George Berkeley was a strong believer in the idea that individuals can only directly know sensations and ideas of objects, not abstractions such as "matter." He was an Irish Philosopher whose was recognized most for his idea or immaterialism or subject idealism. The University Of Berkeley and the city surrounding it are named after him and his great works and Yale University also bears his name.
Berkeley grew up in Dysart Castle. He was William Berkeley’s eldest son. He was educated at Kilkenny College. He then went on to Trinity College and remained there after completion of his degree as a tutor and Greek lecturer.
In 1713 George Berkley’s third book Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, made known his system of philosophy, the leading principle of which is that the world as represented to our senses depends for its existence, as such, on being perceived. One of his main objects was to combat the prevailing materialism of the time which was largely recognized as wrong and was ridiculed. Between 1714 and 1720, he began to travel around Europe to take a break from his academic problems.
In 1721, he took Holy Orders, earning his doctorate in divinity, and once again chose to remain at Trinity College. In 1724 he was made Dean of Derry (a city in Northern Ireland).
During the year 1725 he founded a college in Bermuda. He then went to Newport, Rhode Island where Berkeley then proceeded to buy a plantation know as “whitehall”. Then George Berkeley bought multiple slaves to help him on the plantation. On June 11, 1731 Berkeley Baptized three of his black slaves. In Berkeley's sermons explained to colonists why Christianity supported slavery, and hence slaves should become baptized Christians.
Berkeley said, "It would be of advantage to their slave masters' to have slaves who should 'obey in all things their masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, as fearing God; ‘that gospel liberty consist that gospel liberty consists with temporal servitude; and that their slaves would only become better slaves by being Christian" (Berkeley, Proposal, 347. See his sermon in Newport, preached October, 1729).
He continues to lived at the plantation while waiting for funds for his Bermuda college to arrive. The funds, however, didn’t come so in 1732 he returned to London. In 1734, he was appointed Bishop of Cloyne.