...though he was somewhat vague in The Three Dialogues regarding god's role in all of that. I think his point was that god perceived things, he just didn't perceive by means of five senses the way humans do. God perceived, but in a uniquely god-like way.
That could be. I thought much earlier about dropping the post below as yet another addendum, but decided maybe it was like beating a boring horse further. But since there's some interest....
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In The Three Dialogues
, there is a place where Berkeley finally does state plainly that God perceives; and therefore "seems" to contradict himself in Siris
, his final work. I see no way to avoid it, unless he contends elsewhere in his writings that perception is not always dependent upon sense. Or that because he was referring to what "other men believe", it might be inferred for the sake of brevity that he sloppily retained "perception" in application to his own conclusion.
"Men commonly believe that all things are known or perceived by God, because they believe the being of a God; whereas I, on the other side, immediately and necessarily conclude the being of a God, because all sensible things must be perceived by Him."
Again, in Siris
: "...There is no sense, nor sensory, nor any thing like a sense or sensory in God. Sense implies an impression from some other being, and denotes a dependence in the Soul which hath it. Sense is a passion, and passions imply imperfection. God knoweth all things, as pure mind or intellect, but nothing by sense..."
Some try to excuse Berkeley by claiming that he was senile when he wrote Siris
. Not just because of the tar-water, but his veering into Platonism. But he wrote of similar in The Three Dialogues
, that God had no use for our ideas (sensation, thought, and imagination):
"I do not understand how our ideas, which are things altogether passive and inert, can be the essence, or any part (or like any part) of the essence or substance of God, who is an impassive, indivisible, pure, active being."
"...I do not say, I see things by perceiving that which represents them in the intelligible Substance of God."
Plus, Berkeley's apparent "change of mind" in Siris
actually makes a good point (if such can be attributed to remarks about god beings). A feat for a philosopher they accuse of being senile by then.