>Now that I think of it, "reality is my benchmark" sort of says I choose "primacy of existence" over "primacy of consciousness."
I think that thinking in terms of "primacy" theories is probably better than trying to construct 'inescapable' axioms - which, in their efforts to become 'inescapable' become, as Bradley points out (thanks Stephen), innocuous to the same degree.
Let me propose to ignore the usual philosophic categories for a moment, and try a different perspective.
We can, very crudely, stand back and see 3 competing types of "primacy" theories, which we can roughly summarise as follows:
1) "Primacy of physical existence" theories. That is, there is a physical world out there of trees, rocks, food and Bon Jovi records which we cannot avoid or wish away. Held by: Rand, Popper, many other philosophers, many human beings.
2) "Primacy of consciousness" theories. There is no actual physical world, merely our perceptions of it. Held by, oh, solipsists, radical subjectivists, Berkeley I suppose, and a few others, and very few non-philosophers.
3) "Primacy of non-physical existence". There are abstract, eternal things that precede the physical world, and the physical world is a mere imitation of. Held by: Plato, natch, and most world religions.
Of course, most thinkers fall in between and round about these categories rather than firmly in them. But what's interesting to me is not how true or false they are, but that they seem to be attempts that date from very ancient times to describe *distinctly different types of human experience*, to explain them, and to put them in some kind of cosmological order.
In parallel with this attempt at ordering, there is a natural tendency towards *reduction*: to try to reduce all 3 to two, or to one, and while but this reductionist approach has taught us a lot on the way, it hass not met with anything like final success to my mind. These categories stubbornly, and roughly, refuse to submit, creating problems for the reductionist from whichever way she should approach it. The reductionist usually resorts to solutions that are either *verbalist* - playing with words to make it look as tho the reduction has been successfully achieved - or simply cheerfully ignoring that type of experience which does not fit the reductionist's particular starting point.
This leads, I think to much wasted time trying to pretend that the physical world doesn't really exist, or that consciousness doesn't exist, or that abstractions don't exist etc etc etc.
My attitude is: *all three* of these types of experiences seem to be real, and there are good arguments that suggest they are not illusions of one sort or another. And if it don't fit, don't force it.