Berkely - Berkeley A As man progressed through the various...

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Berkeley B As man progressed through the various stages of evolution, it is A assumed that at a certain point he began to ponder the world around him. Of a course, these first attempts fell short of being scholarly, probably c consisting of a few grunts and snorts at best. As time passed on, though, c these ideas persisted and were eventually tackled by the more intellectual, t so-called philosophers. Thus, excavation of "the external world" began. As s the authoritarinism of the ancients gave way to the more liberal views of t the modernists, two main positions concerning epistemology and the nature t of the world arose. The first view was exemplified by the empiricists, who o stated that all knowledge comes from the senses. In opposition, the s rationalists maintained that knowledge comes purely from deduction, and r that this knowledge is processed by certain innate schema in the mind. t Those that belonged to the empiricist school of thought developed quite T separate and distinct ideas concerning the nature of the substratum of
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s sensible objects. John Locke and David Hume upheld the belief that s sensible things were composed of material substance, the basic framework s for the materialist position. The main figure who believed that material f substance did not exist is George Berkeley. In truth, it is the s immaterialist position that seems the most logical when placed under close i scrutiny. s The initial groundwork for Berkeley's position is the truism that the T materialist is a skeptic. In the writing of his three dialogues, Berkeley m develops two characters: Hylas (the materialist) and Philonous (Berkeley d himself). Philonous draws upon one central supposition of the materialist h to formulate his argument of skepticism against him; this idea is that one t can never perceive the real essence of anything. In short, the materialist c feels that the information received through sense experience gives a f
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representative picture of the outside world (the representative theory of r perception), and one can not penetrate to the true essece of an object. p This makes logical sense, for the only way to perceive this real essence T would be to become the object itself! Although the idea is logical, it w does contain a certain grounding for agnosticism. Let the reader consider d this: if there is no way to actually sense the true material essence of t anything, and all knowledge in empiricism comes from the senses, then the a real material essence can not be perceived and therefore it can not be r posited. This deserves careful consideration, for the materialist has been p self-proclaimed a skeptic! If the believer in this theory were asked if a s mythical beast such as a cyclops existed he would most certainly say no. As m part of his reply he might add that because it can not be sensed it is not p a piece of knowledge. After being enlightened by the above proposed a argument, though, that same materialist is logically forced to agree that, a because the "material substratum1" itself can not be sensed, its existence b
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Berkely - Berkeley A As man progressed through the various...

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