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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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Conceptual Idealism Without Ontological Idealism

Conceptual Idealism Without Ontological Idealism

Why Idealism Is True After All

(p.124) 8 Conceptual Idealism Without Ontological Idealism

Thomas Hofweber

Oxford University Press

Idealism in its strong form is the view that our human minds in particular, not just minds in general, are metaphysically central to reality, somehow. This chapter presents an argument for this strong form of idealism. The argument will come largely from the philosophy of language, which might sound dubious. However, it will be shown that such an argument can establish a substantial metaphysical conclusion nonetheless. One key move is to distinguish two versions of idealism tied to two ways of conceiving of reality: the totality of facts vs. the totality of things. Ontological idealism is false: we are not central for reality understood as the totality of things. However, conceptual idealism, a version of idealism concerning the totality of facts, is true. The argument given in this chapter aims to show why and how that can be.

Keywords:   ontological idealism, conceptual idealism, totality of facts, totality of things, philosophy of language, talk about facts, quantification

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