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Profile: Kenneth L Pearce (Valparaiso University)
  1.  101 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (2012). Thomas Reid on Character and Freedom. History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (2):159-176.
    According to Thomas Reid, an agent cannot be free unless she has the power to do otherwise. This claim is usually interpreted as a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. Against this interpretation, I argue that Reid is committed to the seemingly paradoxical position that an agent may have the power to do otherwise despite the fact that it is impossible that she do otherwise. Reid's claim about the power to do otherwise does not, therefore, entail the Principle of (...)
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  2.  95 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (2014). The Puzzle of Existence: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? [REVIEW] Faith and Philosophy 31 (3):341-344.
  3.  89 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce & Alexander R. Pruss (2012). Understanding Omnipotence. Religious Studies 48 (3):403-414.
    An omnipotent being would be a being whose power was unlimited. The power of human beings is limited in two distinct ways: we are limited with respect to our freedom of will, and we are limited in our ability to execute what we have willed. These two distinct sources of limitation suggest a simple definition of omnipotence: an omnipotent being is one that has both perfect freedom of will and perfect efficacy of will. In this paper we further explicate this (...)
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  4.  61 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, A Leibnizian Theory of Miracles.
    Most accounts of miracles assume that a necessary condition for an event's being miraculous is that it be, as Hume put it, “a violation of the laws of nature.” However, any account of this sort will be ill-suited for defending the major Western religious traditions because, as I will argue, classical theists should not believe in violations of the laws of nature. In place of the rejected Humean accounts, this paper seeks to develop and defend a Leibnizian conception of miracles (...)
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  5.  55 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (2008). The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley. Religious Studies 44 (3):249-268.
    George Berkeley's linguistic account of sense perception is one of the most central tenets of his philosophy. It is intended as a solution to a wide range of critical issues in both metaphysics and theology. However, it is not clear from Berkeley's writings just how this ‘universal language of the Author of Nature’ is to be interpreted. This paper discusses the nature of the theory of sense perception as language, together with its metaphysical and theological motivations, then proceeds to develop (...)
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  6.  39 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, Can Berkeley's God Raise the Same Body, Transformed?
    Orthodox Christianity affirms a bodily resurrection of the dead. That is, Christians believe that at some point in the eschatological future, possibly after a period of (conscious or unconscious) disembodied existence, we will once again live and animate our own bodies. However, our bodies will also undergo radical qualitative transformation. This creates a serious problem: how can a body persist across both temporal discontinuity and qualitative transformation? After discussing this problem as it appears in contemporary philosophical literature on the resurrection, (...)
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  7.  39 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (2014). Berkeley's Lockean Religious Epistemology. Journal of the History of Ideas 75 (3):417-438.
    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 (...)
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  8.  17 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, How Berkeley's Gardener Knows His Cherry Tree.
    In the Three Dialogues, Berkeley aims to defend the gardener's knowledge of his cherry tree against the Cartesians, who claim that genuine knowledge (certainty) of bodies requires sophisticated philosophical argument, and against Locke, who holds that sensitive knowledge is a 'second-class' sort of knowledge, inferior to intuition and demonstration. The core of this defense is Berkeley's immaterialism, his view that the esse of sensible things is percipi. This has sometimes been taken to commit Berkeley to the implausible claim that the (...)
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  9.  14 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, Arnauld's Verbal Distinction Between Ideas and Perceptions.
    In his dispute with Malebranche about the nature of ideas, Arnauld endorses a form of direct realism. This appears to conflict with views put forward by Arnauld and his collaborators in the Port-Royal Grammar and Logic where ideas are treated as objects in the mind. This tension can be resolved by a careful examination of Arnauld's remarks on the semantics of 'perception' and 'idea' in light of the Port-Royal theory of language. This examination leads to the conclusion that Arnauld's ideas (...)
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  10.  14 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (forthcoming). Berkeley's Philosophy of Religion. In Richard Brook & Bertil Belfrage (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Berkeley. Bloomsbury
    Traditionally, religious doctrines and practices have been divided into two categories. Those that purport to be justified by natural reason alone are said to be part of natural religion, while those which purport to be justified only by appeal to supernatural revelation are said to be part of revealed religion. One of the central aims of Berkeley's philosophy is to understand and defend both the doctrines and the practices of both natural and revealed (Christian) religion. This chapter will provide a (...)
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  11.  10 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (2014). Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World. Dissertation, University of Southern California
  12.  9 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, Omnipotence. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  13.  9 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (forthcoming). Mereological Idealism. In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth L. Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press
    According to commonsense, some collections of objects compose wholes, and others do not. However, philosophers have found serious difficulties with attempts to preserve this thesis, and especially with attempts to preserve the existence of just those composite objects recognized by commonsense. In this paper, I defend a classical solution to this problem: "it is the mind that maketh each thing to be one" (Berkeley, Siris, sect. 356). According to this view, which I call 'mereological idealism,' it is when a plurality (...)
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  14.  9 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, Leibniz and the Veridicality of Body Perceptions.
    According to Leibniz's late metaphysics, sensory perception represents to us as extended, colored, textured, etc., a world which fundamentally consists only of non-spatial, colorless entities, the monads. It is a short step from here to the conclusion that sensory perception radically misleads us about the true nature of reality. In this paper, I argue that this oft-repeated claim is false. Leibniz holds that in typical cases of body perception the bodies perceived really exist and have the qualities, both primary and (...)
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  15.  7 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (forthcoming). Infinite Power and Finite Powers. In Benedikt Paul Goecke & Christian Tapp (eds.), The Infinity of God: Scientific, Theological, and Philosophical Perspectives. Notre Dame University Press
    Alexander Pruss and I have proposed an analysis of omnipotence which makes no use of the problematic terms 'power' and 'ability'. However, this raises an obvious worry: if our analysis is not related to the notion of power, then how can it count as an analysis of omnipotence, the property of being all-powerful, at all? In this paper, I show how omnipotence can be understood as the possession of infinite power (general, universal, or unlimited power) rather than the possession of (...)
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  16.  7 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce (forthcoming). Matter, God, and Nonsense: Berkeley's Polemic Against the Freethinkers in the Three Dialogues. In Stefan Storrie (ed.), Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford University Press
    In the Preface to the Three Dialogues<, Berkeley says that one of his main aims is to refute the free-thinkers. Puzzlingly, however, we are then treated to a dialogue between two Christians in which the free-thinkers never reappear. This is related to a second, more general puzzle about Berkeley's religious polemics: although Berkeley says he is defending orthodox conclusions, he also reminds himself in his notebooks "To use the utmost Caution not to give the least Handle of offence to the (...)
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  17.  7 DLs
    Kenneth L. Pearce, Berkeley's Meta-Ontology: Bodies, Forces, and the Semantics of 'Exists'.
    To the great puzzlement of his readers, Berkeley begins by arguing that nothing exists other than minds and ideas, but concludes by claiming to have defended the existence of bodies. How can Berkeley's idealism amount to such a defense? I introduce resources from Berkeley's philosophy of language, and especially his analysis of the discourse of physics, to defend a novel answer to this question. According to Berkeley, the technical terms of physics are meaningful despite failing to designate any reality; their (...)
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  18.  0 DLs
    Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth L. Pearce (eds.) (forthcoming). Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
     
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