Russell's Simplicity Argument Analysis

1500 Words6 Pages
This essay will consider Russell’s reasons for believing that there exists a mind-independent world. The philosopher offers few arguments, two of which will be outlined, namely, the argument for simplicity and the argument for instinctive beliefs. Though, the essay will argue that only Russell’s simplicity argument is effective since it stands against criticism. In fact, the critical discussion will be mainly focused on the simplicity argument because it provides more room for debate. Therefore, after an outline of both the arguments, this essay will aim to a narrow focus and explain only briefly why the argument for instinctive beliefs is unsound, while giving a deeper explanation of why the simplicity argument is valid and sound. For the…show more content…
Thus, one may counter-reply to the aforementioned considerations and challenge again Russell’s simplicity argument. After all, one may wonder if the same criticism advanced against the argument for instinctive beliefs applies to the simplicity argument. That is, maybe we may conceive other simple hypotheses today as well as tomorrow, thereby refusing the common-sense view as the only simple one just in the same way we refuted it as the only instinctive one. Yet, unlike the case of instinctive beliefs, in which we could conceive several intuitive hypotheses at the present time, only one really simple hypothesis can be conceived now. This is because no other hypothesis can ever be as simple as the straightforward common-sense theory. Indeed, to some extent, all other hypotheses would require somehow invented interpretations that try to explain the world in a necessarily less simple way than the common-sense hypothesis that does not require any imagination. To exemplify, one may consider how everyone agrees that a piece of a puzzle self-evidently fits within it even if we are missing some pieces. Similarly, we immediately recognise the common-sense view as the only simple one, just like we identify the piece of the puzzle as the right one, because this view explains the existence of the world effortlessly. Therefore, as these paragraphs showed, Russell’s simplicity argument is ultimately proved valid and sound, and he is entitled to believe in the existence of a mind-independent
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