more from Thomas Reid

Single Idea 23661

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 4. Solipsism]

Full Idea

We can have no communication, no correspondence or society with any created being, but by means of our senses. And, until we rely on their testimony, we must consider ourselves as being alone in the universe.

Gist of Idea

We are only aware of other beings through our senses; without that, we are alone in the universe


Thomas Reid (Essays on Intellectual Powers 6: Judgement [1785], 5)

Book Reference

Reid,Thomas: 'Inquiry and Essays', ed/tr. Beanblossom /K.Lehrer [Hackett 1983], p.273

A Reaction

I'm not aware of any thinker before this so directly addressing solipsism. Even the champion of direct and common sense realism has to recognise the intermediary of our senses when accepting other minds.