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Profile: Melissa Frankel (Carleton University)
  1. Melissa Frankel (2013). Acts, Ideas, and Objects in Berkeley's Metaphysics. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):475-493.
    Berkeley holds that objects in the world are constituted of ideas. Some commentators argue that for Berkeley, ideas are identical to acts of perception; this is taken to proceed from his view that ideas are like pains. In this paper, I evaluate the identity claim. I argue that although it does not follow from the pain analogy, nonetheless the texts suggest that Berkeley does think ideas and acts are identical. I show how Berkeley can account for objects persisting over time (...)
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  2. Melissa Frankel (2013). Revisiting Berkeley's Perceptual Relativity Argument. History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (2):161-176.
  3. Melissa Frankel (2012). Berkeley and God in the Quad. Philosophy Compass 7 (6):388-396.
    In a familiar limerick attributed to Ronald Knox, the narrator asks how a “tree/should continue to be/when there’s no one about in the Quad,” and is subsequently reassured that its continuous existence is guaranteed by God’s being “always about in the Quad” observing it. This is meant to capture Berkeley’s so‐called ‘continuity argument’ for the existence of God, on which the claim that objects exist continuously over time is supposed to entail the existence of a Divine Mind that continuously perceives (...)
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  4. Melissa Frankel (2012). Berkeley: Ideas, Immaterialism, and Objective Presence. [REVIEW] Berkeley Studies 23:46-50.
  5. Melissa Frankel (2009). Berkeley, Meaning and Minds: Remarks on Glezakos' Comments. Philosophia 37 (3):409-413.
    This is a response to Stavroula Glezakos’ commentary on my paper, in which I address three main points: (1) whether Berkeley is entitled to argue via inference to the best explanation, (2) whether Berkeley’s likeness principle might be too strict, and (3) whether the texts support my reading.
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  6. Melissa Frankel (2009). Something-We-Know-Not-What, Something-We-Know-Not-Why: Berkeley, Meaning and Minds. Philosophia 37 (3):381-402.
    It is sometimes suggested that Berkeley adheres to an empirical criterion of meaning, on which a term is meaningful just in case it signifies an idea (i.e., an immediate object of perceptual experience). This criterion is thought to underlie his rejection of the term ‘matter’ as meaningless. As is well known, Berkeley thinks that it is impossible to perceive matter. If one cannot perceive matter, then, per Berkeley, one can have no idea of it; if one can have no idea (...)
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