George Berkeley's Argument Analysis

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Philosopher George Berkeley formulates a compelling and idealist argument on the basis of human knowledge and human perception in his work “Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge.” Berkeley founds his argument on the statement “esse is percipi,” which means to be is to be perceived. In his view, we do experience things that create ideas within our mind. Since ideas can only resemble other ideas, our mental ideas can only come from an external world that is also made solely of ideas. This essay will support and prove the resilience of Berkeley’s argument against opposition.
Berkeley begins by claiming that the objects of human knowledge are ideas and these ideas can only be perceived the mind or spirit because no thought or idea
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It is impossible to prove the alternative. To try to think of an external object exists outside the mind is a contradiction in itself, further validating the former argument. For example, one may imagine a book in a closet that has never been perceived and conclude that the book is something that exists outside the mind but (Berkeley 71). Still, the books would have been perceived and proven to exist in the mind because the mind omitted itself as a perceiver when creating a situation where an object may be unperceived. Nevertheless, a counter-argument may be that this is not a true contradiction since imagining objects is not the same as producing the physical object. When we think of the book, the book doesn’t materialize in our minds. Again, this judgement fails to completely grasp the vital principle in the Berkeley’s Treatise. The external world is made of ideas. The book is a book because of the sensible qualities perceived onto it not because of some material substance. The book’s existence is dependent on it being perceived by a mind or spirit. Therefore, when the mind imagines the book in the closet, the book is an idea. The book …show more content…
One of the problems with arguing the existence of a material substance independent of the mind is that there is nowhere for it to exist. “That it exists not in the mind is agreed; and that it exists not in place is no less certain—since all place or extension exists only in the mind, as hath been already proved. It remains therefore that it exists nowhere at all” (Berkeley 86). By using matter to prove the existence of an object outside of the mind another contradiction is established. Since primary sensible qualities being extension, place, motion, number, figure, etc., are proven to exist within the mind, there is no place for matter to exist. The only possible conclusion would be that matter does not exist anywhere. Yet, not only does matter not exist anywhere but it cannot be perceived. There is no way to prove the existence of a substance which is impossible to be

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