In this article, we look at Hegel, Berkeley, and Schelling’s defense of philosophy realism versus idealism. While each philosopher had their own reasons for rejecting the other, they all had their own distinctive points of view. This means that the arguments presented in this article are not intended to be exhaustive or definitive. They are merely intended to present some of the main points of each philosopher’s position.
Hegel’s defense of philosophy realism vs idealism
In Hegel’s 1817 Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences, he sought to prefigure the development of natural science. But science did not progress through the writing of ever more perfect encyclopedias, but rather through focusing on narrowly defined problems. While this narrow view of the universe was not complete and was still in the process of development, it did allow for separate strands of science to gradually come into contact and viable overall scientific views to emerge.
Hegel’s philosophy was not without its critics. The Enlightenment’s confidence in reason has been criticized, and idealism implies a failure to deal with non-rational reality. But Hegel’s defense of philosophy realism vs idealism is still worth examining, in part, because it is the most accessible explanation of human existence. Hegel is an idealist, but he is far from the only philosopher who embraced it.
Hegel defended the ideal of the state as the best guarantee for human freedom. He considered the guillotine and industrialisation to be destructive methods of revolution, but considered social change less violent. He also supported the right of slaves to throw their masters. He saw the perfection of the state as guaranteeing freedom and opposing destructive revolutionary methods. This explains the rift between the two ideas.
Hegel’s philosophy of logic also calls for an inferentialist interpretation of the distinction between predicate and subject. By analyzing the nature of judgment, he asserts that the predicate and subject are separate but united. This distinction allows for two ways to understand the relationship between the two. In addition to the etymological analysis of judgment, it fits with Hegel’s idealism of the unity of parts.
The logical side of Hegel’s philosophy was mostly forgotten in the twentieth century. His political and social philosophy and his theological ideas continue to receive interest today. Hegel’s systematic thought has come to a revival since the 1970s. The logical side of Hegel’s philosophy has a long way to go. Hegel’s logical approach has been widely accepted, but we should not dismiss his more mystical views entirely.
The post-Kantian interpretation of Hegel’s philosophy is not as traditional as the former. This approach is more lenient in addressing Kant’s criticism of metaphysics, while post-Kantian interpretations of the philosophy have argued that Hegel does not reject it altogether. In their view, both Hegel and Kant are critical of each other. Hegel’s philosophy of philosophy is not merely an insufficiently metaphysical one. Hegel’s philosophy should not be treated as a complete answer to the question of the nature of reality.
The early modern era had profoundly impacted the idea of god and the soul. Non-realism about these concepts could have major consequences. The idea of god was also deeply rooted in the philosophical tradition. If a god does exist, it must be real, not imaginary. However, non-realism about god would lead to profound consequences for society. The question of the emergence of soul and the universe is thus fundamental.
Berkeley’s defense of philosophy realism vs idealism
Berkeley’s philosophical view is often described as an argument for immaterialism, or the denial of matter. He argued that things only exist when they are perceived, and that the world is essentially a collection of minds merged into a single, infinite entity. Berkeley’s arguments are closely related to one another. Here, he explains why idealism is superior to realism.
As an example, Berkeley claims that “sensible things” have existence. But what exactly constitutes a “sense” object? For Berkeley, such an object must be an idea, or a “thing” that is not known. He uses this doctrine to explain the source of error in the traditional conception of the universe. But even Berkeley acknowledges that his position is far from universal.
Berkeley’s defense of philosophy realism and idealism takes the form of a sustained attack on the materialist alternative. In his Principles, he argues that his materialist opponents are just as “in the same boat” as his scholastic predecessors. While he could have persuaded a very few of his contemporaries with this argument, Berkeley’s philosophical system is superior to most competitors.
In his exposition of the idealism vs idealism debate, Robinson argues that Berkeley’s arguments for idealism are not a mistake. His critique of Representationalism shows that he merely re-defined Berkeley’s idealism and tried to “freshen up” the term. Nevertheless, Robinson’s re-interpretation of Berkeley’s idealism is an excellent example of how the idealism tradition can be defended and supported.
In the midst of this debate, Berkeley has long lamented the lack of clarity in philosophical discussions. Attempting to define the principles that draw philosophy away from intuition and common sense, Berkeley argues that the physical world exists independently of the mind. However, the problem with Berkeley’s arguments lies in its reliance on the theory of abstract ideas. Although Berkeley is an outstanding philosopher, this book is not a must-read for a Berkeley scholar.
The book has also been dismissed by most philosophers, especially the early moderns and contemporary philosophers. This is because Berkeley does not give any criteria for the distinction between an idea that was derived from memory or imagination and an idea that is only a product of sense. In addition, the argument is not particularly compelling. Therefore, it is important to understand Berkeley’s philosophy before making a final decision.
Realism is the view that the relation between a thought and an object is external. The anti-realists, on the other hand, argue that thought is always present in full accounts of things. As a result, Berkeley’s “Master Argument” attempts to make an elementary point. Berkeley’s theory posits that “the content of a thought is always a reference to something else that was thought about”.
Schelling’s defense of philosophy realism vs idealism
The first part of Schelling’s defense of philosophy relism versus idealism is a brief introduction to the subject. In this short essay, Schelling makes the case for a non-Spinozian pantheism. He asserts that everything has a ground – a god – but that the ground is not god. This is a highly theological argument, but Schelling is careful to explain how he can still be an atheist and a pantheist at the same time.
Schelling’s philosophical work has often been criticized as unmethodical and obscurantist. Critics have argued that he was not methodical enough to defend the philosophy of his day and that he was promoting negative philosophy against idealism. However, it’s important to note that his Berlin lectures date to 1804. Schelling borrowed material from other systems – Spinoza, Jakob Boehme, and many of the great Greek thinkers. Schelling then synthesized these material into a coherent philosophical effort.
In addition to writing about philosophy, Schelling was also interested in Brunonian medicine, a theory developed by John Brown. While he studied in Bamberg, he also taught at Wurzburg University. During this time, his general thought underwent a great deal of flux. Hegel and Fichte, who had rejected Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, attacked it for its “silly” analogizing and lack of empirical orientation.
In the early 1970s, Schelling’s philosophy of nature was relevant to environmental issues. His aim was to integrate nature and the intellectual into a single system, thus restoring nature as a central theme in philosophy. Since then, his influence on the artistic world has also been studied. He is a major influence on the work of Philipp Otto Runge and Gerhard Richter, and his relationship to German art is particularly fascinating.
Schelling’s mid-period writings have always fascinated me. They are a break from the idealism and tradition that dominated his earlier work. The freedom-based texts, like Freiheitsschrift, are free of reactionary lectures and are focused on an mystical-metaphysical story about the origins of the world. As such, they are unsatisfactory, in my opinion.
This realism-versus-idealist argument relies on the notion of freedom. Rather than identifying evil as an unnatural state, Schelling sees it as a possibility that is independent of the nature of the universe. It does not need a god to exist. It also requires a living definition of freedom and its possibility. And that’s just as important as Schelling’s definition of freedom.
Later in his career, Schelling was a major contributor to the periodical Memorabilien. His dissertation was entitled De Marcione Paullinarum epistolarum emendatore. Fichte himself acknowledged Schelling’s work, and his name became legendary among philosophers. So, how does Schelling’s defense of philosophy realism vs idealism differ from Fichte’s?