There is a particular strategy of argument generally employed by idealists in their arguments against materialism/physicalism/scientific realism and/or substance dualism. The strategy originates primarily with Berkeley. Some of the Parmenides fragments sound similar, but, absent context, it is not possible to determine exactly what he intended. Hume and Kant developed their metaphysical systems largely in response to it, and it is similar to the arguments of the so-called "modern Idealists" which Moore set out to refute. Finally, the strategy is, in recent literature, explicitly adopted in John Foster's The Case for Idealism, which I am currently reading. The strategy goes like this (note that I am not giving an argument, but an outline of an argumentative strategy):
There have been a variety of takes on this strategy, but the strategy itself remains fairly constant, and is certainly held in common between Berkeley and Foster.
Though I find a lot of Foster's arguments problematic, his part 2, "the topic-neutrality thesis," is, I think, an excellent example of steps 1 and 2.Posted by Kenny at February 2, 2008 12:07 PM
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