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Rather than spending more time examining whether our senses possibly could deceive us by representing our perceptions as distinct from ourselves (that is, as •external to and •independent of us), let us consider whether they really do so… . Here is an argument that might be used:
My own body evidently belongs to me, and as various impressions appear exterior to my body I suppose them to be exterior to me. (Let’s set aside the metaphysical question about the identity of a thinking substance, ·which may be tied up with the question of what I am·.) The paper on which I am now writing is beyond my hand. The table is beyond the paper. The walls of the room beyond the table. And in looking towards the window I see a great stretch of fields and buildings beyond my room. From all this it can be inferred that all I need are my senses, with no help from any other faculty, to be convinced of the external existence of body.
This inference is blocked by the three following considerations. (1) Properly speaking, when we look at our limbs and other body-parts what we perceive isn’t •our body but rather •certain impressions that come to us through the senses; so when we treat these impressions as being (or as being impressions of ) real bodies, that is an act of the mind that’s as hard to explain as the one we are now examining. (2) Sounds, tastes, and smells, though commonly regarded by the mind as •continued •independent qualities, don’t appear to have any existence in the extended realm, so that they can’t appear to the senses as situated outside the body. The reason why we ascribe a place to them will be considered in section 5. (3) Even our sight doesn’t inform us of distance or outerness immediately and without a certain reasoning and experience, as is agreed by the most rational philosophers ·under the lead of Berkeley·.

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