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A History of Scottish Philosophy$
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Alexander Broadie

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748616275

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748616275.001.0001

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Realism and Idealism: Some Twentieth-century Narratives

Realism and Idealism: Some Twentieth-century Narratives

(p.324) Chapter 11 Realism and Idealism: Some Twentieth-century Narratives
A History of Scottish Philosophy

Alexander Broadie

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter clarifies that John Passmore's judgement is correct, but it is suspected that his term ‘predominant’ is too heavy. It addresses Norman Kemp Smith's philosophy on Prolegomena. The idealism that Kemp Smith espouses plainly implies a realist view of nature; the realism that he espouses is of a very different sort from that associated with John Anderson. Anderson's realism left no room for God; he believed there to be only occurrences in space and time. John Laird's presents the main assumption of realism as the proposition that ‘things can be known as they really are’. The chapter finally briefly discusses aspects of the work of Herbert James Paton and then focuses on Charles Arthur Campbell and John Macmurray. God is rarely mentioned by Macmurray, and when he is, it is in highly elusive terms.

Keywords:   realism, idealism, John Passmore, Norman Kemp Smith, John Anderson, John Laird, Herbert James Paton, Charles Arthur Campbell, John Macmurray, philosophy

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