Single Idea 3944

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism]

Full Idea

We might perceive all things just as we do now, though there was no matter in the world.

Gist of Idea

It is possible that we could perceive everything as we do now, but nothing actually existed.


George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], II p.209)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.209

A Reaction

An old Greek argument. Now we have an explanation of experience, but we wouldn't if nothing existed. Which doesn't prove that anything exists. Is some explanation always preferable to none? Cf. religion.