A Berkeleian Reading of Hume's Treatise, Book I

Philosophy Research Archives 13:245-269 (1987)
Abstract
In this essay I try, first, to show that Lockean passages in Book I can be given a Berkeleian interpretation. I take two passages that have, in particular, been cited as allowing only a Lockean interpretation and show how they can be more coherently construed as Berkeleian in their intended meaning. In the process of this demonstration I show that only a Berkeleian interpretation is tenable for Book I. Second, I defend the Berkeleian interpretation against several charges; for instance, a charge of textual inconsistency. I do, however, acknowledge in the process that in the Enquiry and subsequently Hume abandons Berkeley for Locke. I then offer an explanation of why he did and lastly I try to show that though Hume is thereby committed to an inconsistency he provides a way for justifying his (and our) conversational commitment to that inconsistency
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