more from George Berkeley

Single Idea 6731

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / a. Early Modern matter]

Full Idea

How matter should operate on a spirit, or produce any idea in it, is what no philosopher will pretend to explain; it is therefore evident there can be no use of matter in natural philosophy.

Gist of Idea

No one can explain how matter affects mind, so matter is redundant in philosophy


George Berkeley (The Principles of Human Knowledge [1710], 50)

Book Reference

Berkeley,George: 'The Principles of Human Knowledge etc.', ed/tr. Warnock,G.J. [Fontana 1962], p.89

A Reaction

An intriguing argument for idealism, which starts in Cartesian dualism, but then discards the physical world because of the notorious interaction problem. Of course, if he had thought that matter and spirit were one (Spinoza) the problem vanishes.