Intro to Philosophy
Materialism often gives us a pessimistic view of philosophy. Idealism is the more humanistic and moral view of philosophy. Bishop George Berkeley believed that the only way to understand the idealism is to reject the notion of materialism.
There are 2 types of idealism in the modern period of philosophy. Subjective idealism is the belief that only the mind and its perception are real. this view is most represented by George Berkeley.
The other type is absolute idealism. Absolute idealism takes subjective idealism and unifies it into a universal body of mind or soul. Berkeley was against the existence of matter and the physical world.
One of Berkeley’s most powerful reasons for absolute existence of the mind is proved through resemblance. His belief was that only something visually experienced can be like a visual experience.
He stated that ideas are dependent of the mind no ideas can resemble qualities of a mind independent idea with respect to sense experience. For example, the idea of a unicorn is minddependent and resembles unicorns from fairytales as a horse with a horn. If there were never a sense experience with a unicorn, no ideas would resemble the qualities. It was a popular opinion during this time period that the concept of physical matter and identified the differences between primary & secondary qualities of physical objects. An object's primary qualities are physical, while the secondary qualities only exist during perception, in the mind of the human being.
Berekley used Philonous acting as his voice, arguing against Hylas in the Three Dialogues. In the Dialogues, he laid out his argument against the existence of primary qualities as external to a mind's perception using the relativity of perception as his proof.
He goes on to explain away the other primary qualities, such as motion and density, with other
examples of their relativity as well, saying that the hardness of an object is relative to the hardness of the perceiver, so therefore that sensible property of hardness cannot exist except in the mind of the perceiver. This, however, is where Berkeley seems to be lacking in logical support. He claims that, according to his metaphysical theory, that which is perceived as the physical object of a rock, for example, is actually the idea of a rock, from which all the sensations of the rock are derived, being experienced in the mind of the perceiver of the idea of the rock. However, he also says, in his argument against the primary quality of extension, that the hardness of a rock is relative to the hardness of the perceiver. In saying this, he must have meant, by hardness of the perceiver, to say hardness of the idea of the body in which the perceiver, the mind, is taking seat, because obviously a mind could not have inherent properties of hardness, only an ability to experience the sensation of hardness presented to it by an idea.
So, if Berkeley's statement is interpreted in this way, then the sensation of hardness which the mind experiences is actually a sensation produced by the interaction of the properties of hardness in both the idea of the rock and the idea of the body belonging to the mind. In this case, a mind does not directly experience the property of hardness in an idea, but instead it