Berkeley's Idealism | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

June 23, 2017
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Berkeley's Idealism | Philosophy Tube


Bishop George Berkeley believed that for something to exist, it must be perceived and that the mind is at the core of reality.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Berkeley's idealism proposes that perception and observation are fundamental to the existence of things and the nature of reality.
  • 🔬 Idealism challenges the traditional understanding of science as seeking objective truth and instead emphasizes predicting subjective experiences.
  • ✊ This philosophy highlights the significance of lived experiences and subjectivity when considering political power and social dynamics.
  • 🤯 The idea that reality is grounded in the mind or consciousness has implications for understanding the nature of existence and knowledge.
  • 👥 Berkeley's perspective prompts us to question assumptions about objectivity, rationality, and universal truth that have historically marginalized certain groups.
  • ✊ Idealism can serve as a tool for reevaluating power dynamics, particularly in terms of who gets to define and shape collective reality.
  • 🌍 By recognizing the subjective nature of reality, individuals have the potential to change the world by shifting their own perception and perspective.


four years ago way back at the start of philosophy tube I made a video about Bishop George Berkeley or I guess you could call in Berkeley if you're from California Berkeley was an Irish philosopher with some pretty interesting ideas that are worth revisiting now especially if you are studying him on the British philosophy a-level syllabus Berkeley ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is idealism, according to Berkeley?

Idealism, as proposed by Berkeley, is the belief that the existence of things is contingent upon their perception and that reality is subjective rather than objective.

Q: How did Berkeley address the question of things changing when not observed?

Berkeley suggested that there is always someone, such as our minds or God, perceiving things, even when we are not directly observing them.

Q: How does Berkeley's idealism apply to subatomic particles?

While we may not observe subatomic particles directly, their effects can be detected and measured through experiments, making them still perceptible in an indirect sense.

Q: What are the implications of Berkeley's idealism for science?

Berkeley challenges the notion that science seeks objective truth; instead, he argues that it is about predicting experience and understanding subjective reality.

Q: How does idealism relate to political power and subjectivity?

Berkeley's ideas challenge historical claims of objectivity and rationality by certain groups, encouraging a reevaluation of whose perspectives and experiences deserve attention and authority.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Berkeley's idealism theory asserts that the world and everything in it only exists when observed.

  • He argues that to exist, something must be perceptible to our senses.

  • This perspective challenges our understanding of science and has political implications for power and subjectivity.

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