Single Idea 3939

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / c. Empirical idealism]

Full Idea

I may conceive in my own thoughts the idea of a tree, but that is all. And this is far from proving that I can conceive it existing out of the minds of all spirits.

Gist of Idea

I conceive a tree in my mind, but I cannot prove that its existence can be conceived outside a mind


George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], I p.184)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.184

A Reaction

If Berkeley has based a world view on this point, then his mistake is to require a 'proof'. Aristotle explained why you can't prove everything (not to mention Gödel).