Never Trust Appearances Essay

Never Trust Appearances Essay-59
In the preface to , Bradley describes metaphysics as “the finding of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct, but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.” He warns the reader that many of the ideas he presents must certainly be wrong, but because he is unable to discover how they are wrong, others will have to be critical of his conclusions.If metaphysics is so liable to error, why should Bradley bother to study it, much less write more than six hundred pages about it?

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His general method was to show that the world regarded as made up of discrete objects is self-contradictory and, therefore, a world of appearances.

The real is one, a world in which there are no separate objects and in which all differences disappear.

According to Bradley, “Truth is the object of thinking, and the aim of truth is to qualify existence ideally.” Furthermore, “Truth is the predication of such content as, when predicated, is harmonious, and removes inconsistency and with it unrest.” However, a truth is never wholly adequate. Therefore, every truth is a partial truth and is capable of being expanded and extended indefinitely toward more truth.

If one can account for truth, one must also account for error.

Before the question of the Absolute can be settled, truth must be defined. Bradley says that every real thing has at least two properties, existence and characteristics. However, to be able to say something is, one must have ideas, and through judgment, an idea is predicated of a real subject.

Existence, then, is contained in the subject, and the predicate contains an ideal character that it relates to the real subject.

The first problem with which Bradley deals is the division of the properties of objects into primary and secondary qualities.

According to this theory, primary qualities are those spatial aspects of things that are perceived or felt, and all other qualities are secondary.

Primary qualities are constant, permanent, self-dependent, and real.

Secondary qualities—such as color, heat, cold, taste, and odor—are relative to the perceiver.


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