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All the Power in the World$
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Peter Unger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195155617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195155617.001.0001

A Humanly Realistic Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.36) 2 A Humanly Realistic Philosophy
Source:
All the Power in the World
Author(s):

Peter Unger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195155617.003.0002

We human beings are quite limited, it is painfully plain, in our experiencing, our thinking, and our understanding. Yet, even when mindful of our human limitations, we may perhaps aspire to a humanly intelligible philosophy of the world that is, nonetheless, a fairly substantial philosophy. This chapter provides some quite simple and obvious observations and then attempts to articulate some instructive implications of those observations. The implications may also be features of a humanly realistic philosophy. Each of us has a power to think, and a power to experience. When one's power to think is exercised, or his/her propensity is manifested, then he/she actually does think. Rene Descartes famously held that, at every moment of his existence, he was, and must be, conscious. In addition to having a propensity toward experience, quite certainly manifested in certain conditions, one may also have a real propensity toward unconsciousness. When writing philosophically about himself, David Hume is sometimes so extreme as to claim he cannot really have any idea of himself.

Keywords:   humanly realistic philosophy, experience, thinking, understanding, propensity, David Hume, Rene Descartes, existence, unconsciousness, power

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