Thursday, November 27, 2014
British Empiricism (George Berkeley) 3of4
He was either bald or very hairy. We will never know. Personally, I like Berkeley with hair better than bald Berkeley.
On March 12th 1685, he was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1696 he went to Kilkenny College until he went to Trinity College four years later. He ended up earning a doctorate. In the expectations of society, like a man of his education should, he was ordained as an Anglican Priest in 1710. He traveled to London in 1713 and befriended many people including Richard Steele, who Berkeley contributed many articles for on agnosticism (Even though he is a priest). After marrying, he and his bride went to the Americans to establish a seminary in 1728. He settled in Rhode Islands while he waited for promised grant money. He wrote much of his work Alciphron which defends Christianity against free thinking. Upon his return of a failed seminary build in Bermuda, he became a Bishop.
One of his greatest works was The New Theory of Vision. He says the purpose of it was “to shew the manner wherein we perceive by sight the distance, magnitude, and situation of object.” He agrees that distance is not seen right away. Berkeley disagrees with Descartes in the matter of how people perceive the size of objects. He does not think it has to do with natural geometry.
Berkeley believes that what we perceive is relative to the way we perceive something else. (We can see someone is scared when we notice their face is pale).
Linking Berkeley to Locke, Berkeley feels that Locke’s account of abstract ideas was the best. In fact he wrote in his notebooks, “Wonderful in Locke that he could wn advanc’d in years seat all thro a mist yt had been so long a gathering and was consequently think. This more to be admir’d than yt he didn’t see farther.” In modern day terms, Berkeley thought Locke was the man and super smart.
Here is a video of quotes. This man had some interesting/thought provoking ones.