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Friday, April 06, 2012

Berkeley: The Evidence Just Keeps Piling Up

"[Berkeley] is no subjective idealist; he does not say or hold that my smelling is the smell or makes it; for him, the smell is the smell and the sound is the sound; but the existence of smell and sound are, he insists, nothing other than the smell smelt and the sound heard." -- A.A. Luce, Berkeley's Immaterialism, p. 65

2 comments:

  1. Have you read Lewis' The Great Divorce? One of the interesting things about it is how he deals with the difficulty of communicating that ultimate reality is realer, more substantial, than our current existence. For the shades in Purgatory, when they go to the border lands to meet their guides, it hurts their feet to walk on the grass, and the guides are hard to look at.

    I wonder if this is Berkley's whole purpose, to get people out of the mental habit of thinking that our souls are wispy, ghostlike things, less substantial than a car or the smell of coffee. But instead of saying the spiritual world is more substantial, he tells us it is the physical world that is wispy.

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    1. I donàt think so, Gabe: he says the physical world is just what it appears to be: these concrete sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc.

      By the way, Lewis was a big Berkeley fan: it was Berkeley who rid him of materialism.

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