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Abstract


Phenomenalist Foundation and Subjective Idealist Consequence of Ernst Mach's Anti-Realism: Could Mach be Interpreted as a Solipsist Thinker?
This article initially presents Ernst Mach's anti-realist or instrumentalist stance that underpin his opposition to atomism and reveal his idea that science should be based totally on objectively observable facts. Then, the details of Mach's phenomenalist arguments which recognize only sensations as real are revealed. Phenomenalist thought is not compatible with the idea of realism, which evaluates unobservable entities such as atom, molecule and quark as mind-independent things. In this context, Mach considers the atom as a thought symbol or a metaphysical fiction. This results in the idea that the existence of matter or entity is not independent of the perceiving minds, which is considered Mach’s subjective idealism. As a result of these arguments, the article argues that it would not be wrong to associate Mach's thoughts with solipsism, a radical form of subjective idealism.

Keywords
Ernst Mach, anti-realism, phenomenalism, anti-atomism, subjective idealism, solipsism.


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