David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
George Berkeley's apparently strange view – that nothing exists without a mind except for minds themselves – is notorious. Also well known, and equally perplexing at a superficial level, is his insistence that his doctrine is no more than what is consistent with common sense. It was every bit as crucial for Berkeley that it be demonstrated that the colors are really in the tulip, as that there is nothing that is neither a mind nor something perceived by a mind. In what follows, I shall attempt to re-examine Berkeley's argument in terms of what it appears to have meant to him. I am especially interested in the connection between Berkeley's thought concerning the relation between perception and metaphysics and that of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, with whom, perhaps surprisingly, Berkeley shared a great many intuitions and concerns. Thus part of my objective is to compare and contrast the work of two thinkers who had many common interests, and whose thought frequently led them down similar paths. I shall be especially interested in apparent points of departure, both those that turn out to reflect real divergences and those which reflect confusions of one kind or another. My main objective, however, is not mere textual analysis. Like both Berkeley and Merleau-Ponty, my main hope is to make progress in clarifying how things are. As odd as some of Berkeley's pronouncements may sound to contemporary ears – concerning especially the metaphysical consequences of what he regarded as perceptual facts – I shall argue that, in substance, he was often not far wrong at all – at least as measured by important strands of more contemporary work on the subject. More particularly, I shall contend that for going a long way down an extraordinarily fruitful path which has been subsequently explored more fully by (especially) Martin Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Nelson Goodman and Hilary Putnam, Berkeley deserves considerably more credit than he is usually accorded as a progenitor of contemporary approaches to metaphysical issues.
|Keywords||Berkeley Merleau-Ponty perception idealism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sean D. Kelly (2005). Seeing Things in Merleau-Ponty. In C. Tarman (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty. Cambridge 74-110.
Taylor Carman (2009). Merleau-Ponty and the Mystery of Perception. Philosophy Compass 4 (4):630-638.
Jody Graham (1997). Common Sense and Berkeley's Perception by Suggestion. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (3):397 – 423.
Anthony J. Steinbock (1987). Merleau-Ponty's Concept of Depth. Philosophy Today 31 (4):336-351.
Trevor Perri (2013). Image and Ontology in Merleau-Ponty. Continental Philosophy Review 46 (1):75-97.
Colin Murray Turbayne (ed.) (1982). Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays. University of Minnesota Press.
Stephen Priest (1998). Merleau-Ponty. Routledge.
Dorothea Olkowski (2010). In Search of Lost Time, Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Time of Objects. Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):525-544.
Taylor Carman & Mark B. N. Hansen (eds.) (2005). The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty. Cambridge University Press.
Véronique Marion Fóti (2013). Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty: Aesthetics, Philosophy of Biology, and Ontology. Northwestern University Press.
Michael Berman (forthcoming). Reflection, Objectivity, and the Love of God, a Passage From Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. Heythrop Journal 51 (5).
Sandra B. Rosenthal & Patrick L. Bourgeois (1987). Peirce, Merleau-Ponty, and Perceptual Experience: A Kantian Heritage. International Studies in Philosophy 19 (3):33-42.
Komarine Romdenh-Romluc (2011). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge.
M. C. Dillon (1971). Gestalt Theory and Merleau-Ponty's Concept of Intentionality. Man and World 4 (4):436-459.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads132 ( #11,282 of 1,699,833 )
Recent downloads (6 months)30 ( #20,497 of 1,699,833 )
How can I increase my downloads?