Idealism

Topics: Perception, Mind, Ontology Pages: 1 (552 words) Published: October 21, 2014

Are material objects clusters of ideas before the mind?
The question concerning the reality of material objects relates to the theory of idealism. Holding the opinion that material objects are just collections of ideas is heavily critical of indirect realism and seeks to disprove this ideology. Theorised by Berkeley, idealism holds that objects are to be perceived and if they are not experienced then they do not exist. There are many arguments, both in support and against Berkeley’s theory, such as solipsism, veridical perceptions and the God-of-the-gaps-theory. This essay will demonstrate the improbability of objects merely being clusters of ideas, as idealism states. A danger of Berkeley’s idealism is that it has the capability of leading to solipsism, and as a result, scepticism of the existence of the external world, this is one of the most crucial response against idealism I will address. Berkeley’s theory holds we only perceive our own ideas rather than perceiving the minds of others. However this leads to the question of how we can know that other minded beings actually exist, and how we know that they do. This leads to solipsism, the theory that the only thing that exists, or is known to exist, is my own mind and its thoughts. This is a path that is not favoured by philosophers as it is so contrary to popular beliefs. Berkeley’s response to this is that he knows that behaviour is caused by mental states, and he observes similar behaviour in others. Therefore, their behaviour is caused by their own mental states, they have a mind. This is a fairly weak response, as we can predict what some responses may be ahead of their reactions, and we can envision a reaction without seeing it. Most hold the view that space and time are objective, mind-independent, and this is widely accepted as a common sense and typical view. This suggests that if all creatures were to die out, time and space would continue and still be in existence. However, Berkeley’s idealism...
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