Malcolm wrote: Since the reality of matter, etc., cannot be established other than conventionally, what is the use of defending their reality at all?
Well, there are two things wrong with this statement.
First, the 'reality of matter' cannot be established. Period.
Second, nobody is trying to defend their reality,
meaning that nobody is asserting intrinsic
reality of objects.
be established is the arising of objects of awareness,
which quite often (but not always) includes matter.
The fact that an inherent reality of matter can't be established doesn't matter.
If a person says "composite things don't exist"
that is a really meaningless statement
because they arise, at least referentially, despite lacking inherent existence.
if they didn't it would be impossible to discuss them.
Fear has no intrinsic reality either
yet fear is experienced, and the experience results in physiological events, such as persperation.
That's why it is important to make a distinction between saying that
something is an arising object of awareness
and something is "real"
.We can say with absolute certainty that objects of awareness arise.
The existence of matter can't be found
but there is absolutely no denying
the experience of it, nonetheless.