20

Speaking very generally, materialism has been waxing sharply, and idealism has been waning for a good long time. Berkeley studies have definitely suffered on account of this, but he would seem to be least among the "Idealist idols" also relegated to the "dustbin" of history by modern philosophy. In particular, a rancorous anti-Platonism has been one of the ...


13

It’s ironic that Locke’s commonsense approach to philosophy should have influenced Berkeley to formulate a philosophical position that at first seems so much at variance with common sense. He became the object of severe criticism and ridicule for denying what seemed most obvious to anyone. Berkeley had set out to deny the existence of matter. Since the ...


8

Quantum mechanics goes a lot further than what is often represented. It implies that there might not be properties at all (no reality, as we know it), independent of a measurement event. The measurement event is not just a physical interaction (that results in just another entangled state). Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR) wrote a paper that came to be ...


8

However, modern physics has led to a description of matter that--it seems to me--need not reference perceptual properties at all. In fact, matter has properties that not only lie beyond our perception, but literally can't be imagined in perceptual terms--mass, charge, "charm," "strangeness," (the latter two being names for properties of subatomic ...


7

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Berkeley defends idealism by attacking the materialist alternative" in his two metaphysical works, the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge and the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. His philosophy of subjective idealism is also primarily outlined by these two writings. You ...


6

There is a very good and well-sourced article on Kant's refutation of Idealism on SEP. As the answer in this question tried to say, it is essentially about an objective foundation of time. From the SEP article linked: George Dicker provides a compelling initial representation of Kant's argument (Dicker 2004, 2008): I am conscious of my own ...


6

I agree with stoicfury. But I think there is an additional argument that the crux of idealism can't be undermined in the way you propose (whatever may be the weaknesses of Berkeley's version of idealism), even beyond the idea that everything is "theoretically observable". In the case of "matter (with) properties beyond our perception" there is still a very ...


5

Berkeley gives two arguments in the quoted passage, and the first one does resonate with Kant's later arguments. But Berkeley's came before Kant's. First, he says that the notion of matter is "inconsistent". This is roughly because it is usually defined in terms of attributes (extension, color, sound, etc.), which only make sense as perceived (by their ...


5

While one can argue that the successes of particle physics and cosmology demonstrate that we can make reliable predictions about the world with only very indirectly invoking perception, this observation is intrinsically no different than realizing that a tree can fall in the forest without being observed. Berkeley's argument would remain the same: although ...


5

I would challenge the claim that Berkeley has fallen out of favour; rather, he continues to be one of the most referenced philosophers of all time. I don't mean to say that the views as expressed in his classic works are wholly accepted these days; in general, he comes too close to empiricism to be fully acceptable, empiricism having been dealt crippling ...


4

According to Malebranche, I do not have an idea of my soul, I only have a feeling. "The soul, on the other hand, is that I in me which thinks, which senses, which wills—it is the substance in which are found all the modifications of which I have an inner sensation, and which subsist only in the soul that perceives them. Thus, no property ...


4

Occasionalism is the position that God is the true and "efficient" cause of all that occurs. Absolutely nothing happens, except through him, even when we appear to witnessing the demonstration of a law of nature, or indeed experience ourselves to be directly exercising agency over our activity. God is the only entity capable of being a true and necessary ...


4

You seem to be wanting to argue that Berkeley's argument isn't even valid. I don't think that's right. Berkeley's point could be made formal as so: There is an object o such that nobody conceives of it. (Premise) If (1) is true, then o is such that somebody conceives it. (Premise) o is such that somebody conceives it. (1, 2 modus ponens). Therefore, o is ...


3

Kant criticizes Berkeley in B274 of Critique of Pure Reason concerning the concept of space: The second is the dogmatical idealism of Berkeley, who maintains that space, together with all the objects of which it is the inseparable condition, is a thing which is in itself impossible, and that consequently the objects in space are mere products of the ...


3

I am not much of a Berkeley scholar so my answer will primarily be an attempt to explain Kant with reference to the things you state in your question. I think we need to be very careful about what exactly we mean by it is meaningless to speak of things-in-themselves that are not subject to human evaluation. This sentence can have several different ...


3

Great question: I think Kant may do so, he takes a mid-point between Berkeleys pure idealism - all mind, and the materialists - all matter. Qualia for him come from the interaction of mind on matter. It was Humes pure scepticism about causality that awoke Kant from his 'dogmatic slumber'; and the same critique that Hume makes about causality, seems to have ...


3

If you are a solipsist, from your point of view you would only be talking to yourself anyway. So you could say whatever you wanted. If you are a (presumably external) interlocutor trying to catch a solipsist in an implicit contradiction, there will probably be plenty of opportunities. Even if the solipsist has no actual belief in the existence of others, ...


3

If solipsism is the thesis that only I exist, then Berkeley was certainly not a solipsist since a major burden of his argument in the Principles is that all that exist are his and other minds or spirits and their ideas. Spirits crucially include God; and while Berkeley was a Bishop I don't believe he credited himself with divinity. I don't think 'Idealism' ...


3

David Hume wrote this line in his character Cleanthes's voice, in Part One of Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: Whether your scepticism be as absolute and sincere as you pretend, we shall learn by and by, when the company breaks up: we shall then see, whether you go out at the door or the window; and whether you really doubt if your body has gravity, ...


2

As a thoroughgoing occasionalist, Malebranche held that all causal activity is divine. That means body-body interaction, that means mind-on-body and body-on-mind interaction, and that means causal activity within one's mind. All of that has God as its true cause. Nothing created has any real causal power, which means that what look like causes in the order ...


2

Solipsism can be more subtle than that, Berkeley's for example, although there is a linguistic disagreement on whether to classify his philosophy as solipsism, and Berkeley denied the label. Basically he contends that "to be is to be perceived" (esse est percipi), there is no material or physical substrate to that, and each soul has a whole perceived world ...


2

These are unsourced, but are too long to post as comments: Idealism, when explained very briefly or over simplified, sounds too much like various New Age ideas along the lines of "it's all in the mind" and "the mind controls everything" -- anybody trying to explain Berkeley without going into the technical details ends up sounding too much like Deepak ...


2

The answer is sensitive to what is meant by "external" and "denial". For instance, one could say that the expression "external world" is incomprehensible (since we can not get out of ourselves to understand what it means), and that can be called "denying it". Kant's position can be read in this way, and also positions of many anti-realists (Husserl, ...


2

There's not just percepts, there's also perceivers. How you are using "perceiving" implies a relation between a perceiver and the perceived. One point here might be that it's everything else beyond percepts/perceptual-apparatus which are virtual for Berkeley. In particular, his metaphysical target is the idea of material objects. You can read the "...


2

A subjective idealist can use exactly the same language as anyone else. Hence Berkeley's maxim that we ought 'to think with the learned, and speak with the vulgar' (Of the Principles of Human Knowledge, §51). The point is that our phenomenologically experience is the same whether we are subjective idealists or not. A subjective idealist can talk about ...


1

There is a fourth option and it's called 'nondualism'. This is the 'Absolute Idealism' of Francis Bradley. For this form of idealism solipsism would be not strictly false or true, and there would be no ultimate noumenon. For this view (contra to Kant), the Ultimate would be a phenomenon but (uniquely) it would have no associated noumenon. A noumenon ...


1

Dr. Amit Goswami puts forth a thesis of Monistic Idealism in his book, The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, 1993. He holds that consciousness is the bases of all reality and that it is a fundamental part of everyone. This makes his paradigm free from solipsism.


1

I don't follow your exact objection. It seems like taken seriously, your objection would rule out proofs by contradiction altogether. From Q(x) -> ~Q(x), we do not deduce Q(x) is not a meaningful statement, only that the statement is not true. And that is exactly what Berkeley is after, for your Q not to be true of any x. But back off and look at ...


1

Yes, this is a common canard, but it basically misunderstands the various notions of idealism that people actually propose. From the the most basic 'Plato/formality' take on idealism, your will is just one idea among many. And there is no reason to presume other ideas are subject to your will. In fact, within your own mind, you experience counterexamples ...


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