By Robert M. Johnson
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Extra resources for A Logic Book: Fundamentals of Reasoning
Determined and set out by Nature", nor is it true that classes or natural kinds of things are "limited by any precise, abstract ideas settled in the mind, with the general name annexed to them" as Locke had thought. Indeed, for Berkeley, "nor do they (natural kinds) in truth ... " 76 The doctrine of natural kinds is therefore false. This subject is related to my earlier examination of the Berkeleyan theory that we help create objects by naming certain constantly recurring groups of sense data. Given that objects of knowledge only arise in this way, and that the concept of classes of objects is a result of inferences made by the understanding, it follows for Berkeley that we do not "discover" natural kinds.
A sort of rational discourse, and is therefore the immediate effeet of an intelligent cause ... Therefore, the phenomena of nature, which strike on the senses and are understood by the mind, form ... a most coherent, entertaining, and instructive Discourse. 44 It is clear to me that Berkeley has not made his case here, for reasons which are deeply embedded in the very purposes of his philosophy. The problem is, in terms of the puzzle metaphor, to explain the origin of the "elements of suggestion" in the box.
What we must be able to do is show that the laws of the language of nature indicate in some way what God wants us to do, how he wants us to act. As we have seen, there are at least two sorts of explanation for Berkeley: that which offers as the explanation of an event a natural law or a set of natural laws, and that which offers the cause of the event, which is a completely different sort of explanation. Constant conjunctions are the foundations of natural laws, those "analogies, harmonies, and agreements ...