Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

by: George Berkeley

Important Quotations

Quotes Important Quotations

You indeed said, the reality of sensible things consisted in an absolute existence out of the minds of spirits, or distinct from their being perceived. And pursuant to this notion of reality, you are obliged to deny sensible things any real existence: that is, according to your own definition, you profess yourself a skeptic.

One of Berkeley's primary aims is to show that materialism leads to skepticism, while his own idealism does not. Because materialists believe that the only sort of real existence is an absolute existence independent of all minds, once it is shown that sensible objects have no such an existence (as Berkeley thinks he has conclusively demonstrated) the materialist is reduced to admitting that sensible objects have no real existence. Berkeley, on the other hand, maintains that sensible objects do have a real existence, but that it is a mind-dependent existence.