Help about George Berkeley

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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 09:57 pm
Berkeley Scholars please help, I believe Berkeley's philosophy is much more better and coherent than what I and maybe others also thought. :perplexed:

I'm having a hard time understanding or at least giving value to the philosophy of George Berkeley. He is often times referred to as one of the British empiricists, along with Lock and Hume. But then, I cannot follow his thought, because of his Idealism which seems to blur his empiricism. Unlike Kant, where I can draw the line between his rationalism and empiricism. If empiricism held the view the senses as the primary sources of knowledge, how come Berkeley downplayed the value of matter?
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:07 pm
@Patty phil,
Berkeley downplays matter in order to focus on the senses. Perception (senses) determines reality. For Berkeley, there is no such thing as matter without a mind, because it always a mind that perceives matter. So even if a {human} mind is not perceiving a chair in an empty room, it still exists because God is always perceiving it.

Basically, because Berkeley thinks mind-independency is incoherent and inconcievable without a mind, so-called mind-independent things (like matter) really are mind-dependent because we're thinking about it right now!
 
Patty phil
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:24 pm
@Patty phil,
Yeah. To be is to be perceived. But then, which comes first? The thought of the perceive or the perception of matter? How does sensation come about? Is it by the mind placing objects externally?
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 10:35 pm
@Patty phil,
Berkeley wrote that "Everything we see, hear, feel, or any way perceive by sense, being a sign or effect of the power of God; as is our perception of those very motions."

So the thought or Ideas of the perceiver organizes the perception of matter. God organizes matter in a certain way, to create human minds, and these minds organizes objects either through the senses, imagination or memory, grouped in certain ways by our mind; round things are round, a certain colour is blue, etc. And for Berkeley, God enables these things.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 11:14 pm
@Victor Eremita,
principles of Human Knowledge Principles of Human Reasoning, but specifically 7 and 9. It's interesting, but the argument really isn't that long, it's just really obscured. I narrow it down like this;

1.If material substances are those in which sensible qualities are predicated of, then those qualities are the said features of material substances.

2.Also, sensible qualities are perceived through the senses, so they are then ideasunthinking substances is not right because for an idea to exist in an unperceiving thing is a huge contradiction.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 11:21 pm
@Patty phil,
Give me a month or two and I will be up for discussing Berkeley considering my Early Modern Philo class calls for me to read his dialogues.
 
Patty phil
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 01:13 am
@Patty phil,
Thanks VideCorSpoon. Theaetetus I'll wait for your response.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 03:14 am
@Patty phil,
Patty wrote:
Berkeley Scholars please help, I believe Berkeley's philosophy is much more better and coherent than what I and maybe others also thought. :perplexed:

I'm having a hard time understanding or at least giving value to the philosophy of George Berkeley. He is often times referred to as one of the British empiricists, along with Lock and Hume. But then, I cannot follow his thought, because of his Idealism which seems to blur his empiricism. Unlike Kant, where I can draw the line between his rationalism and empiricism. If empiricism held the view the senses as the primary sources of knowledge, how come Berkeley downplayed the value of matter?


Because he thought that the senses really do not give us any reason to suppose that there is matter, and, in fact, quite the opposite.
 
nameless
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:01 pm
@Patty phil,
An interesting read;

On Berkeley and Advaita
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 07:07 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
An interesting read;

On Berkeley and Advaita


But even if it is, it has nothing whatever to do with the question.
 
nameless
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 01:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;48747 wrote:
But even if it is, it has nothing whatever to do with the question.

Thankyou for your opinion on the OPs intent and meaning.
I think that the mention of;
OP wrote:
I'm having a hard time understanding or at least giving value to the philosophy of George Berkeley.

indicated that the more of 'Berkeley' that was known and understood, of his thoughts, from as many Perspectives as possible, that it would help satisfy the implied question in the above quote; perhaps provide 'improved understanding'.
Capisce'?
nameless out
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 08:20 am
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Thankyou for your opinion on the OPs intent and meaning.
I think that the mention of;

indicated that the more of 'Berkeley' that was known and understood, of his thoughts, from as many Perspectives as possible, that it would help satisfy the implied question in the above quote; perhaps provide 'improved understanding'.
Capisce'?
nameless out


Not everything about Berkeley concerns why, if B. is an empiricist, how he can also be an Idealist. For instance, knowing that B. once went to California would help with the question. From what I can see, the book you recommended would not help with any question about B. But that is something different.
 
Cleanthes
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 04:52 pm
@kennethamy,
Berkeley says that we never experience matter, we only experience mind. That is, when you see a chair, you are experiencing your mind, not the chair. We can not infer that the chair exists outside a mind, because we never experience the chair... We only experience the mind...

God, being the wonderful guy that he is, would not create such a confusing dualism for people to live in... In other words, god would not confuse us by creating a mental, detached from the physical. Therefore, god would only create the mental, and we would be directly aware of its existence. So, everything in the world is a representation of gods mind. And since we experience things as mind, we experience the world directly, because the world is mind.

Furthermore, he is an empiricist because he believes that all knowledge comes from experience.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 07:37 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Not everything about Berkeley concerns why, if B. is an empiricist, how he can also be an Idealist. For instance, knowing that B. once went to California would not help with the question. From what I can see, the book you recommended would not help with any question about B. But that is something different.
 
 

 
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