Analysis Of Berkeley's Three Dialogues Between Hylas And Philonous

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In Berkeley’s “Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous,” he aims to defend idealism (immaterialism), or the notion that real objects are mind-dependent ideas, by attacking the materialist view, or the belief that material things exist independent of the mind. Berkeley believes that the way the current metaphysics is spent doubting is ineffective. He views that philosophers have wasted their lives doubting what others already know exists. Hence, he believes that knowledge is attained through the senses and not by doubting. Therefore, Berkeley refutes Descartes’ and Locke’s dualism. Berkeley aims to defeat the issues of skepticism and Atheism, for he believes that neither Locke nor Descartes properly captured the essence of God. Consequently,
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Berkeley uses Hylas and the philosophical adversary while Philonous is used to develop Berkeley’s thoughts. In the first dialogue, Berkeley seeks to get rid of materialism, stating, “there is no such thing as material substance,” (Berkeley 456). Consequently, he does not believe we should spend our time on analyzing whether there are objects independent of the mind, for we will not obtain the answers we seek if we continue to appeal to materialism. Additionally, Berkeley claims that materialism cannot explain how our ideas are produced, for how can they come to a satisfying conclusion if materialists cannot even explain how our minds interact with the spirit. On the other hand, we do not need external objects to give us ideas, for all knowledge that is obtained is through sensory experience or inferred through the experience. He illustrates this notion …show more content…
Berkeley’s argument is then found incoherent.
Furthermore, Shepherd denies Berkeley’s claim on efficiency. She believes that his claims are questionable because she holds that it would be beneath God to take the time to get involved with minuscule things such as giving one the sensation of fecal material, or waste. It would be more efficient for external objects to have an effect on our senses directly than God having to input such sensations in our minds. Shepherd’s argument does note some interesting observations and things the Berkeley should consider addressing, however, I do not think that it poses a serious threat to Berkeley’s argument. Berkeley believes that external objects are incoherent with the mind because matter itself is unnecessary. Furthermore, since God gives us sensations, the fact that our sensory organs are outside of the mid would not matter, because eye, for example are capable of deceiving us. On the other hand, sensations given to us by God are dree from deception, and are therefore more reliable. Moreover, Berkeley would respond to Shepherd’s objection regarding inefficiency, by simply stating, one who is wise, all things good, and powerful has the ability to create the sensation that He feels is

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