If you place a pencil in an opaque box and close the box, does the
This is a Metaphysical question to which we do not know the correct answer. But here are some philosophical views
Idealism : The pencil does not exist when no one is watching
The mind is what creates matter, if something is not created by any mind (i.e : inside an opaque box), then it does not exist.
But different idealist philosophers have different stories to say, for example : George Berkeley would argue that even if the pencil is an illusion created by our minds, it still exists inside the box because it is always in the Mind of God : When we are not watching, God is watching.
According to Leibniz's Theory of Monads on the other hand, the pencil would vanish from existence and reappear when we bring it back to our consciousness. But Leibniz does not think that the pencil is a mere illusion created by our minds, but rather that real nature of matter (that is : its substance) is mind itself.
Dualism and Materialism : The pencil exists inside the box
Different flavors of dualism hold that both matter and mind do exist separately, While Materialism holds that only matter exists : But according to both Materialistic and Dualistic philosophies : The pencil is in the box.
In my opinion, I would argue that probably (like 99.99%) the pencil is in the opaque box. And here is my argument :
I rely on abduction, Ockham's razor, Uniformitarianism and pragmatism, to come to the conclusion that the pencil probably exists in the box.
Different modes of reasoning make it possible for me to conclude that there is no reason to believe that things disappear, when you think about it :
- The idea violates Uniformitarianism (that the Universe works the same way even when we were not there to see it)
- The idea is more complex, since it requires things to disappear and reappear, and your mind has to do all that work. (applying Ockham's Razor and abductive reasoning). https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/simplicity/#Int
- The idea is meaningless according to pragmatism (only what can be practically applicable is meaningful)
Additionally, if the pencil is just a mind illusion, then what it is that makes it permanent, and therefore sets it apart from all the pencils that I have seen in my dreams, that are not permanent?
I know that pencil I put in the box in my dream is an illusion, which makes me sure that I probably would not find it there while awake or in another dream.
Therefore, the 'real' pencil has to be something more than what we call illusion, an illusion that persists, an illusion that the Universe does not seem to forget about...?