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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Idealism Without God

Idealism Without God

(p.66) 5 Idealism Without God

Helen Yetter-Chappell

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops a novel non-theistic (quasi-)Berkeleyan idealism. The strategy is to peel away the attributes of God that aren’t essential for the role he plays in idealist metaphysics. Neither God’s desires, intentions, beliefs, nor his status as an agent is relevant to the metaphysical work he does in sustaining a robust reality. When we peel away these things, we’re left with a view on which reality is a vast unity of consciousness, weaving together sensory experiences into the familiar world around us. The chapter argues that if reality is fundamentally phenomenal in this way, we can give a unique account of perception that robustly captures direct realist intuitions of reality forming the ‘constituents’ of our experiences. The chapter assesses the unique virtues and challenges such a view faces, paying particular attention to the question of whether idealism entails a profligacy of physical laws.

Keywords:   idealism, unity of consciousness, Berkeley, non-theistic, physical laws, perception, direct realism

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