George Berkeley To Be Is To Be Perceived Thesis

George Berkeley To Be Is To Be Perceived Thesis-86
Berkeley therefore, rather than abandon direct realism, chose to modify the principle of the mind-dependence of the physical world.According to Berkeley, the mind independence of objects is not absolute, but relative.

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Now, common sense seems to cling on to two principles, one is that we are directly aware of physical objects and the other is that physical objects are independent of us and exist outside our minds.

The dilemma produced by the 'new philosophy' makes it impossible to hold both of these principles.

Therefore, although these ideas of which we are aware can be held to represent, and in terms of primary qualities, resemble, objects in the world, they also constitute a 'veil of perception' which stands between the perceiver and the external world.

From this we can conclude that the external world, as investigated by science, is different from the experiential or phenomenal realm.

If we are directly aware of ideas in our minds and not of the external world, then our naive realist understanding of perception cannot be maintained.

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So Locke, who typified the new philosophers, abandoned Naive Realism in favour of Representative Realism.Descartes, with his proposal that the interaction of mind and body took place in the pineal gland in the brain, failed to gain much credibility.The result of this unease felt about interaction was that a materialist theory of the mind seemed preferable.We tend to think of ideas as things that are thought, and indeed ideas are considered to be close to concepts.John Locke, however, defined an idea as 'whatever is the object of the understanding when a man thinks' and he included sensations and sensory images amongst ideas.By adopting the term 'idea' for all mental objects Locke declared his intent to assimilate the intellectual and the sensory to each other, and to make the sensory the model for both.If we accept that we are directly aware of ideas in the mind and not of external things, it becomes pressing to prove that there are really any external things at all.Descartes, in an attempt to highlight the possibility that there may be no external world, suggested that our experience might be the product of an evil demon whose intent was to deceive us.In an attempt to refute such sceptical possibilities Descartes tried to prove, a priori, the existence of a good God.Descartes argued that such a good God would not deceive us, nor allow us to be deceived, in something so fundamental as our belief in the external world.However, Descartes's proof of the existence of God was not generally accepted, even amongst theists.


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