Mind, Matter, and Fact

Review of Metaphysics 13 (3):509 - 520 (1960)
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Abstract

Mr. Williams argues that subjectivism or epistemological dualism is just as compatible with knowledge of objective things themselves as his own Objectivism is, that it is false that "if we experienced only...'subjective' impressions and ideas, we should never know anything of the rest of the world, not even that it exists". He maintains this on the ground that "subjective or objective... the datum is an existent and can't help being evidence about existents". It is indeed true that the datum, being an existent, can't help being evidence for other existents if we know that there are other existents. But this is just what we could not know if subjectivism or epistemological dualism were true, if we knew only subjective existents. For while such subjective existents might be evidence of objective existents if there were any, we could not know that there were any and hence could not know that our subjective existents were evidence of them.

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