Berkeley, George

Berkeley, George, bishop of Cloyne, born in Kilkenny; a philanthropic man, who conducted in a self-sacrificing spirit practical schemes for the good of humanity, which failed, but the interest in whom has for long centred, and still centres, in his philosophic teaching, his own interest in which was that it contributed to clear up our idea of God and consolidate our faith in Him, and it is known in philosophy as Idealism; only it must be understood, his idealism is not, as it was absurdly conceived to be, a denial of the existence of matter, but is an assertion of the doctrine that the universe, with every particular in it, as man sees it and knows it, is not the creation of matter but the creation of mind, and a reflex of the Eternal Reason that creates and dwells in both it and him; for as Dr. Stirling says, “the object can only be known in the subject, and therefore is subjective, and if subjective, ideal.” The outer, as regards our knowledge of it, is within; such is Berkeley's fundamental philosophical principle, and it is a principle radical to the whole recent philosophy of Europe (1684-1753).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Berkeley * Berkshire
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