Idealism and the Missing Explanation Argument

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lonedriver
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Idealists believe that we know objects through the way we perceive them, that they are mind-dependent. However, realists, who believe objects are mind-independent, proposed the missing explanation argument in order to disprove idealism. This theory supposes that everything is dependent on the mind; if this is true, then nothing in idealism can explain the regularities in our experiences. Although idealists and realists both provide good reasoning, neither argument by itself completely explains the perception of objects. We need to apply both views. Internalists have made many attempts to answer the consistencies of experiences. One of their answers is that in order to believe that something exists, we must first know it. Therefore, it becomes an internal object which is conditioned by consciousness, and since anything conditioned by consciousness is mind-dependent, the object can only exist if there is a mind-dependent internal object. While this proof seems logical, it is very complicated; in order to fully answer the question, some aspects of realism are required. Immanuel Kant seems to do this despite his rejection of realism. Although Kant is considered an idealist, he uses the senses to explain “noumena,” which defines external objects that are unconditioned by our thinking of them. He begins by making a distinction between these “things-in-themselves” and internal objects, but completely avoids elaborating on actual objects by stating that we can only access things that are conditioned by our modes of knowledge. Ultimately, he goes on to say that external objects exist, since they are perceivable. This idea, however, seems to be essentially realist. It is because Kant used both idealist and realist point of views, that he was able to provide such profound arguments. It is true that internalists have no way of directly answering the missing explanation…...

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