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Let us take an illustration. You look out of the window, and observe that you can see three houses. You turn back into the room and say “three houses are visible from the window.” The kind of sceptic that I have in mind would say “you mean three houses were visible.” You would reply “but they can’t have vanished in this little moment.” You might look again and say “yes, there they are still.” The sceptic would retort: “I grant that when you looked again they were there again, but what makes you think they had been there in the interval?” You would only be able to say “because I see them whenever I look.” The sceptic would say “then you ought to infer that they are caused by your looking.” You will never succeed in getting any evidence against this view, because you can’t find out what the houses look like when no one is looking at them.

Bertrand Russell

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