A Treatise Concerning The Principles Of Human Knowledge

1368 Words Nov 9th, 2015 6 Pages
“Esse est percipi”. To be is to perceive, and to exist and to be perceived are one and the same. In the philosophical work of “A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge”, this one of the most famous principles which made Bishop George Berkeley one of the early modern period’s most acclaimed polymaths. Berkeley was a Bishop closely affiliated to the Anglican Church and a staunch critic of other philosophers of the past such as Rene Descartes and John Locke. Though initially impressed by their rigorous rhetoric, he could not bring himself to accept their views which were against his fundamental beliefs and which he viewed as flawed, leaning towards skepticism and atheism, two forces of the time which he was not fond of. Following his studies and extensive travels thereafter, his philosophy gradually developed. Berkley refuted the answers proposed by his predecessors, instead, advocating for pursuing concepts such as common sense and learning directly from what experience provided through the senses. Famously known to be a stalwart defender of the notion of “idealism”, or the view that reality consists exclusively of the mind, the spirit and its ideas, he promoted the belief of independent beings which were able to circumvent commonly held rationale to explain the unexplainable. Berkeley emphasized that given the acquaintance with our perceptions, the material world consequently was a mere representation of our spirits. In other words, no substance or permanence…
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