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Summary According to Berkeley's Continuity Argument, bodies can exist when not perceived by human beings only if they are perceived by some other mind, which Berkeley calls 'God'. On an alternative interpretation, the argument claims that bodies are independent of human perception, and must therefore be dependent on perception by some other mind, namely, God.
Key works The term 'Continuity Argument' was introduced by Bennett 1965. Other treatments of the argument include Tipton 1974, pp. 320-350; Ayers 1987; Atherton 1995; Stoneham 2002, sects. 5.3-5.6; and Dicker 2011, ch. 13.
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  1. M. R. Ayers (1987). Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence. In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel
  2. Jonathan Bennett (1965). Berkeley and God. Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
    It is well known that Berkeley had two arguments for the existence of God. A while ago, in trying to discover what these arguments are and how they fit into Berkeley's scheme of things, I encountered certain problems which are hardly raised, let alone solved, in the standard commentaries. I think that I have now solved these problems, and in this paper I present my results.
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  3. George Botterill (2007). God and First Person in Berkeley. Philosophy 82 (1):87-114.
    Berkeley claims idealism provides a novel argument for the existence of God. But familiar interpretations of his argument fail to support the conclusion that there is a single omnipotent spirit. A satisfying reconstruction should explain the way Berkeley moves between first person singular and plural, as well as providing a powerful argument, once idealism is accepted. The new interpretation offered here represents the argument as an inference to the best explanation of a shared reality. Consequently, his use of the first (...)
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  4. Hugh Hunter (2015). George Berkeley’s Proof for the Existence of God. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):183-193.
    Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It is (...)
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  5. Douglas M. Jesseph (2005). Berkeley, God, and Explanation. In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  6. Paul J. Olscamp (1970). George Berkeley's Unique Arguments About God. Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.