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I mean idealism, in that all is mind, as opposed to physicalism. I imagine that they would be more in the continental tradition than the anglo-american analytic tradition.

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BTW, I think you need a better map of the lay of the land. Idealism is generally opposed to realism, as in Kant vs. Aristotle. –  danielm Jan 16 '13 at 23:21
    
@Danielm: Well this is why I'm asking. As far as I understand Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Kant are idealists. But they're long gone, but their influence I imagine lives on. But there is Idealism in Indian Philosophy. I would prefer to read something more contemporary, but of course I realise that this debate takes place in a tradition. –  Mozibur Ullah Jan 19 '13 at 4:00
    
I don't understand exactly. Historical knowledge of philosophy is indispensable. Perhaps you're looking for recent secondary treatments of these philosophers? Idealism, however, is rampant today among philosophers, whether it is overt or some halfway house in between, because much of contemporary philosophy draws from idealism. –  danielm Jan 19 '13 at 12:02
    
Well, there's me... –  Chris Sunami Jan 15 at 2:47
    
Why so bookish question? Man, Who cares about traditions? You care? Or the body of tradition cares about itself?. We already discussed that physicalism is a school level exercise in the world of thoughts. Didn't we? There is no physicalism, there is undeveloped idealism. And it deserves to be there because ironically it is the very valuable attempt by sleepwalkers of physicalism to THINK. –  Asphir Dom Jun 10 at 23:58
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5 Answers 5

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Freya Mathews (yes, spelled with one t) has been advocating a rather idealistic position as a "cosmological" version of panpsychism, but gaining little notice, certainly outside the limited panpsychic circle. Her most direct statement, I think, is ...

Panpsychism as Paradigm, in Michael Blamauer (ed), The Mental as Fundamental, Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt Heusenstamm, 2011. (http://www.freyamathews.net/downloads/PanpsychismParadigm.pdf)

Here is the introductory clip...

The gist of the argument is that a holistic or cosmological version of panpsychism, according to which the universe as a whole is the ultimate locus of mind, or of mind-like properties, can function as a rival to materialism, materialism being understood as the view which denies that mind, or any mind-like property, inheres in an essential way in matter or in other fundamental elements of physical reality. Moreover, I shall suggest that, in relation to materialism, cosmological panpsychism functions not merely as a rival theory but as a rival paradigm. I make this suggestion because materialism generates a number of intractable anomalies, anomalies that have become so entrenched in the philosophical tradition of the West as to seem inevitable. We perhaps forget that they are anomalies, and treat them instead as the very substance of metaphysics.

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+1: good suggestion; I notice she mentions parallels with Thales suggestion of water as the being of the world. –  Mozibur Ullah Jun 10 at 5:54
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First, let's settle the terminology: Physicalism and idealism are in many respects opposite positions in philosophy of mind. But that doesn't entail that every non-physicalist position is a form of idealism. That is, there are a lot of non-physicalist positions that do not amount to idealism. Among these positions, the following were prominently defended and discussed in the 20th century: interactionist dualism, parallelism, epiphenomenalism, neutral monism.

Now, idealism is indeed not on that list. Still, there is recent work done by Robert Adams, who defends a sort of idealism ("mentalism") in phil. of mind, according to which

everything that is real in the last analysis is sufficiently spiritual in character to be aptly conceived on the model of our own minds, as experienced from the inside (35)

See his "Idealism Vindicated", in: D. Zimmerman and P. van Inwagen (eds) Persons: Human and Divine, OUP 2007, pp. 35-54.

Furthermore, there are some contemporary idealist philosophers in the broader sense (i.e. as a full-fledged philosophical position - idealism as in "German idealism"). Vittorio Hösle is a very well known contemporary idealist philosopher:

Vittorio Hösle (born June 25, 1960, in Milan, Italy) is a German philosopher. Having begun his academic career with extraordinary success, including the completion of his doctorate at age 21, he is the author of many distinguished works, including Hegels System (1987), Morals and Politics (1997, trans. 2004), and Der philosophische Dialog (2006). He advances an “objective idealist” theoretical philosophy, which attempts to revitalize Platonic and Hegelian thought, while also drawing from Karl-Otto Apel. His practical philosophy is a modified Kantianism, which also draws much from Hans Jonas.

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None. Even Continental philosophers will not assist you in that venture. They would likely say that to assert that the objects of thought are all that is real is too absolute, too exclusionary, possibly a tool of social order to devalue meaning, and thus wrong. Not to mention that as objects of thought, they're still just objects.

When Sam Johnson refuted Berkely's idealism "thus", and kicked a rock, that settled the argument for a great many people. "All things are thoughts" is too short a road to solipsism for anyone to take seriously. To avoid the solipsistic conclusion you'd have to take either Berkeley's own standpoint that God's experience makes up for the difference in experiencing the world's furniture, or be a radical panpsychist of a kind which I don't believe exists. Even Chalmers and his conscious thermometers still acknowledge that physical properties exist.

Sometimes there's no middle ground- idealism is a ridiculous notion without positing a large number of very messy metaphysical rules, all hell-bent on propping up the notion and with no other reason to be presented.

That all said, there's plenty of people who argue for a remnant of idealist thought- namely that reality begins with perception and not the other way 'round. I'd argue that's not really idealism though, as any such description still allows for an external reality to exist independently of the observer.

See this other question for more information. Apologies for the sloppy answer, but hopefully this'll attract a better one.

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I think it's reductive to reduce idealism to 'all things are thoughts' in the same way that Hawking wants an 'equation of the universe written on a T-shirt'. Berekelys conclusion on the face of it is not much different from Al-Ghazalis defence of Asharite Occasionalism. It's interesting (to me) that the Asharites also postulated that space & time were atomic from their metaphysical assumptions. As for multiplying metaphysical rules, have you taken a peek into the many theories and constructions that modern mathematics needs to justify what physics is trying to do? –  Mozibur Ullah Jan 19 '13 at 4:20
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how far back counts as contemporary. they are a few neo-kantians left im sure, but they usually more continental philosophy. if you are speaking of the last 100 years. they are quite a few. third generation british idealists, like muirhead, colliridge, collingwood and a few others.harold joachim made it till the 1930's. italian idealism you have beneditto croce and giovanni gentile.

these guys were around after late wittgenstein to around quine's time so its relatively contemporary. for those closer the 21st century. you have brand blanshard who was active till the 80's very well into his 90 something birthday. the greatest idealist philosopher thats surely contemporary is timothy sprigge. he combines bradley's absolute idealism with panpsychism to form a bizarre but impressive metaphysical system. if you interested in another figure who provides many articles in favor of idealists thesis but is more of a historian of philosopher, look up william mander from oxford.

ignore the guys here who dont know what they are talking about. but notice that most of the guys i mentioned besides the italian idealists in style resemble alot more analytic philosophy than continental, you wont find hegelian/heideggerian ramble in here , or if you do is far more mild. also these guys are objective idealists, not subjective idealists or kantians.

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There are (or were) at least three contemporary analytic philosophers who are dedicated idealists, in the sense that they deny the existence of material substances "behind" our sensory experiences of them. Howard Robinson, John Foster , and Nicholas Rescher.

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