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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.
  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. Franz Brentano (1988). Philosophical Investigations on Space, Time, and the Continuum. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
    Franz Brentano is recognised as one of the most important philosophers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This work, first published in English in 1988, besides being an important contribution to metaphysics in its own right, has considerable historical importance through its influence on Husserl’s views on internal time consciousness. The work is preceded by a long introduction by Stephan Körner in collaboration with Brentano’s literary executor Roderick Chisholm. It is translated by Barry Smith.
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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.