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READING GUIDE: BERKLEY
Brief answers to 2 and 6 are due in class on ...
The First Dialogue between Hylas and Philonous
- On pp. 217-19 Hylas and Philonous start discussing skepticism
and its relation to the
doctrine of material substance or matter. Why does Hylas think
Philonous a skeptic? How does
Philonous go about meeting this challenge?
- On p. 220 Philonous makes a distinction between things
perceived immediately and things
perceived mediately. How does Philonous use this distinction in
defining "sensible things"?
What follows about the causes of sensations?
- On p. 221 Hylas asserts that to exist is one thing while to
be perceived is another.
Philonous uses the example of great heat to begin his attack on
the independent existence of
material substances. How does this argument go? What role do
pleasure and pain play in this
argument? On p. 223 he extends the argument to other degrees of
heat and to cold. Why does
Philonous use the example of a hot and cold hand put into the
same vessel of water? What is
the point of the example of the pain of the pin pricking the
finger on p. 225?
- On p. 225 Hylas acknowledges that heat and cold are only
sensations existing in our minds, but he continues "there remain
qualities enough to secure the reality of external things." How
does Philonous respond to this point? On p. 225 Philonous takes
up tastes, on p. 226 odors, and on p. 227 sounds. Do any of
these cases add anything new to the argument? If so what?
- Hylas tries to hold the line with color. "Pardon me," he
says, " the case of colours is very different. Can any thing be
plainer, than that we see them on the objects? How does
Philonous respond? What is the distinction between real and
apparent color? What is the relevance of microscopy to this
distinction? --jaundice? Finally, Hylas is led to maintain that
light is an external material substance? Why? How does
- On p. 233 Hylas makes the distinction between primary and
secondary qualities. What does adopting this distinction do for
Hylas? What strategy does Philonous propose to follow in dealing
with this distinction. On p. 234 Philonous takes up extension.
What role does the mite play in this argument? --microscopy?
Philonous continues with motion and solidity on p. 236. Is there
anything new to the argument here?
- On p. 237 Hylas makes a distinction between absolute and
sensible extension and motion. What is this distinction? How
does Philonous respond? What does Philonous mean when he says on
p. 239 that "I cannot frame abstract ideas at all?" What role
does this attack on abstraction play in the attack on the
primary/secondary quality distinction?
- On p. 240 Hylas begins to consider what slips he may have
made in the argument. He begins by saying he did not
sufficiently distinguish between a object and
sensation. How does Philonous respond? What does the
distinction between active and passive roles in perception
contribute to this response?
- On. p. 242 Hylas introduces the notion of a material
substratum and later substance as a support for qualities.
How does Philonous respond to this suggestion? On p. 244 Hylas
suggests that while ideas singly may be mind dependent, when
combined into groups they may exist outside the mind. How does
Philonous respond? What role does the thought experiment about a
tree or house supposed existing independently of the mind play in
this response? On p. 246 Hylas considers that if objects exist
in the mind then our senses deceive us because "they
suggest something of outnes or distance." How does
- On p. 248 Hylas expounds the representative theory of
perception. Ideas are perceived
immediately, while real, external objects are perceived
through the mediation
of ideas. How does Philonous respond? What role does the
principle that it is imposible that
any thing but an idea can be like an idea play in this response?
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