Berkeley's Lockean Religious Epistemology

Journal of the History of Ideas 75 (3):417-438 (2014)
Berkeley's main aim in his well-known early works was to identify and refute "the grounds of Scepticism, Atheism, and irreligion." This appears to place Berkeley within a well-established tradition of religious critics of Locke's epistemology, including, most famously, Stillingfleet. I argue that these appearances are deceiving. Berkeley is, in fact, in important respects an opponent of this tradition. According to Berkeley, Locke's earlier critics, including Stillingfleet, had misidentified the grounds of irreligion in Locke's philosophy while all the while endorsing the true grounds of irreligion themselves. Locke's epistemology is innocent; matter and abstraction are to blame.
Keywords George Berkeley  Edward Stillingfleet  John Locke  epistemology  religion  faith  knowledge
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DOI 10.1353/jhi.2014.0018
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