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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » George Berkeley (1685-1753)

English philosopher, Bishop in Cloyne (Ireland). In his "Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge" (1710) argued that the outside world does not exist independently of perception and thought, and being of things consists in their being perceived. Berkeley teaching - one of the sources empiriokrititsizma, pragmatism, neo.

George was born March 12, 1685 in the south of Ireland in Kilkrine, near Kilkenny. He was the eldest of seven children in a family of landed gentry William Berkeley.

When England broke "Glorious Revolution" that ended in 1689 overthrow of James II, George passed three years. Bourgeoisie came to power. Attempt to restore James II feudal monarchy ended in failure after the defeat of the River Wars in Ireland in 1690. Irish population was subjected to repression. In a country of famine, pestilence, rebellion broke out.

In the eleventh year of his life, George began his studies in Kilkenny, at the school, which had previously studied the great satirist Jonathan Swift, who later became his friend. In fifteen years, George became a student at Trinity College in Dublin.

In 1704, Berkeley was a first degree of Bachelor of Arts, and three years later - the title of fellow (researcher) and began to teach at the college. In the same year were published anonymously his first scientific work - two treatises on mathematics. Two years later, Berkeley received first holy orders.

In 1707, Berkeley started a philosophical notebooks, in which over two years wrote down their thoughts and critical observations, day after day formulating as they mature fundamental principle of his new philosophical doctrine. This philosophical diary of a young Berkeley, provides insights into the innermost of his thoughts and aspirations, was discovered and first published in 1871 AK Fraser.

Philosophical Notebooks Berkeley conclude 888 notes tagged author, obviously, to organize materials in their subsequent use, letter symbols: S - notes about the spirit and the soul, M - for the matter, E - for existence, T - time for etc. Of these notebooks can be seen that Berkeley was at that time already familiar not only with the traditional theological and philosophical dogmas, but also with the teachings of Descartes, Malebranche, Bacon, Hobbes, Locke and Gassendi. Locke's philosophical teachings included in the curriculum, although Peter Brown (later Bishop of The Cork), who led the college in their own papers sharply criticized the materialist views of Locke and Toland. V1709 he published the first work of Berkeley, foreshadowed his philosophical doctrine - "A new theory of" it was not so much devoted to optics, as the psychology of perception and leads straight to its clearly outlined in philosophical epistemology notebooks, but still not consistently formulated its as if stopping halfway.

Already next year 25-year-old Berkeley publishes "Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge," where expressed his philosophical views, a new philosophical concept incorporated into the history of philosophy called Berkeleianism. "Treatise" - the main philosophical work of the Irish thinker. Scattered in philosophical reflections notebooks are hereby coherent system. Actually, it was only the first part of the "Treatise". The second part, considering the issues of psychology and ethics, was written and lost forever Berkeley during his travels, and the third part, which is natural philosophy, has never been written. Affects the interests of the extraordinary versatility of Berkeley. Philosophy and mathematics, physics, medicine, economics and psychology, politics and geology - all these branches of knowledge, he paid attention, all expressed their judgment. He knew Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French and with great literary skill writing in their native language.

Disbelief, he was convinced, was the source of all evil on earth. The main task of the philosophy of Berkeley saw in the fight against materialism. This can be judged by his most important works headings: "Treatise", "which explores the main causes of errors and difficulties of Sciences, and the grounds of skepticism, atheism and unbelief," "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" (1713 ) - "to refute the skeptics and atheists," "Alsifron" (1732) - "an apology for the Christian religion against the so-called open-minded", "Analyst" (1734) - "argument addressed to the unbeliever mathematics."

But Berkeley understood that new means of mastering the minds of contemporaries, corresponding to the new level of science and culture, the new bourgeois order of social being and consciousness.

He was so radical a break with the old methods of religious apologetics, that his views seemed paradoxical Starodumov and were met not only frowned upon, but with obvious bitterness and even undisguised contempt. "Doctor friend - Berkeley wrote his friend John Percival (later Duke of Egmont) dedicated to him on receipt of the" Treatise "- describing your personality, assured me that you're probably crazy and need treatment. A bishop spared you because the vain desire to invent something new prompted you to undertake such a venture. "

In the bitter controversy with Berkeley including not only those against whom he fought, but also those whose interests substantially coincide with his own.

Since 1713 began wandering Berkeley. After a trip to London, he as chaplain of Lord Peterborough, extraordinary ambassador at the court of king of Sicily, went to Italy. On the way, he spent a month in Paris, where he met with Nicholas Malebranche - philosopher, marching to Theocentrism Berkeleian parallel, though different, way. With works of Malebranche Berkeley met in his student years. After this meeting spread legend that meeting with Berkeley led Malebranche so excited that he soon died.

The following year, Berkeley returned after a long journey home, and in 1716 went to Italy again, this time as a tutor son Ash, Bishop Kloferskogo (there he returned to London in 1721).

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