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Dupee mozilla Philosophy 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 central supposition 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 for the only way to perceive this real essence would be to become the object itself Although the idea is logical it does contain a certain grounding for agnosticism Let the reader consider this if there is no way to actually sense the true material essence of anything and all knowledge in empiricism comes from the senses then the real material essence can not be perceived and therefore it can not be posited This deserves careful consideration for the materialist has been self-proclaimed a skeptic If the believer in this theory were asked if a mythical beast such as a cyclops existed he would most certainly say no As part of his reply he might add that because it can not be sensed it is not a piece of knowledge After being enlightened by the above proposed argument though that same materialist is logically forced to agree that because the material substratum1 itself can not be sensed its existence can not be treated as knowledge
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