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George Berkeley | Philosophy & Biography | Index

George Berkeley | Philosophy & Biography | Index

George Berkeley
 (1685 –1753)

George Berkeley is one of the greatest and most influential Western philosophers of the early modern period:

In defending the immaterialism for which he is most famous, he redirected modern thinking about the nature of objectivity and the mind’s capacity to come to terms with it.

Along the way, he made striking and influential proposals concerning the psychology of the senses, the workings of language, the aim of science, and the foundations of mathematics.

George Berkeley was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, on March 12, 1685, into what now would be called an Anglo-Irish family.

Later George Berkeley studied in Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a scholar and graduated B.A. in 1704.

Below you can read some works of the George Berkeley himself and some articles on his biography and philosophical views, known as Immaterialism or Subjective Idealism, postulating that nothing exists outside of the consciousness.

Three Dialogues | George Berkeley

George Berkeley (1685-1753) – is without a doubt my favourite Western Philosopher – since it was he – a notable Christian Theologian and Philosopher – who first in Western Philosophy came so close and elaborated the concept – so familiar since very long time in Indian religious philosophy – especially in Buddhist Yogācāra school and later the teachings of Śankara...

George Berkeley | Biography & Works

George Berkeley is one of the greatest and most influential Western philosophers of the early modern period: In defending the immaterialism for which he is most famous, he redirected modern thinking about the nature of objectivity and the mind’s capacity to come to terms with it. He made striking and influential proposals concerning the psychology of the senses, the language,...

George Berkeley | Introduction

George Berkeley, the Irish philosopher of English ancestry, and Anglican Bishop of Cloyne, was born at Kilkenny, Ireland. He entered Trinity College, Dublin in 1700 and became a fellow in 1707. In 1710 he published A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Part 1: This is the work in which Berkeley first published his immaterialist philosophy, and although it...

Main Themes of Berkeley’s Philosophy. Since the word idealism came into use in the 18th century, Berkeley has been known as a leading exponent of idealism, and even as its founder. He himself referred to his main view as “the immaterialist hypothesis,” meaning by this that he denied the very possibility of inert, mindless, material substance. This description brings out...

The New Theory of Vision. Although Berkeley did not mention his immaterialism in An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, this work throws important light upon his quarrel with the mathematicians and his rejection of the rationalist point of view. It contains, too, an interesting statement of what Berkeley then thought about geometry, how he came to the view...

Berkeley’s Arguments for Immaterialism. Pains and itches are typical sensations, and no one supposes that they could exist apart from a subject that experiences them. Rocks do not suffer, and water does not itch. When, therefore, sensible things such as colours, sounds, tangible shapes, tastes, and smells are called ideas, they are assimilated with sensations and hence relate to the...

Whatever is not being actually perceived by human beings, but is only perceptible by them, must be an object of perception by “some other spirit.” This other mind is God; and thus, according to Berkeley, the existence of sensible things when not being perceived by finite spirits is a proof of the existence of an infinite spirit who perceives them...

Berkeley’s Philosophy of Nature and Mathematics. Berkeley carried on a persistent battle against the tendency to suppose that mere abstractions are real things. In the New Theory of Vision he denied the possibility of “extension in abstract,” saying: “A line or surface which is neither black, nor white, nor blue, nor yellow, etc., nor long, nor short, nor rough, nor...