George Berkeley To Be Is To Be Perceived Thesis

We tend to think of ideas as things that are thought, and indeed ideas are considered to be close to concepts.

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By adopting the term 'idea' for all mental objects Locke declared his intent to assimilate the intellectual and the sensory to each other, and to make the sensory the model for both.

If we accept that we are directly aware of ideas in the mind and not of external things, it becomes pressing to prove that there are really any external things at all.

Further, not only are these worlds different qualitatively, but they are located in different realms.

If we accept that the things of which we are immediately aware possess secondary qualities and that these secondary qualities exist only 'in the mind', then what we are aware of are, 'ideas in the mind', not objects in the external world.

Although none of the major seventeenth century philosophers were sceptics, this new philosophy, having no convincing refutation of scepticism, encouraged it amongst its readers.

Allied to the fear of scepticism was the fear of materialism and atheism.The combination of Atomism and Newton's mechanistic and thus deterministic view of the world created major difficulties in understanding how it was possible for immaterial spirits such as God or the soul, to be related to the physical world.The principal difficulty was in understanding how a material and immaterial substance could causally interact.In this essay I shall give the historical background to Berkeley's Idealism and then offer an argument for Idealism and suggest how an idealist could defend his theory against common objections and criticisms.Bishop George Berkeley's Idealism or Immaterialism is the theory that the physical world exists only in the experiences minds have of it.Atomists believed that bodies are made from minute particles.Further, they believed that the particles and the bodies made from them, possess primary and not secondary properties.If we are directly aware of ideas in our minds and not of the external world, then our naive realist understanding of perception cannot be maintained.So Locke, who typified the new philosophers, abandoned Naive Realism in favour of Representative Realism.One of the important things we must be clear about when taking about Idealism is the term 'idea' itself.As used by Berkeley and Locke the term 'idea' does not have its normal sense.


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