Comment 117072

By Selway (registered) | Posted March 19, 2016 at 22:10:40

Mr. Fenton! Welcome to the North End!

Your piece is another fine twist of the braid.

Couple of things. First, whatever rumours you may hear about what goes on in the House of Purple over by the medical centre, please ignore them. Really, is it likely that such things would be happening anywhere except in a third sub-basement out at Mac, where the reactor is right there at hand? I highly doubt it.

Secondly, I hate to be rude like your phone, but Berkeley wrote not esse est percipi but rather esse is percipi, as follows.

“For as to what is said of the absolute existence of unthinking things without any relation to their being perceived, that seems perfectly unintelligible. Their esse is percipi, nor is it possible they should have any existence out of the minds or thinking things which perceive them.”

This is a little strong. It is not so much that houses, mountains, rivers have no existence “distinct from their being perceived by the understanding”, it's just that they would not then be houses, mountains, rivers or indeed anything particular at all for us, so who cares? F'rinstance. I am proceeding west on Cannon near the Tim's at Bay, when I spot an abandoned hoverboard on the sidewalk. Not a plausible perception, so my attention is now fixed on the uncertainly identified object in the environs, which I study as I approach it, eventually perceiving that it is in fact four bolts transfixing a sheet of plywood, while also perceiving that my initial perception was rather a conception – as are all perceptions, which is Berkeley's point. More interesting, we are bound to go on our way incessantly con/perceiving i.e. knowing, or at least believing that we know, if you accept that a belief is a thought you are willing to act on. We can be accidentally unknowing, briefly, but it is pretty much impossible to deknow. Being is dual, and it is pretty much impossible to eg look at a table and see woodiness but not tableness, although we can sort of be focally aware of the one and then the other. This is of course a very Good Thing, or we would be forever floating about in a featureless and unstable flux, panning across a snowy void with few landmarks.

Incidentally, this site is acting like your damn phone and perceives the above as containing spam words. Therefore preventing me from posting anonymously. What the hell. Anyone out there have any idea what the trigger might be?

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