Primacy of Consciousness

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Primacy of Consciousness is the Objectivist term for the mistaken idea that consciousness has primacy over existence, that existence can be molded by consciousness as such, independent of action. This idea has its roots in Plato, who told that the gods tried to mold matter in their image, but matter took the image only so far and then resisted any further efforts to perfect it. The primacy of consciousness is at the root of the belief in God, the belief that existence cannot be the starting point of philosophy but has to be explained by some form of consciousness that created it. The idea of the primacy of consciousness reached its apex in Kant. According to Kant, reason can only grasp reality as it appears to us. To know true reality, one must transcend reason.

Contrast Primacy of Existence.

See also:

Axiom of Self-Consciousness

Further Reading