Main CategoriesMetaphysics and the SupernaturalMetaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues

Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues

Product no.: 0-14-043293-0
Whether viewed as extreme skepticism or enlightened common sense, the writings of Berkeley are a major influence on modern philosophy.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Bishop Berkeley (1685-1753) was one of the great British empirical philosophers. He believed that the existence of material objects depends on their being perceived and The Principles of Human Knowledge sets out this denial of non-mental material reality.

At first his views were unfavorably received by the London intelligentsia, and the entertaining Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous are a clarification of the Realist argument and a response to accusations of atheism and skepticism.

In the nineteenth century John Stuart Mill wrote that he considered Berkeley's work to be of "greatest philosophic genius," and it is true to say that its Immaterialism has influenced many recent philosophers.

Berkeley's accusation:

"There was a young man who said God,
must find it exceedingly odd
when he finds that the tree
continues to be
when no one's about in the Quad."

Berkeley's response:

"Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd

I'm always about in the Quad
And that's why the tree
continues to be
Since observed by, yours faithfully, God."

~Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

90. "Ideas imprinted on the senses are real things, or do really exist. I don’t deny that; but I deny that they can exist outside the minds that perceive them, and that they resemble anything existing outside the mind—since the very being of a sensation or idea consists in being perceived, and the only thing an idea can resemble is an idea. The things perceived by sense can be called ‘external’ with regard to their origin, because they aren’t generated from within by the mind itself, but imprinted ·from outside· by a spirit other than the one that perceives them. Perceptible objects can also be said to be ‘outside the mind’ in another sense, namely, when they exist in some other mind. Thus when I shut my eyes, the things I saw may still exist, but it must be in another mind."

Author Berkeley, George
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 217 pp.
Publisher Penguin Books 1988
Browse these categories as well: Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition

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