Philosophy of mind

In philosophy of mind, the term "world" is commonly used in contrast to the term "mind" as that which is represented by the mind. This is sometimes expressed by stating that there is a gap between mind and world and that this gap needs to be overcome for representation to be successful. One of the central problems in philosophy of mind is to explain how the mind is able to bridge this gap and to enter into genuine mind-world-relations, for example, in the form of perception, knowledge or action.This is necessary for the world to be able to rationally constrain the activity of the mind. According to a realist position, the world is something distinct and independent from the mind. Idealists, on the other hand, conceive of the world as partially or fully determined by the mind. Immanuel Kant's transcendental idealism, for example, posits that the spatiotemporal structure of the world is imposed by the mind on reality but lacks independent existence otherwise. A more radical idealist conception of the world can be found in Berkeley's subjective idealism, which holds that the world as a whole, including all everyday objects like tables, cats, trees and ourselves, "consists of nothing but minds and ideas".


Different theological positions hold different conceptions of the world based on its relation to God. Classical theism states that God is wholly distinct from the world. But the world depends for its existence on God, both because God created the world and because He maintains or conserves it.This is sometimes understood in analogy to how humans create and conserve ideas in their imagination, with the difference being that the divine mind is vastly more powerful. On such a view, God has absolute, ultimate reality in contrast to the lower ontological status ascribed to the world. God's involvement in the world is often understood along the lines of a personal, benevolent God who looks after and guides His creation.Deists agree with theists that God created the world but deny any subsequent, personal involvement in it. Pantheists, on the other hand, reject the separation between God and world. Instead, they claim that the two are identical. This means that there is nothing to the world that does not belong to God and that there is nothing to God beyond what is found in the world. Panentheism constitutes a middle ground between theism and pantheism. Against theism, It holds that God and the world are interrelated and depend on each other. Against pantheism, it holds that there is no outright identity between the two.Atheists, on the other hand, deny the existence of God and thereby of conceptions of the world based on its relation to God.

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