Glossary


7-4
IDEALISM (Aries)
[11] Dualism makes the mistake of transferring the antithesis of object and subject, which has meaning only within the perceptual realm, to purely notional entities outside this realm. But since the separate things within the perceptual field remain separated only so long as the perceiver refrains from thinking (which cancels all separation and shows it to be due to purely subjective factors), the dualist is therefore transferring to entities behind the perceptible realm determining factors which even for this realm have no absolute validity, but only relative. He thus splits up the two factors concerned in the cognitive process, namely percept and concept, into four: (1) the object in itself; (2) the precept which the subject has of the object; (3) the subject; (4) the concept which relates the precept to the object in itself. The relation between subject and object is a real one; the subject is really (dynamically) influenced by the object. This real process is said not to appear in consciousness. But it is supposed to evoke in the subject a response to the stimulation from the object. The result of this response is said to be the percept. Only at this stage does it enter our consciousness. The object is said to have an objective (independent of the subject) reality, the percept a subjective reality. This subjective reality is referred by the subject to the object. This reference is called an ideal one. With this the dualist therefore splits up the cognitive process into two parts. The one part, namely, the production of the perceptual object out of the thing-in-itself, he conceives of as taking place outside consciousness, whereas the other, the combination of percept with concept and the reference of the concept to the object, takes place, according to him, within consciousness. With these presuppositions, it is clear why the dualist believes his concepts to be merely subjective representatives of what is there prior to his consciousness. The objectively real process in the subject by means of which the percept comes about, and still more the objective relations between things-in-themselves, remain for such a dualist inaccessible to direct knowledge; according to him, man can obtain only conceptual representatives of the objectively real. The bond of unity which connects things with one another and also objectively with the individual mind of each of us (as thing-in-itself) lies beyond our consciousness in a being-in-itself of whom, once more, we can have in our consciousness merely a conceptual representative.