Comparison Between Berkeley And Hume

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Danielle McCarron
paper #2

Berkeley and Hume are both philosophers that thought rationally and relied of reason instead of sensory experience to explain the world around us. Berkeley gives both an epistemological argument and a metaphysical argument to why the idea of mind independent matter is not an object of knowledge. I think Hume is also on the same page as Berkeley and gives an epistemological claim to why matters of fact is not a strong tool, Hume in a way is a lot like Berkeley just less fantastical.

Berkeley offers both an epistemological and metaphysical argument against the idea of mind independent matter as an object of knowledge. Berkeley talks about the attributes of matter which are primary, quantitative, and geometric. Casual powers that change position and cause secondary qualities that apply to the senses and is what you see in your mind. He thinks the idea of matter is either contradictory or empty. When you subtract out the things that you get from your mind you are left with nothing. Sensation he says, is a thing in your head so it doesn’t belong to the object. If what we know about the world we know through perception and perception is in our minds then we must know nothing about the outside world. Our ideas of the attributes of matter are derived by abstraction from secondary qualities. If we have an idea of matter it comes from sense or by reason. Senses are ideas in our mind they don’t resemble what we perceive so it can’t be senses.

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