George Berkeley's Argument

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George Berkeley was an Irish philosopher who lived from 1685 to 1753. Berkeley is well known for his theories on materialism and idealism (also referred to as immaterialism). Materialism refers to the fact that all objects in the physical world are physical, material objects that can be seen and touched. Materialism states that all objects in the physical world are mind-independent, meaning that our minds do not have to think about an object in order for that object to exist physically. The other theory Berkeley is well known for is idealism/immaterialism. Idealism refers to the belief that material objects do not exist. Idealism states that materials in the physical world are mind-dependent, meaning we must be able to perceive an object in …show more content…
I do not think the argument presented by Berkeley is a valid one. For an argument to be valid, it must be true that if all the premises are true then the conclusion is true. If all the premises are not true then the conclusion will be false, making the argument invalid. The first premise we are presented with states that we perceive ordinary objects. This premise is true because people have the ability to perceive ordinary objects such as cars, trees, and books. It doesn’t matter if these perceptions are only ideas in our minds or material objects we can touch, what matters is that it is true we can perceive ordinary objects. The second premise we are presented with states that we perceive only ideas. This premise is false because we do not know 100% for a fact if we perceive only ideas. The premise implies that there is no situation in which we perceive anything other than ideas. This may be true in for people such as Berkeley, but it is not necessarily true for everyone. The conclusion that ordinary objects are ideas is a conclusion that can be true in the sense that ordinary objects can be thought of as ideas. The statement that ordinary objects are ideas implies that ordinary objects are only ideas and not physical objects. If ordinary objects are ideas then how do ordinary objects still exist even when we are not thinking of the idea of that object?

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