By Lee Braver
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Additional info for A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism
For some years I was a disciple of Mr. Bradley, but about 1898 I changed my views, largely as a result of arguments with 24 A THING OF THIS WORLD G. E. Moore. I could no longer believe that knowing makes any difference to what is known. (Ayer 1959, 32) Russell simply could not swallow the notion that the mind is not R5 Passive but affects what is known—the very centerpiece of Kant’s Copernican Revolution, as we will see in the next chapter. , that many properties and relations possessed by an object are contingent and can be changed without fundamentally altering the underlying entity; see Russell 1959a, 54–55), he and Moore were primarily focused on “the rejection of the whole Kantian apparatus of a priori intuitions and categories, moulding experience” (Russell 1959b, 11– 12; see also 38, 54, 172).
20 R5 Passive Knower I want to add a ﬁfth component to this deﬁnition of realism, one that is central to Kant’s account and has remained important to continental thinkers, as well as playing at least a tacit role in analytic discussions. In order to be a realist who thinks there is any chance to attain correspondence truth about the world,21 there must be a way for the mind to reach reality as it is. As we will see in the next chapter, Kant’s anti-realism begins from his rejection of any such access, since all contact with the world bears the imprint of mental activity.
4 In other words, objects are, in Nicholas Rescher’s terms, “thought-invariant or thought indifferent” (Rescher 2000, 102). R2 Correspondence The second component (in my ordering) is epistemological. It deﬁnes truth as the correspondence between (to cast my net widely—the differences don’t concern me at this point) thoughts, ideas, beliefs, words, propositions, sentences, or languages on the one hand, and things, objects, states of affairs, conﬁgurations, reality, or experience on the other; that is, between something on the side of the mind or language and something on the side of the world.