Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Berkeley’s Argument for Idealism

Berkeleys Argument for Idealism

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 | 18:15 | Trinity Long Room Hub

A public lecture by Prof Samuel Rickless (University of California) during his term as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy.

Abstract: In A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713), George Berkeley argues for idealism, the view that the physical world is nothing but a collection of ideas or sensations.  This was a shocking thesis, even for its time. 

Many scholars have tried to reconstruct Berkeley’s argument for idealism, with, in the view of Prof Rickless, only partial success.  In this talk, he explains exactly why Berkeley thinks that the physical world, though perfectly real, exists only in minds.

Did you miss this lecture? Catch up with the Podcast below!











Funding Bodies

Ireland EU Structural Funds Programmes 2007 – 2013, European Regional Development Fund, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, HEA, Trinity College Dublin, and

Last updated 24 March 2016 by Trinity Long Room Hub (Email) .