Philosophical Musings by T L Hurst
by T L Hurst
This paper examines whether it is reasonable to assume that reality exists outside our perception of it.
- "Exist" and "Entity" are synonyms that refer to any objective or subjective entity.
- "Real" and "Objective" are synonyms that refer to any entity that exists whether we are cognizant of it or not.
- "Physical" means a real entity that is part of the physical universe.
- "Abstract" means an entity that is not part of the physical universe.
- "Subjective" means an abstract entity that only exists within our cognizance of it.
Note: I have not defined that there is anything that exists objectively. At this point I'm only defining terms.
- The term "valid" or "logical" means that a conclusion follows from the premises it is based on. It is a purely technical term. It does NOT require or imply that the conclusion corresponds to reality.
- The term "sound" means that a process of logic is valid, and the premises are true. It does NOT require or imply that we know that the premises are true.
- The term "justified" means that the process of logic is valid, and:
- Does not contradict any known facts.
- Has sufficient evidence to support it.
Note: The amount of evidence that is sufficient for a conclusion to be considered justified depends upon the context.
- Metaphysical propositions cannot be proven to be true. Hence, it is not possible to prove that anything exists objectively, but, that is not proof that objective reality does not exist. So if we reject the idea of an objective reality simply because of a lack of proof, we should reject the whole of metaphysics, including the idea that there is no objective reality. However it does not follow that all metaphysical propositions are equally likely to be true.
© copyright T L Hurst 2015