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Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2$
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Jonathan Bennett

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198250924.001.0001

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Berkeleian Sensible Things

Berkeleian Sensible Things

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter 31 Berkeleian Sensible Things
Source:
Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2
Author(s):

Jonathan Bennett

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198250924.003.0011

Berkeley's proposal that a sensible thing is a collection of ideas is not well thought out: it is supposed to license the saying that one can perceive a house (say); but one does not perceive the collection, only a part of it. Evidence is given that Berkeley did not care much for this topic: his more considered view was that the messy talk of ‘the vulgar’ about houses, trees etc. was not worth careful salvage. He cared little about the continuity of sensible things, and did not seriously argue that God must exist to perceive things when we do not. His immaterialism is a form of idealism, with only faint signs of phenomenalism; reasons are given here why he did not take the phenomenalist route whole‐heartedly.

Keywords:   Berkeley, continuity, God, idealism, phenomenalism

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