Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Cardinal/Hayward/Jones, Stephen Houlgate and Alvin I. Goldman

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3 ideas

11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
The phenomenalist says that to be is to be perceivable [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: Where the idealist says that to be (i.e. to exist) is to be perceived, the phenomenalist says that to be is to be perceivable.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: This is a nice phenomenalist slogan to add to Mill's well known one (Idea 3583). Expressed in this form, it looks false to me. What about neutrinoes? They weren't at all perceivable until recently. Maybe some physical stuff can never be perceived.
Linguistic phenomenalism says we can eliminate talk of physical objects [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: Linguistic phenomenalism argues that it is possible to remove all talk of physical objects from our speech with no loss of meaning.
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: I find this proposal unappealing. My basic objection is that I cannot understand why anyone would refuse to even contemplate the question of WHY I am having a given group of consistent experiences, of (say) a table kind.
If we lack enough sense-data, are we to say that parts of reality are 'indeterminate'? [Cardinal/Hayward/Jones]
     Full Idea: The problem with taking sense-data as basic is that some data can appear indeterminate. If we can't discern the colour of someone's eyes, or the number of sides of a complex figure, are we to say that there is no fact about those things?
     From: Cardinal/Hayward/Jones (Epistemology [2004], Ch.4)
     A reaction: I like that. How many electrons are there in the sun? Such things cannot just be reduced to talk of sense-data, as there is obviously a vast gap between the data and the facts. As usual, ontology and epistemology must be kept separate.