George Berkeley (1685-1753)


PHILONOUS. Good morrow, Hylas: I did not expect to find you abroad so


HYLAS. It is indeed something unusual; but my thoughts were so taken up

with a subject I was discoursing of last night, that finding I could not

sleep, I resolved to rise and take a turn in the garden.

PHIL. It happened well, to let you see what innocent and agreeable

pleasures you lose every morning. Can there be a pleasanter time of the

day, or a more delightful season of the year? That purple sky, those wild

but sweet notes of birds, the fragrant bloom upon the trees and flowers,

the gentle influence of the rising sun, these and a thousand nameless

beauties of nature inspire the soul with secret transports; its faculties

too being at this time fresh and lively, are fit for those meditations,

which the solitude of a garden and tranquillity of the morning naturally

dispose us to. But I am afraid I interrupt your thoughts: for you seemed

very intent on something.

HYL. It is true, I was, and shall be obliged to you if you will permit

me to go on in the same vein; not that I would by any means deprive

myself of your company, for my thoughts always flow more easily in

conversation with a friend, than when I am alone: but my request is, that

you would suffer me to impart my reflexions to you.

PHIL. With all my heart, it is what I should have requested myself if

you had not prevented me.

HYL. I was considering the odd fate of those men who have in all ages,

through an affectation of being distinguished from the vulgar, or some

unaccountable turn of thought, pretended either to believe nothing at

all, or to believe the most extravagant things in the world. This however

might be borne, if their paradoxes and scepticism did not draw after them

some consequences of general disadvantage to mankind. But the mischief

lieth here; that when men of less leisure see them who are supposed

to have spent their whole time in the pursuits of knowledge professing an

entire ignorance of all things, or advancing such notions as are

repugnant to plain and commonly received principles, they will be tempted

to entertain suspicions concerning the most important truths, which they

had hitherto held sacred and unquestionable.

PHIL. I entirely agree with you, as to the ill tendency of the affected

doubts of some philosophers, and fantastical conceits of others. I am

even so far gone of late in this way of thinking, that I have quitted

several of the sublime notions I had got in their schools for vulgar

opinions. And I give it you on my word; since this revolt from

metaphysical notions to the plain dictates of nature and common sense, I

find my understanding strangely enlightened, so that I can now easily

comprehend a great many things which before were all mystery and riddle.

HYL. I am glad to find there was nothing in the accounts I heard of you.

PHIL. Pray, what were those?

HYL. You were represented, in last night's conversation, as one who

maintained the most extravagant opinion that ever entered into the mind

of man, to wit, that there is no such thing as MATERIAL SUBSTANCE in

the world.

PHIL. That there is no such thing as what PHILOSOPHERS CALL MATERIAL

SUBSTANCE, I am seriously persuaded: but, if I were made to see anything

absurd or sceptical in this, I should then have the same reason to

renounce this that I imagine I have now to reject the contrary opinion.

HYL. What I can anything be more fantastical, more repugnant to Common

Sense, or a more manifest piece of Scepticism, than to believe there is

no such thing as MATTER?

PHIL. Softly, good Hylas. What if it should prove that you, who hold

there is, are, by virtue of that opinion, a greater sceptic, and maintain

more paradoxes and repugnances to Common Sense, than I who believe no

such thing?

HYL. You may as soon persuade me, the part is greater than the whole,

as that, in order to avoid absurdity and Scepticism, I should ever be

obliged to give up my opinion in this point.

PHIL. Well then, are you content to admit that opinion for true, which

upon examination shall appear most agreeable to Common Sense, and remote

from Scepticism?

HYL. With all my heart. Since you are for raising disputes about

the plainest things in nature, I am content for once to hear what you

have to say.

PHIL. Pray, Hylas, what do you mean by a SCEPTIC?

HYL. I mean what all men mean--one that doubts of everything.

PHIL. He then who entertains no doubts concerning some particular

point, with regard to that point cannot be thought a sceptic.

HYL. I agree with you.

PHIL. Whether doth doubting consist in embracing the affirmative or

negative side of a question?

HYL. In neither; for whoever understands English cannot but know that

DOUBTING signifies a suspense between both.

PHIL. He then that denies any point, can no more be said to doubt of

it, than he who affirmeth it with the same degree of assurance.

HYL. True.

PHIL. And, consequently, for such his denial is no more to be esteemed

a sceptic than the other.

HYL. I acknowledge it.

PHIL. How cometh it to pass then, Hylas, that you pronounce me A

SCEPTIC, because I deny what you affirm, to wit, the existence of

Matter? Since, for aught you can tell, I am as peremptory in my denial,

as you in your affirmation.

HYL. Hold, Philonous, I have been a little out in my definition; but

every false step a man makes in discourse is not to be insisted on. I

said indeed that a SCEPTIC was one who doubted of everything; but I

should have added, or who denies the reality and truth of things.

PHIL. What things? Do you mean the principles and theorems of sciences?

But these you know are universalintellectual notions, and consequently

independent of Matter. The denialtherefore of this doth not imply the

denying them.

HYL. I grant it. But are there no other things? What think you of

distrusting the senses, of denying the real existence of sensible things,

or pretending to know nothing of them. Is not this sufficient to

denominate a man a SCEPTIC?

PHIL. Shall we therefore examine which of us it is that denies the

reality of sensible things, or professes the greatest ignorance of them;

since, if I take you rightly, he is to be esteemed the greatest


HYL. That is what I desire.

PHIL. What mean you by Sensible Things?

HYL. Those things which are perceived by the senses. Can you imagine

that I mean anything else?

PHIL. Pardon me, Hylas, if I am desirous clearly to apprehend your

notions, since this may much shorten our inquiry. Suffer me then to ask

you this farther question. Are those things only perceived by the senses

which are perceived immediately? Or, may those things properly be said to

be SENSIBLE which are perceived mediately, or not without the

intervention of others?

HYL. I do not sufficiently understand you.

PHIL. In reading a book, what I immediately perceive are the letters;

but mediately, or by means of these, are suggested to my mind the notions

of God, virtue, truth, &c. Now, that the letters are truly sensible

things, or perceived by sense, there is no doubt: but I would know

whether you take the things suggested by them to be so too.

HYL. No, certainly: it were absurd to think GOD or VIRTUE sensible

things; though they may be signified and suggested to the mind by

sensible marks, with which they have an arbitrary connexion.

PHIL. It seems then, that by SENSIBLE THINGS you mean those only

which can be perceived IMMEDIATELY by sense?

HYL. Right.

PHIL. Doth it not follow from this, that though I see one part of the

sky red, and another blue, and that my reason doth thence evidently

conclude there must be some cause of that diversity of colours, yet that

cause cannot be said to be a sensible thing, or perceived by the sense of


HYL. It doth.

PHIL. In like manner, though I hear variety of sounds, yet I cannot be

said to hear the causes of those sounds?

HYL. You cannot.

PHIL. And when by my touch I perceive a thing to be hot and heavy, I

cannot say, with any truth or propriety, that I feel the cause of its

heat or weight?

HYL. To prevent any more questions of this kind, I tell you once for

all, that by SENSIBLE THINGS I mean those only which are perceived by

sense; and that in truth the senses perceive nothing which they do not

perceive IMMEDIATELY: for they make no inferences. The deducing

therefore of causes or occasions from effects and appearances, which

alone are perceived by sense, entirely relates to reason.

PHIL. This point then is agreed between us--That SENSIBLE THINGS ARE


inform me, whether we immediately perceive by sight anything beside

light, and colours, and figures; or by hearing, anything but sounds; by

the palate, anything beside tastes; by the smell, beside odours; or by

the touch, more than tangible qualities.

HYL. We do not.

PHIL. It seems, therefore, that if you take away all sensible

qualities, there remains nothing sensible?

HYL. I grant it.

PHIL. Sensible things therefore are nothing else but so many

sensible qualities, or combinations of sensible qualities?

HYL. Nothing else.

PHIL. HEAT then is a sensible thing?

HYL. Certainly.

PHIL. Doth the REALITY of sensible things consist in being perceived?

or, is it something distinct from their being perceived, and that bears

no relation to the mind?

HYL. To EXIST is one thing, and to be PERCEIVED is another.

PHIL. I speak with regard to sensible things only. And of these I ask,

whether by their real existence you mean a subsistenceexterior to the

mind, and distinct from their being perceived?

HYL. I mean a real absolute being, distinct from, and without any

relation to, their being perceived.

PHIL. Heat therefore, if it be allowed a real being, must exist without

the mind?

HYL. It must.

PHIL. Tell me, Hylas, is this real existenceequally compatible to all

degrees of heat, which we perceive; or is there any reason why we should

attribute it to some, and deny it to others? And if there be, pray let me

know that reason.

HYL. Whatever degree of heat we perceive by sense, we may be sure the

same exists in the object that occasions it.

PHIL. What! the greatest as well as the least?

HYL. _I_ tell you, the reason is plainly the same in respect of both.

They are both perceived by sense; nay, the greater degree of heat is more

sensibly perceived; and consequently, if there is any difference,

we are more certain of its real existence than we can be of the reality

of a lesser degree.

PHIL. But is not the most vehement and intense degree of heat a very

great pain?

HYL. No one can deny it.

PHIL. And is any unperceiving thing capable of pain or pleasure?

HYL. No, certainly.

PHIL. Is your material substance a senseless being, or a being endowed

with sense and perception?

HYL. It is senseless without doubt.

PHIL. It cannot therefore be the subject of pain?

HYL. By no means.

PHIL. Nor consequently of the greatest heat perceived by sense, since

you acknowledge this to be no small pain?

HYL. I grant it.

PHIL. What shall we say then of your external object; is it a material

Substance, or no?

HYL. It is a material substance with the sensible qualities inhering in


PHIL. How then can a great heat exist in it, since you own it cannot in

a material substance? I desire you would clear this point.

HYL. Hold, Philonous, I fear I was out in yielding intense heat to be a

pain. It should seem rather, that pain is something distinct from heat,

and the consequence or effect of it.

PHIL. Upon putting your hand near the fire, do you perceive one simple

uniform sensation, or two distinct sensations?

HYL. But one simple sensation.

PHIL. Is not the heat immediately perceived?

HYL. It is.

PHIL. And the pain?

HYL. True.

PHIL. Seeing therefore they are both immediately perceived at the same

time, and the fire affects you only with one simple or uncompounded idea,

it follows that this same simple idea is both the intense heat

immediately perceived, and the pain; and, consequently, that the intense

heat immediately perceived is nothing distinct from a particular sort of


HYL. It seems so.

PHIL. Again, try in your thoughts, Hylas, if you can conceive a

vehement sensation to be without pain or pleasure.

HYL. I cannot.

PHIL. Or can you frame to yourself an idea of sensible pain or pleasure

in general, abstracted from every particular idea of heat, cold, tastes,

smells? &c.

HYL. I do not find that I can.

PHIL. Doth it not therefore follow, that sensible pain is nothing

distinct from those sensations or ideas, in an intense degree?

HYL. It is undeniable; and, to speak the truth, I begin to suspect a

very great heat cannot exist but in a mind perceiving it.

PHIL. What! are you then in that sceptical state of suspense, between

affirming and denying?

HYL. I think I may be positive in the point. A very violent and painful

heat cannot exist without the mind.

PHIL. It hath not therefore according to you, any REAL being?

HYL. I own it.

PHIL. Is it therefore certain, that there is no body in nature really


HYL. I have not denied there is any real heat in bodies. I only say,

there is no such thing as an intense real heat.

PHIL. But, did you not say before that all degrees of heat were equally

real; or, if there was any difference, that the greater were more

undoubtedly real than the lesser?

HYL. True: but it was because I did not then consider the ground there

is for distinguishing between them, which I now plainly see. And it is

  • opposition [,ɔpə´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反对;反抗;阻力   (初中英语单词)
  • abroad [ə´brɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.海外;到处;广泛   (初中英语单词)
  • unusual [ʌn´ju:ʒuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不平常的;异常的   (初中英语单词)
  • innocent [´inəsənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无罪的;单纯的   (初中英语单词)
  • delightful [di´laitful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.讨人喜欢的   (初中英语单词)
  • purple [´pə:pl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.紫色 a.紫(红)的   (初中英语单词)
  • inspire [in´spaiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.鼓舞;使感悟;吸入   (初中英语单词)
  • lively [´laivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活泼的;热烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • interrupt [,intə´rʌpt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.中断;打扰   (初中英语单词)
  • intent [in´tent] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.专心致志的 n.意图   (初中英语单词)
  • ignorance [´ignərəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无知,愚昧   (初中英语单词)
  • entertain [,entə´tein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.招待;娱乐;使高兴   (初中英语单词)
  • sacred [´seikrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神圣的;庄严的   (初中英语单词)
  • tendency [´tendənsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.趋势;倾向   (初中英语单词)
  • revolt [ri´vəult] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.反抗;起义;反叛   (初中英语单词)
  • strangely [´streindʒli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.奇怪地;陌生地   (初中英语单词)
  • mystery [´mistəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神秘;秘密;故弄玄虚   (初中英语单词)
  • seriously [´siəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严肃;严重,重大   (初中英语单词)
  • contrary [´kɔntrəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.相反的 n.相反   (初中英语单词)
  • softly [´sɔftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.软化地;柔和地   (初中英语单词)
  • virtue [´və:tʃu:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.美德;贞操;长处   (初中英语单词)
  • persuade [pə´sweid] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(被)说服;使相信   (初中英语单词)
  • examination [ig,zæmi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.检查;考试;检验   (初中英语单词)
  • agreeable [ə´gri:əbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.适合的;符合的   (初中英语单词)
  • acknowledge [ək´nɔlidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(公开)承认;感谢   (初中英语单词)
  • existence [ig´zistəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.存在;生存;生活   (初中英语单词)
  • reality [ri´æliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.现实(性);真实;逼真   (初中英语单词)
  • universal [,ju:ni´və:səl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.宇宙的;普遍的   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • sensible [´sensəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感觉得到的   (初中英语单词)
  • pardon [´pɑ:dən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.原谅;饶恕;赦免   (初中英语单词)
  • inquiry [in´kwaiəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.询问;质询;调查   (初中英语单词)
  • properly [´prɔpəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.适当地;严格地   (初中英语单词)
  • sufficiently [sə´fiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.充分地,足够地   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • perceive [pə´si:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.察觉;看出;领悟   (初中英语单词)
  • absurd [əb´sə:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒谬的,可笑的   (初中英语单词)
  • thence [ðens] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.从那里;因此   (初中英语单词)
  • variety [və´raiəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.变化;多样(性);种类   (初中英语单词)
  • distinct [di´stiŋkt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.清楚的;独特的   (初中英语单词)
  • absolute [´æbsəlu:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.绝对的 n.绝对   (初中英语单词)
  • equally [´i:kwəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.相等地;平等地   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • plainly [´pleinli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.平坦地;简单地   (初中英语单词)
  • capable [´keipəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有能力;能干的   (初中英语单词)
  • consequence [´kɔnsikwəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.结果;后果;推断   (初中英语单词)
  • sensation [sen´seiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.感觉;轰动;轰动一时   (初中英语单词)
  • conceive [kən´si:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.设想;表达;怀孕   (初中英语单词)
  • suspect [´sʌspekt, sə´spekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.怀疑;觉得 n.嫌疑犯   (初中英语单词)
  • violent [´vaiələnt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强暴的;猛烈的   (初中英语单词)
  • finding [´faindiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发现物;判断;结果   (高中英语单词)
  • fragrant [´freigrənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.芳香的,芬芳的   (高中英语单词)
  • solitude [´sɔlitju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.孤独;寂寞;荒凉   (高中英语单词)
  • impart [im´pɑ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.传授;赋予;告知   (高中英语单词)
  • distinguished [di´stiŋgwiʃt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.卓越的,著名的   (高中英语单词)
  • extravagant [ik´strævəgənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奢侈的;过度的   (高中英语单词)
  • disadvantage [,disəd´vɑ:ntidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不利(条件);损失   (高中英语单词)
  • leisure [´leʒə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.空闲;悠闲;安定   (高中英语单词)
  • commonly [´kɔmənli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.一般地;通常   (高中英语单词)
  • concerning [kən´sə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • hitherto [,hiðə´tu:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.至今,迄今   (高中英语单词)
  • reject [ri´dʒekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.拒绝;抵制;否决   (高中英语单词)
  • manifest [´mænifest] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.明显的 v.表明   (高中英语单词)
  • whoever [hu:´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.任何人,无论谁   (高中英语单词)
  • consequently [´kɔnsikwəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,所以   (高中英语单词)
  • affirm [ə´fə:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.肯定,断言,证实   (高中英语单词)
  • discourse [´diskɔ:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.论文;演说;说教   (高中英语单词)
  • intellectual [,inti´lektʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.知识分子   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • intense [in´tens] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强烈的;紧张的   (高中英语单词)
  • external [ik´stə:nəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.外部的;外面的   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • positive [´pɔzətiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.确定的   (高中英语单词)
  • morrow [´mɔrəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.翌日   (英语四级单词)
  • resolved [ri´zɔlvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.决心的;坚定的   (英语四级单词)
  • considering [kən´sidəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.就…而论   (英语四级单词)
  • vulgar [´vʌlgə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.粗俗的;大众的   (英语四级单词)
  • sublime [sə´blaim] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.崇高的,伟大的   (英语四级单词)
  • absurdity [əb´sə:diti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.荒谬,愚蠢;谬论   (英语四级单词)
  • definition [,defi´niʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.限定;定义;明确   (英语四级单词)
  • rightly [´raitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.正义地;正确地   (英语四级单词)
  • desirous [di´zaiərəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.渴望的;想往的   (英语四级单词)
  • apprehend [,æpri´hend] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.理解;忧虑;逮捕   (英语四级单词)
  • shorten [´ʃɔ:tn] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.缩短,变短   (英语四级单词)
  • arbitrary [´ɑ:bitrəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.任意的;专断的   (英语四级单词)
  • exterior [ik´stiəriə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.外表(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • lesser [´lesə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.较小的;次要的   (英语四级单词)
  • senseless [´sensləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无知觉的;愚蠢的   (英语四级单词)
  • suspense [sə´spens] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.悬挂;悬虑不安   (英语六级单词)
  • denial [di´naiəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.否认;拒绝   (英语六级单词)
  • diversity [dai´və:siti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.差异;多样性   (英语六级单词)
  • propriety [prə´praiəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.正当;合适;礼貌   (英语六级单词)
  • subsistence [səb´sistəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.生存;生计;生活费   (英语六级单词)
  • vehement [´viəmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.猛烈的;热烈的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:58:55
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