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Arguments against Berkeleys idealsim

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 11:25 am
Berkeleys idealism has been questioned by many, but it does not seem like anyone has come up with strong, valid arguments which refute his idealist view on knowledge and the world. Can you come up with a demur towards Berkleleys reasoning?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,624 • Replies: 6
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AndrewFerrol
 
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Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2014 11:44 pm
@cheeseburgers,
To really understand Berkeley's arguments, you have to understand what issues and positions he was responding to. Descartes left us with a problem: Since we can never "get out of our own heads," how do we know that our ideas and perceptions of the external world of objects resemble what those external objects that cause our perceptions are actually like. Locke calls our inability to directly perceive the external world the problem of the veil of perception (we only have direct access to our perceptions, not the external objects that cause those perceptions). This general model of perception is called representationalism....
G H
 
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Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 11:08 am
@cheeseburgers,
cheeseburgers wrote:

Berkeleys idealism has been questioned by many, but it does not seem like anyone has come up with strong, valid arguments which refute his idealist view on knowledge and the world. Can you come up with a demur towards Berkleleys reasoning?

Berkeley certainly didn't prove his metaphysics as being the case anymore than any other such scheme could that. One could either declare it no more special / favored among the pack than any other adequately defended doctrine, or that it was at least unlikely on the basis / bias of whatever rival metaphysics or anti-metaphysical outlook an opponent himself was crouched in.

In light of natural methodology's growing achievements, any metaphysical view, in order to survive, would have had to be made commensurable with the former or to assimilate it without inflicting damage. Somewhat similar to Leibniz's monadology, the natural realm was quite comfortably accommodated for in Berkeley's immaterialism without having to make it transcendent (as say, a classic materialist would do). That is, the regulated perceptions of a human mind conformed to the world which science studies, it was subsumed within those minds (and / or his God) rather the opposite.

Today even brain-centered sciences have to admit what amounts to some brand of indirect realism. That the external environment we experience is produced by our own operating systems (so to speak) from inputted information, rather than being the original source itself. Although one can assert that the simulation is still an accurate representation of some transcendent version of the external world, there are a variety of discoveries in physics which fuels a scientific realism that undermines such a modified clinging to commonsense realism. IOW, that any vestige of this "the immediate external world is within us" theory is so supported also unintentionally assists Berkeley's defense [though the latter holds that only minds / God exist at any metaphysical level].
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contrex
 
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Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2014 02:54 pm
@AndrewFerrol,
AndrewFerrol wrote:

To really understand Berkeley's arguments, you have to understand what issues and positions he was responding to.


I found the blog you copied that from...
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Ding an Sich
 
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Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2014 10:37 pm
@cheeseburgers,
cheeseburgers wrote:

Berkeleys idealism has been questioned by many, but it does not seem like anyone has come up with strong, valid arguments which refute his idealist view on knowledge and the world. Can you come up with a demur towards Berkleleys reasoning?


Queue fresco's input on Berkeley and some off-topic claim about some nonsense. Or JLN with some wise Buddhist input.
contrex
 
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Reply Sun 23 Mar, 2014 01:26 am
@Ding an Sich,
Ding an Sich wrote:
Queue fresco's input on Berkeley and some off-topic claim about some nonsense. Or JLN with some wise Buddhist input.

Cue

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fresco
 
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Reply Mon 24 Mar, 2014 05:28 pm
@AndrewFerrol,
You are correct that Berkeley's ontology and epistemology need to be understood as a reaction to Descartes. A counter paradigm (rather than an argument) to both can be expressed in post-modernist accounts (such as Rorty's) which reject dichotomies such as subject-object, materialism-idealism etc. Such accounts imply a relativistic dynamic view of "existence" and deconstruction of the verb is, as in static statements of an axiomatic form like "X is the case". This alternative paradigm is in accord with your citing of "representationalism" which post-modernists reject as as a primary function of language.
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