Analysis of Sartre and Berkeley Philosophies

Philosophy Exam


Berkeley basically described immaterialism as a denial of the existence of material substances. According to him, materialism things were similar to third parties that he argued is absurd and is psychologically brought into the picture. Berkeley refutes the reference by Locke “unknown substratum” under which material substance features becomes pointless assumptions; he argues that it would be ridiculous supposing that their reality is dependent in any method on “an imperceptible core.” And lastly, he argued that immaterialism restores a role of significant importance to god (McDermid 150-151).

Perception of ideas

When applying common sense in this issue, there are only two crucial parties that can be detected which are the perceiver and what is perceived. Therefore only ideas people perceive are real making immaterialism the surest way to help in securing common sense, religion and science against the skepticism perils. He equally disregards sensible objects as a mere collection of sensible qualities and hence is just complex ideas perceived in the owner’s minds. When it comes to spirits, Berkeley claims that humans lack ideas of spirits but rather have notions (McDermid 157).

Being for itself

In contrast to being in itself, is for itself, however, refers to the existence world; the mode of being. For instance the main is being-louse itself, that is having no fuel and that is a free existence dumped into the world. He, therefore, has to build a gas. In this situation, men try consistently to escape their situation through bad faiths.

Being in itself

The being in itself idealized by Sartre was basically meaning the world of static, fixed and physical things like an ashtray, paper cutter where things do have a core; in other words, they have specific functions. This world objects are always neither active nor passive. Thus the mode of becoming relevant to inanimate objects as opposed to human beings making man to always fight to make a choice. At the end, when the man reduces himself to being in itself, he attains a bad faith status (Anderson, 123).

Bad faith

Sartre describes bad faith as the habits that make people deceive themselves into thinking that they lack the freedom of making choices based on the fear of consequences of the choices made. Man, therefore, limits himself to a few choices leaving other millions that could be more beneficial. In the end, the man becomes akin to an object more than to a conscious being (Anderson 127). While people understand it that they don’t have choices and limit themselves, in that way still they have made a choice without being aware and in the end still acknowledges their freedom as conscious human beings.

To be so is to be perceived

Berkeley was a firm believer in senses. According to him, for something like a reality to exist, it must have been perceived in our minds. Moreover, Berkeley held that each spirit is an undivided, simple, active being that has a sole function of thinking; meaning it should bring in ideas like those of sensible objects (McDermid 148-160).

Berkeley further argued that existence of what something does not depend on someone’s ability to see it. While he was an advocator of perceiving before seeing it, he validates this concept of seeing by claiming it must have been perceived by another person. So even if one continues to close his eyes, the existence of sensible objects like trees will still continue to exist as long as someone else perceives it. He further finishes it by saying that even if no man perceives the existence of the sensible objects; God does it, which means the objects will continue to exist. Primarily wat Berkeley aimed by counter-arguing in the line of the existence of objects based on perception was to reject the notion of materialization existence (McDermid 156-161).

Lastly, to provide a critique to his supposed perception, there is actually a problem with of his thoughts for objectivity. For instance, a person perceives a chair it exists, person b perceives it, it exists so on and so forth; a question, therefore, becomes “what ensures that all see the same table?” There based on the fact that a person only has his own sensation to continue, there is no need to assume that these are shared by others for instance that there is a common world.

No universal human nature but a universal human condition

Jean-Paul Sartre argued that there is no universal human nature but a universal human condition where man becomes only what he makes of himself (Anderson, 124-125). Sartre believed in being and nothingness ideology; which was driven by his terminologies of “being in itself” and being for itself.” First, one there is the mode of being when man exists and not much more. And then after the existence, there is the being of things that man has to make a decision on; for instance in the world of existence, the man is louse, he has nothing, he is like he was thrown into the world without anything, he, therefore, has worked hard and builds things for himself for survival. In the meantime, he has to make choices, where man is usually short-sighted and only sees limited options. But anyway, in the end, he still exercises his freedom of making a choice with what whatever the decision he makes (Anderson, 128). Normally man does this through bad faith; that is man constantly seek to escape his situation through pipes in bad faith i.e. in love, waiter, or tune.

In providing a critique this, essence ought to precede existence. Sartre argues that existence comes first and then man fights for essence; this means that the consciousness of man has the opportunity to determine the way he feels about the world surrounding regardless of genetics and environmental characteristics. This is inconsistent with reality since man is always determined by inheritable genetics and environmental characteristics. Fact is objected that exist only become because of the presence of essence that defines the behavior (Gusman 55-70).





Work Cited

Anderson, Pamela Sue, and George Pattison. Between being and nothingness: sin in Jean-Paul Sartre. Diss. The University of Oxford, (2015) 122-128.

Gusman, Simon. “To the Nothingnesses Themselves: Husserl’s Influence on Sartre’s Notion of Nothingness.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 49.1 (2018): 55-70.

McDermid, Douglas. “The Sensation/Perception Distinction in Reid and Schopenhauer.” Journal of Scottish Philosophy 16.2 (2018): 147-161.


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