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phenomenalism


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Bertrand Russell (1872—1970) philosopher, journalist, and political campaigner

John Stuart Mill (1806—1873) philosopher, economist, and advocate of women's rights

Henry Habberley Price (1899—1984) philosopher

A. J. Ayer (1910—1989) philosopher

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The philosophy of perception that elaborates the idea that, in the words of J. S. Mill, ‘objects are the permanent possibilities of sensation’. To inhabit a world of independent, external objects is, on this view, to be the subject of actual and possible orderly experiences. Espoused by Russell, the view issued in a programme of translating talk about physical objects and their locations into talk about possible experiences (see logical construction). The attempt is widely supposed to have failed, and the priority the approach gives to experience has been much criticized. It is more common in contemporary philosophy to see experience as itself a construct from the actual way of the world, rather than the other way round.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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