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Berkeley's Immaterialism

 
 
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 11:19 am
How exactly would Berkeley have responded to Johnson's supposed refutation of his Immaterialism when he kicked a rock, felt the pain, and claimed "I refute him thus"?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,713 • Replies: 28
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 12:18 pm
@Miltonesque,
The reasons nobody has responded to this Q are variously.
1 It looks like a homework assignment frm philosophy 101.
2. The word 'exactly' is ridiculous (tell that to the tutor if appropriate)
3. Philosophers here can't be bothered spelling out that Johnson was a 'naive realist' relative to Berkeley's immaterialistic interpretation of Kant 'phenomena'.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 12:35 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
3. Philosophers here can't be bothered spelling out that Johnson was a 'naive realist' relative to Berkeley's immaterialistic interpretation of Kant 'phenomena'.

How could Berkeley interpret Kant's phenomena? The Critique of Pure Reason was published after Berkeley's death.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 12:38 pm
@Miltonesque,
Miltonesque wrote:

How exactly would Berkeley have responded to Johnson's supposed refutation of his Immaterialism when he kicked a rock, felt the pain, and claimed "I refute him thus"?

Berkeley would have said: "Clearly you don't understand my argument. Read my Treatise and Three Dialogues and you'll know why."
Miltonesque
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 12:45 pm
@joefromchicago,
Much more helpful answer than the other one i have been given.
0 Replies
 
Miltonesque
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 01:10 pm
@fresco,
Berkeley never had an opportunity to interpret Kant's "phenomena".
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 02:09 pm
@joefromchicago,
Thank you for that vulturesque correction. Wink
I seem to have been slightly misled by a google citation titled 'Idealism from Kant to Berkeley', but the point is taken.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 02:10 pm
@Miltonesque,
So is it a homework assignment ?
Miltonesque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2016 07:51 pm
@fresco,
No- but i have to study a bit of Berkeley and had read about Johnson's comments so was just interested to see how he would have responded to his criticism.
0 Replies
 
puzzledperson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2016 03:05 am
@Miltonesque,
He might reply that both Johnson and the rock are mental phenomena. Certainly Johnson's pain would be too, though as an observer Berkeley would have no access to that and would be free to regard Johnson as an illusion. If I am dreaming and some dream figure kicks a rock, says "Ow!" and grimaces, then hobbles about cursing, all of this would be mental phenomena. This would be true whether or not I knew I was dreaming.

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joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 May, 2016 09:35 am
Johnson thought he was refuting Berkeley's idealism by kicking a rock. Instead, he proved Berkeley's point. Johnson was aware of the rock because he sensed it - it was solid, hard, rock-colored, etc. According to Berkeley, that's all there is to the rock - i.e. the sensations that it creates in the mind of the observer. What Berkeley rejected was the notion that the rock existed as a material object independent of the observer.

What Berkeley had trouble explaining was why these objects seemingly aroused the same sensations in multiple observers, and why they seemed to persist even when unobserved. He never really could answer the first question, and he ultimately answered the second question by deciding that objects were never unobserved because god was always observing them. Kant, confronting the same questions, eschewed that kind of deism and came up with the notion of noumena.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 04:48 am
@joefromchicago,
Johnson would made a more compelling point by kicking Berkeley himself...
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 05:29 am
@Miltonesque,
Ever hear of or see the kid's prank where they put a big rock in a paper bag then put it in the road waiting for some poor slob to think it's just a bag and run over it? Whose reality takes priority?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 08:38 am
@Leadfoot,
Materiality is the name we give to our expectations of some of the properties of what we call 'objects in our world', including 'our own bodies'. At the subatomic level such objects are deemed to be mostly 'empty space' so the predominant 'reality' of the moment is a function of our experience of our interaction with 'the world' rather than the world per se. In that respect Berkeley's ideas about the nature of objects being dependent on observers makes sense, but not his conclusions about 'existence' in general.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 09:12 am
@fresco,
I know that you don't see it but there is a blunt contradiction in your last post. If perception depends on an interaction and existence according to your bibble depends on observation, then how can there be anything at all, a noumena for the mind to interact with ? When you reject the thing you drop interaction altogether....
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 11:23 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I know you don't see it Wink but 'observation' is a verbal report...i.e. a social action (internal or external to the individual)using the currency of interaction called 'language'. The persistence of words implies and evokes the persistence of 'objects', including those more nebulous entities called 'minds' , 'selves' and even 'gods'. My position therefore is one of social reality in which language is an a priori, and not 'observation' per se involving 'subjects' and 'objects'.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 12:16 pm
IOW, reality all depends on how you say it...?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 12:27 pm
@fresco,
It changes nothing if you trade with information and language instead of other "things". If language is your "a priori" then reporting about social consensus and subjects are just place holders within the realm of information and language. Your discourse means nothing other then X and Y "interact" or "mingle together"...it explains nothing on the nature of "mind" nor on the "creativity" of mind as if it had any choices at all in fact it makes no difference to speak of minds or rocks...

...and yes I know you can't for the life of you find the contradiction. You just go half way into the rabbit hole n get lost. The usual.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 01:12 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Try 'X and Y are two sides of the same coin' the coin being 'the interaction'. I have nothing to say about 'mind' other than it is a useful word for some types of interaction often involving internal 'discussions' among committee members of 'self'.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 May, 2016 01:15 pm
@Leadfoot,
Of course!.....'In the beginning was the word !' Wink Very Happy
 

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