The Moral Philosophy of George Berkeley by Paul J. Olscamp download in ePub, pdf, iPad
Berkeley's example is an apple. He wrote the bulk of Alciphron, his defense of Christianity against free-thinking, while in America. Only a mind or spirit can be a cause.
When looking at an embarrassed person, we infer indirectly that the person is embarrassed by observing the red color on the person's face. All things being equal, if it appears large, it is taken to be large. Given Berkeley's theory of meaning, this seems to imply that so long as one able to pick out distinguish minds from other things one can have a notion of mind.
And if the second falls, the third falls as well, since the third requires that alternative descriptions of an object pick out no differences in reality. The first type of abstraction concerns integral parts. For example, when a geometer draws a line on a blackboard, it is taken to represent all lines, even though the line itself is particular and has determinate qualities. You are not currently authenticated. No reasoning about things whereof we have no idea.
Berkeley's argument for immaterialism is complete, although he has not yet provided criteria for distinguishing ideas of sense from ideas of memory and imagination. He bought a farm and built a house named Whitehall, which is still standing. Since there is a continual succession of ideas in our minds, there must be some cause of it. So, if it is possible to construct a theory of meaning that does not introduce abstract ideas as a distinct kind of idea, that theory would be simpler and deemed more probably true.
References and Further Reading Berkeley, George. He remained at Trinity College after completion of his degree as a tutor and Greek lecturer.
Such a relative understanding of the mind as knower and ideas as the known is already found in the opening sections of the Principles. There are only finite mental substances and an infinite mental substance, namely, God. An Essay concerning Human Understanding.
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