You can only know so much about what is going on around you. For example, it is impossible for me to know what is going on in China right now if I am in South America. I might try to look at the news, but I am not really knowing what is happening, I am looking at a newspaper that is in my local area. I may try to use a drone, but the screen is in my area too, so I just have the feed of China, not actually china itself. I may try to say that things behind me actually exist, but as I can never see what is behind me as it is behind me,* I have no idea if the objects I turn to look at a being generated or not. I may use a mirror, but the mirror is still in front of me.

This seems like a philosophical position. Is it a known philosophical doctrine, and if so, who are its adherents? If it is not, is it close to lines of established philosophical positions, and what are they so I might read up further?

  • Why? Do you "know" who Julius Caesar and Napoleon were? In what way? Because you have studied them at school. 99% of what we "know" is not based on "direct" (direct what) experience. Why you do not put your fingers into an electric socket: have you ever tried it? Oct 29, 2021 at 15:26
  • 1
    "Purely based on reasoning", anything is possible, including that even the things in front of you, and you yourself, do not exist. Reasoning can only conclude something by assuming something. Senses can deceive, mind can be deluded, anything can be doubted. But “skepticism, while logically impeccable, is psychologically impossible, and there is an element of frivolous insincerity in any philosophy which pretends to accept it,” Russell.
    – Conifold
    Oct 29, 2021 at 23:39
  • What about the things at the vicinity of the things that are at your vicinity? Do they exist? The arguments seems to imply so..
    – Nikos M.
    Oct 31, 2021 at 10:14
  • @Conifold, great Russell quote!
    – Nikos M.
    Oct 31, 2021 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


It’s possible, but unprovable, and it doesn’t make a difference to you. So I’m plotting to hire an assassin to kill you. Do I exist, or will there be a bullet suddenly appearing in your close vicinity, entering your head and killing you? Makes no difference.

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