Three Dialogues Between Hylas And Philonous Essays

842 Words Jul 16th, 2015 4 Pages
In Berkley’s book, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, Berkley presents this idea as his two characters Hylas and Philonous have a debate over the existence of physical matter. Berkley challenged the popular idea that the world around us was made up of physical matter and presented the question, can the objects we perceive exist independently of our perception of them? Philonous through a series of proofs provides the necessary evidence to disprove the existence of objects.
The idea of objects is unfathomable and erroneous. Philonous begins his argument by stating that anything that is perceived is perceived immediately. Philonous and Hylas agree that sensible things are only things that are immediately perceived by sense. Philonous has proven that sensation does not prove existence and it is not until things are perceived by the mind that one is able to understand these sensations. This proof strengthens Philonous’ argument that the idea of objects has no basis. However, Hylas refutes Philonous proof and says he believes that objects cause our perception and sensations, not the mind. Philonous responds to Hylas’ expressed belief with the argument that if you take away all the sensible qualities, such as flavor, odor, color, sound, and texture, of a so-called “object” then nothing remains because the mind cannot perceive it. Therefore, an object is not a physical matter but instead a combination of various sensible things. Philonous has proven that physical matter…

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