Best arguments for idealism?

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chaos_mora
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Best arguments for idealism?

Post by chaos_mora » May 25th, 2018, 4:32 pm

What are some of the best arguments for idealism? By idealism, I am referring to the philosophical perspective that reality is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or immaterial. I'm very interested in idealism, and I'd like to compile as many good arguments for it as I can within ontology and epistemology.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by Eduk » May 26th, 2018, 4:04 am

Idealism is itself the best, and worst, argument for itself.

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Felix
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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by Felix » May 26th, 2018, 4:39 am

What are some of the best arguments for idealism?
Virtual reality.
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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » May 26th, 2018, 4:42 am

I think the best argument is that this is the way we experience it and any argument against idealism is going to refer to experiencing, which is experienced as non-physical and mental. You could even argue that it is more parsimonious than other ontologies, since it does not posit things outside of mental experiencing that cause the various experiences we have. So Occam's Razor can even be, ironically I think, dragged in, hopefull with a little pleased smirk.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 26th, 2018, 6:47 am

chaos_mora wrote:
May 25th, 2018, 4:32 pm
What are some of the best arguments for idealism? By idealism, I am referring to the philosophical perspective that reality is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or immaterial. I'm very interested in idealism, and I'd like to compile as many good arguments for it as I can within ontology and epistemology.
Idealism is properly primary. Your entire concept of the universe is formed inside your head, ultimately informed by your senses and constructed into a system of ideals.
Everything else, including epistemology, ontology, empiricism, realism - are secondary to that fact.

Whilst it is probably true that you , as an individual exist in hard reality, that truth can only be constructed from the evidence of your senses and exists as an idea in your head.

Realism, materialism and so on, are all ideals.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by chaos_mora » May 26th, 2018, 2:16 pm

The best arguments I've heard so far are Descartes' "Cogito, ergo sum" and Berkeley's "Esse est percipi." Descartes showed us that our consciousness is an undeniable fact, which automatically makes it a candidate for something fundamental, since by its nature it contains anything and everything. Berkeley showed that all things perceived in consciousness are perceptions, and are thus immaterial. While counter-intuitive, these two arguments form a near-undeniable portrait of reality, and prove that everything we experience is immaterial. Empirical scientific knowledge, laws of physics, language - all of this is just added degrees to the consciousness itself, phenomena WITHIN consciousness.

Because of this, it's not so hard to grasp the notion that the entire world may be immaterial, which seems to indicate that sensations, ideas, thoughts, and feelings are all ultimately composed of the same "material," that being consciousness or mind. The issue then becomes what kind of idealism is favored. For example, is all of this within the "mind of God"? What about solipsism, which, in spite of being a universally opposed metaphysical doctrine, has no reasonable arguments to refute it (as far as I know)?

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 6th, 2018, 11:19 am

What's happening kiddo!

Yeah Berkeley's argument is the traditional one.

Whether or not you agree with Berkeley, we can all learn from him. There's an important lesson in his idea. His thought experiments are useful exercises in perception and are ontologically curious. They demonstrate to us that everything we know is known to us subjectively through experience.

That is to say, everything that exists, is known to us by experience. Whether it is a mental object or a physical object, both of these domains are within experience

I am a neutral monist or a panpsychist.

It makes more sense for reality to be neither mental nor physical, but some neutral category called experience, which has first-person and third-person aspects. Reality can be described in such a way that that is objective or subjective, but subjects and objects require each other.

As for panpsychism, there is the intuition that mental properties cannot emerge from nonmental properties without radical or spooky emergence and therefore mental properties must be properly basic, irreducible and fundamental. Since subjects and objects are interdependent, it follows that everything must have a mind or mental aspects. Try to imagine nonexistence or the absence of experience, and you may find yourself trying to picture a black darkness, but this is still an experience. In fact, it is a mental experience that has just as much qualia as observing a physical object. There is the strong intuition that mind or consciousness must pervade all the levels of reality, extending downwards as well as upwards, from particles to galaxies, all existing in space and time, all existing in relation to each other, and for consciousness to arise gradually, within this vast space that we call the mind.
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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by CIN » July 17th, 2018, 12:53 pm

The best argument in favour of idealism is that the mind-body problem appears insoluble if the physical world, and therefore the brain, is real, whereas it is solved at a stroke if the physical world is a mere construct from mental experience.

The best argument against idealism is that if the physical world is a mere construct from mental experience, we are left with no explanation for the way our mental experience is configured. Why do we have experiences that appear to be of trees, tables and dogs if there are no real trees, tables and dogs to cause these experiences?

One of these arguments must be crap. Good luck deciding which it is.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by Spectrum » July 20th, 2018, 2:47 am

There various types of idealism.
Basically idealism [as defined] postulate the mind is involved in our cognition of reality.
The main discussion of idealism is the contentious dichotomy of the Realism [philosophical] versus Philosophical Idealism.

There is the Problematic Idealism of Descartes and Dogmatic Idealism of Berkeley which lead to bad taste nihilism or solipsism.

The best argument of Idealism is that of Kant's Transcendental Idealism.

The typical argument against idealism by realists is they accuse idealists of believing reality is only in the mind which the realist think is a stupid view.

According to Kant, the Philosophical Realists [PR] in their very harsh condemnation of idealists, are actual idealists themselves. Definition of Philosophical Realist, i.e.
Wiki wrote:Realism (in philosophy) about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.

Realism can be applied to many philosophically interesting objects and phenomena: other minds, the past or the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the physical world, and thought.

Realism can also be a view about the nature of reality in general, where it claims that the world exists independent of the mind, as opposed to anti-realist views (like some forms of skepticism and solipsism, which deny the existence of a mind-independent world). Philosophers who profess realism often claim that truth consists in a correspondence between cognitive representations and reality.[1]

Now if the PR believe a given object is exist externally independent of mind, it meant that there is a physical GAP between the real independent object the mind that perceives the object.
In this case the external object emit various waves across a GAP to be intercepted by the mind and interpret the object as it is. But this is not the case all the time e.g. a rope perceived as a snake, i.e. illusory.

In the PR's case, the mind do not have access to the 'real' object but only sense data in the mind supposedly emitted by the object.
Since in this case the mind is central and pivotal in knowing what the object and can never ever have access to the real object, the realists are thus actually idealists [as defined].
Because the realist can NEVER EVER know what is the real external object [the thing-in-itself], all they have is to rely on their minds as idealists do.

Kant argued the thing-in-itself that realists believed as real objects are actually illusory and illusion when reified.

Philosophically and fundamentally all Philosophical Realists are actually idealists.

Kant overcame the above problem that encompass reality as it is with his Transcendental Idealism where he accepted the independent external world in one perspective but at the same time this empirical externalness is overriden by the mind at the transcendental level.
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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by RJG » July 20th, 2018, 11:39 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:Idealism is properly primary. Your entire concept of the universe is formed inside your head, ultimately informed by your senses and constructed into a system of ideals. Everything else, including epistemology, ontology, empiricism, realism - are secondary to that fact.
Thomas -- but without the 'realism' of experiencing itself, there could be no experiencing of 'idealism', or of any other experienced object/concept (...including the "entire concept of the universe"). We can't experience objects/concepts if 'experiencing' is not real. We can't see trees, if 'seeing' does not exist.

The experiencing of-X is much more certain/real, and therefore 'primary', than is its object X itself.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 20th, 2018, 2:02 pm

RJG wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 11:39 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:Idealism is properly primary. Your entire concept of the universe is formed inside your head, ultimately informed by your senses and constructed into a system of ideals. Everything else, including epistemology, ontology, empiricism, realism - are secondary to that fact.
Thomas -- but without the 'realism' of experiencing itself, there could be no experiencing of 'idealism', or of any other experienced object/concept (...including the "entire concept of the universe"). We can't experience objects/concepts if 'experiencing' is not real. We can't see trees, if 'seeing' does not exist.

The experiencing of-X is much more certain/real, and therefore 'primary', than is its object X itself.
You do not experience the real. That is only a construct of your ideas.

You fully depend of sensation for evidence of what you think might be real.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by RJG » July 20th, 2018, 4:32 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:You do not experience the real. That is only a construct of your ideas.
Agreed. We do not directly experience 'real', we only experience the sensations responsible for constructing the concept of 'real'.

It is the 'experiencing' itself of these sensations (regardless of its constructions) that is undeniable; hence its "realness".

It is impossible to disclaim the realness of experiencing without further affirming it. In other words, if you deny experiencing exists, then you must also deny your experiencing of denying.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 20th, 2018, 5:18 pm

RJG wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 4:32 pm

It is the 'experiencing' itself of these sensations (regardless of its constructions) that is undeniable; hence its "realness".
That's an idea, of course.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by RJG » July 20th, 2018, 8:24 pm

RJG wrote:It is the 'experiencing' itself of these sensations (regardless of its constructions) that is undeniable; hence its "realness".
ThomasHobbes wrote:That's an idea, of course.
Yes, but isn't this idea (and all ideas) composed of sensations?

In other words, we don't actually experience "ideas", we only just experience a group of sensations that we call an "idea".
Last edited by RJG on July 21st, 2018, 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best arguments for idealism?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » July 21st, 2018, 6:07 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 2:02 pm
RJG wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 11:39 am

Thomas -- but without the 'realism' of experiencing itself, there could be no experiencing of 'idealism', or of any other experienced object/concept (...including the "entire concept of the universe"). We can't experience objects/concepts if 'experiencing' is not real. We can't see trees, if 'seeing' does not exist.

The experiencing of-X is much more certain/real, and therefore 'primary', than is its object X itself.
You do not experience the real. That is only a construct of your ideas.

You fully depend of sensation for evidence of what you think might be real.
I don't think that first sentence makes much sense, it would undermine your position, for example. If you are not experiencing the real, then how could you possibly draw conclusions (about what other people are experiencing, for example.). I am not even sure what it means to say one is not experiencing the real. One's perceptions are part of reality.

I do understand that you are probably focusing on things like 'when we look at a tree we are actually experiencing interpretatins of the brain based on sensory impressions, and what we see is not direct experiencing' etc. subject perception object type stuff.

But experience is real or the word real has no meaning. It just may not be the real we think it is.

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