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Word Count: 2,531
As man progressed through the various stages of evolution it is assumed that at a certain point he began to ponder the world around him Of course these first attempts fell short of being scholarly probably consisting of a few grunts and snorts at best As time passed on though these ideas persisted and were eventually tackled by the more intellectual so-called philosophers Thus excavation of the external world began As the authoritarianism of the ancients gave way to the more liberal views of the modernists two main positions concerning epistemology and the nature of the world arose The first view was exemplified by the empiricists who stated that all knowledge comes from the senses In opposition the rationalists maintained that knowledge comes purely from deduction and that this knowledge is processed by certain innate schema in the mind Those that belonged to the empiricist school of thought developed quite separate and distinct ideas concerning the nature of the substratum of sensible objects John Locke and David Hume upheld the belief that sensible things were composed of material substance the basic framework for the materialist position The main figure who believed that material substance did not exist is George Berkeley In truth it is the immaterialist position that seems the most logical when placed under close scrutiny The initial groundwork for Berkeleys position is the truism that the materialist is a skeptic In the writing of his three dialogues Berkeley develops two characters Hylas the materialist and Philonous Berkeley himself Philonous draws upon one centralsupposition of the materialist to formulate his argument of skepticism against him this idea is that one can never perceive the real essence of anything In short the materialist feels that the information received through sense experience gives a representative picture of the outside world the representative theory of perception and one can not penetrate to the true essece of an object This makes logical sense
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