A Defence of Idealism: Some Questions and Conclusions

A Defence of Idealism: Some Questions and Conclusions

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A Defence of Idealism: Some Questions and Conclusions

A Defence of Idealism: Some Questions and Conclusions

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is a certain embarrassment in coming forward with an Apology for Idealistic Monism at the present moment. You cannot be quite sure whether you are putting in an appearance too late or much too early.

It does look like personal misfortune or perversity that, when there are lots of other philosophies to choose from, you should happen to hit on the one that has just had a tremendous innings and is now in process of being bowled out. As long ago as the early 'nineties Idealism was supposed to be dead and haunting Oxford. I know that the New Realists have said that it is now a fashionable philosophy. But either they do not really mean it, or they mean that only philosophies in their last decrepitude become fashionable at all. They mean that nineteenth century Monism is a pseudo-philosophy of the past, and that twentieth century Pluralism is the living philosophy of the future.

It is possible to agree with this view without accepting the programme of the pluralists. I think it may be said that certain vulnerable forms of Idealism are things of the past; and that the new atomistic Realism is a thing of the future; at any rate of the immediate future. But we know of Old Realisms that died and decayed, and were buried, and of New Idealisms that died and rose again. In India the Sankya philosophy of the Many fought the VeDânta philosophy of the One. It can hardly be said to have driven its opponent from the field. Pragmatic Humanism and Vitalism are going from us in the flower, you may say, of their youth. And they were robust philosophies. M. Bergson even made Philosophy the vogue in Mayfair . . .

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