By Lee Braver
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Additional info for A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism
Is to know something which is . . truly and really not a part of my experience” (G. E. Moore 1965, 27; see also 19). Here he seems to follow Aristotle, for whom “sensation is surely not the sensation of itself, but there is something beyond the sensation, which must be 26 A THING OF THIS WORLD prior” (Aristotle, Metaphysics 1010b 35–38). The very nature of awareness seems to entail the R1 Mind-Independence of its object for Moore: “Awareness is and must be in all cases of such a nature that its object, when we are aware of it, is precisely what it would be, if we were not aware” (G.
In an inﬂuential move, Dummett proposes to approach the metaphysical problem of realism via semantic issues. In a Wittgensteinian manner, he claims that the metaphysical debate about the mind-independence or -dependence of reality only presents us “with alternative pictures. The need to choose between these pictures seems very compelling; but the non-pictorial content of the pictures is unclear” (Dummett 1991, 10). In other words, posing the question in metaphysical terms just muddies the waters and gives us no way to come to a decision on the matter.
Moore also attacks idealism, deﬁning it (making no effort to distinguish British, Kantian, or German varieties or to show why they should be run together) as the identiﬁcation of an entity with the experience of it (that is, esse with its percipi ), whereas his entire “analysis of sensation has been designed to show . . that whenever I have a mere sensation or idea, the fact is that I am then aware of something which is equally and in the same sense not an inseparable aspect of my awareness. .