By: George Berkeley (1685-1753)
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Part 1 (Commonly called “Treatise” when referring to Berkeley’s works) is a 1710 work by the Irish Empiricist philosopher George Berkeley. It largely seeks to refute the claims made by his contemporary John Locke about the nature of human perception. Both Locke and Berkeley agreed that there was an outside world, and it was this world which caused the ideas one has within one’s mind. Berkeley sought to prove that the outside world was also composed solely of ideas, suggesting that “Ideas can only resemble Ideas”...
Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
Berkeley uses Hylas as his primary contemporary philosophical adversary, John Locke. A Hylas is featured in Greek mythology and the name Hylas is derived from an ancient Greek word for “matter” which Hylas argues for in the dialogues. Philonous translates as “lover of mind.” In The First Dialogue, Hylas expresses his disdain for skepticism, adding that he has heard Philonous to have “maintained the most extravagant opinion… namely, that there is no such thing as material substance in the world.” Philonous argues that it is actually Hylas who is the skeptic and that he can prove it. Thus, a philosophical battle of wit begins.
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