Contemporary Idealism as a Realism

Contemporary Idealism as a Realism

“The concrete universal, or the whole determined by the particulars it generates and that differentiate it in turn, is the Idea exactly as Platonism conceived it: as the cause of the approximations of becomings to particular forms, and as the “setting into order of this universe” from disorder (ataxia), as organization. When idealism is therefore presented as realism concerning the Idea, this means: first, that the Idea is causal in terms of organization; second, that this is an organization that is not formal or abstract in the separable sense, but rather concretely relates part to whole as the whole; and third, therefore that such an idealism is a one-world idealism that must, accordingly, take nature seriously.”

– Idealism: The History of a Philosophy Iain Hamilton Grant, Sean Watson, and Jeremy Dunham

As I’ve studied “dialectical materialism” in our contemporaries with Badiou’s return to Plato, and Zizek’s return to Hegel-Lacan etc., with their central critique of what Badiou terms “democratic materialism” (i.e, the whole naturalist and empirical heritage under Capitalist regimes). It is as if something is emerging-merging in both camps toward if not a new philosophical orientation then at least a strange new war on certain old misinterpretations of our past views on Idealism-Materialism. Against the old two-world view of Platonic traditions arises in our time a one-world view that incorporates Ideas as part of reality rather than as existing outside it in some heaven of abstraction. Ergo the Hegelian “concrete universal” etc. We await some young new philosopher who will give birth to this new paradigm and synthesize the mass of data and thought underlying all these various strands. I sometimes wish I were twenty again rather than almost seventy… oh what fun the young philosopher-scientist-mathematicians living now are having.

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