Single Idea 5374

[catalogued under 18. Thought / C. Content / 2. Ideas]

Full Idea

Berkeley seems to have confused the colour of the thing apprehended with the act of apprehension; probably either of these would have been called an 'idea' be Berkeley.

Gist of Idea

Berkeley probably used 'idea' to mean both the act of apprehension and the thing apprehended


comment on George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713]) by Bertrand Russell - Problems of Philosophy

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'The Problems of Philosophy' [OUP 1995], p.22

A Reaction

If we are saying that Berkeley's error was entirely verbal, there is a chicken-and-egg problem. He was an idealist, so he wouldn't have thought that there were two separate concepts behind the word 'idea'. Russell merely asserts that there are.