George Berkeley’s Understanding of Metaphysics

George Berkeley’s Understanding of Metaphysics

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Since Berkeley does not deny the existence of objects and their order in nature, it is necessary for him to explain how the objects external to our mind exist and maintain their order even when we do not perceive them. While explaining the general thesis that “to exist is to be perceived”, he states that he does not deny the sensible things and existence outside the mind: This is not his own mind in particular, but all other minds.

It is clear that they have an existence external to my mind because through experience I discover that they are independent of my mind. There is another mind in which they exist, which continues to perceive them when I do not perceive them.

Because all human minds stop from time to time to distract from objects, there is an Outer Mind “always ready to perceive”. This mind knows and comprehends all things and presents them to our view in such a way according to the rules which it owns, which is expressed by us in the term laws of nature. The existence of things is therefore dependent on the existence of God, and God is the cause of the orderliness of things in nature.

So when we try to describe or interpret reality in terms of our experience, we first come to the conclusion that there are other people with minds like me. Based on this, I can say that other people like me also have ideas. Apart from my and their limited minds, there is a greater Mind by analogy to the mind, and that is the mind of God.

The ideas of God establish the usual order of nature. The ideas in our minds are the ideas that God has revealed to us. Thus, the cause of the objects we perceive in our daily experience is not matter or substance, but God. It is also God who coordinates all experiences of limited minds, assuring regularity and dependence on experience; in other words, it enables us to think in terms of the laws of nature.

Thus, the orderliness of the ideas in the mind of God is communicated to the limited minds or souls of men, and the differences in competence between the Holy and the limited minds are tolerated. Ultimately, then, the ultimate reality is not material but spiritual (spiritual) God, and when we do not perceive them, their continued existence can be explained by the fact that God is constantly perceiving them.

As can be seen, Berkeley’s metaphysics is of a type that can be characterized in terms of spiritualism and idealism: According to this, there is the divine mind as the ultimate reality in the universe, and we humans have limited minds or mortal souls, and also the ideas of these minds. But while ideas exist dependent on the minds that produced them, minds or souls each exist independently as God’s creation. In this way Berkeley eliminated philosophical materialism and religious skepticism at the same time. Starting from Locke’s empiricism, the fact that minds always think and operate on particular sense experience and assert that abstract terms have no reality will be carried towards absolute skepticism by finding a full expression by Hume.

Berkeley, who reached the ontological conclusion that there are only ideas and minds that perceive ideas, and that the matter that causes ideas with its action on our senses does not exist in any way, starting from the epistemological premises that suggest that the only source of knowledge is perception and that we can only know our own ideas or sensations in perception. however, just as Locke did, he adopted a causal understanding of perception and argued that there is a being, namely God, who causes the ideas in our minds. In other words, he has replaced matter with God.

According to Berkeley, we accept that our perceptions, our ideas, are real when they are 1 living and clear, 2 compatible with our other experiences, and 3 not the result of an arbitrary action of human will, that is, when they are not arbitrarily created in the human mind, without cause and ground. and we distinguish them from fantasies, imaginary perceptions and ideas. That is, since our feelings and ideas are dependent on us and are not arbitrary, these perceptions, sensations and ideas must have a cause outside the human mind.

In other words, matter does not exist, even if it does exist, it is too passive to cause ideas in our minds because it is defined in a completely negative and indefinite way, secondly, ideas cannot be the causes of themselves or other ideas, and finally, human beings cannot create these real ideas themselves. For this reason, according to Berkeley, there must be another spiritual entity that causes these ideas in our minds and sensations in our perception, and this spiritual entity is God.

By saying that we never experience a spiritual being, a God, while causing our perceptions, sensations, ideas, or at any other time, our senses, id