Of course, the proposition that time is unreal can be understood as just part of another mental exercise, often found in philosophy. It surely cannot be considered a serious attempt to describe reality. But don’t underestimate the tendency of some philosopher to promote one or another form of nonsense, among them, the unreality of time.
I know that it is madness to deny that the world which we inhabit and in which we interact is real. I’m not even sure that one can make sense — when we analyze things carefully — of a subject reflecting on reality without assuming that he himself and the world which he inhabits are real. Since their reality is what makes any reflection on those questions possible.
In the modern age it may not be “hard to imagine” that the subjective/objective distinction has no “metaphysical significance,” but it surely does not follow from a philosophical rejection of the mind-body dualism. Rejecting mind-body dualism, with its implication of mind as entity apart from body, does have metaphysical implications; but this is distinct from questions regarding the significance of the distinction between subjective experience and objective reality.
Over two thousand years ago the Roman poet and philosopher, Lucretious (99-55 BCE), expressed a surprisingly modern philosophy, one which he got from a more ancient philosopher, the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BCE).
Contrary to what the young Wittgenstein tried to show in his book, Tractatus, the syntax of language and patterns of logic do not parallel the ‘structure’ of the world. Languages function in varieties of ways which are not exposed by any particular patterns or syntax.
The argument that materialist contradict themselves with regard to free action fails because it relies on very questionable, if not downright false, premises with regard to (1) ‘materialism,’ (2) ‘determinism,’ and (3) ‘free action.’
Being humans we assign very high value to human existence, which leads some to the belief that only the soul (or something like the soul) can express this high value. (This is analogous to a similar view of theism. People cannot understand how our existence can have any meaning unless we assume that there is a God who gives it meaning.)
Insofar as our coherent language and thought allows, the so-called “phenomenal world” is the real world, i.e., the world in which we exist, the one we experience and one accessible to human understanding. Of course, our concept of this reality can be refined through analysis, mathematical modeling, scientific theorizing and investigation. The resulting picture or model, a refined one when compared to our untrained intuitions, will be a picture or model of the world of experience. It does not point to a “world-in-itself.”
Because it is not plausible that an alien society would discover Kant’s moral law, it is not tenable that such a culture would appeal to them. Should that marvelous thing really turn out to be the case, I would be stunned beyond anything words could express!
The notion that there’s a “correct point of view (regarding morality) independent of all critters” strikes me as a hangover from the idea that God is the ground for moral good and the idea of moral knowledge as that which would be manifested in God’s eye-view of the Truth. This is that age-old hunger for a transcendent basis for morality. There are many problems with this perspective.