Summary: From "My Early Life" (1930) Here is Churchill's brilliant analysis:
Some of my cousins who had the great advantage of University
education used to tease me with arguments to prove that nothing has
any existence except what we think of it. The whole creation is but a
dream; all phenomena are imaginary. You create your own universe
as you go along. The stronger your imagination, the more variegated
your universe. When you leave off dreaming, the universe ceases to
exist. These amusing mental acrobatics are all right to play with.
They are perfectly harmless and perfectly useless. I warn my younger
readers only to treat them as a game. The metaphysicians will have
the last word and defy you to disprove their absurd propositions.
I always rested upon the following argument which I devised
for myself many years ago. We look up in the sky and see the sun.
Our eyes are dazzled and our senses record the fact. So here is this
great sun standing apparently on no better foundation than our
physical senses. But happily there is a method, apart altogether from
our physical senses, of testing the reality of the sun. It is by
mathematics. By means of prolonged processes of mathematics,
entirely separate from the senses, astronomers are able to calculate
when an eclipse will occur. They predict by pure reason that a black