chapter  3
25 Pages

Phenomenalism and idealism I: Descartes and Malebranche

Personal idealism is an important, under-studied part of the history of British philosophy and was important for the development of emergentism, in the work of Conwy Lloyd Morgan and Samuel Alexander, as well as for process philosophy in Whitehead, George Santayana and George Herbert Mead. The first personal idealist examines is James Ward. He was particularly troubled by the relation between science and religion and was very critical of the epistemology of naturalism. Ward's monadism is an objective continuum of individual yet interrelated monads that differentiate and develop both through their own appetitions and their relations with other monads. McTaggart classified himself as a personal idealist against Hegel's failure to emphasize the "individuality of the individual", which, McTaggart argues, is one of the major problems of his cosmology since individuality is properly consequent on his logic. McTaggart's personal idealism presents the Absolute as the organic interdependent community of selves, but the Absolute itself, he argued vehemently, is not personal.