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Nature and UnderstandingThe Metaphysics and Method of Science$
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Nicholas Rescher

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261826.001.0001

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Intimations of Idealism

Intimations of Idealism

(p.114) 6 Intimations of Idealism
Nature and Understanding

Nicholas Rescher

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relevance of idealism in achieving an improved understanding of nature. It argues that it is neither desirable nor necessary to discuss the opposition between idealism and realism because of the fact that the real things in the world are cognitively inexhaustible. It suggests that realism and idealism can be combined in order to produce a doctrine with a more plausible relevance to the understanding of nature, and the metaphysical realism is fully compatible with conceptual idealism. However, ontological idealism is unacceptable because man is not necessarily the measure of the real.

Keywords:   idealism, understanding of nature, realism, metaphysical realism, conceptual idealism, ontological idealism

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