George Berkeley
GEORGE BERKELEY   Macroknow Library

Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues.

"But say you, though the ideas themselves do not exist without the mind, yet there may be things like them whereof they are copies or resemblances, which things exist without the mind, in an unthinking substance. I answer, an idea can be like nothing but an idea . . ."1a

"A spirit is one simple, undivided, active being: as it perceives ideas, it is called the understanding, and as it produces or otherwise operates about them, it is called the will. Hence there can be no idea formed of a soul or spirit . . ."1b LOCKE

"The ideas imprinted on the senses by the Author of Nature are called real things: and those excited in the imagination being less regular, vivid and constant, are more properly termed ideas, or images of things, which they copy and represent."1c

" . . . The only thing whose existence we deny, is that which philosophers call matter or corporeal substance."1d LOCKE

" . . . [W]hen words are used without a meaning, you may put them together as you please, without danger of running into a contradiction. You may say, for example, that twice two is equal to seven, so long as you declare you do not take the words of that proposition in their usual acceptation, but for marks of you know not what."1e ARISTOTLE DESCARTES PASCAL VOLTAIRE JAMES SANTAYANA RUSSELL POPPER ORWELL DRUCKER PENROSE

" . . . [B]y the word spirit we mean only that which thinks, wills, and perceives . . ."1f ARISTOTLE

" . . . [A] soul or spirit is an active being, whose existence persists not in being perceived, but in perceiving ideas."1g ARISTOTLE

" . . . [T]he soul is indivisible, incorporeal, unextended, and it is consequently incorruptible. . . the soul of man is naturally immortal."1h ARISTOTLE


* Italics in the original.

1 George Berkeley (1685-1753). Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Howard Robinson. Text, A. A. Luce and T. E. Jessop (The Complete Works of George Berkeley, 1948-57, Nelson). Editorial matter, Howard Robinson, 1996. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1999.
Part I:
The Main Text
a The nature of spirit, at 27
b Seventeen objections to his theory and the answers to them, at 35.
c Ibid., at 37.
d Ibid., at 38.
e Ibid., at 58.
f Positive Consequences of Berkeley's doctrine, at 86.
g Ibid., at 87.
h Ibid., at 88.