RB 65

Hägerström’s remarks in this respect are very characteristic of his anti-metaphysics, his specific brand of ontological realism,materialism.317 Hägerström’s premiss is that existence and that which exists necessarily implies reality. Hägerström bases this premiss upon the tautology that whatever exists exists, and is self-identical, non-contradictory, and real. One can therefore deduce reality from existence, but not deduce existence from reality.The reason being that reality, as a concept, does not constitute a characteristic necessarily implying or corresponding to existence or truth.318 It is with reference to the contextual character of empirical knowledge and of reality, that Hägerström’s theory of explanations is to be understood.An explanation sets an object in agreater context than its original context rather than reducing or bringing the object back to its cause. In Hägerström’s own words: Hägerström calls this process “relative Subjektivierung”, when it comes to comparing different sets of knowledge with one another.320 However, there are several problems connected to Hägerp a r t i 1 , c h a p t e r 5 144 317 Marc-Wogau, Studier till Axel Hägerströms filosofi, p. 120. 318 Accordingly, Hägerström’s anti-metaphysics is first and foremost directed against idealism, especially the Platonic brand, which follows from Hägerström’s assertion that existence is real per se, while that which is merely thought is only real provided that the thought in question expresses a non-contradictory thought. Idealism takes the opposite standpoint, and attributes existence with a lesser degree of reality than the ideal, the abstract idea. 319 Hägerström, Selbstdarstellungen, pp. 18-19. 320 Ibid., p. 23. 5. 2 the contextual characte r of emp i rical knowledge “re lat ive subj ekt ivi e rung” “So betrachtet man oft die Erklärung oder das Begreifen einer Sache aus ihrer Ursache als dasselbe wie das Zurückführen verschiedener Sachen auf ihre Identität; damit gabe es inWahrheit kein Ursachsverhältnis, welches verschiedene Sachen voraussetzt, und nichts wäre begriffen. In Wirklichkeit bedeutet die Erklärung einer Erscheinung ihr Einsetzen in einen größeren Zusammenhang, also einen Übergang zu größerem, nicht geringerem Inhaltsreichtum.”319