Hello fellow philosophers!

I'm currently in the process of reading about George Berkeley's Idealism.

At one point, it is mentioned that Berkeley's Master Argument fails due to a conflation of representation versus what is represented. It is stated

"That is, when we imagine a tree standing alone in a forest, we (arguably) conceive of an unthought-of object, though of course we must employ a thought in order to accomplish this feat.Thus (as many commentators have observed), this argument fails."

My question is what exactly is an unthought-of object in this context? Is it simply refering to an object that is currently not occupying our minds?

Would appreciate a simple clarification. Thank you!

  • 2
    If the tree is standing alone in the forest then no one is perceiving it or thinking of it. So it is an unthought-of object that we are, nonetheless, able to conceive, contrary to the master argument. The obvious objection that it is thought of, namely by us in that conception. But, under Pitcher's distinction, we only think of the tree's representation, not of the tree itself, and so it remains an unthought-of, but conceived, object.
    – Conifold
    Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 12:19
  • 1
    you might want to see - philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/85918/… Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 6:51


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