I’m leaning heavily on Matt Johnson’s lecture on solovyvov. . His lecture is a bit abstract (though the parts I understand are very important). I’m trying to boil this down to simpler terms, if possible.
The outside world cannot be proven. It must be taken on faith. What we are actually aware of are sense impressions. Sense impressions, though, are not material. Sense impressions are not reducible to matter. They are reducible to psychic states–all we are aware of are our states of mind. Sense data do not prove the reality of the outside world. They prove that are senses are registering sound, sight et al.
Secondly, the empirical scientist faces a difficult when he looks at reality and calls it “a thing.” He is arbitrarily singling out one aspect of reality when in fact at any given moment there is a multitude of forces and energies–be it electric or magnetic acting around him. Therefore, any object in nature is actually millions of particles and forces.
Vladimir Solovyov and Johnson are rebutting the unbelieving scientist who says that “science and matter are all there is.” Yes, that’s putting it crassly but there you have it. The unbelieving scientist (or psychologist, or sociologist, or politician in D.C.) is saying “I’m just looking at the facts and data. I don’t have time for religious or moral considerations.”
To which Solovyvov (and his disciple, Dostoevsky) would respond, “No, you are specifically not looking at the empirical data. You are actually going off of sense impressions that your current pyschic state is registering. Unfortunately for your empiricism, you can’t prove this. You can’t put your psychic states under a microsoft, or run them across with the scientific method. You have to take them by faith.
Now we move the discussion back to theology and philosopy.
(At this point Johnson and Solovyov talk about Christ the Logos; cf. Colossians 1:17-19). Lord willing, I’ll try to talk about that later.