WHAT IS THE NATURE OF AN APPLE?
The nature of an apple can be perceived in many ways. Descartes was a
realists because he proved the existence of corporeal objects so Descartes would
say the object the object exists and has primary and secondary qualities.
Descartes primary qualities are anything which is clear and distinct, you can
apply math to it, scientists can measure it, like size, shape and motion. Then
there are secondary qualities which are qualities that can be different to
different people, things like colour, smell and taste. But Descartes did believe
that the object itself existed.
Berkeley we have two types of perception upon seeing the apple. The
first being the immediate perception which is the direct awaRenéss of the apple,
such that it is red in colour. The second perception is the mediate perception
which is indirect awaRenéss, as a result of making inferences about what is
There are three types of perception being realist, representational
realism and Berkley type of perception. And the immediate object of
perception of an apple is interpreted differently. The realist, like
Descartes would say that the immediate object such as hot or cold is a
mind independent relatively unchanging object and that that quality
belongs to the Apple. The Representational Realist would say that hot
and cold are ideas which are representations of a physical object
(apple). While Berkeley would say there are only ideas.
A realist would perceive a Mediate object of perception as coming from a
physical object. A representational realist would say the mediate object
of perception comes from the physical object which is the cause of the
perception of ideas. Now Berkeley believes that "Physical objects" exist
only as ideas in the mind.
Now if Descartes were to ask Berkeley does the object not exist when no
we do not look at it. Berkeley would answer that objects do exist but
only in the mind of God.
Now Berkeley didn't agree with the realist so he came out with an argument
against realism. He states that immediate objects of perceptions such as
hot and cold, sweet and bitter are kinds of pleasures and pains. Since
pleasures and pains cannot exist unperceived or in an unperceiving
substance it follows that these things (e.g.. Heat) are not qualities of
physical objects and, therefore, cannot exist without the mind. He gives
the example of when you put one hand in a warm bowl of water and the
other in a cold bowl of water. When the subject takes his hands out of
the two bowls and puts them both in a bowl of warm water one hand say's
it is cold the other warm.
1. One thing cannot be simultaneously have two incompatible qualities.
2. Warm and cold are incompatible qualities
3. An immediately perceived quality is really a quality of the object
4. Water seems cold to one hand and warm to the other.
5. the water is both warm and cold (3,4)
6. the water cannot be both warm and cold
one premise must be rejected.
He also came up with another argument against realism, an argument from
(1) If an immediately perceived quality is really a quality of the
perceived thing, then a change in the quality means a change in the
(2) An immediately perceived quality is really a quality of the object