external world

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The everyday world of places and things that we perceive, move amongst, and act upon. The word ‘external’ suggests, misleadingly in the opinion of many philosophers, that this world is separated from the world of the mind, so that our immediate experience is one thing, and the question of the nature of the world of which it is an experience is another thing. This is commonly called a Cartesian picture of the mind, and has been the target of many epistemologists, especially since the middle of the 20th century. See also experience, perception.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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