VoyForums
[ Show ]
Support VoyForums
[ Shrink ]
VoyForums Announcement: Programming and providing support for this service has been a labor of love since 1997. We are one of the few services online who values our users' privacy, and have never sold your information. We have even fought hard to defend your privacy in legal cases; however, we've done it with almost no financial support -- paying out of pocket to continue providing the service. Due to the issues imposed on us by advertisers, we also stopped hosting most ads on the forums many years ago. We hope you appreciate our efforts.

Show your support by donating any amount. (Note: We are still technically a for-profit company, so your contribution is not tax-deductible.) PayPal Acct: Feedback:

Donate to VoyForums (PayPal):

Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123[4]56789 ]


[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Date Posted: 22:15
Author: Eponymous-25Jul02
Subject: Berkeleyan Reality
In reply to: Anon-25Jul02 's message, "Re: The value of a currency note" on 22:13

Yeah, I actually once took a class on the British empiricists, of whom Bishop Berkeley was one. Berkeley's view is a little hard to sketch, but basically he contended that so-called physical objects are simply collections of "sensible ideas" (roughly, the sense perceptions of the minds apprehending them).

Note that Berkeley's view is not that the objects of perception are illusory. It's just that they aren't "physical" in the standard sense. [n.0]

You are right, therefore, to believe that Samuel Johnson’s famed demonstration [n.1] fails as a disproof in the case of Berkeley’s idealism. However, the reason it fails there is that the intent behind the demonstration confuses (1) the denial of the existence of mind-independent matter with (2) the denial of the reality of the objects of our experience of the world. Berkeley was only denying the former.

But Krishnananda seems to be denying both. Which is why Johnson’s demonstration would succeed as an at least pragmatic disproof of Krishnananda’s remarks. How? By demonstrating a core, epistemic, practical commitment to the objects’ being real - however this “reality” is to be construed.

Put it this way: If one seeks to avoid physical harm, it can only because one is fundamentally committed at that time to the idea that physical harm is in some important sense real. Sure, one might thereafter repair to the armchair [n.2] and, in a calmer moment, reflect on how it is all really just an illusion. But it seems to me that actions speak a lot louder about one’s basic beliefs than any armchair speculation can.

___
NOTES
0. For one thing, they do not exist unless they are presently perceived. (Berkeley’s famous dictum is esse est percipi - “to be is to be perceived.”)
1. The standard apocryphum has Dr. Johnson merely kicking a stone to demonstrate realism, rather than assaulting the hapless Bishop Berkeley’s foot.
2. Or the yoga mat, if that is preferred.

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Post a message:
This forum requires an account to post.
[ Create Account ]
[ Login ]
[ Contact Forum Admin ]


Forum timezone: GMT+0
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.