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Part One, Section Sixty-six

25 September, 2015 - 15:04

Hence, it is evident that those things which, under the notion of a cause co-operating or concurring to the production of effects, are altogether inexplicable, and run us into great absurdities, may be very naturally explained, and have a proper and obvious use assigned to them, when they are considered only as marks or signs for our information. And it is the searching after and endeavouring to understand those signs instituted by the Author of Nature, that ought to be the employment of the natural philosopher; and not the pretending to explain things by corporeal causes, which doc- trine seems to have too much estranged the minds of men from that active principle, that supreme and wise Spirit “in whom we live, move, and have our being.” …

Having covered Berkeley’s arguments for immaterialism and his replies to objections, we can now look at the following selections from later in the Principles, which bring out important features of his positive view.