Chapter

Realism and Idealism: Some Twentieth-century Narratives

Alexander Broadie

in A History of Scottish Philosophy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748616275
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652471 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748616275.003.0011
Realism and Idealism: Some Twentieth-century Narratives

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This chapter clarifies that John Passmore's judgement is correct, but it is suspected that his term ‘predominant’ is too heavy. It addresses Norman Kemp Smith's philosophy on Prolegomena. The idealism that Kemp Smith espouses plainly implies a realist view of nature; the realism that he espouses is of a very different sort from that associated with John Anderson. Anderson's realism left no room for God; he believed there to be only occurrences in space and time. John Laird's presents the main assumption of realism as the proposition that ‘things can be known as they really are’. The chapter finally briefly discusses aspects of the work of Herbert James Paton and then focuses on Charles Arthur Campbell and John Macmurray. God is rarely mentioned by Macmurray, and when he is, it is in highly elusive terms.

Keywords: realism; idealism; John Passmore; Norman Kemp Smith; John Anderson; John Laird; Herbert James Paton; Charles Arthur Campbell; John Macmurray; philosophy

Chapter.  18206 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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