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Summary It has been argued that concerns about religious language were a major impetus for the development of Berkeley's philosophy. One such issue is the question of how to understand our talk about divine attributes - assertions such as 'God is wise.' In Alciphron IV, Berkeley defends a univocal approach to such predications, against the more traditional view that they must be understood analogically.
Key works On the importance of these concerns in Berkeley's early development, see Berman 1981Belfrage 1986. For a treatment of the debates about analogy in Berkeley's context, and Berkeley's role in them, see O'Higgins 1976Pittion & Berman 1969 print, and analyze, a letter on the subject allegedly written by Berkeley. Daniel 2011 provides a general account of Berkeley's thought on analogy and divine attributes, and challenges Berkeley's authorship of the letter.
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  1. Bertil Belfrage (2011). On George Berkeley's Alleged Letter to Browne: A Study in Unsound Rhetoric. Berkeley Studies 22.
  2. David Berman (1981). Cognitive Theology and Emotive Mysteries in Berkeley's Alciphron. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 81:219-229.
  3. Stephen H. Daniel (2011). Berkeley's Rejection of Divine Analogy. Science Et Esprit 63 (2):149-161.
    Berkeley argues that claims about divine predication (e.g., God is wise or exists) should be understood literally rather than analogically, because like all spirits (i.e., causes), God is intelligible only in terms of the extent of his effects. By focusing on the harmony and order of nature, Berkeley thus unites his view of God with his doctrines of mind, force, grace, and power, and avoids challenges to religious claims that are raised by appeals to analogy. The essay concludes by showing (...)
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  4. Stephen H. Daniel (2001). Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (3):179-194.
    Berkeley's immaterialism has more in common with views developed by Henry More, the mathematician Joseph Raphson, John Toland, and Jonathan Edwards than those of thinkers with whom he is commonly associated (e.g., Malebranche and Locke). The key for recognizing their similarities lies in appreciating how they understand St. Paul's remark that in God "we live and move and have our being" as an invitation to think to God as the space of discourse in which minds and ideas are identified. This (...)
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  5. Robert McKim (1987). What Is God Doing in the Quad? Philosophy Research Archives 13:637-653.
    I begin with an examination of Berkeley’s various suggestions about how to account for the continued existence of physical objects which are unperceived by finite spirits. After dismissing some of these suggestions I attempt to combine others in a unified theory which involves an appeal to what finite perceivers would perceive if they were in the right conditions, to the operation of the will of God, and to the perception of God. I assess the merits, both philosophical and textual, of (...)
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  6. Jean-Paul Pittion & David Berman (1969). A New Letter by Berkeley to Browne on Divine Analogy. Mind 78 (311):375-392.
  7. E. W. Van Steenburgh (1963). Berkeley Revisited. Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):85-89.