more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5170

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism]

Full Idea

The existence of a material thing is defined in terms of the actual and possible occurrence of the sense-contents which constitute it as a logical construction.

Gist of Idea

Material things are constructions from actual and possible occurrences of sense-contents


A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Language, Truth and Logic' [Penguin 1974], p.162

A Reaction

Obviously we need 'possible' experiences so that unperceived trees can still exist, but it is a can of worms. Is speculation about a possible world an account of possible experiences? Realists want to know WHY we think certain experiences are possible.