Indirect Realism Problems

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  • Indirect Realism Problems
    • Problem 1
      • can't know if our sense data matches reality
      • "scepticism about the nature of mind independent objects"
      • veil of perception
      • Russell 1 - same info from multiple senses
        • criticism - sometimes senses don't add up
      • Russell 2 - recognise similarities + differences in objects so must be difference in reality
        • criticism - can't assume differences in sense data correspond with reality
      • survival - perception must be good enough to survive
        • criticism - could be nothing like reality but as long as senses work systematically we can survive
          • animals perceive the world differently
      • common perception - people see things roughly the same as we do
        • criticism - what if we are all wrong
    • Problem 2
      • "scepticism about the existence of mind independent objects"
      • if all we see is sense data we can't prove existence of mind independent objects
      • agreed by Locke + Russell
      • Locke 1 involuntary nature of perception - we cannot control what we see e.g. seeing someone get killed
        • criticism - no control over our dreams but this doesn't come from an external cause
          • Locke response - never mistake being awake with being asleep - waking life more vivid than our dreams so must be reality behind it
        • "they must be produced in my minds by some external cause"
      • Locke 2 coherence of senses - primary properties perceived by more than one sense
        • development Cockburn - not only do multiple sense confirm properties but learn to make connections between properties (predictability)
          • criticism - just like dreams could still be in a consistent illusion
    • Conclusion - Russell Best Hypothesis
      • "surely we might say, the existence of physical objects is simply a better, simpler and stronger explanation than these options"


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