The dialogue is between Hylas and Philonous | My Paper Hub
The dialogue is between Hylas an...
The dialogue is between Hylas and
Philonous and in the second dialogue, Philonous explains to Hylas of his
idealist perception. He believes that what is in the world are ideas and those
minds that develop them. These minds he refers to them as spirits. He explains to Hylas that there are two
aspects of ideas; the perceived ideas and imagined ideas. Imagined ideas are
not of real things because they are as a result of our imagination. He also
explains that the ideas that exist our minds are also not reals but simply
ideas. He considers sensations as real. He considers distinguishing sensations
from ideas as the ways of distinguishing real things from ideas that are
fictional. He considers sensations as aspects that come involuntarily meaning
that we do not cause them. Form this understanding then sensations come from
another being which is God. God is,
therefore, the source of all our ideas because he is an infinite being with an
infinite perception. An object, therefore, exists because God exists. All
things exist because God perceives them. God thus uses the laws of nature to
allow us to access these ideas.
The notion that God is the source of
all our ideas seems flawed. This is a notion that conflicts with the aspect of
free will. If God is in control of what we perceive as ideas, then He has a
substantial amount of control of our minds and the ideas we have of ourselves
and that of the world. According to Philonous, God is infinite and ultimate. He
is the perceiver of all things. He is what makes things exist including the ideas
that exist in our minds. As the ultimate and infinite perceiver then God has a
high level of control over our perceptions and ideas. This contradicts with the
concept of free will which is associated with our perception independent of
influence other than what is already in existence in the world as sensations.
A substantial objection to the concept
of ideas by Philonous is the one presented by Malebranche. He brought forward
the doctrine of Vision in God, as our direct connection to God. The universe is
associated with a form of harmony which is characteristic of a more powerful
being in control. Philonous’ perception of the world and existence of senses as
spiritual, yet they are physical. The assertion of the world as spiritual
pushes further than what we seem to perceive the world is not as much as it is. There is, therefore, an idealistic perception
on one side, and there is the ordinary view of the world. The idealistic
perception causes many differences in and begs the question of whether such
perceptions of the world as spiritual as true or false. The idealistic approach
brought forward by Philonous has many loopholes. The idealistic approach is,
therefore, too broad and thus requires more arguments to strengthen it. It is,
therefore, important to say that Philonous associates sense with spiritual
aspects of the world that are perceived by God, who is also a spirit. This is
an argument that is insufficient in explaining the full cause of our ideas
because they cannot all be spiritual.
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