Critical Analysis of Locke's Representative Realism and Berkeley's Subjective Idealism

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John Locke's theory of representative realism and George Berkeley's subjective idealism are two opposing views. There is no determinate means of deciding between them since there is no actual experiment that can be executed in order to determine whether reality is formed by realism or by idealism.


However, some phenomena are best represented using the theory of realism, while other phenomena are best represented by idealism. An example of which is when attempting to understand the basis of phenomena that are usually labeled as miracles, magic, spontaneous healing, or shamanism. The best theory to adopt in this case is that of idealism. So in practice, a thinker will determine what phenomena are most essential to him, and then support the theory that he deems best to interpret them. In Berkeley’s point of view, all thoughts, passions and ideas exist within the mind, while anything that is outside of the mind is unintelligible. His claims is such that it is impossible for us to ever come to know what is outside the mind, and so, we cannot even think about it. This claim would then entail that anything that is outside of mind has no meaning for us. If something is outside of the mind, it means that we are incapable of receiving any sensory input and any sensations from it. This entails that we are incapale of even perceiving it because we cannot detect it in any way. Sensations are meaningless except to the mind that receives them. All the ideas that we have of objects are derived from sensation and so are set within mind. Objects necessitates a mind to perceive them. ...
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