Berkeley by Harry M. Bracken (auth.)

By Harry M. Bracken (auth.)

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And in following Bayle, Berkeley believes that the scope of his refutation ranges over all 'modern philosophy'. Berkeley believes that he has refuted any and all versions of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. There is one additional point. T. , the Principles and the Three Dialogues, Berkeley gives priority to extension. , Berkeley is striving to dissolve problems surrounding extension by treating it as a sensation. In his discussions of the primary/ secondary quality distinction in the Principles and Three Dialogues Berkeley takes extension to be the primary and essential quality of matter.

Actually, it is the view that to offer no explanation at all is preferable to offering an erroneous one. , the tendency has been to read Berkeley's anti-abstractionism as anti-Cartesian as well as anti-Lockean. This is an inheritance of setting Continental Rationalists over and against British Empiricists. The mistake is easily corrected once one understands that the doctrines of innate ideas (Descartes) or of seeing all things in God (Malebranche) are designed in order to provide a non-abstractionist source for concepts.

C. ' In Principles section 86 and following, Berkeley makes it clear what esse is percipi is intended to avoid : we have been led into very dangerous errors, by supposing a twofold existence of the objects of sense, the one intelligible, or in the mind, the other real and without the mind : whereby unthinking things are thought to have a natural subsistence of their own, distinct from being perceived by spirits. This which, if I mistake not, hath been shewn to be a most groundless and absurd notion, is the very root of scepticism; for so long as men thought that real things subsisted without the mind, and that their knowledge was only so far forth real as it was conformable to real things, it follows, they could not be certain that they had any real knowledge at all.

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