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Idealism And The Missing Explanation Argument

644 words - 3 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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 argument, but their point of view is still valid in some cases. If objects were truly mind-independent, as a realist would argue, then how can one explain different perceptions? For example, three people look at the same object – a red car. However, one of them is colorblind. The colorblind person sees the object as a black car while the others see it as a red car. Now, the fact that the two non-colorblind people see the car as red supports the realist notion that objects are not dependent on the mind; they are both able to see the car as red because the color red is part of the nature of the object, in this case, the car. But what explains why the colorblind person sees a black car? If the color red is part of the intrinsic nature of that car, then shouldn’t everyone see a red car? Most people might respond to this by stating that the colorblind person is an anomaly, that he is not part of the majority. Even so, there is no way for us to know what the nature of the object truly is; just because the majority of the people believe something, does not make it the truth. For example, hundreds of years ago, everybody but a small handful of people thought that the earth was flat. Those who believed it was round were persecuted, even though they were right. The truth cannot be seen by realism on its own; in order to account for different perceptions, a mix of both idealism and realism is needed.
Taking the above into account, neither the idealists nor the realists alone are able to give a direct answer to the different views given from the issue between colorblind and non-colorblind people. This is easily answered, however, by a combination of idealism and realism, which is similar to Kant’s argument; the object exists and does in fact have intrinsic properties which allow the regularities in experience, but people can also perceive things differently in their own minds.

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