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Metaphysical subjectivism

Metaphysical subjectivism is the theory that perception creates reality, and that there is no underlying, true, reality that exists independent of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that creates reality. This is in contrast to metaphysical objectivism.

The invention of machines that can "see", "hear", or otherwise observe and record events provides a thought experiment (offered by Winston Churchill, who is not otherwise known as a philospher) that is difficult for subjectivists to explain. Let us set up automatic camera to record events in a place that no human (or other creature reasonably considered "conscious") can observe. Say that it is set inside a volcano, for example. The camera is later retrieved and its photographs, with date markings, are observed. Did the events recorded in the photographs really happen even though no one consciously observed them? Did the conscious observation of the photographs themselves somehow suddenly cause them to depict events that apparently happened at an earlier time?

This holding should not be confused with the stance that "all is illusion" or that "there is no such thing as reality." Metaphysical subjectivists hold that reality is real enough, and that physical objects do exist. They conceive, however, that the nature of reality as related to a given consciousness unit is created and governed by that consciouslness.



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