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The Great Irish Philosopher George Berkeley and His Famous Quotes

Updated on December 9, 2012

Great Irish Philosopher George Berkeley and His Famous Quotes

George Berkeley was an Irish philosopher who became famous alongside John Locke and David Hume. He is best known for his motto, esse is percipi, to be is to be perceived. He was in fact an idealist in that he stated that "everything that exists is either a mind or depends for its existence upon a mind." he was also a non-materialist philosopher meaning -- for him matter does not exist.

  • He was born in 12 March 1685 in Kilkenny, Ireland – and died on 14 January 1753. He studied in Trinity College and became a fellow after graduating and he was immediately ordained in the Anglican church.
  • "He wrote on vision, mathematics, Newtonian mechanics, economics and medicine as well as philosophy and in his own time, his most often-read works concerned the medicinal value of tar-water".

 

George Berkeley - Great Irish Philospher
George Berkeley - Great Irish Philospher

GEORGE BERKELEY

  • George Berkeley was a Bishop of Cloyne and considered one of the greatest of the early modern period.
  • He was a brilliant critic of his predecessors Descartes, Malebranche, and John Locke.
  • He influenced David Hume and Immanuel Kant
  • He was a talented meta physician famous for defending idealism, that is, the view that reality consists exclusively of minds and their ideas.
  • His most-studied works are: Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, (Principles, for short) and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (Dialogues),
  • Berkeley's system is strong and flexible enough to counter most objections.
  • He was also a wide-ranging thinker with interests in religion, the psychology of vision, mathematics, physics, morals, economics and medicine.

He was also known as Bishop Berkeley -- Bishop of Cloyne and in summary his teachings can be summarized as follows:

  • He put forward the idea of "immaterialism --- or subjective idealism and it simply means that individuals can only know directly sensations and ideas of objects, not abstractions such as matter. The theory also contends that ideas are dependent upon being perceived by minds for their very existence, a belief that became immortalized in the dictum, "Esse est percipi" -- " To be is to be perceived".
  • It is interesting to study and share with you the famous quotes of George Berkeley which I have compiled for you to take a look.

 

The Great Irish Philosopher George Berkeley and His Famous Quotes

  • "To be is to be perceived."
  • “All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth - in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world - have not any subsistence without a mind”
  • Many things, for aught I know, may exist, whereof neither I nor any other man hath or can have any idea or notion whatsoever.
  • Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretence to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free.
  • So long as I confine my thoughts to my own ideas divested of words, I do not see how I can be easily mistaken.
  • "It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.
  • Whenever our neighbor's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own."
  • “What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.”
  • "We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see”
  • "Westward the course of empire takes its way; - The four first acts already past, - A fifth shall close the drama with the day: -/ Time's noblest offspring is the last.”
  • "We must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation."
  • "Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society."
  • “From my own being, and from the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do, by an act of reason, necessarily infer the existence of a God, and of all created things in the mind of God.”
  • We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.
  • A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
  • Whenever I attempt to frame a simple idea of time, abstracted from the succession of ideas in my mind, which flows uniformly, and is participated by all beings, I am lost and embrangled in inextricable difficulties”
  • "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
  • "Ambition can creep as well as soar."
  • "A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood."

 

 

The Great Irish Philosopher George Berkeley and His Famous Quotes

  • "Young man, there is America, which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners."
  • "In the weakness of one kind of authority, and in the fluctuation of all, the officers of an army will remain for some time mutinous and full of faction, until some popular general, who understands the art of conciliating the soldiery, and who possesses the true spirit of command, shall draw the eyes of all men upon himself. Armies will obey him on his personal account. There is no other way of securing military obedience in this state of things."
  • "When ever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither is safe."
  • "Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government."
  • "A mind at liberty to reflect on its own observations, if it produce nothing useful to the world, seldom fails of entertainment to itself. "
  • "All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth - in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world - have not any subsistence without a mind."
  • "From my own being, and from the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do, by an act of reason, necessarily infer the existence of a God, and of all created things in the mind of God."
  • "He who says there is no such thing as an honest man, you may be sure is himself a knave."
  • "I had rather be an oyster than a man, the most stupid and senseless of animals." "If we admit a thing so extraordinary as the creation of this world, it should seem that we admit something strange, and odd, and new to human apprehension, beyond any other miracle whatsoever."
  • "That neither our thoughts, nor passions, nor ideas formed by the imagination, exist without the mind, is what every body will allow."
  • "That thing of hell and eternal punishment is the most absurd, as well as the most disagreeable thought that ever entered into the head of mortal man."
  • "The eye by long use comes to see even in the darkest cavern: and there is no subject so obscure but we may discern some glimpse of truth by long poring on it. "
  • "The same principles which at first view lead to skepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense."
  • "Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few. " "We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see."
  • "The great must submit to the dominion of prudence and of virtue, or none will long submit to the dominion of the great. "
  • "Great men are the guideposts and landmarks in the state."

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    • profile image

      carla 

      7 years ago

      ..george berkeley was really a great philosopher i have ever known..our minds are still the best foundation to believe in reality of our life..

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      Hi samboiam, thank you,

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Excellent read. Very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing.

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      Thnak you Ann, much appreciated!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      I belive I shall say the "What is mind... " quote is my favorite as that is how I feel as of late...

      Great hub, Alexandria...and great presentation!

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      hi Madison, thank you for your reading this hub, I like that one too,

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 

      8 years ago from NYC

      Thank you for a good read! I especially like the quote "The same principles which at first view lead to skepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense."

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