Volume 50, Issue 1, Spring 2020
Experience and the Absolute in the Light of Idealism
The question of whether the true character of reality is monistic or pluralistic spans almost the entire history of metaphysics. Though little discussed in recent decades, it presents problems that are nowadays considered of the utmost importance. Think, for instance, of the ultimate nature of elements such as matter, elemental particles or physical fields. Are they self-sufficient? Do they depend on a higher reality? A major discussion regarding the metaphysical grounds of such questions took place in Britain during the late nineteenth century. It saw Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924) and James Ward (1843–1925) trying to understand the nature of experience. By recalling that specific discussion, this article seeks to show why the monistic character of reality prevails.