Locke Berkeley And Hume
Enlightenment began with an unparalleled confidence in human reason. The new
science\'s success in making clear the natural world through Locke, Berkeley, and

Hume affected the efforts of philosophy in two ways. The first is by locating
the basis of human knowledge in the human mind and its encounter with the
physical world. Second is by directing philosophy\'s attention to an analysis of
the mind that was capable of such cognitive success. John Locke set the tone for
enlightenment by affirming the foundational principle of empiricism: There is
nothing in the intellect that was not previously in the senses. Locke could not
accept the Cartesian rationalist belief in innate ideas. According to Locke, all
knowledge of the world must ultimately rest on man\'s sensory experience. The
mind arrives at sound conclusions through reflection after sensation. In other
words the mind combines and compounds sensory impressions or "ideas"
into more complex concepts building it\'s conceptual understanding. There was
skepticism in the empiricist position mainly from the rationalist orientation.

Locke recognized there was no guarantee that all human ideas of things genuinely
resembled the external objects they were suppose to represent. He also realized
he could not reduce all complex ideas, such as substance, to sensations. He did
know there were three factors in the process of human knowledge: the mind, the
physical object, and the perception or idea in the mind that represents that
object. Locke, however, attempted a partial solution to such problems. He did
this by making the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Primary
qualities produce ideas that are simply consequences of the subject\'s perceptual
apparatus. With focusing on the Primary qualities it is thought that science can
gain reliable knowledge of the material world. Locke fought off skepticism with
the argument that in the end both types of qualities must be regarded as
experiences of the mind. Lockes Doctrine of Representation was therefore
undefendable. According to Berkley\'s analysis all human experience is
phenomenal, limited to appearances in the mind. One\'s perception of nature is
one\'s mental experience of nature, making all sense data "objects for the
mind" and not representations of material substances. In effect while Locke
had reduced all mental contents to an ultimate basis in sensation, Berkeley now
further reduced all sense data to mental contents. The distinction, by Locke,
between qualities that belong to the mind and qualities that belong to matter
could not be sustained. Berkeley sought to overcome the contemporary tendency
toward "atheistic Materialism" which he felt arose without just cause
with modern science. The empiricist correctly aims that all knowledge rests on
experience. In the end, however, Berkeley pointed out that experience is nothing
more than experience. All representations, mentally, of supposed substances,
materially, are as a final result ideas in the mind presuming that the existence
of a material world external to the mind as an unwarranted assumption. The idea
is that "to be" does not mean "to be a material substance;"
rather "to be" means "to be perceived by a mind." Through
this Berkeley held that the individual mind does not subjectively determine its
experience of the world. The reason that different individuals continually
percieve a similar world and that a reliable order inheres in that world is that
the world and its order depend on a mind that transcends individual minds and is
universal (God\'s mind). The universal mind produces sensory ideas in individual
minds according to certain regularities such as the "laws of nature."

Berkeley strived to preserve the empiricist orientation and solve Lockes
representation problems, while also preserving a spiritual foundation for human
experience. Just as Berkeley followed Locke, so did David Hume of Berkeley. Hume
drove the empiricist epistemological critique to its final extreme by using

Berkeley\'s insight only turning it in a direction more characteristic of the
modern mind. Being an empiricist who grounded all human knowledge in sense
experience, Hume agreed with Lockes general idea, and too with Berkeley\'s
criticism of Lockes theory of representation, but disagreed with Berkeley\'s
idealist solution. Behind Hume\'s analysis is this thought: Human experience was
indeed of the phenomenal only, of sense impressions, but there was no way to
ascertain what was beyond the sense impressions, spiritual or otherwise. To
start his analysis, Hume distinguished between sensory impressions and ideas.

Sensory impressions being the basis of any knowledge coming with a force of
liveliness and ideas being faint copies of those impressions. The question is
then asked, What causes the sensory impression? Hume answered None. If the mind
analyzes it\'s experience without preconception, it must recognize that in fact
all its supposed knowledge is based on a continuous chaotic volley of discrete
sensations,