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Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous - Coursework Example

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The author of the "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" paper is assessing the arguments that have been developed to oppose materialism and those that have been brought forth to support the theory of immaterialism and how it refutes skepticism. …
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Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous
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Download file to see previous pages Three dialogues between Hylas and Philonous was written by George Berkley in 1713. In this dialogue, Berkley uses Hylas as his primary contemporary philosophical adversary. Hylas comes from the Greek word Hule which means matter or wood. Philonous is the character that Berkley uses to argue his metaphysical views which are contrary to those that Hylas brings forward. The word Philonous is also derived from the Greek context. It is derived from two Greek words, Phil and nous, which when translated to English means Lover of Mind. In this dialogue, Berkley, through Philonous, brings forth a strong argument against the theory of materialism and argues out his points in a way that shows how strongly he believes in immaterialism. According to Philonous, immaterialism proves and brings forth the erroneous nature of skepticism. 

This dialogue is in three parts. In the first part of the dialogue, Hylas expresses his utter disdain of skepticism and points out to the opinion that he has heard Philonous hold that there is no such thing as the material substance in the world; a skeptical opinion. However, according to Philonous, it is Hylas who is skeptical and he seeks to prove that to him. The two, therefore, begin to engage in a philosophical battle of wits. Philonous begins by questioning Hylas on heat as a secondary quality.

He questions Hylas of how one can be able to experience pain or pleasure through heat if it is not perceived in the mind. Philonous gives a hypothetical situation to Hylas of putting his hand near a fire. According to Hylas, there is only one sensation that one can feel when they do this. But Philonous proves that to be contrary to reality. When the hand is put near the fire, there are two sensations that are perceived or experienced at the same time; pain, and heat. Through this argument, Philonous is able to convince  Hylas that a  particular sensation cannot exist in reality if it is not perceived by the mind. He also manages to convince him that heat and such sensations are not a  real being. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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