Single Idea 6722

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism]

Full Idea

The table I write on I say exists, that is, I see and feel it; and if I were out of my study I should say it existed - meaning thereby that if I was in my study I might perceive it, or that some other spirit actually does perceive it.

Gist of Idea

Perception is existence for my table, but also possible perception, by me or a spirit


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], 3)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.66

A Reaction

Berkeley is always (understandably) labelled as an 'idealist', but this seems to be what we call 'phenomenalism', because it allows possible experiences as well as actual ones. See Ideas 5170 and 6522.

Related Ideas

Idea 5170 Material things are constructions from actual and possible occurrences of sense-contents [Ayer]

Idea 6522 Phenomenalism can be theistic (Berkeley), or sceptical (Hume), or analytic (20th century) [Robinson,H]