George Berkeley Quotes

George Berkeley QuotesIt has been a while since I wrote about the philosophy of George Berkeley so in introducing his many wise quotes here is a refresher of his philosophy:

The essence of Berkeley's philosophy was his assertion that matter doesn't exist.

He held that all objects perceived outside ourselves are simply ideas that exist only in the mind. He radically claimed that "esse ist percipi,"  meaning - 'to be, is to be perceived.'

The Quotes

A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

Few men think; yet all have opinions.

From my own being, and from the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do, by an act of reason, necessarily infer the existence of a God, and of all created things in the mind of God.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Many things, for aught I know, may exist, whereof neither I nor any other man hath or can have any idea or notion whatsoever.

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.

A mind at liberty to reflect on its own observations, if it produce nothing useful to the world, seldom fails of entertainment to itself.

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.

Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few.

He who says there is no such thing as an honest man, you may be sure is himself a knave.

We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see.

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.

Ambition can creep as well as soar.

Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.

It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.
Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations -- wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.

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? Custom reconciles us to everything.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.

There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature and of nations.

Bad laws are the worst form of tyranny.

Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in.

Good order is the foundation of all great things.

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.

The most ingenious men are now agreed, that [universities] are only nurseries of prejudice, corruption, barbarism, and pedantry.

Our patience will achieve more than force.

People must be taken as they are, and we should never try make them or ourselves better by quarreling with them.

The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.

I do not deny the existence of material substance merely because I have no notion of it, but because the notion of it is inconsistent, or in other words, because it is repugnant that there should be a notion of it

I might as well doubt of my own being, as of the being of those things I actually see and feel.

Related articles:
George Berkeley Philosophy
Philosopher Archives