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Philosophy

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In “Problems of Philosophy”, Bertrand Russell explores the question of how knowledge of certain things is at all possible. Russell uses one example as the basis of his whole argument, which is the table. When walking around the table, Russell sees different colors from different points of view, this being from the different reflections of light. In reality, we would only see the table as having one real color despite all the different shadings. The point Russell is trying to make is that since no two people can see from the same point of view, then there is doubt as to whether that one real color that everyone sees, exists. I agree with Russell. I do believe that there could be some sort of doubt as to one real color really exists, if two people see it from a different point of view. Reason being, if the different point of views we are relating to were near and far, how can you not have doubt. If someone is standing two feet away from the table and sees the color of the table as brown and someone is standing across the room and sees the table as tan because of the lighting, how can you not doubt what the real color of the table is at this point? On the other hand, some people might argue that although sight cannot be trusted according to Russell, are different points of views enough to doubt the real existence of something? For example, even though someone sees the table as brown from up close and tan from a distance, is that enough information to totally disregard and doubt that the real color of the table exists? I do think that this is enough to doubt the existence of the real color as being real. So, even though there were some arguments that could be made against Russell’s account, I believe his arguments are stronger and more well thought out. The overall point made by Russell was that since no two people can see from the same point of view, then there is doubt as to whether that one real color that everyone sees, exists.

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