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11. Berkeley.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

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11. Berkeley (October 18, 2011) 0. Biographical and historical matters  Born in Kilkenny, Ireland  Ordained as an Anglican priest in 1710  Became bishop of Cloyne  One of three great 18 century empiricists  Founded “Berkeley”  A treatise on the Principles of Knowledge (1710)  Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713)  Hylas from the Greek word matter 1. Review of Locke's empiricism  “There is nothing in the mind that was not first in the sense” Epistemology: o All knowledge is grounded in sense experience (perception) o Sense experience gives rise to ideas o We only have immediate access to our ideas  Locke’s Metaphysical view: External, material objects exist  External matters a) Matter and Mind Exist  Locke’s picture admits the reality of… o Matter o Mind/ Ideas b) Primary and Secondary Qualities  Primary Qualities: extension, solidity, shape, mobility and number o How the object is characterized mathematically/physically  Secondary Qualities: color, taste, smell, sound and texture o Sense dependent o Known through our 5(6,7,8…) senses  Common view: Primary qualities arte in our ideas and also in the external object o Because they give the physical characterization of the object  Secondary qualities are only in our ideas  They are sense-dependent so they necessarily result from how our sense work  Secondary qualities depend on the certain apparatus dealing with them (Dog)  So primary qualities we perceive are also actually in the external object- in this sense, they ground the reality of external objects  Secondary qualities only exist in our ideas (only in our minds) – result of how our senses work 2. Berkeley a) Empiricist epistemology shared with Locke  All Knowledge is grounded in sense experience (perception)  Sense experience gives rise to ideas  We only have immediate access to our ideas b) Question of the status of external objects  Question Can we prove that external objects exist?  In other words: Do external objects have any real (primary) qualities? c) An imagined discussion between Berkeley and Locke  Hey Locke, I agree with you about all knowledge being a result of experience and that we access that knowledge through ideas… o But… If you follow your own argument through its ultimate conclusion, there is no basis for believing that primary qualities exist in external objects  So there is no basis for believing in the existence of external objects  There is no matter there are only ideas  Berkeley is pushing a philosophical point against Locke 3. Berkeley's argument  We’v
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