In this essay, the author analyses Berkeleys conformity and inference argument against Lockes theory of percep tion. Both arguments are not as decisive as traditionally has been perceived and fail to engage in Lockes actual position. The main reason for this is that Berkeley does not see that Lockes position is compatible with the non-inferential nature of perceptual knowledge.
Philosophical accounts of perception in the tradition of Kant and Reid have generally supposed that an event of making a judgment is a key element in every perceptual experience. An alternative very austere view regards perception as an event containing nothing judgmental, nor anything conceptual. This account of perception as nonconceptual is discussed first historically as found in the philosophies of Locke and (briefly) Berkeley, and then examined in the contemporary work of Chisholm and Alston.
In the _New Theory of Vision, Berkeley defends the heterogeneity thesis, i.e., the view that the ideas of sight and touch are numerically and specifically distinct. In sections 121-122 of that work, he suggests that the thesis of abstract ideas is somehow closely connected to the heterogeneity thesis, though he does not there fully explain just what the connection is supposed to be. In this paper an interpretation of this connection is proposed and defended. Berkeley needs to reject abstract ideas (...) because, if there were such ideas then the heterogeneity thesis would be false and, in turn, this would lead directly to the falsity of Berkeley's theory of vision. (shrink)
Berkeley construes his own immaterialist philosophy as facing a serious competitor, namely, what he often termed ‘materialism.’ He tries on several grounds to eliminate materialism from the competition, thus leaving immaterialism as the most plausible metaphysical theory of perception and the external world. In this paper these grounds are explored, and it is found that Berkeley’s method for rational choice between materialism and immaterialism involves consideration of a host of criteria for choice between competitive theories.
Ongoing knowledge is that knowledge that a person possesses continuously across a period of time. Given the plausible assumption that knowledge implies justification, it then follows that ongoing knowledge implies ongoing justification. However, the actual character of a person's justification for a belief often changes as time passes. Two types of changes in one's ongoing justification are explored: content change and structure change. It is argued that justification held over time often undergoes both content and structure change, and that the (...) latter sort of change has interesting implications for theories of epistemic justification. (shrink)
A number of commentators on the work of berkeley have maintained that berkeleyan minds are related to ideas by the relation of inherence. Thus, Ideas are taken to inhere in minds in something like the way that accidents were supposed to inhere in substances for the aristotelian. This inherence account, As I call it, Is spelled out in detail and critically evaluated. Ultimately it is rejected despite its considerable initial plausibility.