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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

In his chief thoughts he followed Leibnitz


Our

sensations, says Berkeley, are entirely subjective. We are wholly in error if we believe that we have a sensation of external objects or perceive them. That which we have and perceive is only our sensations. It is _e. g._ clear, that by the sense of sight we can _see_ neither the distance, the size, nor the form of objects, but that we only _conclude_ that these exist, because our experience has taught us that a certain sensation of sight is always attended by certain sensations of touch. That which we see is only colors, clearness, obscurity, &c., and it is therefore false to say that we see and feel the same thing. So also we never go out of ourselves for those sensations to which we ascribe most decidedly an objective character. The peculiar objects of our understanding are only our own affections; all ideas are hence only our own sensations. But just as there can be no sensations outside of the sensitive subject, so no idea can have existence outside of him who possesses it. The so-called objects exist only in our notion, and have a being only as they are perceived. It is the great error of most philosophers that they ascribe to corporeal objects a being outside the conceiving mind, and do not see that they are only mental. It is not possible that material things should produce any thing so wholly distinct from themselves as sensations and notions. There is no such thing as a material external world; _mind alone exists_ as thinking being, whose nature consists in thinking
and willing. But whence then arise all our sensations which come to us like the images of fancy, without our agency, and which are thus no products of our will? They arise from a spirit superior to ourselves--for only a spirit can produce within us notions--even from God. God gives us ideas; but as it would be contradictory to assert that a being could give what it does not possess, so ideas exist _in God_, and we derive them from him. These ideas in God may be called archetypes, and those in us ectypes.--In consequence of this view, says Berkeley, we do not deny an independent reality of things, we only deny that they can exist elsewhere than in an understanding. Instead therefore of speaking of a nature in which, _e. g._ the sun is the cause of warmth, &c., the accurate expression would be this: God announces to us through the sense of sight that we should soon perceive a sensation of warmth. Hence by nature we are only to understand the succession or the connection of ideas, and by natural laws the constant order in which they proceed, _i. e._ the laws of the association of ideas. This thorough-going subjective idealism, this complete denial of matter, Berkeley considered as the surest way to oppose materialism and atheism.

SECTION XXXV.

WOLFF.

The idealism of Berkeley, as was to be expected from the nature of the case, remained without any farther development, but the philosophy of Leibnitz was taken up and subjected to a farther revision by _Christian Wolff_. He was born in Breslau in 1679. He was chosen professor at Halle, where he became obnoxious to the charge of teaching a doctrine at variance with the Scriptures, and drew upon himself such a violent opposition from the theologians of the university, that a cabinet order was issued for his dismissal on the 8th of November, 1723, and he was enjoined to leave Prussia within forty-eight hours on pain of being hung. He then became professor in Marburg, but was afterwards recalled to Prussia by Frederic II. immediately upon his accession to the throne. He was subsequently made baron, and died 1754. In his chief thoughts he followed Leibnitz, a connection which he himself admitted, though he protested against


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