REVIEW STUDY QUESTIONS on GEORGE BERKELEY
 
1. What is the mind-body problem? (how can physical interact with mental)
    What are the monistic options for dealing with the problem? (materialism and idealism)

2. What is metaphysical idealism? (theory of reality that only minds and their ideas are real)

3. How do empiricists differ from rationalists?
    (those who hold knowledge is based on innate ideas provided by mind (Reason) vs. those who hold knowledge is based on sense experience)

4. What makes an epistemology empiricistic? (it holds knowledge based on what sensory experience or "perception" provides; there are no innate ideas)

5. What are ideas for Berkeley? (for an empiricist all ideas must be only perceptions)

6. What are physical objects or "sensible objects"? (physical or sensible objects are the things we perceive in space and time)

7. What arguments does Berkeley give for claiming what we immediately perceive our own perceptions? ( 1.Pain argument and 2. Argument from the Relativity of Perceptions)

8. Why does the fact that extreme degrees of some perceptions are pains show that what we perceive are our own perceptions and exist "in the perceiver," not in the "external world"? (Pains exist only in perceivers, but extreme degrees of many sensations are pains)

9. Why can we not say that we perceive physical objects existing outside the mind in space and time? (what we perceive is relative to the perceiver, it changes as perceiver changes perspective or state of sense organs, but we do not hold that the object changes)

10. What is intended to be demonstrated by the "relativity of perceptions"? (what we perceive is not a property in the allegedly "external" object, but only our perception of the object, but all perceptions exist in the mind, so what we perceive exists as a perception in our mind)

11. What is Berkeley's criticism of the alleged distinction between primary and secondary properties or qualities? (if the fact that secondary properties are relative to the perceiver implies that they exist only in the perceiver, alleged primary properties are also equally perceiver dependent, and so they also exist only in the perceiver; there is really no distinction)

12. Why does Berkeley conclude physical objects are perceptions? (they are what we perceive; we can form no idea of something  "outside" the mind ("material" or "extended" substance) which allegedly causes perceptions, because all we can think of (all ideas are perceptions), is what we perceive)

13. Why does Berkeley hold that perceptions cannot represent or copy something outside the mind? (an idea can be like only another idea, not like a piece of matter; "matter" and "ideas" have nothing in common by which an idea could "represent" or "copy" a material substance)

14. Why is it impossible to form an idea of material substance? (anything I can think of is an idea; ideas exist only in minds, "matter" by definition is that which exists outside minds)

15. Why is it self-contradictory to say that "matter" or "material substance" is that which has primary properties which we perceive? (what we perceive are perceptions, perceptions exist only in minds, i.e. "thinking substances"; "matter" is "unthinking substance" by definition)

16. Why can we not infer from the existence of a perception in our mind as an effect, the existence of an external material object as the cause of that effect in our mind. (such an inference assumes we know perceptions are caused by external objects, but we can form no idea of some such "cause" allegedly existing "outside" the mind, because all we can think of are perceptions which can exist only in minds)

17. Why does Berkeley hold that assuming the existence of "matter" cannot explain why we have perceptions? (no account can be given of how that which is purely non-mental (a piece of matter) produces that which is purely mental (a perception); this is just the mind-body problem)

18. What does it mean to say an object "exists" for Berkeley? (it is perceived (perception) or perceives (mind)) What do the "vulgar" mean when they say an object "exists"? (same thing)

19. Why does Berkeley claim his account of the physical world does not take away anything that the "vulgar" believe about the world? (no one perceives "matter" - it is only an "empty sound" - Berkeley holds the world is exactly what we perceive it to be, i.e., perceptions))

20. How does the physical world continue to exist even when we are not perceiving it? (eternally perceived by infinite mind)

21. What is the relation of finite minds (human) to infinite mind (God)? (our ideas are finite copies (ectypes) of perfect original ideas (archetypes) in Divine mind)
    Why must human minds exist as separate substances distinct from God? (minds are active, ideas are passive, so a mind cannot be an idea; the theological reason: if humans minds existed in God, either humans would be perfect, or God would have imperfection within Himself)

22. What do the regularities and harmonies in the natural world discovered by science and expressed as "laws of nature" reveal? (the infinite mind thinks the physical world in a well-ordered, rational, and benevolent way).
    What does this reveal about the infinite mind? (its perfection, its benevolence, for it allows us to plan on and expect a regular course of events)

23. What are the "unobservable objects" (e.g. electrons, gravitational fields, etc.) in terms of which scientific theories are often expressed? (nothing but constructions of human minds; they are "instruments" for making the correct predictions about what will be experienced, hence the name "instrumentalism" for this view)

24. Why can't we have an idea of mind? (minds are active, ideas are passive; we do not perceive minds, only perceptions in minds; hence there can be no "idea" of mind) How do we know what the word "mind" (and its synonyms) means? (we have a "notion" of it because we are minds)

25. Where does this notion come from? (it cannot be experience, because everything we experience are perceptions, never the perceiver having the perceptions, and perceptions are ideas and ideas cannot represent minds; but on Berkeley's empiricistic premises there is no other source for the contents of the mind; Berkeley's so-called "notions" are in effect "covert" innate ideas: Berkeley is cheating on his empiricism here)