George Berkeley, Irish philosopher

George Berkeley, Irish philosopher

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish philosopher and Bishop of Cloyne (appointed 1734). Berkeley is famous for his philosophical theory concerning the perception of sensations and ideas. Now known as subjective idealism, his philosophy was summed up by the phrase 'Esse est percipi' (To be is to be perceived). Theologically, this means that God is an ever-present cause of experience, rather than the remote God found in the clockwork Newtonian worldview. Berkeley's works included his 'Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge' (1710), and 'Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous' (1713).

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