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Part One, Section One Hundred and Forty-seven

25 September, 2015 - 15:07

Hence, it is evident that God is known as certainly and immediately as any other mind or spirit whatsoever distinct from ourselves. We may even assert that the existence of God is far more evidently perceived than the existence of men; because the effects of nature are infinitely more numerous and considerable than those ascribed to human agents. There is not any one mark that denotes a man, or effect produced by him, which does not more strongly evince the being of that Spirit who is the Author of Nature. For, it is evident that in affecting other persons the will of man has no other object than barely the motion of the limbs of his body; but that such a motion should be attended by, or excite any idea in the mind of another, depends wholly on the will of the Creator.

  1. Why an’t we have an idea of spirit/mind, according to Berkeley? Remember his ‘likeness principle from the opening argument of Part One.
  2. The big picture: Berkeley sets out to undermine ‘materialism’: what is materialism?
  3. Berkeley’s positive view is captured by the slogan ‘esse est percipi aut percipere’; what does this mean?
  4. What, according to Berkeley, is the only substance?
  5. Why does Berkeley attack the doctrine of abstract ideas?