Today we looked at Locke's argument for the existence of a mind-independent world. If we perceive ideas, rather than directly perceiving the world, how can we be sure that there is an external, mind-independent world? Ideas, which are supposed to reveal the world, instead seem to block it from our view. Ideas are thus the 'veil of perception', the veil that obscures our ability to sense things directly. To put it another way, imagine that God annihilated the external world, but kept providing you with ideas. What would look different? Locke doesn't seem to be able to point to anything.
The answers we saw were quite varied. Locke supposes that we have a special sort of knowledge, sensitive knowledge, which we can trust because…
Maybe this isn't persuasive, but what's the alternative? George Berkeley thinks he can provide one, as we will see in the coming weeks.