A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

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A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge by George Berkeley

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1710

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A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

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WHEREIN THE CHIEF CAUSES OF ERROR AND DIFFICULTY IN THE SCIENCES,WITH THE GROUNDS OF SCEPTICISM, ATHEISM, AND IRRELIGION,ARE INQUIRED INTO.

Book Excerpt

n point of understanding betwixt man and beast. "The having of general ideas," saith he, "is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes, and is an excellency which the faculties of brutes do by no means attain unto. For, it is evident we observe no foot-steps in them of making use of general signs for universal ideas; from which we have reason to imagine that they have not the FACULTY OF ABSTRACTING, or making general ideas, since they have no use of words or any other general signs." And a little after: "Therefore, I think, we may suppose that it is in this that the species of brutes are discriminated from men, and it is that proper difference wherein they are wholly separated, and which at last widens to so wide a distance. For, if they have any ideas at all, and are not bare machines (as some would have them), we cannot deny them to have some reason. It seems as evident to me that they do, some of them, in certain instances reason as that they have sense; but it is only in particular idea

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