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A World for UsThe Case for Phenomenalistic Idealism$
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John Foster

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199297139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297139.001.0001

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The Issue of Objectivity

The Issue of Objectivity

(p.199) 6 The Issue of Objectivity
A World for Us

John Foster

Oxford University Press

Under canonical idealism, the sensory organization, in the framework of certain other factors, constitutively creates the physical world by disposing things to appear systematically worldwise at the human empirical viewpoint. Unlike realism, this gives the world the requisite empirical immanence; it allows it to form a world for us. But it seems that something thus created would be at best a virtual reality, lacking the objectivity needed to qualify as a real world. To overcome this problem, the idealist has to ascribe responsibility for the sensory organization to something external which gives the system of empirical appearance an appropriate objective underpinning, and he must then include the presence and role of this external item in the complex of factors that constitutively create the world. The way to secure the right kind of underpinning is to ascribe responsibility for the sensory organization to the Judaeo-Christian God, whose authorization of the system of appearance would give it an objective normative status. Berkeley's approach, which takes God to control our sensory experiences by direct volition, would be one way of doing this.

Keywords:   sensory organization, empirical appearance, empirical immanence, external, objective underpinning, Berkeley, God, authorization, normative status

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