Ideas from 'The Principles of Human Knowledge' by George Berkeley [1710], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.' by Berkeley,George (ed/tr Warnock,G.J.) [Fontana 1962,-]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
Abstract ideas are impossible
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
Berkeley does believe in trees, but is confused about what trees are
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
Universals do not have single meaning, but attach to many different particulars
No one will think of abstractions if they only have particular ideas
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Universals do not have any intrinsic properties, but only relations to particulars
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Material substance is just general existence which can have properties
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
A die has no distinct subject, but is merely a name for its modes or accidents
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Perception is existence for my table, but also possible perception, by me or a spirit
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
The only substance is spirit, or that which perceives
When I shut my eyes, the things I saw may still exist, but in another mind
The 'esse' of objects is 'percipi', and they can only exist in minds
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / e. Primary/secondary critique
No one can, by abstraction, conceive extension and motion of bodies without sensible qualities
Figure and extension seem just as dependent on the observer as heat and cold
Motion is in the mind, since swifter ideas produce an appearance of slower motion
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 3. Representation
Berkeley's idealism resulted from fear of scepticism in representative realism
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Knowledge is of ideas from senses, or ideas of the mind, or operations on sensations
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
I know other minds by ideas which are referred by me to other agents, as their effects
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 7. Animal Minds
If animals have ideas, and are not machines, they must have some reason
15. Nature of Minds / B. Properties of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Berkeley replaced intentionality with an anti-abstractionist imagist theory of thought
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
The mind creates abstract ideas by considering qualities separated from their objects
I can only combine particulars in imagination; I can't create 'abstract' ideas
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 2. Internal Properties
Ideas are perceived by the mind, soul or self
19. Language / B. Meaning / 2. Meaning as Mental
Language is presumably for communication, and names stand for ideas
19. Language / E. Propositions / 1. Propositions
I can't really go wrong if I stick to wordless thought
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / j. Time as subjective
I cannot imagine time apart from the flow of ideas in my mind
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
We discover natural behaviour by observing settled laws of nature, not necessary connections
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
The laws of nature are mental regularities which we learn by experience
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
If properties and qualities arise from an inward essence, we will remain ignorant of nature
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / i. Modern matter
No one can explain how matter affects mind, so matter is redundant in philosophy
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 2. Movement
All motion is relative, so a single body cannot move
29. Religion / F. Problem of Evil / 1. Problem of Evil
Particular evils are really good when linked to the whole system of beings