Bounced from James Stewart

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Sep 4 11:10:53 MDT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Xxxzx Xyyxyz <musides at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 1999 6:44 AM
Subject: Idealism (check definition)

I know you all have moved on to other matters, but I've just been catching
up on some things. . . .

> Idealism
> Idealism is the philosophical tradition that fundamentally believes
> that some non-real force (eg. thoughts, feelings), that exists beyond
> our knowledge (beyond our ability to prove rationally), is the basis
> for all things: matter is built upon the reality of the ideal world.

This seems to me to be overly reliant on some sort of Platonic formalism,
i.e. the experiential world exists in dependency on an ideal or formal one.
I would have thought that the tradition of idealism was more relevantly
described with reference to reliance on normative notions, i.e. notions of
how things should be, without introducing anything existing beyond
knowledge.  Indeed, ideals are, at least in principal, held in the minds of
the idealist regardless of whethter or not they have any existence

This is really to locate ideals in the complex of culture and psychology,
rather than in metaphysics.  Idealism is the reification of personal
preconceptions and cultural norms.  It is interewsting to speculate whether
those two canbe distinguished.

Louis Proyect

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