Have they accounted by physical principles for the aptitude and contrivance, even of the most inconsiderable parts of the universe?" (76) Immaterialism
has none of these disadvantages, as Philonous indicates through a series of conditional statements, the most relevant being, "If they [the natural philosophers] demonstrate an unlimited power in then-cause; God is active and omnipotent, but matter an inert mass." (77) Notice first that this is a conditional: it is only if the antecedent is realized that the use of omnipotent becomes an issue.
(27) Berkeley referred to his philosophical position as "immaterialism
," but it is commonly, and unhelpfully, referred to as "idealism".
By attributing the continuity of nature and its very existence to God, who enables finite spirits to have the ideas that for them constitute the things of this world, Berkeley builds his case for immaterialism
as opposed to materialism.
(19) So far, indeed, is Hazlitt from a literal concurrence with Berkeley, that we find him expressly discounting the philosophy of immaterialism
for its inability to stand the test of common sense ("On Locke's 'Essay on the Human Understanding'," Lectures on English Philosophy, 2:181).
Berman appreciates, more than many Berkeley scholars, the motivating force that skepticism had for Berkeley's immaterialism
. Yet the central claim--that Berkeley was religious for philosophical reasons, not out of pure faith--simply is not supported, even if Berman is right that the young Berkeley himself was the unhappy skeptic, because we don't get an account of how Berkeley got from esse is percipi to belief in God.
In sections on Berkeley's philosophy, the golden age of Irish philosophy, and New Berkeley letters and Berkeliana, he discusses such topics as missing the wrong target, the culmination and causation of Irish philosophy, and an early essay concerning his immaterialism
. This is his fourth book on the good bishop.
His view rests on a number of central 'contentions' following from Kant's supposed ideality with respect to the form of representation as distinguished from Berkeley's ideality with respect to matter, in short the latter's immaterialism
. He notes that for Kant the mind contributes the spatiotemporal form and the conceptual form of objects.
Two Unsuccessful Arguments for Immaterialism
, PETER DILLARD
Luce, uno de los criticos mas afamados en el campo de la filosofia de Berkeley, insiste en que la unica manera de entablar una semejanza entre la doctrina de Berkeley y la de Kant es "malinterpretandola" -[his] doctrine can be assimilated to Kant, Hegel or Bradley's only by being misinterpreted (Berkeley's Immaterialism
But, Crittenden argues, nothing remarkable follows from that, certainly not immaterialism
about conscious states, for in a context, "[g]iven an understanding of the background situation and the absence of complicating factors, we simply grasp" that the subject is in such-and-such a conscious state.
In the final, deliberately experimental chapter, Bradatan compares Berkeley's denial of the existence of matter with medieval dualistic heresies, in particular Catharism, in the belief that the comparison affords a better understanding of immaterialism