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appearance


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

M etaphysics, epistemology [from Latin a , as , to, toward + parere , come forth, become visible; what is seen or what is immediately given to consciousness, equivalent to Greek, phainomenon , to appear to be so, but also to be so manifestly. Thus Aristotle took the opinion of the majority, especially of wise men, as phainomenon ] Appearance, what things seem to be, is often contrasted to reality, what things are themselves. It is a major distinction in philosophy; and different philosophers offer different accounts of the relationship between appearance and reality. Some philosophers, such as Plato , say that appearance is an incomplete and imperfect copy of reality. Some, such as Aristotle , say that reality is in appearance. Some, such as Descartes , say that appearance is regrettable and even spurious. Some, such as Kant , say that our knowledge is restricted to appearance (phenomena), but that for morality we can make sense of a more fundamental reality (noumena). And some, such as Hegel and Bradley , say that appearance is a partial aspect of reality. In metaphysics appearance is generally regarded as less valuable than reality. Contemporary linguistic philosophers distinguish two groups of appearance idioms. Seeming idioms, such as “appears to be” or “gives the appearance,” are not strictly related to senses, while looking idioms, such as “looks” or “feels,” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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