Gilson on Idealism

Gilson on Idealism - Gilson on Idealism & Realism I....

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I. Idealist philosophy from Descartes to the logical positivists A. Descartes: idealist in method, realist in intention. Tried to build a bridge from thought to reality. Implicitly made knowing (thinking) the condition of being. B. Malebranche. Discovered that transitive causality (from one substance to another) within the created order made no sense, from an idealist perspective. Adopted occasionalism: God causes everything, secondary "causes" are only occasions for Divine activity. (MR, 89) B. Berkeley. Denies the existence of matter. Everything physical is a system of ideas in God's mind. Finite spirits do exist, and do exercise real causation (in the exercise of their will). C. Hume extended Malebranche's occasionalism to God, undermining any causal argument for God's existence. Causation is nothing more than the regular succession of ideas in space & time. No room for "metaphysical" causes -- not even within the mind. The "will" consists merely in the
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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