Chapter

The Idea of Physical Reality

Barry Stroud

in The Quest for Reality

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151886
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867189 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195151887.003.0003
 The Idea of Physical Reality

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Argues that an absolute conception of reality, starting from a minimal, absolute framework, is needed in order to investigate whether colour belongs to it or is due to human subjectivity. Examines ideas about the physical world, from Descartes's dualism to the question of what physical facts are in science, and assesses the translational reductionism of 1940s positivistic physicalists, who tried to reduce subjective reality to observable scientific phenomena. Argues against Berkeley's support of the objective existence of colour by stating that things in an independent, physical world have only the properties of physical truths, and therefore no colour. Concludes that physical truths do not consider colour, and therefore the question remains of how to conclude that objects have no colour.

Keywords: Absolute conception of reality; Berkeley; Colour; Descartes; Dualism; Physical facts; Reality; Science; Subjectivity; Translational reductionism

Chapter.  11980 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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