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Berkeley

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 1020
Professor
John Thorp
Semester
Fall

Description
Berkeley October-16-12 Historical and Biographical Matters George Berkeley (1685-1753)  Born in Kilkenny, Ireland  Anglican priest in 1710, became Bishop of Cloyne  One of three great 18th century Empiricists  Founded "Berkeley" A Treatise on the Principles of Knowledge (1710) Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713) "Hylas" from the Greek word for "matter": hyle "Philonous" from Greek word for "lover of mind" 1. Review Locke's empiricism:  There's nothing in the mind that didn't get in there from senses  Knowledge grounded in sense experience (perception)  Sense experience gives rise to ideas  We only have access to our ideas Locke's metaphysical view: External, material objects a. Matter & Mind exist So, Locke's picture admits the realist of matter and mind/ideas (form of dualism) What do we known about external objects? Qualities: the properties of those external objects b. Primary and secondary qualities Primary qualities: extension, solidity, shape, mobility, and number  For the object to be experienced at all, it must take up space and therefore must have a shape, volume, motion, etc.  How the object is characterized mathematically/physically Secondary qualities: colour, taste, smell, sound, texture  Sense dependent Primary qualities are in our ideas and also in the external object (a red object isn't really red, it is just capable of appearing red to us)  Because they give the physical characterization of the object Secondary qualities are only in our ideas  They are sense-dependent  Example: dogs are colour blind, they would perceive the red box as being grey  Primary qualities we perceive are also actually in the external object-in this sense, they ground reality of external objects  Secondary qualities are only in our ideas Berkeley a. His empiricist epistemology is the same as Locke: 1. All knowledge is grounded in sense experience (perception) 2. Sense experience gives rise to ideas 3. We only have immediate access to our ideas b. Berkeley is concerned with the metaphysical status of external, material objects (aka 'material substance' or 'material substratum' Question: Can we prove that external objects exist? In other words: Do external objects have any real (primary) qualities? c. The dialogue between Berkeley and Locke: B: Locke I agree with you about all knowledge being a result of experience and that we access that knowledge through ideas, But if you follow your own argument through to its conclusion, there is no basis for believing that primary qualities exist in external objects. There is no basis in believing in the existence of external objects. There is no matter, there are only ideas Berkeley is p
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