In this book, the nature of reality has been explained deeply. It is evident that there is nothing that can be said to be real since what individuals perceive as real is merely what the experience teaches them and science records (Josiah 345).
In this world, there is nothing that individuals can say that they are absolutely sure about, except infinity. What we currently know and believe is real is based on what the immediate generations also acquired from the previous generation and so on. Information is deemed to be distorted as it passes from one generation to the other, and this means that what we believe is real might have been distorted in numerous instances as it flows from the initial generation progressively to the current generation.
Apparently, there is no one who has substantial evidence that what we believe is real is in an actual sense real. For example, based on the aspect of anthropomorphism, a primitive man started interpreting natural calamities as an expression of the will of beings like himself. In the society, when extraordinary natural events happen, most community members perceive that their actions have angered the spirit of the ancestors, whom in the long run punishes the living by bringing the natural calamities.
By this notion, it is evident that human beings first believe in the existence of ghosts (which they have not even ever seen them), and then consider them as agents of their ancestors. Apparently, individuals fail to understand that even if they might be living on a different planet, misfortunes are also likely to occur. It is worth noting that in this world of experience, there are numerous infinite things that are unknown to us, and we should not be blaming the spirit of the forefathers just because experience, culture, and science so dictates.
However, though Josiah claimed that there is nothing in this world that can be said to be real, he is also not sure that his sentiments are also real. Apparently, in modern philosophy, many sorts of reality may be available in the world of facts (Josiah 354). Facts try to justify a hypothesis by providing evidence concerning the occurrence of phenomena.
This book has also explored the aspect of truth. Precisely, what is deemed to be truth in the modern philosophy is based on an individual`s consciousness or the deeper self. According to Kant, “We know the world only in terms of consciousness and its laws so that the understanding is the creator of the nature that stands before our senses.” Josiah 233). This means that what an individual perceives to be true is based on his or her level of understanding of the outside world. Apparently, the contemplation of the outer world is rational to his or her ideas. Individuals usually have a real world that their senses less or more truly perceive as real.
However, what our senses perceive as true is what we believe are well-guarded experience, and have been fruitfully investigated. Apparently, truth is based on facts, rather than ideas. This is due to the fact that ideas are subjective, and everyone is entitled to have his or her ideas regarding how he perceives the outer world. Ideals are based on assumptions, which may not be entirely true in the actual sense.
Facts provide evidence concerning a phenomenon, explaining why it exists or occurs. For example, the occurrence of natural calamities can be linked to a number of causes, but every cause can be a hypothesis which stands to be investigated. The actual cause is established only when facts are established and demonstrated on how it associates with the occurrence of natural calamities. This means that linking natural calamities with the anger of our ancestors is just a myth or superstition since no facts are provided by these beliefs in relation to the phenomenon in question.
Moreover, truth does not exist in modern philosophy if it has any sort of doubt. There is no point that an individual can say that something is true but still have a niche that he or she is not fully convinced that what he says is true or not. Precisely, there is no truth that is more familiar. Truth exists when the inner self is capable of contemplating the meaning of an aspect in the outer world.
An individual only means what his or her deeper self contemplates, and no one can mean what his or her deeper self cannot know. According to the Josiah, “Kant it was, who, despite his things in themselves, first showed us that nobody really means an object, really knows it, or doubts it, or aims at it, unless he does so by aiming at a truth that is present to his own larger self.” Josiah 373).
Idealism comes from the ideas that we give regarding the outside world. It arises from the realm of all what we believe is real in the world. What we can tell what we knew and mean, becomes ideal. What happens is that we change a system of ideas the way we wish in order to come up with ideas.
Apparently, some ideas that we do come up with may be truth or false, but they lack facts to reinforce them. Idealism can be explained in two aspects. First, a sort of analysis of the world, which has no absolute character about it, but which employs a fashion to examine what an individual means by all the things he or she believes in or experience.
The second explanation entails a system of ideas which govern the conduct and believe of individuals. This means that idealism has a number of interpretations and statements based on what an individual believes in or experience. Ideas are subjective in nature, and no one should condemn another based on the ideas that he or she gives.
Moreover, idealism is also based on the internal self. Ideas contribute to the outer truth of the possibility of experience. That is, through the ideas that we generate, we seek to investigate them in depth in order to get the meaning of something that was initially meaningless. According to the Josiah, “Something may be unknowable, and whenever I come to know it, turns out to be through and through an idea, an experience, must be in itself, before I know it, either somebody`s ideas, somebody`s experience, or it must be nothing.” Josiah 367).
The deeper meaning of the world comes not only from what we experience but also from the ideas of others who have initially experienced it. Apparently, an idea must come from the mind, since the mind would eventually contemplate that the real world has something possessing qualities. Moreover, when a mind understands the real world, it tends to again find relations in it, such as likeness and unlikeness, attraction and repulsion, equality and inequality among others.
Josiah Royce. The Spirit of Modern Philosophy. Anford Library. 1924 print.