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The Essentials of Philosophy

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• Now the majority of critical thinkers to-day are of the opinion that Hume's position involves solipsism.
But we all feel that a position that involves solipsism is imperfect, that it has not solved the problem of knowledge.
In fact, I am inclined to regard solipsism as one of the crucial tests of a theory of knowledge. If it leads to such an absurdity, we must think again.
If we cannot apprehend an independent reality either directly (Natural Realism) or indirectly (representative realism), h
...ow can we know anything outsjde of our own consciousness? But other selves are in the same situation as the physical world; for they are by definition inde- pendent realities. He who has failed to solve the problem of knowledge for the one has failed for the other. Knowl- edge seems to involve an impossible transcendence of one's own consciousness. Can it be denied that reflection faces genuine problems?
Kant's Appeal to Consciousness-In-General. — The British empiricists held to mental pluralism to the last though the rejection of representative realism logically landed them in solipsism.


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