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A Defense of Dualistic Realism Author(s): James Bissett Pratt Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, Vol. 14, No. 10 (May 10, 1917), pp. 253-261 Published by: Journal of Philosophy, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 09/12/2012 17:17 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

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XIV, No. 10.

MAY 10,





dualistic view which I shall try to defend maintains that co1nsciousness and the world of physical objects in space are essentially different from each other in kind; and that the psychical may be defined as consisting of non-physical entities which, though they may be spatial, are not in space, and which exist only as functions of one or more individual persons or organisms. This view is so simple and so commonly held that it needs little elucidation. It involves two factors, namely, an empirical view of the make-up of consciousness, and the double thesis that there is a real, three-dimensional space, common to different minds, and that consciousness is not in this space, but is only and always the function of persons or organisms. I make no claim to any intuitive knowledge that consciousness is not in space. I maintain merely that the complex facts of human experience, which no one does or can deny, are such that the dualistic hypothesis is by far the simplest and most natural. No other theory, as it seems to me, can explain so easily the various characteristics of knowledge, perception, illusion, and error. This is a subject to which I shall return later on in this paper. By the other factor of the dualist theory to which I referred above -its empirical view of the make-up of consciousness-I mean merely the fact that dualism has no a priori theory of the nature of the psychical, but takes consciousness to be whatever it finds it. Thus it does not feel bound to defend any theory of the self nor to maintain the existence of a conscious stuff or consciousness-in-general. Consciousness for it is what introspective psychology shall find it to be. In other words, it is to be identified with what is commonly known as conscious content. Part of this content is peculiarly subjective, part of it is comparatively objective in nature. It has both secondary and primary qualities. Most of it, perhaps, has no spatial characteristics, but some of it-notably visual and tactual percepts-is obviously spatial. And to the dualist this empirical observation is in 1Read at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association in New York, December, 1916.



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no way inconsistent with the thesis that consciousness-even spatial consciousness-is not in the common Euclidian space of the physical world. That this should seem to some a difficult conception is due merely to the fact that one seldom hears it expressed. Few people will find it...
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