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 George Berkeley

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George Berkeley

  • Birth 12 Mar 1685
  • Death 14 Jan 1753
  • Burial Oxford, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
  • Memorial ID 23218

Philosopher who believed that, as time was merely the succession of ideas in the mind, things might cease to have any existence when not present in consciousness. Hence his proof of God, as an eternal consciousness bearing everything in mind and therefore enabling continuity of existence. The theory was neatly summed up in two limericks by the theologian and humorist Ronald Knox: There was a young man who said: 'God Must find it exceedingly odd If it seems that this tree Simply ceases to be When no-one's about in the Quad' "Sir, your astonishment's odd: I am always about in the Quad. And that's why the tree Will continue to be, Since observed by, Yours Faithfully, God". Dr. Johnson famously denied Berkeley's theory by kicking a large stone and saying 'Sir, I refute it thus!'. The inscription on Berkeley's monument is by the poet Alexander Pope.

Bio by: David Conway

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Jul 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23218
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Berkeley (12 Mar 1685–14 Jan 1753), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23218, citing Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .