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Bishop Berkeley Quotes


Also known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne), was an Anglo-Irish philosopher.
(1685 - 1753)

A mind at liberty to reflect on its own observations, if it produce nothing useful to the world, seldom fails of entertainment to itself.
 

All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth - in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world - have not any subsistence without a mind.
[Bodies]
 

From my own being, and from the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do, by an act of reason, necessarily infer the existence of a God, and of all created things in the mind of God.
 

He that would make real progress in knowledge, must dedicate his age as well as youth, the latter growth as well as the first fruits, at the altar of truth.
[Knowledge]
 

He who says there is no such thing as an honest man, you may be sure is himself a knave.
[Honesty]
 

I had rather be an oyster than a man, the most stupid and senseless of animals.
 

If we admit a thing so extraordinary as the creation of this world, it should seem that we admit something strange, and odd, and new to human apprehension, beyond any other miracle whatsoever.
 

Make a point never so clear, and it is great odds that a man whose habits, and the bent of whose mind lie a contrary way shall be unable to comprehend it; - so weak a thing is reason in competition with inclination.
[Perception]
 

Many things, for aught I know, may exist, whereof neither I nor any other man hath or can have any idea or notion whatsoever.
 

Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretence to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free.
 

So long as I confine my thoughts to my own ideas divested of words, I do not see how I can be easily mistaken.
 

That neither our thoughts, nor passions, nor ideas formed by the imagination, exist without the mind, is what every body will allow.
 

That thing of hell and eternal punishment is the most absurd, as well as the most disagreeable thought that ever entered into the head of mortal man.
 

The eye by long use comes to see even in the darkest cavern: and there is no subject so obscure but we may discern some glimpse of truth by long poring on it.
 

The same principles which at first view lead to skepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense.
 

The world is like a board with holes in it, and the square men have got into the round holes, and the round into the square.
[World]
 

Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few.
 

We have first raised a dust and then complain we cannot see.
 

Westward the course of empire takes its way.
[Progress]
 

What stubbing, plowing, digging, and harrowing is to land, that thinking, reflecting, examining is to the mind. Each has its proper culture; and as the land that is suffered to lie waste and wild for a long time will be overspread with brushwood, brambles, and thorns, which have neither use nor beauty, so there will not fail to sprout up in a neglected, uncultivated mind, a great number of prejudices and absurd opinions, which owe their origin partly to the soil itself, the passions, and imperfections of the mind of man, and partly to those seeds which chance to be scattered in it by every wind of doctrine which the cunning of statesmen, the singularity of pedants, and the superstition of fools shall raise.
[Mind]