Quotations From GEORGE BERKELEY


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  • The most ingenious men are now agreed, that [universities] are only nurseries of prejudice, corruption, barbarism, and pedantry.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Alciphron, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 5, sect. 21, p. 197, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • Of all men living [priests] are our greatest enemies. If it were possible, they would extinguish the very light of nature, turn the world into a dungeon, and keep mankind for ever in chains and darkness.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Alciphron, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 1, sect. 3, p. 35, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • It is a mistake, to think the same thing affects both sight and touch. If the same angle or square, which is the object of touch, be also the object of vision, what should hinder the blind man, at first sight, from knowing it?
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. "An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision," vol. 1, sect. 136, p. 226, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).
  • Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretence to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Alciphron, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 1, sect. 9, p. 44, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • A mind at liberty to reflect on its own observations, if it produce nothing useful to the world, seldom fails of entertainment to itself.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Alciphron, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 1, sect. 1, p. 31, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • All those who write either explicitly or by insinuation against the dignity, freedom, and immortality of the human soul, may so far forth be justly said to unhinge the principles of morality, and destroy the means of making men reasonably virtuous.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Alciphron, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," advertisement, para. 3/3, p. 23, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • There being in the make of an English mind a certain gloom and eagerness, which carries to the sad extreme; religion to fanaticism; free-thinking to atheism; liberty to rebellion.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Crito, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 3, sect. 12, p. 131, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • If we admit a thing so extraordinary as the creation of this world, it should seem that we admit something strange, and odd, and new to human apprehension, beyond any other miracle whatsoever.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Crito, in "Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher," dial. 6, sect. 24, p. 265, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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  • To be is to be perceived [Esse est percipi].
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish divine, philosopher. The Principles of Human Knowledge, part I, sec. 3, p. 90, Philosophical Works, ed. Michael R. Ayers, Everyman, J.M. Dent, London (1993). Basic statement of Berkeley's immaterialism.
  • All that stock of arguments [the skeptics] produce to depreciate our faculties, and make mankind appear ignorant and low, are drawn principally from this head, to wit, that we are under an invincible blindness as to the true and real nature of things.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. The Principles of Human Knowledge, part 1, sect. 101, p. 85, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).

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