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« David Papineau on Scientific Realism | Main | Sebastian Gardner on Jean-Paul Sartre on Bad Faith »

February 06, 2009


Manuel Batsching

The comment I wrote became a bit too long to be accepted by typepad. So I decided to post the comment on my own blog instead. If you don't mind please take a look at:

keith ward

The comment on Indian philosophy is well-informed and correct! One can find almost anything in the rich field of Indian philosophy. I concentrated on Vedanta, one of the six classical or orthodox schools, as the one which is most akin to Hegelian Idealism. Though that school contains many variants (my own favourite being the VisistAdvaita of Ramanuja), I think that what I said is true of all of them - but not of all other Indian traditions, obviously. I thank the commentator for a clarifying and illuminating contribution!

Jim Vaughan

I really enjoyed this interview! Henceforth I will be coming out of the “idealism” closet unashamed. Begone the pretence of being a property dualist, or an emergentist physicalist!

Professor Ward’s scholarship came across powerfully, while he also managed to avoid getting bogged down in the complexities of Indian Philosophy (though it was hinted at). For me, there are convincing ontological arguments for a Unity behind apparent diversity. However, the best arguments are pragmatic. The methodological materialism of science has brought enormous benefit, but ultimately under our current reductive, materialist and individualist paradigms, conflict over finite natural resources is unavoidable. Only an ethic based on a paradigm of unity and holism can bring us peace and an accurate (non-reductive) grasp of reality.

I am relieved to find in Keith Ward a convincing response to the arguments put forth by Richard Dawkins.

Philip Good

Very interesting podcast but I don't see idealism, in any form, returning to mainstream Anglo-American philosophy. It's just too tied up with science for this to happen. Despite what Ward says, most science is founded upon a firm belief in naturalism. Sure there are parts of quantum physics that can be interpreted in an idealist way but a lot will have to change before this becomes a standard interpretation.

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