The Idealism Network at present consists of the following philosophers:
Cord Friebe (University of Siegen, Germany). Friebe develops a specific version of Kant's ontology of spatio-temporal objects as appearances, and defends it against the challenges from current physics of spacetime and of quantum particles or fields. The general line can be found in "Kant’s Ontology of Appearances and the Synthetic Apriori", applied to quantum metaphysics in "Leibniz, Kant, and Referring in the Quantum Domain" and to the theories of relativity in Zeit – Wirklichkeit – Persistenz (Brill, 2012).
Richard Gaskin (University of Liverpool, UK). A central part of Gaskin's work focuses on the doctrine of linguistic idealism, the idea that the world is produced by, and depends on, language. Gaskin argues that the dependence of the world on language is a logical and constitutive one, rather than a temporal one. Although human language is a purely contingent product of evolution, there is a transcendental sense in which the existence of the world depends on the existence of language—more precisely, on the capacity of language to talk about the world. In Gaskin's view the world is constitutively composed of propositions, which are referents of sentences; these propositions contain the ordinary objects of our discourse. In The Unity of the Proposition (Oxford, 2008) and Language and World (Routledge, 2020), Gaskin develops the theory of linguistic idealism.
Thomas Hofweber (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA). Hofweber defends Conceptual Idealism which holds that human conceptual thought constrains, but does not construct, reality as the totality of facts, but not as the totality of things. This view is developed in "Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality" in Mind 2019, "Conceptual Idealism without Ontological Idealism" in Idealism: new essays in metaphysics (Goldschmidt and Pearce, eds. OUP 2017), and in most detail in his forthcoming Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality (OUP 2023).
Anton Friedrich Koch (University of Heidelberg, Germany). Koch defends what he calls Hermeneutic Realism which holds that human conceptual thought is conservatively, i.e. merely epistemically – in no way invasively or constructively – projected onto reality and makes explicit its logical form, which cannot be grasped receptively with the senses. This view is presented, for instance, in “Parallax in Hermeneutic Realism“, in Parallax. The Dialectics of Mind and World (ed. by D. Finkelde, S. Žižek and C. Menke, London 2021, 55-68) and has been developed in various monographs, most recently in Hermeneutischer Realismus (Tübingen 2016) and Philosophie und Religion (Stuttgart 2020).
Niklas Kurzböck (University of Bonn, Germany). Kurzböck is a doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Bonn. His work focuses on the ontological foundations of morality, aiming to explain why moral facts are both intelligible and objectively real. He defends the thesis that moral facts are true thoughts about morality, where many of these thoughts exist mind-independently. The resulting position combines aspects of idealism and realism, in that it affirms an idealist theory of facts, according to which they are propositionally structured but nonetheless objectively real.
Ana-Silvia Munte (University of Tübingen, Germany). Munte's main research topic is metaphysical monism. In her PhD project, she reconstructs three versions of metaphysical monism from the German idealist tradition (key authors: Hegel, Schelling, Fichte) and shows how their argumentative strategies differ from and can enrich the rehabilitation of monism in contemporary metaphysics. A central aim is to show how monism becomes more compelling once the thinking subject is considered an essential part of the overall metaphysical picture.
Michael Pelczar (National University of Singapore). Pelczar is a proponent of phenomenalism, according to which physical things are what Mill calls "permanent possibilities of sensation": propensities for certain experiences to occur given the occurrence of other experiences. He addresses some influential objections to this view in "Defending Phenomenalism," and develops the phenomenalist position in detail in the forthcoming Phenomenalism: A Metaphysics of Chance and Experience (OUP 2022).
Jens Pier (University of Leipzig, Germany). Pier’s work focuses on the prospects for a critical methodology in metaphysics. One of his main interests is in the question how a proper articulation of the self-conscious structure of human mindedness might commit us to a return to a critical or transcendental idealism. This brand of idealism may also be labelled diagnostic in that it concerns the validity and scope of human thought about the world and is thus grounded in an analysis and diagnosis of our most basic forms of thinking. Pier has recently published an edited volume on two figures paramount to such a regained form of idealism, Limits of Intelligibility: Issues from Kant and Wittgenstein, and has contributed an introductory chapter titled “Where Intelligibility Gives Out”.
Howard Robinson (Central European University in Vienna, Austria). Robinson is Professor Emeritus in Philosophy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was Provost and Academic Pro-Rector of the CEU. He mainly specializes in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics, including the philosophy of religion: he also has an interest in the history of philosophy. His latest defense of idealism is in Perception and Idealism (OUP 2023).
Robert Smithson (University of North Carolina at Willmingon, USA). Smithson defends macroidealism, the view that physical truths supervene on truths about the (actual and counterfactual) experiences of macroscopic subjects. Metaphysically, macroidealism aims to provide a fully-explanatory, monistic solution to the mind-body problem. In the philosophy of mind, it is intended to serve as the foundation for a theory of perceptual experience (see: “Naive Idealism”). In the philosophy of language, it hopes to explain various semantic features of our discourse about physical objects (see: “Edenic Idealism” in AJP (2021)). Epistemologically, it aims to explain our cognitive access to the physical world (see: “A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism” in Idealism: new essays in metaphysics (Goldschmidt and Pearce, eds. OUP 2017).
Craig Warmke (Northern Illinois University, USA) Warmke is sympathetic with both Leibnizian idealism, the view that physical reality consists in the harmonious perceptions of mind-like substances, and Leibnizian conceptualism, the view that mental content accounts for both modality and mathematics. On idealism about the physical, see "Leibnizian Idealism." And on conceptualism about the abstract, see "Logic Through a Leibnizian Lens" and "Modal Intensionalism," which present Leibnizian semantic theories for first-order logic and modal logic, respectively.
Helen Yetter-Chappell (University of Miami, USA). Yetter-Chappell develops and defends a non-theistic quasi-Berkeleyan idealism. On this view, reality is a vast non-agential unity of consciousness, binding experiences as-of all possible veridical perspectives. "Idealism Without God" (Goldschmidt and Pearce, eds. OUP 2017) develops the basic view. "Get Acquainted With NaïveIdealism" (forthcoming in The Roles of Representations in Visual Perception. Eds. Robert French & Berit Brogaard. Synthese Book Series) develops an idealist theory of perception, arguing that the naïve view of perception can only be rendered intelligible given an idealist metaphysics. "Idealism and the Best of All (Subjectively Indistinguishable) Possible Worlds" (to appear in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind, volume 4. Ed. Uriah Kriegel) develops the case for taking idealism seriously. Yetter-Chappell is currently finishing up a manuscript The View from Everywhere: Realist Idealism Without God. You can find her discussing these ideas on MindChat.