflecting the entire universe. Monads are centers of force, which is [[Substance theory|substance]] while space, matter and motion are phenomenal and their form and existence is dependent on the simple and immaterial monads. There is a [[pre-established harmony]] established by [[God]], the central monad, between the world in the minds of the [[Monadology|monad]]s and the external world of objects. Leibniz's cosmology embraced traditional Christian [[Theism]]. The English psychologist and philosopher [[James Ward (psychologist)|James Ward]] inspired by Leibniz had also defended a form of pluralistic idealism.<ref>''The New Cambridge Modern History: The era of violence, 1898-1945, edited by David Thomson'' University Press, 1960, p. 135</ref> According to Ward the universe is composed of "psychic monads" of different levels, interacting for mutual self- betterment.<ref>Hugh Joseph Tallon The concept of self in British and American idealism 1939, p. 118 </ref>
   
:''Premise: Any cognitive state occurs as part of a set of cognitive states and within a cognitive system''
+
[[Personalism]] is the view that the minds that underlie reality are the minds of persons. [[Borden Parker Bowne]], a philosopher at Boston University, a founder and popularizer of personal idealism, presented it as a substantive reality of persons, the only reality, as known directly in self-consciousness. Reality is a society of interacting persons dependent on the Supreme Person of God. Other proponents include [[George Holmes Howison]]<ref>The Limits Of Evolution; And Other Essays Illustrating The Metaphysical Theory Of Personal Idealism By George Holmes Howison</ref> and [[J. M. E. McTaggart]].<ref>See the book Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy By Gustavus W Cunningham page 202 "Ontologically i am an idealist, since i believe that all that exists is spiritual. I am also, in one sense of the term, a Personal Idealist."</ref>
   
:''Conclusion 1: It is impossible to get outside of all cognitive states and systems to survey the relationships between them and the reality they are used to cognize''
+
Howison's personal idealism <ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.howison.us/george_holmes_howison.htm |title=George Holmes Howison |publisher=Howison.us |date= |accessdate=2012-08-17}}</ref> was also called "California Personalism" by others to distinguish it from the "Boston Personalism" which was of Bowne. Howison maintained that both impersonal, monistic idealism and materialism run contrary to the experience of moral freedom. To deny freedom to pursue truth, beauty, and "benignant love" is to undermine every profound human venture, including science, morality, and philosophy. Personalistic idealists [[Borden Parker Bowne]] and [[Edgar S. Brightman]] and realistic personal theist [[Saint Thomas Aquinas]] address a core issue, namely that of dependence upon an infinite personal God.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.bookrags.com/research/howison-george-holmes-18341916-eoph/ |title=Research & Articles on Howison, George Holmes (1834–1916) by |publisher=BookRags.com |date=2010-11-02 |accessdate=2012-08-17}}</ref>
   
:''Conclusion 2: No cognition is ever of a reality that exists independently of cognition (''The Construction of Social Reality'' p. 174)''
+
Howison, in his book ''The Limits of Evolution and Other Essays Illustrating the Metaphysical Theory of Personal Idealism'', created a democratic notion of personal idealism that extended all the way to God, who was no more the ultimate monarch but the ultimate democrat in eternal relation to other eternal persons. J. M. E. McTaggart's idealist atheism and [[Thomas Davidson (philosopher)|Thomas Davidson]]'s Apeirionism resemble Howisons personal idealism.<ref>http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_speculative_philosophy/v020/20.3mclachlan.html</ref>
   
Searle goes on to point out that conclusion 2 simply does not follow from its precedents.
+
[[J. M. E. McTaggart]] of [[University of Cambridge|Cambridge University]], argued that minds alone exist and only relate to each other through love. [[Space]], [[time]] and material objects are unreal. In ''[[The Unreality of Time]]'' he argued that time is an illusion because it is impossible to produce a coherent account of a sequence of events. ''The Nature of Existence'' (1927) contained his arguments that space, time, and matter cannot possibly be real. In his ''Studies in Hegelian Cosmology'' (Cambridge, 1901, p196) he declared that metaphysics are not relevant to social and political action. McTaggart "thought that Hegel was wrong in supposing that metaphysics could show that the state is more than a means to the good of the individuals who compose it".<ref>''The Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', vol. 3, "Idealism," New York, 1967</ref> For McTaggart "philosophy can give us very little, if any, guidance in action... Why should a Hegelian citizen be surprised that his belief as to the organic nature of the Absolute does not help him in deciding how to vote? Would a Hegelian engineer be reasonable in expecting that his belief that all matter is spirit should help him in planning a bridge?<ref>''Studies in Hegelian Cosmology'' ibid.</ref>
   
====Alan Musgrave====
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Thomas Davidson taught a philosophy called "apeirotheism", a "form of pluralistic idealism...coupled with a stern ethical rigorism"<ref>Charles M. Bakewell, "Thomas Davidson," Dictionary of American Biography, gen. ed. Dumas Malone (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932), 96.</ref> which he defined as "a theory of Gods infinite in number." The theory was indebted to Aristotle's pluralism and his concepts of Soul, the rational, living aspect of a living substance which cannot exist apart from the body because it is not a substance but an essence, and ''[[nous]]'', rational thought, reflection and understanding. Although a perennial source of controversy, Aristotle arguably views the latter as both eternal and immaterial in nature, as exemplified in his theology of [[unmoved movers]].<ref name="Gerson">{{cite book |first=Lloyd P. |last=Gerson |title=The Unity of Intellect in Aristotle's "De Anima" |journal=Phronesis |volume=49 |number=4 |year=2004 |pages=348–373 |url=http://individual.utoronto.ca/lpgerson/The_Unity_Of_Intellect_In_Aristotles_De_Anima.pdf |jstor=4182761 |quote=Desperately difficult texts inevitably elicit desperate hermeneutical measures. Aristotle's ''De Anima,'' book three, chapter five, is evidently one such text. At least since the time of [[Alexander of Aphrodisias]], scholars have felt compelled to draw some remarkable conclusions regarding Aristotle's brief remarks in this passage regarding intellect. One such claim is that in chapter five, Aristotle introduces a second intellect, the so-called 'agent intellect', an intellect distinct from the 'passive intellect', the supposed focus of discussion up until this passage. This view is a direct descendent of the view of Alexander himself, who identified the agent intellect with the divine intellect. Even the staunchest defender of such a view is typically at a loss to give a plausible explanation of why the divine intellect pops into and then out of the picture in the intense and closely argued discussion of the human intellect that goes from chapter four through to the end of chapter seven.}}</ref> Identifying Aristotle's God with rational thought, Davidson argued, contrary to Aristotle, that just as the soul cannot exist apart from the body, God cannot exist apart from the world.<ref>Davidson, Journal, 1884-1898 (Thomas Davidson Collection, Manuscript Group #169, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University). Quoted in DeArmey, "Thomas Davidson's Apeirotheism," 692</ref>
[[Alan Musgrave]] in an article titled ''Realism and Antirealism'' in R. Klee (ed), ''Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science'', Oxford, 1998, 344-352 - later re-titled to ''Conceptual Idealism and Stove's GEM'' in A. Musgrave, Essays on Realism and Rationalism, Rodopi, 1999 also in M.L. Dalla Chiara et al. (eds), ''Language, Quantum, Music'', Kluwer, 1999, 25-35 - [[Alan Musgrave]] argues in addition to Stove's GEM, Conceptual Idealists compound their mistakes with use/mention confusions and proliferation of unnecessary hyphenated entities.
 
   
stock examples of use/mention confusions:
 
   
:Santa Claus (the person) does not exist.
+
Idealist notions took a strong hold among physicists of the early 20th century confronted with the paradoxes of [[quantum physics]] and the [[theory of relativity]]. In ''[[The Grammar of Science]]'', Preface to the 2nd Edition, 1900, [[Karl Pearson]] wrote, "There are many signs that a sound idealism is surely replacing, as a basis for natural philosophy, the crude [[materialism]] of the older physicists." This book influenced [[Albert Einstein|Einstein]]'s regard for the importance of the observer in scientific measurements{{Citation needed|date=September 2010}}. In § 5 of that book, Pearson asserted that "...science is in reality a classification and analysis of the contents of the mind...." Also, "...the field of science is much more [[consciousness]] than an external world."
:'Santa Claus' (the name/concept/fairy tale) does exist; because adults tell children this every Christmas season.
 
   
The distinction in philosophical circles is highlighted by putting quotations around the word when we want to refer only to the name and not the object.
+
Sir [[Arthur Eddington]], a British astrophysicist of the early 20th century, wrote in his book ''The Nature of the Physical World''; "The stuff of the world is mind-stuff";
   
stock examples of hyphenated entities:
+
"The mind-stuff of the world is, of course, something more general than our individual conscious minds…. The mind-stuff is not spread in space and time; these are part of the cyclic scheme ultimately derived out of it…. It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness…. Consciousness is not sharply defined, but fades into subconsciousness; and beyond that we must postulate something indefinite but yet continuous with our mental nature…. It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny that mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience, and all else is remote inference."<ref>A.S. Eddington, ''The Nature of the Physical World'', page 276-81.</ref>
   
:things-in-itself ([[Immanuel Kant]])
+
[[Ian Barbour]] in his book Issues in Science and Religion (1966), p.&nbsp;133, cites Arthur Eddington's The Nature of the Physical World (1928) for a text that argues The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principles provides a scientific basis for "the defense of the idea of human freedom" and his Science and the Unseen World (1929) for support of philosophical idealism "the thesis that reality is basically mental".
:things-as-interacted-by-us ([[Arthur Fine]])
 
:Table-of-commonsense (Sir [[Arthur Eddington]])
 
:Table-of-physics (sir [[Arthur Eddington]])
 
:Moon-in-itself
 
:Moon-as-howled-by-wolves
 
:Moon-as-conceived-by-Aristotelians
 
:Moon-as-conceived-by-Galileans
 
   
Hyphenated entities are "warning signs" for conceptual idealism according to Musgrave is because they over emphasis the epistemic (ways on how people come to learn about the world) activities and will more likely commit errors in use/mention. These entities do not exist (strictly speaking and are [[ersatz]] entities) but highlight the numerous ways in which people come to know the world.
+
[[Sir James Jeans]] wrote; "The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter... we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."<ref>Sir James Jeans, ''The mysterious universe'', page 137.</ref>
   
In Sir Arthur Eddington's case use/mention confusions compounded his problem when he thought he was sitting at two different tables in his study (table-of-commonsense and table-of-physics). In fact Eddington was sitting at one table but had two different perspectives or ways of knowing about that one table.
+
Jeans, in an interview published in [[The Observer]] (London), when asked the question:
  +
<blockquote>''Do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is a part of some great scheme?'' </blockquote>
  +
replied:
   
[[Richard Rorty]] and [[Postmodernist]] Philosophy in general have been attacked by Musgrave for committing use/mention confusions. Musgrave argues that these confusions help proliferate GEM's in our thinking and serious thought should avoid GEM's.
+
<blockquote>''I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe... In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.''</blockquote>
   
====Philip J. Neujahr====
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<blockquote>''What remains is in any case very different from the full-blooded matter and the forbidding [[materialism]] of the Victorian scientist. His objective and material universe is proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own minds. To this extent, then, modern physics has moved in the direction of philosophic idealism. Mind and matter, if not proved to be of similar nature, are at least found to be ingredients of one single system. There is no longer room for the kind of [[dualism]] which has haunted philosophy since the days of [[Descartes]].'' Sir James Jeans addressing the [[British Association]] in 1934.</blockquote>
"Although it would be hard to legislate about such matters, it would perhaps be well to restrict the idealist label to theories which hold that the world, or its material aspects, are dependent upon the specifically cognitive activities of the mind or Mind in perceiving or thinking about (or 'experiencing') the object of its awareness." (''Kant's Idealism'', Ch. 1)
 
   
===Idealism in religious thought===
+
<blockquote>''Finite picture whose dimensions are a certain amount of space and a certain amount of time; the protons and electrons are the streaks of paint which define the picture against its space-time background. Traveling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to its edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvas. This brings us very near to those philosophical systems which regard the universe as a thought in the mind of its Creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility.'' Sir James Jeans ''The Universe Around Us'' page 317.</blockquote>
A broad enough definition of idealism could include most religious viewpoints. The belief that personal beings (e.g., God and the angels) preceded the existence of insentient matter seems to suggest that an experiencing subject is a necessary reality. Also, the existence of an omniscient God suggests, regardless of the actual nature of matter, that all of nature is the object of at least one consciousness. Materialism sees no incoherence in a scenario of there being a cosmos where no sentient subject ever develops; a wholly unknown universe where neither any subject, nor any object of a subject's experience ever exists. Historically, ''Mechanistic Materialism'' has been the favorite viewpoint of Atheist philosophers. Still, idealistic viewpoints that have not included God, supernatural beings, or a post-mortem existence have sometimes been advanced.
 
   
While many religious philosophies are indeed specifically idealist, for example, some [[Hinduism|Hindu]] denominations view regarding the nature of [[Brahman]], souls, and the world are idealistic, some have favored a form of substance dualism. [[Mahayana]] Buddhist denominations have usually embraced some form of idealism, while some [[Christianity|Christian]] theologians have held idealist views, substance dualism has been the more common view of Christian authors, especially with the strong influence of the philosophy of [[Aristotle]] among the Scholastics.
+
The chemist [[Ernest Lester Smith]] wrote a book ''Intelligence Came First'' (1975) in which he claimed that consciousness is a fact of nature and that the cosmos is grounded in and pervaded by mind and intelligence.<ref> Ernest Lester Smith''Intelligence Came First'' Quest Books, 1990 ISBN 0-8356-0657-0</ref>
   
Several modern religious movements, for example the organizations within the [[New Thought Movement]] and the [[Unity Church]], may be said to have a particularly idealist orientation.
+
[[Bernard d'Espagnat]] a French theoretical physicist best known for his work on the nature of reality wrote a paper titled ''The Quantum Theory and Reality'' according to the paper: "The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment."<ref>The Quantum Theory and Reality http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/197911_0158.pdf</ref> In an article in the Guardian titled ''Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind'' d'Espagnat wrote that:
   
The theology of Christian Science includes a form of subjective idealism: it teaches that all that exists is God and God's ideas; that the world as it appears to the senses is a distortion of the underlying spiritual reality.
+
"What quantum mechanics tells us, I believe, is surprising to say the least. It tells us that the basic components of objects the particles, electrons, quarks etc. – cannot be thought of as "self-existent". He further writes that his research in [[quantum physics]] has led him to conclude that an "ultimate reality" exists, which is not embedded in space or time.<ref>{{cite news|last=d'Espagnat|first=Bernard|title=Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/mar/17/templeton-quantum-entanglement|newspaper=Guardian|date=20 March 2009}}</ref>
   
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==Notes==
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{{reflist|colwidth=30em}}
   
The West is inundated with physicalistic monism. There is widespread belief that everything will be explained in terms of matter/energy by science. Since we are constantly taught this it may make the idea of mentalistic monism hard to grasp. One way to begin to grasp the idea is through analogy. One analogy is the movie screen. If we next consider "Star Trek's holodeck" it takes us a step further as what appear to be physical objects are not. Next consider the movie "The Matrix". In "The Matrix" even people's bodies and identities are projected. Then replace the machine with a vast and powerful mind. A last analogy is our dreams at night. We seem to be in a world filled with other objects and other people and yet nothing of it is real. Although this is not a strict philosophical argument it does allow us to begin to think along these lines.
+
== References ==
  +
* ''Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason with an historical introduction by Ludwig Noiré'', available at [http://www.books.google.com/]
  +
* Kierkegaard, Søren. ''Concluding Unscientific Postscript'', Princeton, ISBN 978-0-691-02081-5
  +
* Neujahr, Philip J., ''Kant's Idealism'', Mercer University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-86554-476-X
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* Watts, Michael. ''Kierkegaard'', Oneworld, ISBN 978-1-85168-317-8
   
Idealism is based on the root word "Ideal," meaning a perfect form of, and is also described as a belief in perfect forms of virtue, truth, and the absolute. (i.e., Webster's Dictionary says "conforming exactly to an ideal, law, or standard: perfect.").
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'''Further reading'''
idealism in comparison to pragmatism
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*Gustavus Watts Cunningham ''Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy'' Books For Libraries Press, 1967
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*Hugh Joseph Tallon ''The concept of self in British and American idealism'' Catholic University of America Press, 1939
==Other uses==
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*Gerald Thomas Baskfield ''The idea of God in British and American personal idealism'' Catholic University of America, 1933
In general parlance, "idealism" or "idealist" is also used to describe a person having high [[ideal (ethics)|ideals]], sometimes with the connotation that those ideals are unrealisable or at odds with "practical" life.
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*Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm ''A history of philosophical systems'' Littlefield Adams, 1968 ISBN 0-8226-0130-3
 
The word "ideal" is commonly used as an adjective to designate qualities of perfection, desirability, and excellence. This is foreign to the epistemological use of the word "idealism" which pertains to internal [[mind|mental]] [[representations]]. These internal ideas represent objects that are assumed to exist outside of the mind.
 
 
==See also==
 
*[[Anti-realism]]
 
*[[Determinism]]
 
*[[German idealism]]
 
*[[Ideals]]
 
*[[J. M. E. McTaggart|McTaggart, John]] ''The Unreality of Time'', available at [[wikisource:The Unreality of Time]]
 
*[[Practical idealism]]
 
*[[Solipsism]], which is related to epistemological idealism
 
*[[Transcendental idealism]]
 
 
==Notes==
 
<references/>
 
 
==References==
 
*''Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason with an historical introduction by Ludwig Noiré'', available at [http://www.books.google.com/]
 
*Neujahr, Philip J., ''Kant's Idealism'', Mercer University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-86554-476-X
 
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
*[http://www.acgrayling.com/Witt/Wittgenstein4.html A.C. Grayling-Wittgenstein on Scepticism and Certainty]
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{{Wiktionary|idealism}}
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* {{PhilPapers|category|idealism}}
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{{Philosophy navigation}}
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* {{IEP|germidea/|German idealism}}
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*[http://www.acgrayling.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76:wittgenstein-on-scepticism-and-certainty&catid=28:wittgenstein A.C. Grayling-Wittgenstein on Scepticism and Certainty]
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*[http://www.spirituality.com/dt/toc_sh.jhtml Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy]: idealism in religious thought
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*[http://shvetsandrey.narod.ru/index.html Idealism and its practical use in physics and psychology ]
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*[http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=678 'The Triumph of Idealism'], lecture by Professor [[Keith Ward]] offering a positive view of Idealism, at [[Gresham College]], 13 March 2008 (available in text, audio, and video download)
   
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In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society.[1] As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit.[2] Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind.

The earliest extant arguments that the world of experience is grounded in the mental derive from India and Greece. The Hindu idealists in India and the Greek Neoplatonists gave panentheistic arguments for an all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality.[3] In contrast, the Yogācāra school, which arose within Mahayana Buddhism in India in the 4th century CE,[4] based its "mind-only" idealism to a greater extent on phenomenological analyses of personal experience. This turn toward the subjective anticipated empiricists such as George Berkeley, who revived idealism in 18th-century Europe by employing skeptical arguments against materialism.

Beginning with Immanuel Kant, German idealists such as G. W. F. Hegel, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, and Arthur Schopenhauer dominated 19th-century philosophy. This tradition, which emphasized the mental or "ideal" character of all phenomena, birthed idealistic and subjectivist schools ranging from British idealism to phenomenalism to existentialism. The historical influence of this branch of idealism remains central even to the schools that rejected its metaphysical assumptions, such as Marxism, pragmatism, and positivism.

DefinitionsEdit

Idealism is a term with several related meanings. It comes via idea from the Greek idein (ἰδεῖν), meaning "to see". The term entered the English language by 1796. In ordinary use, as when speaking of Woodrow Wilson's political idealism, it generally suggests the priority of ideals, principles, values, and goals over concrete realities. Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike pragmatists, who focus on the world as it presently is. In the arts, similarly, idealism affirms imagination and attempts to realize a mental conception of beauty, a standard of perfection, in opposition to aesthetic naturalism and realism.[5][6]

Any philosophy that assigns crucial importance to the ideal or spiritual realm in its account of human existence may be termed "idealist". Metaphysical idealism is an ontological doctrine that holds that reality itself is incorporeal or experiential at its core. Beyond this, idealists disagree on which aspects of the mental are more basic. Platonic idealism affirms that abstractions are more basic to reality than the things we perceive, while subjective idealists and phenomenalists tend to privilege sensory experience over abstract reasoning. Epistemological idealism is the weaker view that reality can only be known through ideas, that only psychological experience can be apprehended by the mind.[2][7][8]

Subjective idealists like George Berkeley are anti-realists in terms of a mind-independent world, whereas transcendental idealists like Immanuel Kant are strong skeptics of such a world, affirming epistemological and not metaphysical idealism. Thus Kant defines idealism as "the assertion that we can never be certain whether all of our putative outer experience is not mere imagining".[9] He claimed that, according to idealism, "the reality of external objects does not admit of strict proof. On the contrary, however, the reality of the object of our internal sense (of myself and state) is clear immediately through consciousness." [10] However, not all idealists restrict the real or the knowable to our immediate subjective experience. Objective idealists make claims about a transempirical world, but simply deny that this world is essentially divorced from or ontologically prior to the mental. Thus Plato and Gottfried Leibniz affirm an objective and knowable reality transcending our subjective awareness—a rejection of epistemological idealism—but propose that this reality is grounded in ideal entities, a form of metaphysical idealism. Nor do all metaphysical idealists agree on the nature of the ideal; for Plato, the fundamental entities were non-mental abstract forms, while for Leibniz they were proto-mental and concrete monads.[11]

As a rule, transcendental idealists like Kant affirm idealism's epistemic side without committing themselves to whether reality is ultimately mental; objective idealists like Plato affirm reality's metaphysical basis in the mental or abstract without restricting their epistemology to ordinary experience; and subjective idealists like Berkeley affirm both metaphysical and epistemological idealism.[12]

Classical idealismEdit

Monistic idealism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is monist because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.

Anaxagoras (480 BC) was known as "Nous" ("Mind") because he taught that "all things" were created by Mind, that Mind held the cosmos together and gave human beings a connection to the cosmos or a pathway to the divine.

Many religious philosophies are specifically idealist. The belief that beings with knowledge (God/s, angels & spirits) preceded insentient matter seems to suggest that an experiencing subject is a necessary reality. Hindu idealism is central to Vedanta philosophy and to such schools as Kashmir Shaivism.[13] Proponents include P.R. Sarkar and his disciple Sohail Inayatullah.

Christian theologians have held idealist views, often based on Neoplatonism, despite the influence of Aristotelian scholasticism from the 12th century onward. Later western theistic idealism such as that of Hermann Lotze offers a theory of the "world ground" in which all things find their unity: it has been widely accepted by Protestant theologians.[14] Several modern religious movements, for example the organizations within the New Thought Movement and the Unity Church, may be said to have a particularly idealist orientation. The theology of Christian Science includes a form of idealism: it teaches that all that truly exists is God and God's ideas; that the world as it appears to the senses is a distortion of the underlying spiritual reality, a distortion that may be corrected (both conceptually and in terms of human experience) through a reorientation (spiritualization) of thought.

Wang Yangming, a Ming Chinese neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general, held that objects do not exist entirely apart from the mind because the mind shapes them. It is not the world that shapes the mind but the mind that gives reason to the world, so the mind alone is the source of all reason, having an inner light, an innate moral goodness and understanding of what is good.

The consciousness-only approach of the Yogācāra school of Mahayana Buddhism is not true metaphysical idealism[15] as Yogācāra thinkers did not focus on consciousness to assert it as ultimately real, it is only conventionally real since it arises from moment to moment due to fluctuating causes and conditions and is significant because it is the cause of karma and hence suffering.[16]

Platonism and neoplatonismEdit

Plato's theory of forms or "ideas" describes ideal forms (for example the platonic solids in geometry or abstracts like Goodness and Justice), as universals existing independently of any particular instance.[17] Arne Grøn calls this doctrine "the classic example of a metaphysical idealism as a transcendent idealism",[18] while Simone Klein calls Plato "the earliest representative of metaphysical objective idealism". Nevertheless Plato holds that matter is real, though transitory and imperfect, and is perceived by our body and its senses and given existence by the eternal ideas that are perceived directly by our rational soul. Plato was therefore a metaphysical and epistemological dualist, an outlook that modern idealism has striven to avoid:[19] Plato's thought cannot therefore be counted as idealist in the modern sense.

With the neoplatonist Plotinus, wrote Nathaniel Alfred Boll; "there even appears, probably for the first time in Western philosophy, idealism that had long been current in the East even at that time, for it taught… that the soul has made the world by stepping from eternity into time…".[20][21] Similarly, in regard to passages from the Enneads, "The only space or place of the world is the soul" and "Time must not be assumed to exist outside the soul",[22] Ludwig Noiré wrote: "For the first time in Western philosophy we find idealism proper in Plotinus,[3] However, Plotinus does not address whether we know external objects, unlike Schopenhauer and other modern philosophers.

Subjective idealismEdit

Main article: Subjective Idealism

Subjective Idealism (immaterialism or phenomenalism) describes a relationship between experience and the world in which objects are no more than collections or "bundles" of sense data in the perceiver. Proponents include Berkeley,[23] Bishop of Cloyne, an Irish philosopher who advanced a theory he called immaterialism, later referred to as "subjective idealism", contending that individuals can only know sensations and ideas of objects directly, not abstractions such as "matter", and that ideas also depend upon being perceived for their very existence - esse est percipi; "to be is to be perceived".

Arthur Collier[24] published similar assertions though there seems to have been no influence between the two contemporary writers. The only knowable reality is the represented image of an external object. Matter as a cause of that image, is unthinkable and therefore nothing to us. An external world as absolute matter unrelated to an observer does not exist as far as we are concerned. The universe cannot exist as it appears if there is no perceiving mind. Collier was influenced by An Essay Towards the Theory of the Ideal or Intelligible World by "Cambridge Platonist" John Norris (1701).

Bertrand Russell's popular book The Problems of Philosophy highlights Berkeley's tautological premise for advancing idealism;

"If we say that the things known must be in the mind, we are either un-duly limiting the mind's power of knowing, or we are uttering a mere tautology. We are uttering a mere tautology if we mean by 'in the mind' the same as by 'before the mind', i.e. if we mean merely being apprehended by the mind. But if we mean this, we shall have to admit that what, in this sense, is in the mind, may nevertheless be not mental. Thus when we realize the nature of knowledge, Berkeley's argument is seen to be wrong in substance as well as in form, and his grounds for supposing that 'idea'-i.e. the objects apprehended-must be mental, are found to have no validity whatever. Hence his grounds in favour of the idealism may be dismissed."

The Australian philosopher David Stove harshly criticized philosophical idealism, arguing that it rests on what he called "the worst argument in the world".[citation needed] Stove claims that Berkeley tried to derive a non-tautological conclusion from tautological reasoning. He argued that in Berkeley's case the fallacy is not obvious and this is because one premise is ambiguous between one meaning which is tautological and another which, Stove argues, is logically equivalent to the conclusion.

Alan Musgrave[25] argues that conceptual idealists compound their mistakes with use/mention confusions;

Santa Claus the person does not exist.
"Santa Claus" the name/concept/fairy tale does exist because adults tell children this every Christmas season (the distinction is highlighted by using quotation-marks when referring only to the name and not the object)

and proliferation of hyphenated entities such as "thing-in-itself" (Immanuel Kant), "things-as-interacted-by-us" (Arthur Fine), "table-of-commonsense" and "table-of-physics" (Sir Arthur Eddington) which are "warning signs" for conceptual idealism according to Musgrave because they allegedly do not exist but only highlight the numerous ways in which people come to know the world. This argument does not take into account the issues pertaining to hermeneutics, especially at the backdrop of analytic philosophy. Musgrave criticized Richard Rorty and Postmodernist philosophy in general for confusion of use and mention.

A. A. Luce[26] and John Foster are other subjectivists.[27] Luce, in Sense without Matter (1954), attempts to bring Berkeley up to date by modernising his vocabulary and putting the issues he faced in modern terms, and treats the Biblical account of matter and the psychology of perception and nature. Foster's The Case for Idealism argues that the physical world is the logical creation of natural, non-logical constraints on human sense-experience. Foster's latest defence of his views is in his book A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism.

Paul Brunton, a British philosopher, mystic, traveler, and guru, taught a type of idealism called "mentalism", similar to that of Bishop Berkeley, proposing a master world-image, projected or manifested by a world-mind, and an infinite number of individual minds participating. A tree does not cease to exist if nobody sees it because the world-mind is projecting the idea of the tree to all minds.[28]

John Searle criticising some versions of idealism, summarises two important arguments for subjective idealism. The first is based on our perception of reality;

(1) All we have access to in perception are the contents of our own experience and
(2) The only epistemic basis for claims about the external world are our perceptual experiences

therefore;

(3) The only reality we can meaningfully speak of is that of perceptual experience [29]

Whilst agreeing with (2) Searle argues that (1) is false and points out that (3) does not follow from (1) and (2). The second argument runs as follows;

Premise: Any cognitive state occurs as part of a set of cognitive states and within a cognitive system
Conclusion 1: It is impossible to get outside all cognitive states and systems to survey the relationships between them and the reality they cognize
Conclusion 2: There is no cognition of any reality that exists independently of cognition[30]

Searle contends that Conclusion 2 does not follow from the premises.

Epistemological idealism is a subjectivist position in epistemology that holds that what one knows about an object exists only in one's mind. Proponents include Brand Blanshard.

Transcendental idealismEdit

Main article: Transcendental idealism

Transcendental idealism, founded by Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century, maintains that the mind shapes the world we perceive into the form of space-and-time.

... if I remove the thinking subject, the whole material world must at once vanish because it is nothing but a phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of ourselves as a subject, and a manner or species of representation.

Critique of Pure Reason A383

The 2nd edition (1787) contained a Refutation of Idealism to distinguish his transcendental idealism from Descartes's Sceptical Idealism and Berkeley's Dogmatic Idealism. The section Paralogisms of Pure Reason is an implicit critique of Descartes' idealism. Kant says that it is not possible to infer the 'I' as an object (Descartes' Cogito ergo sum) purely from "the spontaneity of thought". Kant focused on ideas drawn from British philosophers such as Locke, Berkeley and Hume but distinguished his transcendental or critical idealism from previous varieties;

The dictum of all genuine idealists, from the Eleatic school to Bishop Berkeley, is contained in this formula: “All knowledge through the senses and experience is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in the ideas of the pure understanding and reason is there truth.” The principle that throughout dominates and determines my [transcendental] idealism is, on the contrary: “All knowledge of things merely from pure understanding or pure reason is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in experience is there truth.”

Prolegomena, 374

Kant distinguished things as they appear to an observer and things in themselves, "that is, things considered without regard to whether and how they may be given to us".[31] We cannot approach the noumenon, the "thing in Itself" (German: Ding an sich

) without our own mental world. He added that the mind is not a blank slate, tabula rasa but rather comes equipped with categories for organising our sense impressions.

In the first volume of his Parerga and Paralipomena, Schopenhauer wrote his "Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real". He defined the ideal as being mental pictures that constitute subjective knowledge. The ideal, for him, is what can be attributed to our own minds. The images in our head are what comprise the ideal. Schopenhauer emphasized that we are restricted to our own consciousness. The world that appears is only a representation or mental picture of objects. We directly and immediately know only representations. All objects that are external to the mind are known indirectly through the mediation of our mind. He offered a history of the concept of the "ideal" as "ideational" or "existing in the mind as an image".

[T]rue philosophy must at all costs be idealistic; indeed, it must be so merely to be honest. For nothing is more certain than that no one ever came out of himself in order to identify himself immediately with things different from him; but everything of which he has certain, sure, and therefore immediate knowledge, lies within his consciousness. Beyond this consciousness, therefore, there can be no immediate certainty ... There can never be an existence that is objective absolutely and in itself; such an existence, indeed, is positively inconceivable. For the objective, as such, always and essentially has its existence in the consciousness of a subject; it is therefore the subject's representation, and consequently is conditioned by the subject, and moreover by the subject's forms of representation, which belong to the subject and not to the object.

The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. 1

Charles Bernard Renouvier was the first Frenchman after Nicolas Malebranche to formulate a complete idealistic system, and had a vast influence on the development of French thought. His system is based on Immanuel Kant's, as his chosen term "néo-criticisme" indicates; but it is a transformation rather than a continuation of Kantianism.

Friedrich Nietzsche argued that Kant confuses tautology and petitio principii, and ridicules his pride in tackling "the most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics.".[32] Yet he attacks the idealism of Schopenhauer and Descartes with an argument similar to Kant's critique of the latter (see above);

Objective idealismEdit

Main article: Objective idealism

Objective idealism asserts that the reality of experiencing combines and transcends the realities of the object experienced and of the mind of the observer.[33] Proponents include Thomas Hill Green, Josiah Royce, Benedetto Croce and Charles Sanders Peirce.[34]

Absolute idealismEdit

Main article: Absolute idealism

Schelling (1775–1854) claimed that the Fichte's "I" needs the Not-I, because there is no subject without object, and vice versa. So there is no difference between the subjective and the objective, that is, the ideal and the real. This is Schelling's "absolute identity": the ideas or mental images in the mind are identical to the extended objects which are external to the mind.

Absolute idealism is G. W. F. Hegel's account of how existence is comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel called his philosophy "absolute" idealism in contrast to the "subjective idealism" of Berkeley and the "transcendental idealism" of Kant and Fichte,[35] which were not based on a critique of the finite and a dialectical philosophy of history as Hegel's idealism was. The exercise of reason and intellect enables the philosopher to know ultimate historical reality, the phenomenological constitution of self-determination, the dialectical development of self-awareness and personality in the realm of History.

In his Science of Logic (1812–1814) Hegel argues that finite qualities are not fully "real" because they depend on other finite qualities to determine them. Qualitative infinity, on the other hand, would be more self-determining and hence more fully real. Similarly finite natural things are less "real"—because they are less self-determining—than spiritual things like morally responsible people, ethical communities and God. So any doctrine, such as materialism, that asserts that finite qualities or natural objects are fully real is mistaken.[36]

Hegel certainly intends to preserve what he takes to be true of German idealism, in particular Kant's insistence that ethical reason can and does go beyond finite inclinations.[37] For Hegel there must be some identity of thought and being for the subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know an object (the world) at all.

Kierkegaard criticised Hegel's idealist philosophy in several of his works, particularly his claim to a comprehensive system that could explain the whole of reality. Where Hegel argues that an ultimate understanding of the logical structure of the world is an understanding of the logical structure of God's mind, Kierkegaard asserting that for God reality can be a system but it cannot be so for any human individual because both reality and humans are incomplete and all philosophical systems imply completeness. A logical system is possible but an existential system is not. "What is rational is actual; and what is actual is rational".[38] Hegel's absolute idealism blurs the distinction between existence and thought: our mortal nature places limits on our understanding of reality;

So-called systems have often been characterized and challenged in the assertion that they abrogate the distinction between good and evil, and destroy freedom. Perhaps one would express oneself quite as definitely, if one said that every such system fantastically dissipates the concept existence. ... Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all.
[39]

A major concern of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) and of the philosophy of Spirit that he lays out in his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1817–1830) is the interrelation between individual humans, which he conceives in terms of "mutual recognition." However, what Climacus means by the aforementioned statement, is that Hegel, in the Philosophy of Right, believed the best solution was to surrender one's individuality to the customs of the State, identifying right and wrong in view of the prevailing bourgeois morality. Individual human will ought, at the State's highest level of development, to properly coincide with the will of the State. Climacus rejects Hegel's suppression of individuality by pointing out it is impossible to create a valid set of rules or system in any society which can adequately describe existence for any one individual. Submitting one's will to the State denies personal freedom, choice, and responsibility.

In addition, Hegel does believe we can know the structure of God's mind, or ultimate reality. Hegel agrees with Kierkegaard that both reality and humans are incomplete, inasmuch as we are in time, and reality develops through time. But the relation between time and eternity is outside time and this is the "logical structure" that Hegel thinks we can know. Kierkegaard disputes this assertion, because it eliminates the clear distinction between ontology and epistemology. Existence and thought are not identical and one cannot possibly think existence. Thought is always a form of abstraction, and thus not only is pure existence impossible to think, but all forms in existence are unthinkable; thought depends on language, which merely abstracts from experience, thus separating us from lived experience and the living essence of all beings. In addition, because we are finite beings, we cannot possibly know or understand anything that is universal or infinite such as God, so we cannot know God exists, since that which transcends time simultaneously transcends human understanding.

Bradley saw reality as a monistic whole apprehended through "feeling", a state in which there is no distinction between the perception and the thing perceived. Like Berkeley Bradley thought that nothing can be known to exist unless it is known by a mind.

We perceive, on reflection, that to be real, or even barely to exist, must be to fall within sentience ... . Find any piece of existence, take up anything that any one could possibly call a fact, or could in any sense assert to have being, and then judge if it does not consist in sentient experience. Try to discover any sense in which you can still continue to speak of it, when all perception and feeling have been removed; or point out any fragment of its matter, any aspect of its being, which is not derived from and is not still relative to this source. When the experiment is made strictly, I can myself conceive of nothing else than the experienced.

— F.H. Bradley, 'Appearance and Reality'

Bradley was the apparent target of G. E. Moore's radical rejection of idealism. Moore claimed that Bradley did not understand the statement that something is real. We know for certain, through common sense and prephilosophical beliefs, that some things are real, whether they are objects of thought or not, according to Moore. The 1903 article The Refutation of Idealism is one of the first demonstrations of Moore's commitment to analysis. He examines each of the three terms in the Berkeleian aphorism esse est percipi, "to be is to be perceived", finding that it must mean that the object and the subject are necessarily connected so that "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow" are identical - "to be yellow" is "to be experienced as yellow". But it also seems there is a difference between "yellow" and "the sensation of yellow" and "that esse is held to be percipi, solely because what is experienced is held to be identical with the experience of it". Though far from a complete refutation, this was the first strong statement by analytic philosophy against its idealist predecessors, or at any rate against the type of idealism represented by Berkeley. This argument did not show that the GEM (in post–Stove vernacular, see below) is logically invalid.

Actual idealismEdit

Actual Idealism is a form of idealism developed by Giovanni Gentile that grew into a "grounded" idealism contrasting Kant and Hegel.

Pluralistic idealismEdit

Pluralistic idealism such as that of Gottfried Leibniz[40] takes the view that there are many individual minds that together underlie the existence of the observed world and make possible the existence of the physical universe.[41] Unlike absolute idealism, pluralistic idealism does not assume the existence of a single ultimate mental reality or "Absolute". Leibniz' form of idealism, known as Panpsychism, views "monads" as the true atoms of the universe and as entities having perception. The monads are "substantial forms of being",elemental, individual, subject to their own laws, non-interacting, each reflecting the entire universe. Monads are centers of force, which is substance while space, matter and motion are phenomenal and their form and existence is dependent on the simple and immaterial monads. There is a pre-established harmony established by God, the central monad, between the world in the minds of the monads and the external world of objects. Leibniz's cosmology embraced traditional Christian Theism. The English psychologist and philosopher James Ward inspired by Leibniz had also defended a form of pluralistic idealism.[42] According to Ward the universe is composed of "psychic monads" of different levels, interacting for mutual self- betterment.[43]

Personalism is the view that the minds that underlie reality are the minds of persons. Borden Parker Bowne, a philosopher at Boston University, a founder and popularizer of personal idealism, presented it as a substantive reality of persons, the only reality, as known directly in self-consciousness. Reality is a society of interacting persons dependent on the Supreme Person of God. Other proponents include George Holmes Howison[44] and J. M. E. McTaggart.[45]

Howison's personal idealism [46] was also called "California Personalism" by others to distinguish it from the "Boston Personalism" which was of Bowne. Howison maintained that both impersonal, monistic idealism and materialism run contrary to the experience of moral freedom. To deny freedom to pursue truth, beauty, and "benignant love" is to undermine every profound human venture, including science, morality, and philosophy. Personalistic idealists Borden Parker Bowne and Edgar S. Brightman and realistic personal theist Saint Thomas Aquinas address a core issue, namely that of dependence upon an infinite personal God.[47]

Howison, in his book The Limits of Evolution and Other Essays Illustrating the Metaphysical Theory of Personal Idealism, created a democratic notion of personal idealism that extended all the way to God, who was no more the ultimate monarch but the ultimate democrat in eternal relation to other eternal persons. J. M. E. McTaggart's idealist atheism and Thomas Davidson's Apeirionism resemble Howisons personal idealism.[48]

J. M. E. McTaggart of Cambridge University, argued that minds alone exist and only relate to each other through love. Space, time and material objects are unreal. In The Unreality of Time he argued that time is an illusion because it is impossible to produce a coherent account of a sequence of events. The Nature of Existence (1927) contained his arguments that space, time, and matter cannot possibly be real. In his Studies in Hegelian Cosmology (Cambridge, 1901, p196) he declared that metaphysics are not relevant to social and political action. McTaggart "thought that Hegel was wrong in supposing that metaphysics could show that the state is more than a means to the good of the individuals who compose it".[49] For McTaggart "philosophy can give us very little, if any, guidance in action... Why should a Hegelian citizen be surprised that his belief as to the organic nature of the Absolute does not help him in deciding how to vote? Would a Hegelian engineer be reasonable in expecting that his belief that all matter is spirit should help him in planning a bridge?[50]

Thomas Davidson taught a philosophy called "apeirotheism", a "form of pluralistic idealism...coupled with a stern ethical rigorism"[51] which he defined as "a theory of Gods infinite in number." The theory was indebted to Aristotle's pluralism and his concepts of Soul, the rational, living aspect of a living substance which cannot exist apart from the body because it is not a substance but an essence, and nous, rational thought, reflection and understanding. Although a perennial source of controversy, Aristotle arguably views the latter as both eternal and immaterial in nature, as exemplified in his theology of unmoved movers.[52] Identifying Aristotle's God with rational thought, Davidson argued, contrary to Aristotle, that just as the soul cannot exist apart from the body, God cannot exist apart from the world.[53]


Idealist notions took a strong hold among physicists of the early 20th century confronted with the paradoxes of quantum physics and the theory of relativity. In The Grammar of Science, Preface to the 2nd Edition, 1900, Karl Pearson wrote, "There are many signs that a sound idealism is surely replacing, as a basis for natural philosophy, the crude materialism of the older physicists." This book influenced Einstein's regard for the importance of the observer in scientific measurements[citation needed]. In § 5 of that book, Pearson asserted that "...science is in reality a classification and analysis of the contents of the mind...." Also, "...the field of science is much more consciousness than an external world."

Sir Arthur Eddington, a British astrophysicist of the early 20th century, wrote in his book The Nature of the Physical World; "The stuff of the world is mind-stuff";

"The mind-stuff of the world is, of course, something more general than our individual conscious minds…. The mind-stuff is not spread in space and time; these are part of the cyclic scheme ultimately derived out of it…. It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness…. Consciousness is not sharply defined, but fades into subconsciousness; and beyond that we must postulate something indefinite but yet continuous with our mental nature…. It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny that mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience, and all else is remote inference."[54]

Ian Barbour in his book Issues in Science and Religion (1966), p. 133, cites Arthur Eddington's The Nature of the Physical World (1928) for a text that argues The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principles provides a scientific basis for "the defense of the idea of human freedom" and his Science and the Unseen World (1929) for support of philosophical idealism "the thesis that reality is basically mental".

Sir James Jeans wrote; "The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter... we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."[55]

Jeans, in an interview published in The Observer (London), when asked the question:

Do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is a part of some great scheme?
replied:

I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe... In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.

What remains is in any case very different from the full-blooded matter and the forbidding materialism of the Victorian scientist. His objective and material universe is proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own minds. To this extent, then, modern physics has moved in the direction of philosophic idealism. Mind and matter, if not proved to be of similar nature, are at least found to be ingredients of one single system. There is no longer room for the kind of dualism which has haunted philosophy since the days of Descartes. Sir James Jeans addressing the British Association in 1934.

Finite picture whose dimensions are a certain amount of space and a certain amount of time; the protons and electrons are the streaks of paint which define the picture against its space-time background. Traveling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to its edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvas. This brings us very near to those philosophical systems which regard the universe as a thought in the mind of its Creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility. Sir James Jeans The Universe Around Us page 317.

The chemist Ernest Lester Smith wrote a book Intelligence Came First (1975) in which he claimed that consciousness is a fact of nature and that the cosmos is grounded in and pervaded by mind and intelligence.[56]

Bernard d'Espagnat a French theoretical physicist best known for his work on the nature of reality wrote a paper titled The Quantum Theory and Reality according to the paper: "The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment."[57] In an article in the Guardian titled Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind d'Espagnat wrote that:

"What quantum mechanics tells us, I believe, is surprising to say the least. It tells us that the basic components of objects – the particles, electrons, quarks etc. – cannot be thought of as "self-existent". He further writes that his research in quantum physics has led him to conclude that an "ultimate reality" exists, which is not embedded in space or time.[58]

NotesEdit

  1. Macionis, John J. (2012). Sociology 14th Edition, Boston: Pearson.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Daniel Sommer Robinson, "Idealism", Encyclopædia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/281802/idealism
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ludwig Noiré, Historical Introduction to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  4. Zim, Robert (1995). Basic ideas of Yogācāra Buddhism. San Francisco State University. Source: [1] (Retrieved 18 October 2007).
  5. Dictionary.com
  6. Merriam-Webster
  7. In On The Freedom of the Will, Schopenhauer noted the ambiguity of the word idealism, calling it a "term with multiple meanings". For Schopenhauer, idealists seek to account for the relationship between our ideas and external reality, rather than for the nature of reality as such. Non-Kantian idealists, on the other hand, theorized about mental aspects of the reality underlying phenomena.
  8. Philip J. Neujahr would "restrict the idealist label to theories which hold that the world, or its material aspects, are dependent upon the specifically cognitive activities of the mind or Mind in perceiving or thinking about (or 'experiencing') the object of its awareness." Philip J. Neujahr, Kant's Idealism, Ch. 1
  9. Immanuel Kant, Notes and Fragments, ed. Paul Guyer, trans. by Curtis Bowman, Paul Guyer, and Frederick Rauscher, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 318, ISBN 0-521-55248-6
  10. Critique of Pure Reason, A 38
  11. Mark Kulstad and Laurence Carlin, "Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-mind/
  12. ARNE GRØN. Idealism. Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. URL accessed on 1 August 2011.
  13. "Among the various Hindu philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism (Kaśmir Śaivism) is a school of Śaivism identical with trika Śaivism categorized by various scholars as monistic idealism" http://www.allsaivism.com/articles/KashmirSaivism.aspx
  14. world ground (philosophy) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Britannica.com. URL accessed on 2012-08-17.
  15. Ian Charles Harris, The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogacara in Indian Mahayana Buddhism. E.J. Brill, 1991, page 133.
  16. Dan Lusthaus, "What is and isn't Yogācāra." [2].
  17. J.D.McNair. Plato's Idealism. Students' notes. MIAMI-DADE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. URL accessed on 7 August 2011.
  18. </code>Arne Grøn<code>. Idealism. </code> Encyclopedia of Science and Religion<code>. eNotes. URL accessed on 7 August 2011.
  19. Simone Klein. What is objective idealism?. Philosophy Questions. Philosophos. URL accessed on 7 August 2011.
  20. 'For there is for this universe no other place than the soul or mind'
    (neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima)
    Enneads, iii, lib. vii, c.10
  21. (oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere)
    Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume I, "Fragments for the History of Philosophy," § 7
  22. Enneads, iii, 7, 10
  23. " Berkeley's version of Idealism is usually referred to as Subjective Idealism or Dogmatic Idealism" http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_idealism.html
  24. Clavis Universalis, or A New Inquiry after Truth, being a Demonstration of the NonExistence or Impossibility of an External World By Arthur Collier
  25. Alan Musgrave, in an article titled Realism and Antirealism in R. Klee (ed), Scientific Inquiry: Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Oxford, 1998, 344-352 - later re-titled to Conceptual Idealism and Stove's GEM in A. Musgrave, Essays on Realism and Rationalism, Rodopi, 1999 also in M.L. Dalla Chiara et al. (eds), Language, Quantum, Music, Kluwer, 1999, 25-35 - Alan Musgrave
  26. Sense Without Matter Or Direct Perception By A.A. Luce
  27. Review for John Fosters book A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=15785
  28. http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/images/uploaded/file/Paul%20Brunton.pdf
  29. John Searle, The Construction of Social Reality p. 172
  30. John Searle, The Construction of Social Reality p. 174
  31. Critique of Pure Reason, A 140
  32. Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Part 1 On the Prejudice of Philosophers Section 11
  33. Dictionary definition http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/objective+idealism
  34. Section; Objective Idealism
  35. One book devoted to showing that Hegel is neither a Berkeleyan nor a Kantian idealist is Kenneth Westphal, Hegel's Epistemological Realism (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1989).
  36. An interpretation of Hegel's critique of the finite, and of the "absolute idealism" which Hegel appears to base that critique, is found in Robert M. Wallace, Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
  37. See Wallace, Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God, chapter 3, for details on how Hegel might preserve something resembling Kant's dualism of nature and freedom while defending it against skeptical attack.
  38. Søren Kierkegaard, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1821)
  39. Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript (1846)
  40. See Pluralistic Idealism, Version 1: Monadism http://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/idealism.htm
  41. See Idealistic Theory No. 3: Pluralistic Idealism http://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/idealism.htm
  42. The New Cambridge Modern History: The era of violence, 1898-1945, edited by David Thomson University Press, 1960, p. 135
  43. Hugh Joseph Tallon The concept of self in British and American idealism 1939, p. 118
  44. The Limits Of Evolution; And Other Essays Illustrating The Metaphysical Theory Of Personal Idealism By George Holmes Howison
  45. See the book Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy By Gustavus W Cunningham page 202 "Ontologically i am an idealist, since i believe that all that exists is spiritual. I am also, in one sense of the term, a Personal Idealist."
  46. George Holmes Howison. Howison.us. URL accessed on 2012-08-17.
  47. Research & Articles on Howison, George Holmes (1834–1916) by. BookRags.com. URL accessed on 2012-08-17.
  48. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_speculative_philosophy/v020/20.3mclachlan.html
  49. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 3, "Idealism," New York, 1967
  50. Studies in Hegelian Cosmology ibid.
  51. Charles M. Bakewell, "Thomas Davidson," Dictionary of American Biography, gen. ed. Dumas Malone (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932), 96.
  52. Gerson, Lloyd P. (2004). The Unity of Intellect in Aristotle's "De Anima", 348–373. "Desperately difficult texts inevitably elicit desperate hermeneutical measures. Aristotle's De Anima, book three, chapter five, is evidently one such text. At least since the time of Alexander of Aphrodisias, scholars have felt compelled to draw some remarkable conclusions regarding Aristotle's brief remarks in this passage regarding intellect. One such claim is that in chapter five, Aristotle introduces a second intellect, the so-called 'agent intellect', an intellect distinct from the 'passive intellect', the supposed focus of discussion up until this passage. This view is a direct descendent of the view of Alexander himself, who identified the agent intellect with the divine intellect. Even the staunchest defender of such a view is typically at a loss to give a plausible explanation of why the divine intellect pops into and then out of the picture in the intense and closely argued discussion of the human intellect that goes from chapter four through to the end of chapter seven."
  53. Davidson, Journal, 1884-1898 (Thomas Davidson Collection, Manuscript Group #169, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University). Quoted in DeArmey, "Thomas Davidson's Apeirotheism," 692
  54. A.S. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, page 276-81.
  55. Sir James Jeans, The mysterious universe, page 137.
  56. Ernest Lester SmithIntelligence Came First Quest Books, 1990 ISBN 0-8356-0657-0
  57. The Quantum Theory and Reality http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/197911_0158.pdf
  58. includeonly>d'Espagnat, Bernard. "Quantum weirdness: What we call 'reality' is just a state of mind", 20 March 2009.

References Edit

  • Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason with an historical introduction by Ludwig Noiré, available at [3]
  • Kierkegaard, Søren. Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Princeton, ISBN 978-0-691-02081-5
  • Neujahr, Philip J., Kant's Idealism, Mercer University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-86554-476-X
  • Watts, Michael. Kierkegaard, Oneworld, ISBN 978-1-85168-317-8

Further reading

  • Gustavus Watts Cunningham Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy Books For Libraries Press, 1967
  • Hugh Joseph Tallon The concept of self in British and American idealism Catholic University of America Press, 1939
  • Gerald Thomas Baskfield The idea of God in British and American personal idealism Catholic University of America, 1933
  • Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm A history of philosophical systems Littlefield Adams, 1968 ISBN 0-8226-0130-3

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