Peter Van Inwagen's Realism: The Views Of Externality

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In “Externality,” chapter 3 of Metaphysics, Peter Van Inwagen explores the concept of Externality by evaluating the opposing viewpoints of idealism and realism. Idealism denies the existence of any sort of world external to the mind, and argues that all of reality exists within the mind. In “Externality,” Inwagen mostly deals with Berkley’s conception of idealism, but also addresses some arguments outside of Berkley’s to strengthen the case of idealism. Opposed to idealism is realism, which argues that there is an external world. The viewpoint that Inwagen attempts to uphold in contrast to Idealism is what he posits as the Common Western Metaphysic, which is simply the idea that what one perceives and experiences is accurately reflective of…show more content…
For realism what causes sensations is mind-independent matter, and for Berkley’s idealism, what causes sensations is God. If Inwagen were to differ to a more traditional conception of Occom’s Razer—that the preferable theory is that which explains a phenomenon in the comparatively simpler way—then his argument still fails, as both theories still posit a single claim on the cause of sensations. Therefore, neither theory is preferable over its…show more content…
In another sense, our experiences are limited to how our minds interpret whatever it is that causes the sensations we are subject to. For Kant, there are a series of categories that are a priori to human experience. Kant justifies the existence of the noumena by arguing that it is an “intellectual intuition,” which essentially means that Kant believes that while the existence of the noumena cannot be proven by experience, it’s existence is logically supported. The noumena is logically supported because any sort of experienceable attribute is grounded in human cognition, and is not a thing-in-itself, but any experienceable attribute must correspond to a thing-in-itself. Appearances must have some corresponding thing-in-itself that is the cause of them, but cannot be grounded in

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