George Berkeley, also Bishop Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne

George
Berkeley, also Bishop Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne
1685
1753

Anglo-Irish Philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "Immaterialism" (later referred to as "Subjective Idealism" by others)

Author Quotes

A nation is not conquered which is perpetually to be conquered.

A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

A populace never rebels from passion for attack, but from impatience of suffering.

A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

After what has been premised, I think we may lay down the following Conclusions. First, It is plain Philosophers amuse themselves in vain, when they inquire for any natural efficient Cause, distinct from a Mind or Spirit. Secondly, Considering the whole Creation is the Workmanship of a wise and good Agent, it should seem to become Philosophers, to employ their Thoughts (contrary to what some hold) about the final Causes of Things: And I must confess, I see no reason, why pointing out the various Ends, to which natural Things are adapted and for which they were originally with unspeakable Wisdom contrived, should not be thought one good way of accounting for them, and altogether worthy a Philosopher.

Afterwards, when upon turning his head or eyes up and down to the right and left he shall observe the visible objects to change, and shall also attain to know that they are called by the same names, and connected with the objects perceived by touch; then indeed he will come to speak of them and their situation, in the same terms that he has been used to apply to tangible things; and those that he perceives by turning up his eyes he will call upper, and those that by turning down his eyes he will call lower.

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.

All our ideas, sensations, notions, or the things which we perceive, by whatsoever names they may be distinguished, are visibly inactive- there is nothing of power or agency included in them. So that one idea or object of thought cannot produce or make any alteration in another.

All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth - in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world - have not any subsistence without a mind.

Whenever I attempt to frame a simple idea of time, abstracted from the succession of ideas in my mind, which flows uniformly, and is participated by all beings, I am lost and embrangled in inextricable difficulties.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.

Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.

The same principles which at first view lead to skepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense.

That thing of hell and eternal punishment is the most absurd, as well as the most disagreeable thought that ever entered into the head of mortal man.

That neither our thoughts, nor passions, nor ideas formed by the imagination, exist without the mind, is what everybody will allow.

Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretense to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free.

A mind at liberty to reflect on its own observations, if it produce nothing useful to the world, seldom fails of entertainment to itself.

There is an omnipresent eternal Mind, which knows and comprehends all things, and exhibits them to our view in such a manner, and according to such rules, as He Himself hath ordained, and by us they are termed the laws of nature.

Nothing else but the study of Wisdom and Truth.

To be means to be perceived.

I do not know that I, who am a spirit or thinking substance, exist as certainly as I know my ideas exist. Further, I know what I mean by the terms I and Myself; and I know this immediately or intuitively, though I do not perceive it as I perceive a triangle, a colour, or a sound. The Mind, Spirit, or Soul is that indivisible unextended thing which thinks, acts, and perceives.

Time therefore being nothing, abstracted from the succession of ideas in our minds, it follows that the duration of any finite spirit must be estimated by the number of ideas or actions succeeding each other in that same spirit or mind. Hence, it is a plain consequence that the soul always thinks; and in truth whoever shall go about to divide his thoughts, or abstract the existence of a spirit from its cogitation, will, I believe, find it no easy task.

From all which I conclude, there is a Mind which affects me every moment with all the sensible impressions I perceive. And, from the variety, order, and manner of these, I conclude the Author of them to be wise, powerful, and good beyond comprehension. Mark it well; I do not say, I see things by perceiving that which represents them in the intelligible Substance of God. This I do not understand; but I say, the things by me perceived are known by the understanding, and produced by the will of an infinite Spirit.

It does not appear to me that there can be any motion other than relative.

Philosophy being nothing else but the study of wisdom and truth, it may with reason be expected that those who have spent most time and pains in it should enjoy a greater calm and serenity of mind, a greater clearness and evidence of knowledge, and be less disturbed with doubts and difficulties than other men.

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Berkeley, also Bishop Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne
Birth Date
1685
Death Date
1753
Bio

Anglo-Irish Philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "Immaterialism" (later referred to as "Subjective Idealism" by others)