Category Archives: George Berkeley

Perception, Knowledge, and Being

The discussion in the Theaetetus really takes off when Theaetetus tries out his first definition of knowledge, suggesting that it’s “nothing other than perception” (οὐκ ἄλλο τί ἐστιν ἐπιστήμη ἢ αἴσθησις) (151e). Socrates immediately equates this definition with the sophist Protagoras’s claim that “Man … Continue reading

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Brandom vs. the Idealists on “Causal Intermediaries”

Despite their many similarities, Brandom flags one point of disagreement with McDowell: I do not see that we need – either in epistemology or, more important, in semantics – to appeal to any intermediaries between perceptual facts and reports of … Continue reading

Posted in David Hart, Empiricism, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Idealism, John McDowell, Leibniz, Naturalism, Robert Brandom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

McDowell’s “Absolute Idealism”

In “The Unboundedness of the Conceptual,” the second lecture that composes Mind and World, McDowell begins to sketch a constructive alternative to both the Myth of the Given and the frictionless-spinning of coherentism. He suggests that, “although reality is independent of our … Continue reading

Posted in Coherentism, Empiricism, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Hegel, Idealism, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, John McDowell, Wittgenstein | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scruton Defends Locke’s “Primary Qualities”

In his A Short History of Modern Philosophy, Roger Scruton defends Locke’s distinction of an object’s “primary” from its “secondary qualities. ” The distinction works like this: “whereas primary qualities resemble the ideas that are produced by them, secondary qualities do … Continue reading

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Hume’s Lockean misstep

A key step in Hume’s argument against the rationality of induction is the following: “It is agreed on all hands that there is no known connection between the sensible qualities and the secret powers,” “on which the influence of these … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, David Hume, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Hume, Induction, James Ross, John Locke, Matter, Perception, Thought and World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berkeley and Aquinas on Matter and Epistemological Realism

Does matter exist? Bishop Berkeley famously said, No, a thesis which has earned him a reputation as a brilliant crank (emphasis on “crank”). Here’s his argument: Wood, stones, fire, water, flesh, iron, and the like things, which I name and … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, Being and beings, Descartes, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Idealism, John Locke, John O'Callaghan, Matter, Metaphysics, Mind and World, Plato, Thomas Aquinas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment