A History of Ideas: 'Esse Est Percipi' ('To Be Is To Be Perceived')

BBC

A History of Ideas: 'Esse Est Percipi' ('To Be Is To Be Perceived')

Cognitive and TED collaboration

Aidan Turner on 'Esse Est Percipi'

Ray Laurence

Is there such a thing as matter? Not according to the Immaterialist philosopher Bishop George Berkeley. He thought the word only consisted of ideas and perceiving minds, that there was no material object beyond the sensory properties. For him, to be was to be perceived. But what about a tree falling in the woods when no one’s around? Has it stopped existing? To answer this, Berkeley had an ace up his sleeve – to find out what it was, you need to watch the animation... if it’s even there at all. 

Want to hear more on this topic?

Here’s the whole episode from A History of Ideas –  Philosopher Clare Carlisle on Reality and Perception.

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