Does quantum mechanics beckon the end of naturalism? (The Return of Idealism)

Naturalism, the idea that there are no gods, is the leading theory of our time. However, in this instalment of our The Return of Idealism series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), Bruce Gordon argues that quantum mechanics not only beckons the end of naturalism, but also points towards the existence of a transcendent mind. Essentia Foundation’s position is, nonetheless, that idealism is entirely compatible with naturalism.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/does-quantum-mechanics-beckon-the-end-of-naturalism/reading/
Wittgenstein on the practical significance of the physicalism vs idealism debate (The Return of Idealism)

Physical realists and idealists argue about whether physical objects exist, whether they have standalone reality, or are just part of a world of ideas. But can they, at root, help us solve some other important philosophical questions? In this instalment of our ‘The Return of Idealism’ series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), Prof. David R. Cerbone argues that Wittgenstein can help us return to more practical questions. Wittgenstein’s position is, indeed, that the metaphysical debate between physical realists and idealists is of little practical significance. We at Essentia Foundation strongly disagree with this: we believe that different metaphysical views have profound significance for how we experience the meaning of life, our relationship with the world, expectations about death, and have direct bearing on even very practical considerations such as how to further develop medicine and exploit phenomena such as neuroplasticity and the placebo effect. Nonetheless, we believe Wittgentein’s thoughts are worth considering, if only to make clear the degree to which they miss the point. This essay was first published by the IAI on 29 February 2024.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/wittgenstein-on-the-practical-significance-of-the-physicalism-vs-idealism-debate-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
Bertrand Russell’s failure to refute Idealism (The Return of Idealism)

While history suggests that the founder of analytical philosophy, Bertrand Russell, won the fight against the idealists led by F.H. Bradley, Yale philosopher Prof. Michael Della Rocca argues that Russell failed to even address Bradley’s central argument. Ignoring Bradley’s timeless message puts in serious jeopardy not only our basic understanding of ethics, but also the ultimate nature of reality itself.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/bertrand-russells-failure-to-refute-idealism-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
Thoughts are more real than objects (The Return of Idealism)

Idealism is often regarded as a philosophy entailing that the world exists just in our heads, which is obviously false. Rising philosophical star Dr. Jeremy Dunham argues that this view of idealism is a misconception. Idealism is a much more realist worldview than we think, and more realist than its alternatives, as it does not deny the existence of the most real things there are: thoughts.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/thoughts-are-more-real-than-objects/reading/
A subjective world can still be real (The Return of Idealism)

Philosophers since Descartes have questioned whether our experience reflects a reality outside of our minds. In this essay, Prof. Franks argues that the basic insight of Kant’s approach—perspectivism—harmonizes better with our ordinary experience of the world, and with Einstein’s relativistic physics, than Berkeley’s immaterialist view.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/a-subjective-world-can-still-be-real/reading/
Beyond scientism: Re-humanizing the mind (The Return of Idealism)

Non-reductionism, the idea that mental states are not reducible to physical states, is the new orthodoxy in analytic philosophy of mind. However, in this instalment of our idealism series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas, Dr. Giuseppina D’Oro argues that analytic philosophy’s conception of psychology as a natural science is beholden to the dubious ideology of scientism, therefore not acknowledging the autonomy of the mental.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/beyond-scientism-re-humanizing-the-mind-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
Understanding collective self-consciousness in Hegelian pragmatism (The Return of Idealism)

Hegel is usually thought of as defending an obscure metaphysics that claims reality is the manifestation of a collective mind, or Geist. But, as Prof. Terry Pinkard argues, Hegel has a lot in common with the more ‘down-to-earth’ movement of pragmatism.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/understanding-collective-self-consciousness-in-hegelian-pragmatism-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
The birth of Idealism in the West (The Return of Idealism)

Parmenides’s cryptic claim that thought and being are the same has echoed throughout Western philosophy. Prof. Tom Rockmore argues that in making this claim, Parmenides set the foundations for the struggle between idealism and realism, and suggests that unlike many interpretations, Parmenidean idealism ultimately supports the view that we cannot know a mind-independent reality.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/the-birth-of-idealism-in-the-west-the-return-of-idealism/reading/