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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Historical Idealism

"Historical idealism is thus opposed in principle to what we may call atomic realism. When the latter view is consistent with itself, it is forced to the conclusion that all relations are external, and that all significance and meaning are secondary and derivative, imposed upon the universe by subjective mind. For it is obvious that if the objective world is simply an aggregation of existences, in themselves devoid of meaning, the value and significance that is popularly ascribed to things when experienced really cannot belong to the things themselves, but must be taken as indicating the way in which they affect the mind through their influence upon the bodily organism.

"In opposition, then, to types of thought which may be denominated 'realistic,' and which seek to exhibit the construction of the concrete world from certain hypothetical elements, speculative idealism may be said to be characterized by the conscious effort to understand things as they are: to see together things and their relations, reality in its concrete significance, without feeling the need of going behind this insight to explain, as it were, how reality is made." -- J.E. Creighton, "Two Types of Idealism," The Philosophical Review, Vol. 26, No. 5 (Sep., 1917), pp. 514-536.

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