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By Kenneth P. Winkler

George Berkeley (1685-1753) held that subject doesn't exist, and that the sensations we take to be attributable to an detached and self sufficient international are as a substitute triggered without delay by means of God. Nature has no lifestyles except the spirits who transmit and obtain it. during this e-book, Winkler provides those conclusions as normal (though certainly not inevitable) outcomes of Berkeley's reflections on such themes as illustration, abstraction, helpful fact, and reason and influence. He deals new interpretations of Berkeley's perspectives on unperceived gadgets, corpuscularian technological know-how, and our wisdom of God and different minds.

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Pp. 13-24. 28 ABSTRACT IDEAS ideas, and if all ideas are either imprinted on the senses or excited by the mind, then the ideas involved in general thinking, whose occurrence Berkeley does not deny, must be among the latter. But if the ideas involved in general thinking are ideas of imagination, what is it that makes general thinking general? If an idea of imagination is a copy or likeness of a particular sensation, what is it about the idea that enables the thinker who focuses on it to range over universals, classes, or kinds?

At entry 378, for example, the proposition that every significant word stands for an idea appears at the top of a projected demonstration of the immaterialist principle. ) Soon after he begins to qualify the proposition, in ways Locke himself anticipates. At entry 661 he observes that particles (such as is and not) do not stand for ideas (a point Locke makes at Essay ill vii), and writes on the facing page that 'particles stand for volitions & their concomitant Ideas'. This suggests a modified version of the proposition, according to which significant words stand for ideas or operations of the mind.

It might be objected that an idea that signifies something can impart a kind of conception of the thing it signifies, a conception that might be described as relative. But the contrast remains, since the signifying idea would not provide a conception of the thing as it is in itself. This l8 WORDS AND IDEAS means that the signifying idea could not be used to meet the challenge laid down by someone who questions our understanding of a particular word. This is not to say that in Berkeley's view such a challenge can only be met if we have at our disposal a representation of the thing.

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