APPEARANCE AND REALITY.docx

Out of the room or shut our eyes and that what we

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out of the room or shut our eyes, and that what we call seeing the table does really give us reason for believing in something that persists even when we are not seeing it. But he thinks that this something cannot be radically different in nature from what we see, and cannot be independent of seeing altogether, though it must be independent of our seeing. He is thus led to regard the ‘real’ table as an idea in the mind of God. Such an idea has the required permanence and independence of ourselves, without being- as matter would otherwise be- something quite unknowable, in the sense that we can only infer it, and can never be directly and immediately aware of it. Other philosophers since Berkeley have also held that, although the table does not depend for its existence upon being seen by me, it does depend upon being seen (or otherwise apprehended in sensation) by some mind- not necessarily the mind of God, but more often the whole collective mind of the universe. This they hold, as Berkeley does, chiefly because they think there can be nothing ‘real’- or at any rate nothing known to be real- except minds and their thought and feelings. We might state the argument by which they support their view in some such way as this:” whatever can be thought of is an idea in the mind of the person thinking of it; therefore nothing can be thought of except ideas in minds; therefore anything else is inconceivable, and what is inconceivable cannot exist.” Such an argument, in my opinion, is fallacious, and of course those who advance it do not put it so shortly or so crudely. But whether valid or not, the argument has been very widely advanced in one form or another; and very many philosophers, perhaps a majority, have held that there is nothing real except minds and their ideas. Such philosophers are called ‘idealists’. When they come to explaining the matter, they either says, like Berkeley, that matter is really nothing but a collection of ideas, or they say, like Leibniz (1646-1716), that what appears, as matter is really a collection of more or less rudimentary minds. But these philosophers, though they deny matter as opposed to mind, nevertheless, in another sense, admit matter. It will be remembered that we asked two questions; namely, (1) is there a real table at all? (2) If so, what sort of object can it be? Now both Berkeley and Leibniz admit that there is a 6 | P a g e D r. D e s t i n y T o m N a m w a m b a h L e c t u r e s e r i e s 2 0 1 8
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real table, but Berkeley says it is certain ideas in the mind of God, and Leibniz says it is a colony of souls. Thus both of them answer our first question in the affirmative, and only diverge from the views of ordinary mortals in their answer to our second question. In fact, all the philosophers seem to b agreed that there is a real table: they almost all agree that, however much our sense-data- colour, shape, smoothness, etc.- may depend upon us, yet their occurrence is a sign of something existing independently of us, something differing, perhaps, completely from our sense-data, and yet to be regarded as causing those sense-data whenever we are in a suitable relation to the real table.
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