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The only argument I know of for how Objectivism proves there is an objective reality is to say that there is an external reality, a world apart from the mind, because wishing does not make it so. That because we cannot change reality by merely wishing it to be different, it's clear that reality is outside of consciousness.

But this argument looks to have been defeated by Dr. Bernardo Kastrup, who says such an argument is a fallacy, because it infers that whatever is not within the scope of our conscious volition or wishes, is outside consciousness itself. He goes on to say that our human psyche has vast segments that do not fall under the control of our volition or wishes. That's why we have nightmares, psychotic hallucinations or neurotic episodes. The fact that these things happen shows that large segments of our psyches are not under the control of our volition, and so he says, its very reasonable to expect that reality itself could be generated by a part of consciousness that is not under the control of volition.

Are there any other arguments that Objectivism has to prove objective reality? An external world?

Or can you refute the argument of Dr. Kastrup?

asked May 28 '14 at 17:03

KineticPhilosophy's gravatar image


Peikoff has an entire chapter on the subject of "objectivity" (chapter 4 in OPAR)--he addresses the particulars regarding the concept of "objectivity" but also on reality as such in that, and the previous chapters.

(May 29 '14 at 00:32) Juan Diego dAnconia Juan%20Diego%20dAnconia's gravatar image

Without going into a long song and dance here, proof presupposes reality. Before one can even get to such a complex notion as proof, one has to have discovered error, which one has to differentiate from the stuff which is error free.

Proof is a method of establishing an idea as being error free; an idea's relationship to reality as being self-evident, or a conclusion derived from premises that are self-evident.

In this regard, the question is not "Can one refute the argument of Dr. Kastrup?" but rather can Dr. Kastrup reduce his method, step by step, to the self-evident, without contradiction - the key, if you will, to discerning the error laden from the error free.

Keep in mind, volition and wishes are actions of consciousness. To be outside this scope is something not subject to our volition or wishes. As Dr. Peikoff once pontificated, the reason you do not step out in front of a speeding truck is because you will be struck by an unforgiving nemesis - an absolute reality.

answered May 28 '14 at 21:12

dream_weaver's gravatar image

dream_weaver ♦

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Asked: May 28 '14 at 17:03

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Last updated: May 29 '14 at 00:32