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Summary George Berkeley (1685-1753) was an Anglo-Irish philosopher and bishop. He is best known for his immaterialism (denial of the existence of material substances) and anti-abstractionism (denial of abstract ideas). Berkeley is traditionally listed as one of the three British Empiricists, along with Locke and Hume.
Key works Berkeley's most widely-read works are his Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713). An earlier work, An Essay Toward a New Theory of Vision (1709) has also been quite influential in both philosophical and psychological theorizing about sensory perception. The standard scholarly edition of Berkeley's works is Luce & Jessop 1948-1957. Influential book-length expositions of Berkeley's philosophy include Winkler 1989 and Pappas 2000. Atherton 1990 provides an account of Berkeley's theory of vision. Important collections of essays on Berkeley include Turbayne 1982, Sosa 1987, and Daniel 2007.
Introductions A variety of student editions of the Principles and Dialogues are available. The only collection of Berkeley's philosophical works currently in print is Clarke 2008. Encyclopedia articles on Berkeley's philosophy include Downing 2008 and Flage 2004. An account of Berkeley's life with emphasis on the development of his philosophical views can be found in Berman 1994. Winkler 2005 is a collection of essays on a variety of aspects of Berkeley's philosophy accessible to non-specialists. Stoneham 2002 provides an introduction to various issues in the Three Dialogues suitable for students as well as scholars.
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  1. Pedro Alves (2011). A Proposta (I) Modesta de Berkeley. Um Mundo Sem Matéria. Philosophica 38:59-74.
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  2. H. E. Baber (1989). Berkeley and the Tattletale's Paradox. Idealistic Studies 19 (1):79-82.
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  3. Andrea Cachel (2010). Crença no mundo exterior: um diálogo entre Hume e Berkeley. Princípios 14 (21):125-146.
    No Tratado, Hume procura investigar as causas da crença nos objetos exteriores, admitindo ser impossível provar se os mesmos existem ou náo. Sua análise consistirá na investigaçáo da origem da inteligibilidade das noções de continuidade e distinçáo dos objetos sensíveis, em última instância, a crença do senso comum na continuidade e distinçáo das próprias percepções. Este texto pretende mostrar como essa discussáo humeana é um diálogo direto com a filosofia berkeleyana, a defesa humeana da crença na matéria implicando inicialmente uma (...)
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  4. Sébastien Charles (2008). Berkeley and the Lumières : Misconception and Reconstruction. In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), New Interpretations of Berkeley's Thought. Humanity Books
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  5. G. Chiurazzi (1998). Useless Being-The Problem of Mediation in the Philosophy of George Berkeley. Filosofia 49 (1):53-75.
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  6. Gabe Eisenstein (1988). Berkeley's Presence. Idealistic Studies 18 (3):207-229.
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  7. José Antonio Robles García (1985). Berkeley: Argumentación Filosófica. Dianoia 31:195-210.
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  8. Laurent Gerbier (2003). Le dialogisme de Berkeley. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 3 (3):397-409.
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  9. Ralf Goeres (2007). Putnam Versus Berkeley? Facta Philosophica 9 (1):177-202.
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  10. Adam Grzeliński (2007). Natura języka i język natury w filozofii Berkeleya. Filo-Sofija 7 (1(7)):83-93.
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  11. Michael P. Levine (1993). Berkeley: How to Make a Mistake. Philosophia 22 (1-2):29-39.
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  12. Bruno Marciano (2011). Fra Empirismo E Platonismo: L'Estetica di Berkeley E Il Suo Contesto Filosofico. De Ferrari.
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  13. Bruno Marciano (2010). George Berkeley: Estetica E Idealismo. Nova Scripta.
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  14. Colin Murray Turbayne (1966). The Origin of Berkeley's Paradoxes'. In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America
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  15. W. H. Werkmeister (1966). Notes to an Interpretation of Berkeley. In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America
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Berkeley: Epistemology
  1. I. T. Ramsay (1966). Berkeley and the Possibility of an Empirical Metaphysics. In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America
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Berkeley: Skepticism
  1. Timo Airaksinen (1987). Berkeley and the Justification of Beliefs. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (2):235-256.
    This paper analyzes berkeley's philosophy in the light of modern epistemology and philosophy of mind. It is shown that our knowledge of spatio-Temporal bodies cannot be certain. Certainty is restricted to the realm of sensory ideas themselves. But there is hardly any reason to be interested in ideas as such. Berkeley is a common sense thinker who wants to know the world and its scientific laws. Bodies are constructed on the basis of both real and imaginary ideas. This topic is (...)
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  2. D. M. Armstrong (1954). Berkeley's Puzzle About the Water That Seems Both Hot and Cold. Analysis 15 (2):44 - 46.
  3. Jeffrey Barnouw (2008). The Two Motives Behind Berkeley's Expressly Unmotivated Signs : Sure Perception and Personal Providence. In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), New Interpretations of Berkeley's Thought. Humanity Books
  4. S. Seth Bordner (2011). Berkeley's "Defense" of "Commonsense". Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (3):315-338.
    Berkeley scholars can hardly resist dealing with the question of how his philosophical system relates to commonsense. It is an irresistible question because it first appears to have a sensational answer. On the one hand, Berkeley claims to "side in all things with the Mob," and on the other, his denial of the existence of matter seems as contrary to commonsense as any philosophical view can be. The articles, chapters, books and conference papers on this one aspect of Berkeley's philosophy (...)
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  5. 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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  6. Harry M. Bracken (2004). Berkeley and Skepticism : Berkeley's Diagnosis of Skepticism, and His Proposed Cure. In Maia Neto, José Raimundo & Richard H. Popkin (eds.), Skepticism in Renaissance and Post-Renaissance Thought: New Interpretations. Humanity Books
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  7. S. C. Brown (1971). Berkeley on the Unity of the Self. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 5:64-87.
    That the legacy of Berkeley's philosophy has been a largely sceptical one is perhaps rather surprising. For he himself took it as one of his objectives to undermine scepticism. He roundly denied that there were ‘any principles more opposite to Scepticism than those we have laid down’ . Yet Hume was to write of Berkeley that ‘most of the writings of that very ingenious author form the best lessons of scepticism, Bayle not excepted’. And it has become something of a (...)
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  8. Anthony Brueckner (2011). Idealism and Scepticism. Theoria 77 (4):368-371.
    It is argued that contrary to appearances, Berkeleyan Idealism lacks anti-sceptical force. The problem stems from the way in which the idealist draws the appearance/reality distinction.
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  9. M. F. Burnyeat (1982). Idealism and Greek Philosophy: What Descartes Saw and Berkeley Missed. Philosophical Review 91 (1):3-40.
  10. M. F. Burnyeat (1982). Idealism and Greek Philosophy: What Descartes Saw and Berkeley Missed. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 13:19-50.
  11. Eric Bush (1977). Berkeley, Truth, and the World. Inquiry 20 (1-4):205 – 225.
    There is a structural similarity between an influential argument of Berkeley 's against causal realism and a traditional, and recently revived, argument against the correspondence theory of truth. Both arguments chide the realist for positing a relation between his conceptions of reality and a world independent of those conceptions. Man could have no epistemic access to such a relation, it is said, for, by the realist's own admission, he has access to only one of the relata - his conceptions. I (...)
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  12. Sébastian Charles (2004). Berkeley no país das Luzes: ceticismo e solipsismo no século XVIII. Doispontos 1 (2).
    A influência do ceticismo nos século XVI e XVII é por demais evidente para ser posta em questão. De Montaigne a Bayle, parece que o cético foi o promotor tanto de uma refutação radical dos princípios metafísicos escolásticos e depois cartesianos quanto de uma crítica feroz às autoridades religiosas e políticas. Ora, esse papel parece ter se amenizado no Século das Luzes, ou melhor, se deslocado - somente as dimensões críticas do social continuaram pertinentes. Pretende-se mostrar aqui o pressuposto de (...)
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  13. Maxime Chastaing (1953). Berkeley, défenseur du sens commun et théoricien de la connaissance d'autrui. Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 143:219 - 243.
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  14. Jaimir Conte (2008). A Oposição de Berkeley Ao Ceticismo. Cadernos de História de Filosofia da Ciência 18 (2):3225-355.
    One of Berkeley’s main goals in the Principles and in the Three Dialogues, as expressly stated in the full titles these two works, as well as in the Philosophical Commen-taries, is the refutation of skepticism. This article aims to elucidate what Berkeley means by skepticism and to indicate which principles or doctrines, according to him, are at the root of the skeptics’ doubts. An attempt is made to show how Berkeley elaborated his opposition to skepticism. Finally, it is suggested that (...)
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  15. Kucharski Dariusz (2010). Scepticism and its Refutation in George Berkeley's and Thomas Reid's Philosophies (Sceptycyzm I Dyskusja Z Nim W Filozofii George'a Berkeleya I Thomasa Reida). Studia Philosophiae Christianae 46 (2).
  16. Robert Frederick (1987). Berkeley and the Argument From Conceiving. Philosophy Research Archives 13:481-487.
    In both the Principles and the Dialogues Berkeley argues that physical objects cannot exist independently of minds. In this paper I suggest an interpretation of the argument in the Dialogues that shows that his argument either relies on an invalid inference or begs the question. I conclude that his attempt to defeat scepticism by making physical objects mind-dependent is unsuccessful.
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  17. Daniel Garber (1982). Locke, Berkeley, and Corpuscular Scepticism. In Colin Murray Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays. University of Minnesota Press
  18. Jody Graham (1997). Common Sense and Berkeley's Perception by Suggestion. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (3):397 – 423.
    Significant attention has been paid to Berkeley's account of perception; however, the interpretations of Berkeley's account of perception by suggestion are either incomplete or mistaken. In this paper I begin by examining a common interpretation of suggestion, the 'Propositional Account'. I argue that the Propositional Account is inadequate and defend an alternative, non-propositional, account. I then address George Pitcher's objection that Berkeley's view of sense perception forces him to adopt a 'non-conciliatory' attitude towards common sense. I argue that Pitcher's charge (...)
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  19. Robert A. Imlay (1992). Berkeley and Scepticism. Hume Studies 18 (2):501-510.
  20. A. David Kline (1987). Berkeley's Theory of Common Sense. International Studies in Philosophy 19 (3):21-31.
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  21. E. J. Lowe (2006). Radical Externalism or Berkeley Revisited? Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (s 7-8):78-94.
    Ted Honderich's 'Radical Externalism' concerning the nature of consciousness is a refreshing, and in many ways very appealing, approach to a long- standing and seemingly intractable philosophical conundrum. Although I sympathize with many of his motivations in advancing the theory and share his hostility for certain alternative approaches that are currently popular, I will serve him better by playing devil's advocate than by simply recording my points of agreement with him. If his theory is a good one, it should be (...)
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  22. Konrad Marc-Wogau (1968). The Argument From Illusion and Berkeley's Idealism. In C. B. Martin & David M. Armstrong (eds.), Theoria. University of Notre Dame Press 340-352.
  23. Lex Newman (2002). Berkeley's Thought. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 111 (2):314-318.
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  24. Douglas Odegard (1981). Berkeleian Idealism and the Dream Argument. Idealistic Studies 11 (2):93-99.
  25. George Pappas (2003). Idealism, Skepticism, Common Sense. In Jorge J. E. Gracia, Gregory M. Reichberg & Bernard N. Schumacher (eds.), The Classics of Western Philosophy: A Reader's Guide. Blackwell Pub. 270.
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  26. George Pappas (1999). Berkeley and Scepticism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):133 - 149.
    In both the Principles and the Three Dialogues, Berkeley claims that he wants to uncover those principles which lead to scepticism; to refute those principles; and to refute scepticism itself. This paper examines the principles Berkeley says have scepticial consequences, and contends that only one of them implies scepticism. It is also argued that Berkeley's attempted refutation of scepticism rests not on his acceptance of the esse est percipi principle, but rather on the thesis that physical objects and their sensible (...)
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  27. George S. Pappas (2007). Berkeley's Assessment of Locke's Epistemology. In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), Philosophica.
    In this essay, the author analyses Berkeley’s conformity and inference argument against Locke’s theory of percep tion. Both arguments are not as decisive as traditionally has been perceived and fail to engage in Locke’s actual position. The main reason for this is that Berkeley does not see that Locke’s position is compatible with the non-inferential nature of perceptual knowledge.
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  28. George S. Pappas (1991). Berkeley and Common Sense Realism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 8 (1):27 - 42.
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  29. George S. Pappas (1986). Common Sense in Berkeley and Reid in Sens Commun. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 40 (158):292-303.
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  30. George Sotiros Pappas (2000). Berkeley's Thought. Cornell University Press.
    He assesses the validity of this self-description and considers why Berkeley might have chosen to align himself with a commonsense position.Pappas shows how ...
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  31. Goerge Pappas (1982). Berkeley, Perception, and Common Sense. In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays. University of Minnesota Press
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  32. Kenneth L. Pearce, Berkeley on Unperceived Objects and the Publicity of Language.
    Berkeley's immaterialism aims to undermine Descartes's skeptical arguments by denying that the connection between sensory perception and reality is contingent. However, this seems to undermine Berkeley's (alleged) defense of commonsense by failing to recognize the existence of objects not presently perceived by humans. I argue that this problem can be solved by means of two neglected Berkeleian doctrines: the status of the world as "a most coherent, instructive, and entertaining Discourse" which is 'spoken' by God (Siris, sect. 254) and the (...)
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  33. Kenneth L. Pearce, How Berkeley's Gardener Knows His Cherry Tree.
    The defense of common sense in Berkeley's Three Dialogues is, first and foremost, a defense of the gardener's claim to know this cherry tree, a claim threatened by both Cartesian and Lockean philosophy. Berkeley's defense of the gardener's knowledge depends on his claim that the being of a cherry tree consists in its being perceived. This is not something the gardener believes; rather, it is a philosophical analysis of the rules unreflectively followed by the gardener in his use of the (...)
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  34. Richard H. Popkin (1951). Berkeley and Pyrrhonism. Review of Metaphysics 5 (2):223 - 246.
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