Berkeley's Theory Of Immaterialism



As man progressed through the various stages of evolution, it is assumed that at a certain point he began to ponder the world around him. Of course, these first attempts fell short of being scholarly, probably consisting of a few grunts and snorts at best. As time passed on, though, these ideas persisted and were eventually tackled by the more intellectual, so-called philosophers. Thus, excavation of "the external world" began. As the authoritarinism of the ancients gave way to the more liberal views of the modernists, two main positions concerning epistemology and the nature of the world arose. The first view was exemplified by the empiricists, who stated that all knowledge ...

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The main figure who believed that material substance did not exist is George Berkeley. In truth, it is the immaterialist position that seems the most logical when placed under close scrutiny.
The initial groundwork for Berkeley's position is the truism that the materialist is a skeptic. In the writing of his three dialogues, Berkeley develops two characters: Hylas (the materialist) and Philonous (Berkeley himself). Philonous draws upon one central supposition of the materialist to formulate his argument of skepticism against him; this idea is that one can never perceive the real essence of anything. In short, the materialist feels that the information received through sense experience gives a representative picture of the outside world (the representative theory of perception), and one can not penetrate to the true essece of an object. This makes logical sense, for the only way to perceive this real essence would be to become the object itself! Although the idea is ...

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would be number, figure, motion, and extension. Secondary qualities are those things that are concrete (sense oriented), such as color, smell, sound, and taste. The materialist feels that these primary qualities persist even when the secondary ones are not there. Thus, if a person were blind, then that individual would not be able to hear or to touch items; yet the so-called real qualities such as figure would remain existent in the objects. As previously shown, the materialist is agnostic in his belief of these real (primary) qualities. It is here that Berkeley directs an alternate hypothesis: that the abstract primary qualities don't exist at all. In fact, the immaterialist ...

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"Berkeley's Theory Of Immaterialism." Essayworld.com. November 20, 2007. Accessed December 19, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Berkeleys-Theory-Of-Immaterialism/74625.
"Berkeley's Theory Of Immaterialism." Essayworld.com. November 20, 2007. Accessed December 19, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Berkeleys-Theory-Of-Immaterialism/74625.
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Added: 11/20/2007 05:44:07 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2566
Pages: 10

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