Most philosophers, rightly or wrongly, believe that philosophy can do much more than this—that it can give us knowledge, not otherwise attainable, concerning the universe as a whole, and concerning the nature of ultimate reality. The text begins: In this chapter we have to ask ourselves whether, in any sense at all, there is such a thing as matter. This is an uncomfortable possibility; Here Russell discards the hypothesis that our notion of reality is just a case of dreaming. If a cat appears in one place in a room, then in the next moment it appears in another place, it is "natural," Russell says, to believe that the cat has moved. The problem we have to consider is this: Granted that we are certain of our own sense-data, have we any reason for regarding them as signs of the existence of something else, which we can call the physical object? He determined that he would believe nothing which he did not see quite clearly and distinctly to be true. CHAPTER III. While they both agree that the table is real, they disagree as to the answer of (2):  Berkeley thinks the table is a collection of ideas in the mind of God while Russell says it is a physical object composed of matter. 2nd Argument Vs Idealism:  Public Objects. Descartes and Princess... Descartes and Philosophy of Mind: The Conceivabil... Gettier: The Challenge to the Traditional Concept... What is a Justified Belief? No logical possibility results in the supposition that the whole of life is a dream, in which we ourselves create all the objects that come before us. Matter, material substance that constitutes the observable universe and, together with energy, forms the basis of all objective phenomena. Although we are doubting the physical existence of the table, we are not doubting the existence of the sense-data which made us think there was a table; we are not doubting that, while we look, a certain colour and shape appear to us, and while we press, a certain sensation of hardness is experienced by us. In this chapter we have to see why this is the case. A skeptic might respond to Russell by accusing him of assuming in his argument the very thing he is trying to prove:  that external material objects exist. is not the slightest reason to suppose that it is true. When I look at my table and see a certain brown colour, what is quite certain at once is not "I am seeing a brown colour," but rather, "a brown colour is being seen." When human beings speak—that is, when we hear certain noises which we associate with ideas, and simultaneously see certain motions of lips and expressions of face—it is very difficult to suppose that what we hear is not the expression of a thought, as we know it would be if we emitted the same sounds. This function, at least, philosophy can perform. Thus if we cannot be sure of the independent existence of objects, we shall be left alone in a desert—it may be that the whole outer world is nothing but a dream, and that we alone exist. Is there a table which has a certain intrinsic nature, and continues to exist when I am not looking, or is the table merely a product of my imagination, a dream-table in a very prolonged dream? The first answer that naturally occurs to one is that, although different people may see the table slightly differently, still they all see more or less similar things when they look at the table, and the variations in what they see follow the laws of perspective and reflection of light, so that it is easy to arrive at a permanent object underlying all the different people's sense-data. Thus, when we are trying to show that there must be objects independent of our own sense-data, we cannot appeal to the testimony of other people, since this testimony itself consists of sense-data, and does not reveal other people's experiences unless our own sense-data are signs of things existing independently of us.

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