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Principes de la connaissance humaine

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,115 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Résumé

Le texte du philosophe anglais du XVIIIe siècle qui fut le premier à critiquer avec vigueur la notion de matière.


Quatrième de couverture

Ecrits dans un style accessible, les Principes constituent une des œuvres les plus fortes que le XVIIIe siècle britannique ait produites. La postérité, d'ailleurs, toute critique qu'elle ait été (Kant, Marx ...) ne s'y est pas trompé
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Mass Market Paperback, 182 pages
Published December 31st 1998 by Flammarion (first published 1710)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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William Arsenis
Sep 17, 2014 William Arsenis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This work was the first I’d ever read by George Berkeley.

In this treatise, Berkeley expounds on his theory of immaterialism. This basically states that no material thing exists outside of that which perceives it and bears no relation whatsoever to solipsism—the belief that only the self exists.

Berkeley was a deeply religious man who believed that nature and matter did not exist without being perceived in consciousness; that this perception was an idea instilled in the spirits of men through the
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Cameron Davis
I gave this book three stars (rather than fewer) not because I agree with Berkeley's argument whatsoever or because his book is anything close to a model of careful, persuasive philosophy. I gave it three stars because:
(1) As an argument for idealism, and the first I've ever read, it was fascinating.
(2) Even though his argument for idealism is pretty lousy, the comprehensive philosophy he builds out of it--whereby he makes an, admittedly lousy, argument for God's existence and solves many dilemm
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Roy Lotz
Jun 02, 2016 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Berkeley was an English philosopher in the empiricist school. In this short treatise, he put forward many of his most influential ideas, including his critique of intellectual abstraction, and the dependence of reality on perception.

Unlike many other philosophers I've come across, Berkeley is direct and terse. He does not insult the reader's intelligence by dwelling unnecessarily on one topic, but moves forward at a brisk pace. Further, his writing is clear, organized, and he actively see
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Erick
Out of Spinoza, Locke, Descartes, Hume and Berkeley, I certainly found Berkeley the most interesting; but, then, I am into Idealism, so it is to some degree understandable and indicates my bias really. Out of 17th-early 18th century philosophers, Berkeley intrigues me as much as Leibniz does. I might, if I were to expand philosophy to include quasi-mystical writers of the same era, include Swedenborg, Hutchinson, Boehme and Sterry.
Berkeley has often been misrepresented as being a philosopher th
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Yann
Mar 17, 2012 Yann rated it really liked it
Je n'avais pas été autant emballé par un ouvrage de philosophie depuis la lecture de l'enquête sur l'entendement humain de Locke. Berkeley est un ecclésiastique écossais du début du XVIIIème siècle, qui partant des positions empiristes, radicalise cette position pour partir en guerre contre l'abstraction qu'il considère comme la source des maux et errances de la philosophie. Il souhaite aussi abattre l'athéisme par des arguments définitifs; mais si je trouve qu'il ne parvient pas à convaincre su ...more
Charlie
Oct 17, 2008 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


The body of ideas in this book are communicated quite neatly in Berkeley's introduction, which whether you agree with what he says or not is a really neat rounded little idea. For the most part of the book Berkeley goes through these ideas in much needed greater detail, but he often will repeat the same arguments over and over in a monotonous chant, which towards the end of the book gets very tiresome, as he has failed to see that the true implications of his philosophy are exactly nothing, and
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David Balfour
Jul 05, 2015 David Balfour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Berkeley is a smug, self-satisfied pedant with chronic babyface. Just look at that smirk. Bastard.

It's annoying how obvious it is that the Treatise is politically motivated. It seems almost entirely lacking in terms of a genuine desire for knowledge and understanding. Berkeley bends over backwards to avoid materialism because he's concerned that an independent external world of automated physical causation reduces the role of God and might encourage impiety. Fun quotes:

"How great a friend mater
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Ben
May 17, 2013 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
The brilliance of Berkeley's philosophy is that it gave David Hume something to improve on, and it opened up whole new areas to doubt and critical observation. These two contributions are staggeringly important to our advancement in my opinion (the fact that the prose is crisp and witty is simply an added bonus). Nonetheless, in the present day Berkeley's philosophy seems fairly bizarre. After all, only a seasoned obscurantist would claim that matter doesn't exist all things (perceptions) that d ...more
Noé Ajo caamaño
Ideas, y espíritus, es todo cuanto hay. Sin negar lo real y efectivo, convierte las cosas del mundo en ideas cuya existencia consiste en su ser percibido, percepción que revela al espíritu percipiente. Ser, lo más general; ideas, y espíritus. Y como no, como clave de bóveda, el gran espíritu, Dios, creador de la naturaleza (ideas que nos son entregadas por la percepción), y de la regularidad natural como muestra de su bondad de modo que podamos llegar a aprender a habérnoslas con esto real cread ...more
Adam
Berkeley is basically the 18th century Plato. But not in that he does or develops further some of the interesting things Plato did all those years ago. No. He's the 18th century Plato in that he proves amazingly adept at the straw man fallacy, at what amounts to name-calling, and at being a smug prick who is mostly laughably wrong about everything.

But this thing is real entertaining, and Berkeley is adorable when he is complaining about language.
bill clausen
May 26, 2007 bill clausen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
berkeley's arguments for immaterialism, "to be is to be perceived," fascinating take on philosophy of science and nature as the "language of god." beautiful, brief, if demanding.
Ece Ilgaz
Apr 28, 2015 Ece Ilgaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can something exist without being perceived?
Michael David
Reading about semantics has opened up my mind with regard to the biases inherent in words. While Alfred Korzybski initiated the scientific study of semantics, S. I. Hayakawa attempted to simplify its concepts and ideas in his books and aided the common person towards its understanding. I appreciate their contributions to the world and to my world as well: in this fast-paced, modern world, it is very important to recall and understand that the word is NOT the thing.

Before these individuals blaze
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Deep end of the pool here! I know I missed much of what Berkeley was trying to say...but his ideas sound like a combination of Zen koans and quantum mechanics - there is an observer who observes everything at all times - it is that continuous observation that lets us (as individuals) observe what we think we are observing (!) (?) Help me, Dr. Sheldon Cooper. You're my only hope.
Chant
Nov 24, 2016 Chant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old man yelling that your perceptions are not objective or whatever. Idealism and stuff.
Maaz
Nov 19, 2014 Maaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My summary of the book:

So once, Berkeley and Locke were hanging out at the Empiricism Hookah Bar. Don't ask me how.Anyway, Locke inhaled a deep breath from his apple-and-mint flavored Hookah and was thinking out loud:
Locke: "It is fascinating how this thing is wholly made out of particles and we can only understand it as something we see, touch and inhale".
-Berkeley: "How do you come to know it's a Hookah by sensory?"
-Locke: "Because my mind perceives it as an idea".
-Berkeley: "Correct!" he sh
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Nemo
May 22, 2016 Nemo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
The Meaning of Reality

I was taught from a very young age that reality is what exists independently of human perception and knowledge, and we gain knowledge of reality if and only if our ideas correspond to it. Fantasy is that which has no correspondence in reality, and exists only in the mind of an individual -- unless he communicates his fantasy, others have no way of knowing it.

George Berkeley, after whom University of California at Berkeley was named, shows a different way of interpreting rea
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Matt
Jun 29, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Berkeley does not hedge on his maxim esse est percipi (being is being perceived). He jumps in head first, bets all on black and puts all of his eggs in one basket without actually mixing metaphors. Berkeley ramps up Locke’s arguments and simplifies them. He does away with Locke’s notion of a substratum of existence and commits fully to the idea that all we can perceive are Ideas. What has hindered his predecessors was their unfounded belief that Matter has existence apart from the mind. By casti ...more
Brian
Many of Berkeley's philosophical insights about sense, perception and the impossibility of "substance," published about 300 years ago, can sit comfortably and unrefuted alongside insights provided by modern quantum physics and mechanics. He was also a semiotician way before the field was invented. That's why I read this. It's the last edition he published in his life, and perhaps as a result, it's clear, concise (80 pages), and well-organized. Berkeley did not bloviate!

Like many other Goodreads
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Jon
Aug 03, 2008 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decided to reread this for the first time since college, and ended up getting a surprising amount out of it on my own. In response to Locke's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Berkeley sought to overcome metaphysical and epistemological skepticism by claiming that "mind" is the only substance in existence, and that the external world is essentially a collection of accidents incidental to the mind (be it individuals' minds or God). By discounting the possibility of abstract ideas, Berkeley ...more
DoCong Nguyen
Nhai được thêm 1 cuốn khô như rơm của tủ sách tinh hoa. Rating 3 sao là dành cho trải nghiệm của người đọc (cấp độ nhập môn như mình) khi đọc cuốn này, học thuật mình chưa dám đánh giá. Một vài comment là trong cuốn này Berkeley đã mở ra một vài suy nghĩ khá hay để sau này Hume hay Kant học tập và phát triển. Tuy nhiên nhiều lập luận của Berkeley làm mình không đồng tình, một phần do khác biệt niềm tin, một phần theo mình là do bản thân lý luận. Sẽ dễ hình dung hơn, phần nào, khi đọc cuốn này, t ...more
Richard Newton
Apr 26, 2013 Richard Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is a great version of Berkeley's text, and Dancy has written a very helpful introduction. I have two other books by Dancy, which are intellectually substantial but can be difficult to get into and at times are challenging reads. In this case, his introduction contains a powerful and accessible analysis. Dancy's introduction is interesting, and directly useful to anyone at an undergraduate level facing the challenge of writing good essays on Berkeley. If you just want Berkeley's text you can ...more
i!
Dec 13, 2012 i! marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I might have read this whole thing; definitely bits and pieces. Will have to revisit it to be sure. Whatever, Berkeley's conclusion is pretty ridiculous, IIRC, that because we cannot imagine a world without a point of view, without a mind receiving this world, then an objective, point-of-viewless world must not exist. Spirits cause impressions, QED. What Berkeley didn't seem to realize is that this teardown only applies to a subjective idea of the world, with the objective world, if there is one ...more
Rego Hemia
Firstly, not being Christian, and secondly, not being local to the 18th Century, there are some ways in which Berkeley's writing isn't as accessible to me as a more contemporary sharing of these ideas might be.
The content is amazing. Berkeley's examination of abstract ideas, and the differences between general abstractions and particulars, could be extremely useful to those in the early stages of studying philosophy, particularly metaphysics.

Just one of those books I think everyone could read
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Kenneth
Mar 08, 2016 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This work is an incredibly in-depth look at idealism. I would say it even rivals and perhaps surpasses the works of Descartes to some degree, though it seems to borrow considerably from that foundation. With that being said, I believe it pales in comparison, with regard to enlightenment, but still a worthy read, five stars.
Declan O'mahony
Dec 23, 2012 Declan O'mahony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so someone tells you the world is all is in your mind. The world is an idea, nothing exists unless it is perceived by a mind. Crazy right? Well no - it just might be the case. We know Reality as a mental construct - a product of our minds. This book makes you think - what does it mean to exist, what is it, and that is a question worth looking at. George should be on everybody's self.
Clifton Knox
Nov 28, 2015 Clifton Knox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

The ever relevant Berkeley. Berkeley's ideas on how humans perceive the world continues influenced philosophers and scientists to this day. It's very difficult to get a full view of empiricism without understanding Bishop Berkeley!
Andru
Sep 04, 2016 Andru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-for-thought
Full of contradictions; however, admirably ahead of its time, considering the modern implications of quantum physics.
sologdin
Mar 18, 2015 sologdin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
what a weird bit of empiricism-gone-wild: phenomena are in fact the noumena; all that exists are the ideas, which exist when perceived. to be is to be perceived in this idealist, immaterialist doctrine.
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George Berkeley (/ˈbɑːrklɪ/;[1][2] 12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753) — known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne) — was an Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism" (later referred to as "subjective idealism" by others). This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and ...more
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“It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence soever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. For what are the forementioned objects but the things we perceive by sense, and what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these or any combination of them should exist unperceived?' (Berkeley, 1710: 25)” 7 likes
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