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p. 614. Reality and appearance: more adventures in metaphysicslocked

  • Catherine Osborne


‘Reality and appearance: more adventures in metaphysics’ explores the Presocratic philosophers who, like Zeno, suggested that reality and appearance can be prised apart and that the nature of reality may not be entirely obvious. Xenophanes of Colophon, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Democritus are examined. These thinkers have been feeling their way first to the primitive idea that what we find out with our senses may be unreliable, and then to the idea that it will always need to be tested against reason and theory. Beyond this lies the more ambitious claim, that observation might be systematically misleading, and indeed that the entire material world might be flawed and unreliable.

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