Berkeley’s critique of Realism
Berkley’s criticism of realism is premised upon the fact that the theory is based on uncertainty. In his presentation, Berkeley argues against realism theory as a false theory. He does this by outlining clear arguments against every major element of realism. These elements are; theses on causation and resemblance, and primary secondary quality distinction (Whitman 19).
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Berkeley’s argument in §§18-20 of The Principles of Human Knowledge
Berkeley version argues that realism theory’s view of the world as a mental state possibly cannot resemble an external object. Physically, objects only have physical properties. Therefore, mental states and external objects do not share similar properties; making it impossible for them to resemble one another (Berkeley 120).
Berkeley argues that it is not possible to have a distinction between primary and secondary qualities. All mental images of primary qualities involve some qualities of secondary nature as well.
Hume’s version of the argument
In this passage, Hume’s explains that causal inference and perceptual judgment have distinct modes of relation. In addition, the causal inference Hume’s is referring to might also indicate that various judgments based on perception are not true. In this case, he talks of a contrast between imagination and judgment (Wilson 214).
Idealism as Berkeley’s alternative to Realism
Idealism is a theory which argues that reality is reliant on the mind and does not exist externally to it. Berkeley considers that nothing exists with exception of what only exists in the mind. He explains that our idea about the world is dependent on our perceptions of it. This thinking is an improvement for realism. For instance, in case statements regarding reality are predictions about ideas; it is possible to verify predictions (Pappas 87).
Hume’s critique of inductive inference
Hume believes in contiguity of time and place as requisite situation for functioning of all causes; in existence of close conjunction between cause and effect in that similar situations produce similar effects (Sayer 10).
Hume’s criticism of inductive inference was based on two main challenges: the logical issue where we ask whether we are rationally justified in thinking from reoccurring instances of which we have had experience to situations of which we have had no experiences (Sayer 12).
Why Hume thinks that causal judgment is inductively based
Hume thinks that causal judgment is inductively based as he points out that, since the mind has no acquaintance with objects, the system will have no primary recommendation to causal judgment (Beebee 40). Hiss argument relies on the premise that all inductive inferences impose uniformity on nature. His arguments are related closely to his contributions on causation, for reasoning relating to matter of fact tend to be founded on the relation of cause and effect. He believes on constant relationship between cause and effect in that similar situations produce similar effects always. He points the existence of necessary connection between cause and effect, and that cause possesses something; called force or energy. The energy by which bodies function are unknown entirely as we perceive only their qualities. Hume seeks to determine what this inference from cause to effect is founded upon (Beebee 42).
Beebee, Hellen. Hume Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. Oxford,: Oxford university Press, 1937.
Pappas, George. Berkeley’s Thought. New York: Rutledge, 2000.
Sayers, Sean. Reality and Reason. Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Whitman, Jeffrey. The Power and Value of Philosophical Skepticism. London: Rutledge, 1998.
Wison, Fred. Body, Mind and Self in Hume’s Critical Realism. New York: Rutledge, 2008.