Subjective idealism of Berkeley and Social reality


If one were to accept immaterialist position that Berkeley takes. how can it explain social reality? From what I understand, Berkeley does not deny existence of physical objects, he says that physical objects exist, but as "bundles of ideas". But how can one provide an explanation of social institutions, social facts and social reality in general in Berkeley's system?

Edit: how would one account for reality of social institutions, social phenomena, social facts and such in Berkeley's system? As in, the way social institutes are taken to exist is different from the way say, people or rocks exist in usual sense. I guess this difference will have to be accounted for in his system as well, only in terms of idealism.

This leads me to ask, how do you account for social transformation etc from Immaterialism of Berkeley.

Moreover, how can we arrive at social order from Berkeley's position in this line of thought? any recommendations of literature on this would be great as well.


Posted 2019-10-06T15:43:29.777

Reputation: 321

1Maybe you can explain more why you think this is a problem for Berkeley? Berkeley acknowledges the existence of many minds, so why wouldn't he have social institutions? Yes, the physical aspect of these institutions will be mere bundles of ideas, but the social aspect will descend from the fact that there are many persons. – transitionsynthesis – 2019-10-06T17:43:49.420

while it may not be an intractable "problem" for berkley's idealism, i'd be surprised if no-one has ever considered what makes institutional reality in subjective idealism @transitionsynthesis how that differs from our materialisms etc. – None – 2019-10-07T17:06:35.637

1I don't disagree with you. I guess my point is that it's not entirely obvious what tension the OP has in mind, making it difficult to answer the question. – transitionsynthesis – 2019-10-07T17:21:35.483

Actually, its not clear to me how berkeley justifies existence of other minds in the first place. His position seems very close to solipsism but its not. – Non-Being – 2019-10-07T17:46:03.693

I guess my questions arises from the basic assumption that we hold, that the way physical objects exist is different from the way social institutions exist. I was curious as to how berkeley's system can provide an explanation to this – Non-Being – 2019-10-07T17:48:25.883

@transitionsynthesis i have added the necessary edits in the post. – Non-Being – 2019-10-15T20:02:17.753

No answers