Our Knowledge of the External World by Bertrand Russell
OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXTERNAL WORLD
Author: Bertrand Russell
"What is real? ...How do you define real?...If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain..."-Morpheus (The Matrix)
In discussions regarding philosophy, the external world is regarded as everything
used by the five senses that is separate from the human identity. In theory, as the author
states, the external world exists because it is perceived through the senses. "I think it
must be admitted as probable that the immediate objects of sense depend for their
existence upon physiological conditions in ourselves, and that for example, the colored
surfaces we see cease to exist when we shut our eyes." According to this, color is in fact
a product of what the eye sees, and not already in the object. The apple is not red because
the apple is red, but rather because I am looking at it. When one looks at an object, the
perceiver describes the sight and the recognition of the object and therefore creates the
existence of that object. If saying so, then one must bring to mind what happens when
one looks away from the immediate object. Would the object still exist on itself? Or does
it disappear just because the perceiver is not looking at it, therefore acknowledging its
existence? If the object exists due to the senses proving its reality, then theoretically the
object must cease to exist when it has stopped being perceived. Questions arise whether
the object exists at all since its existence depends on the viewer.
Bertrand Russell separates the idea to know something into two distinct parts.
Perception of an object relies on knowledge of things by acquaintance and knowledge of
Modern Philosophy essays:
... alien to Satrean philosophy of the unity and intentionality of consciousness. If such emotions were separate from their cause, or 'cut off', they would no longer be part of the conscience itself, which ceases to be ...
Is indirect realism a plausable theory of perception?looking at the pros and cons of lockes indirect theory of perception.
... Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology, Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 1985, p151) Another argument for sense data being the only thing we directly perceive is that our perceptions are dependent upon circumstance, i.e. external conditions, our own physiological and psychological states. "the ...
... of existence. but can any one, who pretends to the least reflection, imagine that such a being as the human soul, adorned with such extensive intellectual powers, will ever cease to be the object of that love and care ...
... love to wonder, there is an end to common sense, and human testimony, in these circumstances, loses all pretensions to authority." (Hume ... of identity and gravity. He views society as being far to liberal in what they consider to be a miracle. He gives the reader four ideas to support his philosophy in ...
This essay discusses why William of Ockham can be considered as the initiator of the "modern way" of doing philosophy
... was conditioned by the influence of both Aristotle and Plato. St Augustine agrees with Plato's account of the universals: that they are forms and exist in their own spiritual realm, only known to the intellect and not the senses. Thomas ...
... the existence of the human mind is necessary for God to exist. Therefore the two are intertwined. We can then say that our perceptions of the external world are ...
... The existence of the forms is a particular problem. To draw on and modify an argument put forward by Bertrand Russell, a ...
May one rightly understand knowledge of something, x, as being produced by our having "first-hand" perceptual experience of x?
... to rightly understand knowledge of something x. My belief is the same as Descartes' belief. Descartes rejects, as though false, all types of knowledge by which he was ever deceived. His view of how knowledge is created is based on authority ...