Monday, 28 March 2011

Esse est percipi

Brian relaxing with all crew present

Apologies for the pompous Latin. It means 'to be is to be perceived'. Or, how do I know Starwoman exists when she's stepped out of the room?
This was the philosophical problem discussed by 16th century thinker Bishop George Berkeley who came to the somewhat curious conclusion that "esse est percipi". Or, all we know is our ideas. Oh, and God who sorted everything out. It was a somewhat complex argument that was shot down by Samuel Johnson who kicked a stone and said "I refute it thus".
So where's all this going - apart from demonstrating my university education (BA in Philosophy & Old Car Maintenance)?
Well, Stardog Brian is clearly a Berkelian thinker. When we're out on the boat he'll happily stand on the roof - until one person goes inside and then he dissolves into a state of panic looking everywhere for them. He can't see them so they can't exist. Which understandably makes him upset. He's only happy when they're out again.
Poor chap, I'll have to read him some Descartes or Wittgenstein to give him a broader view of the world. Or maybe just a bone.

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