A World for Us: The Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism

Hardcover | April 24, 2008

byJohn Foster

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A World for Us aims to refute physical realism and establish in its place a form of idealism. Physical realism, in the sense in which John Foster understands it, takes the physical world to be something whose existence is both logically independent of the human mind and metaphysicallyfundamental. Foster identifies a number of problems for this realist view, but his main objection is that it does not accord the world the requisite empirical immanence. The form of idealism that he tries to establish in its place rejects the realist view in both its aspects. It takes the world tobe something whose existence is ultimately constituted by facts about human sensory experience, or by some richer complex of non-physical facts in which such experiential facts centrally feature. Foster calls this phenomenalistic idealism. He tries to establish a specific version of suchphenomenalistic idealism, in which the experiential facts that centrally feature in the constitutive creation of the world are ones that concern the organization of human sensory experience. The basic idea of this version is that, in the context of certain other constitutively relevant factors, thissensory organization creates the physical world by disposing things to appear systematically world-wise at the human empirical viewpoint. Chief among these other relevant factors is the role of God as the one who is responsible for the sensory organization and ordains the system of appearance ityields. It is this that gives the idealistically created world its objectivity and allows it to qualify as a real world.

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A World for Us aims to refute physical realism and establish in its place a form of idealism. Physical realism, in the sense in which John Foster understands it, takes the physical world to be something whose existence is both logically independent of the human mind and metaphysicallyfundamental. Foster identifies a number of problems...

John Foster was tutorial Fellow of Brasenose College 1966-2005 and has since then been an Emeritus Fellow. His research interests have been in the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, mind, and language. He is the author of iThe Case for Idealism/i (1982), iAyer/i (1985), iThe Immaterial Self/i (1991), iThe Nature of Perception/i (200...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.87 inPublished:April 24, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297134

ISBN - 13:9780199297139

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Table of Contents

1. The Problem of Perception2. The Inscrutability of Intrinsic Content3. Realism and Phenomenalistic Idealism4. The Refutation of Realism5. The Challenge of Nihilism6. The Issue of ObjectivityReferences