Can Someone Please Explain This Famous George Berkeley Quote

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Reply Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:16 pm
What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.

It it refering to a mind/ body dualism? Or perhaps a sensation/ perception dualism?
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2010 06:38 pm
@White Mamba,
White Mamba wrote:

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.

It it refering to a mind/ body dualism? Or perhaps a sensation/ perception dualism?


Howdy there White Mamba. While I am not familiar with the quote, nor with any critiques done on it, I would take an educated guess and say that you are correct in your first take--it's seemingly trying to make a humorous cliche-like punch towards the mind/body problem.

Of course, the sentiments behind this statement, have very much been evidenced to be of a refuting nature; we can very much see mind as being the matter of physical elements of brain...you can change the physical properties, and (especially) the connectivity and you can effect the specifics which add up to reach what we call 'mind.' Also, it might be good to keep in mind, that mind has an area of description/definition which is above and beyond mere 'having a state of consciousness.' (though it would surely include 'mega-consciousness.'
 
White Mamba
 
Reply Wed 18 Aug, 2010 07:31 pm
@KaseiJin,
Thanks Buddy.
 
babbits
 
Reply Wed 1 Jan, 2014 09:41 pm
@KaseiJin,
A British philosopher and Anglican Bishop, George Berkeley, decided that matter is an illusion; only 'ideas' are real.

This was maddening to some people, because it goes against common sense.

But Berkeley had an issue. Like many religious thinkers, he did not think that the world as we know it is made up of 'matter' -- atoms, and attributes of matter such as heat. To them, that would mean a godless universe. But that's what philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke seemed to be saying.

So Berkeley created a philosophy called 'Ideaism' which asserts that ideas constitute all existence. This universe of illusion is created by the spirit, God.

In the coffee shops of London and the salons of the upper class, little else was discussed.

So some say it was Berkeley himself who made the joke:

"No mind? Doesn't matter.
No matter? Never mind."

Others attribute it to Dr. Samuel Johnson, a.k.a. 'Dictionary' Johnson, famous for his wit.

Does it matter which said it?
 
 

 
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