(No, not “moron idealism,” though that may be more apt.) I am growing increasingly sure that idealism is true. Not “Irish idealism”, which is the view that only perceptions exist, but “Graeco-germanic idealism”, which is the view that the things that ultimately exist are ideal: ideas, forms, essences, concepts. My guiding thought is this: the more we try to identify existing things and distinguish them from one another, the more we are forced to identify and distinguish structures, forms, properties, and relations. Any underlying physical substance, or matter, plays absolutely no role other than an indeterminate “something” to stick into the “subject” place in a proposition. To the extent we try to describe that indeterminate something, we end up once again talking about structures, properties, forms, and relations. “We are still not rid of matter because we still believe in grammar”, to paraphrase Nz.
Aristotle seems to have believed in matter in order to be able to distinguish tokens of the same type. So, for example, two Bengal tigers may have the same form, and what makes for there being two of them rather than just one is that the form is married to two distinct parcels of matter. Matter thus serves an individuating function. But this function can be served in several other ways. Surely there is some structural or formal difference even in twins. Surely the two tigers have different relations, and histories of relations, to other things. Or failing all that, we can invent an “haecceity” to distinguish the two, following Scotus.
A more important objection is that matter brings the brute dumbness to our party. Events unfold over time in arbitrary, surprising ways; reality does not seem to be a platonic realm of forms, essences, ideas, concepts which exist in some static relation to one another. Matter provides the dynamic of experience, its clumsiness and particularity, and the difference between the merely ideal and the real. But though experience does seem this way to us, I am not sure reality is this way. Philosophers and physicists have not ever really been able to make any sense of time’s arrow. A noted physicist has recently argued that the best way to make sense of the world requires denying the reality of time (as a medium through which we travel). And our relative ignorance about matter in itself (see above) should make us wonder why we think it is the sort of thing that can introduce brute dumbness into our universe.
So color me an idealist. What I am not sure about is whether to join Kant or Hegel. More specifically, I am not sure whether the ideality of reality is something arising from the structure of the human mind (no, I am not sure what that means) or if the ideality belongs to reality in itself (not exactly sure about that, either).