George Berkeley

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George Berkeley
Full name George Berkeley
Era 18th century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Idealism, Empiricism
Main interests Metaphysics, Epistemology, Language, Mathematics, Perception
Notable ideas Subjective Idealism, The Master Argument

George Berkeley (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), or Bishop Berkeley,[1] was an Irish bishop and philosopher.

Berkeley was one of the three 'British Empiricists', philosophers around the late 1600s and 1700s who believed in 'empiricism', the philosophy that everything we learn comes through our senses. The other British Empiricists included the Englishman John Locke and Scotsman David Hume.

Philosophy[change | change source]

His philosophy was called "immaterialism", or "subjective idealism". His idealism said that all our beliefs and ideas came through sensations, but our senses didn't tell us anything about the world. He said that Locke's belief in matter was wrong. He said that even though we can see matter, there was no way of knowing the things we see correspond to real things, like matter. Instead, he said that our experiences are caused by God, because this is simpler. We, and all our sensations, exist only in the mind of God.

Life[change | change source]

Berkeley was born at his family home, Dysart Castle, near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was educated at Kilkenny College and attended Trinity College, Dublin, completing a Master's degree in 1707.

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Philosophical Commentaries (1707–08, notebooks)
  • An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision (1709)
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Part I (1710)
  • Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713)
  • De Motu (Berkeley's essay)|De Motu (1721)
  • Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher (1732)
  • The Theory of Vision or Visual Language … Vindicated and Explained (1733)
  • The Analyst (1734)
  • The Querist (1735–37)
  • Siris (1744)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. He was Bishop of Cloyne.

Other websites[change | change source]