About this topic
Summary 'Immaterialism' was Berkeley's name for his theory of the perceived world. This theory consists of the negative thesis that there are not, and could not be, material substances or substrata, and the positive thesis that the existence of bodies consists in their being perceived (as Berkeley says: their esse is percipi).
Key works Major areas of dispute regarding Berkeley's immaterialism include the exact nature of the reduction of bodies to perceptions, and Berkeley's treatment of bodies unperceived by humans. On the first topic, Bennett 1971, sect. 29 defends a simple collection interpretation, which says that bodies are collections or sets of ideas. Atherton 2008 attributes to Berkeley a more sophisticated theory according to which an object is a structured collection of ideas. Winkler 1989, sect. 6.8, argues instead that Berkeley endorses a version of analytic phenomenalism, holding that claims about bodies are equivalent to certain subjunctive conditionals about human perceptions. On the second topic, it is widely recognized that Berkeley has two ways of talking about unperceived objects: he sometimes says that they exist because they would be perceived by humans under specified circumstances, and he sometimes says they exist because they are perceived by God. Bennett 1971, sect. 38, argues that Berkeley does not in fact believe objects unperceived by humans exist at all. This interpretation has subsequently been defended by Bordner 2017. Winkler 1989, ch. 7 argues that the two views are not contradictory, and Berkeley endorses both.
Introductions Most introductory texts on Berkeley focus primarily on his immaterialism. Stoneham 2002 provides a sympathetic introduction, focused on the presentation in the Three Dialogues. Dicker 2011 provides a critical introduction with focus on the presentation in the Principles.
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  1. Berkeley and the Causality of Ideas; a Look at PHK 25.Richard Brook - manuscript
    I argue that Berkeley's distinctive idealism/immaterialism can't support his view that objects of sense, immediately or mediately perceived, are causally inert. (The Passivity of Ideas thesis or PI) Neither appeal to ordinary perception, nor traditional arguments, for example, that causal connections are necessary, and we can't perceive such connections, are helpful. More likely it is theological concerns,e.g., how to have second causes if God upholds by continuously creating the world, that's in the background. This puts Berkeley closer to Malebranche than (...)
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  2. On the Ancient Roots of Berkeley Immaterialist Idealism.Alberto Luis López - manuscript
    During the Mexico-Canda Conference in October 2020 at Western University (Canada) I submitted a draft of a future paper.
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  3. From Perception to Metaphysics: Reflections on Berkeley and Merleau-Ponty.John T. Sanders - manuscript
    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. (...)
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  4. Two Routes to Idealism: Collier and Berkeley.David Bartha - forthcoming - Tandf: British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-23.
  5. What Does God Add to an Idealist World?Helen Yetter-Chappell - forthcoming - In Kirk Lougheed (ed.), Value Beyond Monotheim: The Axiology of the Divine. Routledge..
    There has been increasing interest among contemporary philosophers in nontheistic forms of ontological idealism, in contrast to the canonical theistic idealism of Berkeley. Given the ontological role that God plays in Berkeley’s metaphysics, it’s natural to think that questions of the value-impact of God will be greater in an idealistic context. Thus, it seems fruitful to ask: What does God add to (or detract from) an idealist world? This paper assesses the benefits and costs that come from moving to an (...)
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  6. Berkeley and Leibniz.Stephen Puryear - 2022 - In Samuel C. Rickless (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Berkeley. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 503-521.
    This chapter explores the relationship between the views of Leibniz and Berkeley on the fundamental nature of the created universe. It argues that Leibniz concurs with Berkeley on three key points: that in the final analysis there are only perceivers and their contents (subjective idealism), that there are strictly speaking no material or corporeal substances, and that bodies or sensible things reduce to the contents of perceivers (phenomenalism). It then reconstructs his central argument for phenomenalism, which rests on his belief (...)
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  7. Can the Berkeleyan Idealist Resist Spinozist Panpsychism?Graham Clay & Michael Rauschenbach - 2021 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 24:296-325.
    We argue that prevailing definitions of Berkeley’s idealism fail to rule out a nearby Spinozist rival view that we call ‘mind-body identity panpsychism.’ Since Berkeley certainly does not agree with Spinoza on this issue, we call for more care in defining Berkeley’s view. After we propose our own definition of Berkeley’s idealism, we survey two Berkeleyan strategies to block the mind-body identity panpsychist and establish his idealism. We argue that Berkeley should follow Leibniz and further develop his account of the (...)
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  8. Or Abstractum.Steven B. Cowan - 2021 - Philosophia Christi 23 (1):175-185.
    George Berkeley is famous for the metaphysical principle esse is percipi or percipere. Many Berkeleyan idealists take this principle to be incompatible with Platonic realism about abstract objects, and thus opt either for nominalism or divine conceptualism on which they are construed as divine ideas. In this paper, I argue that Berkeleyan idealism is consistent with a Platonic realism in which abstracta exist outside the divine mind. This allows the Berkeleyan to expand Berkeley’s principle to read: esse is percipi or (...)
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  9. O Ceticismo de George Berkeley na Leitura de Thomas Reid.Vinícius França Freitas - 2021 - Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (57):5-19.
    The paper advances two hypotheses concerning Thomas Reid’s reading of George Berkeley’s immaterialist system. First, it is argued that, on Reid’s view, Berkeley is skeptic about the existence of the objects of the material world, not in virtue of a doubt about the senses but for his adoption of the principle that ideas are the immediate objects of the operations of mind. On Reid’s view, that principle is a skeptical principle by its own nature. Secondly, it is argued that Berkeley (...)
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  10. The Bishop’s Church: Berkeley’s Master Argument and the Paradox of Knowability.Stephen Kearns - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):175-190.
    We can find in the passages that set out the Master Argument a precursor to the paradox of knowability. That paradox shows that if all truths are knowable, all truths are known. Similarly, Berkeley might be read as proposing that if all sensible objects are conceivable, then all sensible objects are conceived.
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  11. The Bishop’s Church: Berkeley’s Master Argument and the Paradox of Knowability.Stephen Kearns - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):175-190.
    We can find in the passages that set out the Master Argument a precursor to the paradox of knowability. That paradox shows that if all truths are knowable, all truths are known. Similarly, Berkeley might be read as proposing that if all sensible objects are (distinctly) conceivable, then all sensible objects are conceived.
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  12. Die Sprache Gottes – George Berkeleys Auffassung des Naturgeschehens.Fasko Manuel - 2021 - Basel: Schwabe Verlag.
    Was ist George Berkeleys Auffassung des sinnlich wahrnehmbaren Naturgeschehens? Sie zu erklären und nachzuvollziehen ist Ziel des Bandes. Er zeigt, dass Berkeley das Naturgeschehen als einen göttlichen Diskurs sieht; das visuell Wahrgenommene ist dabei die Sprache. Berkeley beharrt darauf, diese These der göttlichen Sprache wörtlich auszulegen, da sie Grundlage eines seiner Ansicht nach einzigartigen Gottesbeweises ist. Um Berkeleys Argumentation zu verstehen, muss man sich auch mit den (historischen) Umständen beschäftigen, in welchen er diese These entwickelt und verteidigt. Deshalb wird sie (...)
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  13. Idealism and Common Sense.C. A. McIntosh - 2021 - In Joshua Farris & Benedikt Paul Göcke (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Idealism and Immaterialism. pp. 496-505.
    The question I wish to explore is this: Does idealism conflict with common sense? Unfortunately, the answer I give may seem like a rather banal one: It depends. What do we mean by ‘idealism’ and ‘common sense?’ I distinguish three main varieties of idealism: absolute idealism, Berkeleyan idealism, and dualistic idealism. After clarifying what is meant by common sense, I consider whether our three idealisms run afoul of it. The first does, but the latter two don’t. I conclude that while (...)
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  14. Mind-Dependence in Berkeley and the Problem of Perception.Umrao Sethi - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):648-668.
    ABSTRACT On the traditional picture, accidents must inhere in substances in order to exist. Berkeley famously argues that a particular class of accidents—the sensible qualities—are mere ideas—entities that depend for their existence on minds. To defend this view, Berkeley provides us with an elegant alternative to the traditional framework: sensible qualities depend on a mind, not in virtue of inhering in it, but in virtue of being perceived by it. This metaphysical insight, once correctly understood, gives us the resources to (...)
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  15. Why Can An Idea Be Like Nothing But Another Idea? A Conceptual Interpretation of Berkeley's Likeness Principle.Peter West - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (First View):1-19.
    Berkeley’s likeness principle is the claim that “an idea can be like nothing but an idea”. The likeness principle is intended to undermine representationalism: the view (that Berkeley attributes to thinkers like Descartes and Locke) that all human knowledge is mediated by ideas in the mind which represent material objects. Yet, Berkeley appears to leave the likeness principle unargued for. This has led to several attempts to explain why Berkeley accepts it. In contrast to ‘metaphysical’ and ‘epistemological’ interpretations available in (...)
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  16. Two Routes to Idealism: Collier and Berkeley.David Bartha - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (6):1071-1093.
    In this paper, I raise and analyze two rarely discussed stories about the development of idealism in early modernity. I seek to show that Arthur Collier reaches the conclusion that the mind-indepen...
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  17. Ontología y mundo externo en Berkeley / Berkeley's Ontology and the External World.Alberto Luis López - 2020 - Logos 135 (48):11-23.
    It is common for some readers to misunderstand Berkeley’s position by believing that he denies the existence of the external world, and his philosophy inevitably leads to solipsism. Faced with these readings, I discuss in this paper the relationship between ontology and the external world in Berkeley, with the aim of clarifying some interpretative errors in that matter and showing with that three things: 1) that is a mistake to believe Berkeley’s philosophy eliminate the external world and lead to solipsism, (...)
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  18. Perception, Mind-Independence, and Berkeley.Penelope Mackie - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3).
    I discuss a thesis that I call ‘The Appearance of Mind-Independence’, to the effect that, to the subject of an ordinary perceptual experience, it seems that the experience involves the awareness of a mind-independent world. Although this thesis appears to be very widely accepted, I argue that it is open to serious challenge. Whether such a challenge can be maintained is especially relevant to the assessment of any theory, such as Berkeley’s idealism, according to which the only objects of which (...)
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  19. Does Berkeley's Immaterialism Support Toland's Spinozism? The Posidonian Argument and the Eleventh Objection.Eric Schliesser - 2020 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 88:33-71.
    This paper argues that a debate between Toland and Clarke is the intellectual context to help understand the motive behind the critic and the significance of Berkeley's response to the critic in PHK 60-66. These, in turn, are responding to Boyle's adaptation of a neglected design argument by Cicero. The paper shows that there is an intimate connection between these claims of natural science and a once famous design argument. In particular, that in the early modern period the connection between (...)
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  20. Schopenhauer’s Berkeleyan Strategy for Transcendental Idealism.Marco Segala - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (5):891-913.
    The paper focuses on Schopenhauer’s idealism and investigates how its elaboration was related not only to Kant but also to Berkeley – a theme generally overlooked by scholars. Schopenhauer viewed B...
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  21. George Santayana on Bishop Berkeley. Immaterialism and Life.Richard Brook - 2019 - Limbo, Boletín Internacional de Estudios Sobre Santayana 39:47-65.
    Th e recent revival of Berkeley studies in the last three decades or so make it interesting to look back at George Santayana’s discussion of Berkeley. Th ough Santayana understood the latter’s arguments for immaterialism, he claimed no one could both seriously accept immaterialism, and live, as Berkeley certainly did, an embodied life. As he writes of Berkeley, “Th is idealist was no hermit” (205). Santayana claimed that without matter there was nothing (“no machinery”) for the soul to work on. (...)
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  22. Language and the Structure of Berkeley’s World. [REVIEW]Eugene Callahan - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (1):218-221.
  23. George Berkeley and Jonathan Edwards on Idealism: Considering an Old Question in Light of New Evidence.Scott Fennema - 2019 - Intellectual History Review 29 (2):265-290.
  24. Berkeley on Inconceivability and Impossibility.Thomas Holden - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):107-122.
    Contrary to a popular reading of his modal epistemology, Berkeley does not hold that inconceivability entails impossibility, and he cannot therefore argue the impossibility of mind-independent matter by appealing to facts about what we cannot conceive. Berkeley is explicit about this constraint on his metaphysical argumentation, and, I argue, does respect it in practice. Popular mythology about the ‘master argument’ notwithstanding, the only passages in which he might plausibly seem to employ the principle that inconceivability entails impossibility are those that (...)
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  25. Sobre la ontología inmaterialista: el concepto de idea en Berkeley / On Immaterialist Ontology: Berkeley's Concept of Idea.Alberto Luis López - 2019 - Areté. Revista de Filosofía 31 (2):427-449.
    Berkeley’s immaterialist philosophy has been frequently underestimated as a result of the misunderstanding of his ontological proposal, specifically because of the complexity of his concept of idea. The aim of this paper is then to clarify and explain that concept because from it depends the correct understanding of Berkeley’s ontological and immaterialist proposal. To do this, 1) I will show some examples of the misunderstanding that the berkeleian proposal has had, mainly due to his concept of idea; 2) I will (...)
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  26. An Intuitionistic Defence of Berkeley’s Master Argument.Conor McGlynn - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):236-242.
    Berkeley’s ‘master argument’ for idealism has been the subject of extensive criticism. Two of his strongest critics, A.N. Prior and J.L. Mackie, argue that due to various logical confusions on the part of Berkeley, the master argument fails to establish his idealist conclusion. Prior argues that Berkeley’s argument ‘proves too little’ in its conclusion, while Mackie contends that Berkeley confuses two different kinds of self-refutation in his argument. This paper proposes a defence of the master argument based on intuitionistic argument. (...)
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  27. Realism's Kick.Massin Olivier - 2019 - In Limbeck-Lilienau Christoph & Stadler Friedrich (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception Proceedings of the 40th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. De Gruyter. pp. 39-57.
    Samuel Johnson claimed to have refuted Berkeley by kicking a stone. It is generally thought that Johnson misses the point of Berkeley's immaterialism for a rather obvious reason: Berkeley never denied that the stone feels solid, but only that the stone could exist independently of any mind. I argue that Johnson was on the right track. On my interpretation, Johnson’s idea is that because the stone feels to resist our effort, the stone seems to have causal powers. But if appearances (...)
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  28. George Berkeley.Daniele Bertini - 2018 - Aphex 18.
    George Berkeley (1685-1753) is one of the most influential early modern philosophers, and in reason of this a never-ending critical interest focuses on his works. Such a critical attention gave rise to a broad literature and it is in fact quite easy to find valuable introductory books to Berkeley's works. It would be thus superfluous to provide a further summary of the entire production of Berkeley. Rather, I focus on a specific issue, namely the main points of interest of immaterialism (...)
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  29. Berkeley's Semiotic Idealism.Keota Fields - 2018 - In Stefan Storrie (ed.), Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 61-83.
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  30. Early American Immaterialism: Samuel Johnson's Emendations of Berkeley.Geoffrey Gorham - 2018 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 54 (4):441.
    Richard Popkin opened an early paper with the observation "No figure in the history of European philosophy has had a more direct and enduring influence on American thought than George Berkeley."2 Popkin's case for Berkeley's "enduring" influence well into classical pragmatism is compelling.3 But in what follows I will be concerned with his more "direct" influence on the Connecticut philosopher and theologian Samuel Johnson —not to be confused with the English stone-kicking confuter of Berkeley—during Berkeley's brief, abortive Rhode Island sojourn (...)
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  31. On Sattopalambhavāda or an Indian Version of Esse Est Percipi Zolzaya Munkhtseren.Shinya Moriyama - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 4:61-68.
    Esse est percipi---this famous phrase of 18th century British philosopher, George Berkeley, is known to be an Idealist challenge against our common sense that there are mind-independent things. In contrast with the familiarity Berkeley’s theory, the existence of similar theory in Indian Buddhism in the 8th century is widely unknown. The Indian version of this theory can be expressed in Sanskrit, sattopalambhavāda, i.e., the theory claiming that “to be is to perceive/to be perceived.” The first and probably last philosopher who (...)
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  32. La crítica de George Berkeley al representacionalismo de John Locke.Alberto Oya - 2018 - Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 35 (1):109-126.
    En su Tratado sobre los principios del conocimiento humano, George Berkeley ofrece una serie de argumentos cuyo objetivo es criticar la tesis materialista. Mi propósito en este artículo es reconstruir y analizar en detalle estos argumentos. Dado que la crítica de Berkeley al materialismo es, fundamentalmente, una crítica al materialismo representacionalista de John Locke, empezaré este artículo explicando cuáles son las ideas básicas de la propuesta de Locke.
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  33. Matter, God, and Nonsense: Berkeley's Polemic Against the Freethinkers in the Three Dialogues.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2018 - 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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  34. Is Shepherd's Pen Mightier Than Berkeley's Word?Samuel C. Rickless - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):317-330.
    In 1827, Lady Mary Shepherd published Essays on the Perception of an External Universe, which offers both an argument for the existence of a world of external bodies existing outside our minds and a criticism of Berkeley's argument for idealism in A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. In this paper, I evaluate Margaret Atherton's criticisms of Shepherd's case against Berkeley, and provide reasons for thinking that, although Shepherd's particular criticisms of Berkeley do not succeed, she correctly identifies an (...)
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  35. Action, Knowledge and Embodiment in Berkeley and Locke.Tom Stoneham - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):41-59.
    Embodiment is a fact of human existence which philosophers should not ignore. They may differ to a great extent in what they have to say about our bodies, but they have to take into account that for each of us our body has a special status, it is not merely one amongst the physical objects, but a physical object to which we have a unique relation. While Descartes approached the issue of embodiment through consideration of sensation and imagination, it is (...)
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  36. The Scope of Berkeley's Idealism in the 1734 Edition of Three Dialogues.Stefan Storrie - 2018 - In Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 160-175.
  37. Immaterialism and Common Sense.S. Seth Bordner - 2017 - In Bertil Belfrage & Richard Brook (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Berkeley. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 343-354.
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  38. If We Stop Thinking About Berkeley's Problem of Continuity, Will It Still Exist?S. Seth Bordner - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2):237-260.
    Berkeley holds that the essence of sensible objects is percipi. So, sensible objects cannot exist unperceived. Naturally, this has invited questions about the existence of sensible objects when unperceived by finite minds. This is sometimes called the Problem of Continuity. It is frequently said that Berkeley solves the problem by invoking God's ever-present perception to ensure that sensible objects maintain a continuous existence. Problems with this line of response have led some to a phenomenalist interpretation of Berkeley's claim. This paper (...)
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  39. Parrying Parity: A Reply to a Reidian Critique of Idealism.Todd Buras & Trent Dougherty - 2017 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth L. Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. New York, NY, USA: pp. 1-17.
    One Berkeleyan case for idealism, recently developed by Robert M. Adams, relies on a seeming disparity between our concepts of matter and mind. Thomas Reid’s critique of idealism directly challenges the alleged disparity. After highlighting the role of the disparity thesis in Adams’s updated Berkeleyan argument for idealism, this chapter offers an updated version of Reid’s challenge, and assesses its strength. What emerges from this historico-philosophical investigation is that a contemporary Reidian has much work to do to transpose her objections (...)
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  40. Berkeleyan Idealism, Christianity, and the Problem of Evil.John M. DePoe - 2017 - Philosophia Christi 19 (2):401-413.
    In response to the recent resurgence of idealism among a cluster of Christian theologians and philosophers, this article raises a difficulty for Christians to be idealists. Unlike traditional accounts of Christianity that must explain why God permits or allows evil, idealists face a different and more difficult problem—namely why does God willfully and directly produce experiences of evil. Because the metaphysics of idealism requires God to produce experiences of evil directly and willfully, it is difficult to reconcile it with the (...)
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  41. Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World. [REVIEW]Melissa Frankel - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2017.
  42. Kantian Phenomenalism Without Berkeleyan Idealism.Tim Jankowiak - 2017 - Kantian Review 22 (2):205-231.
    Phenomenalist interpretations of Kant are out of fashion. The most common complaint from anti-phenomenalist critics is that a phenomenalist reading of Kant would collapse Kantian idealism into Berkeleyan idealism. This would be unacceptable because Berkeleyan idealism is incompatible with core elements of Kant’s empirical realism. In this paper, I argue that not all phenomenalist readings threaten empirical realism. First, I distinguish several variants of phenomenalism, and then show that Berkeley’s idealism is characterized by his commitment to most of them. I (...)
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  43. Berkeley: antecedentes del inmaterialismo en Gregorio de Nisa / Berkeley: Antecedents of Immaterialism in Gregory of Nyssa.Alberto Luis López - 2017 - In L. Benítez, L. Toledo & A. Velázquez (eds.), Claves del platonismo en la modernidad temprana. Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico: pp. 303-325.
    La propuesta inmaterialista de Berkeley, elaborada definitivamente en sus Principles (1710), tiene como antecedente remoto los postulados del capadocio Gregorio de Nisa, quien en algunas de sus obras desarrolló argumentos, en relación con la materia, muy semejantes a los que planteó Berkeley casi catorce siglos después. El presente escrito tiene por objetivo mostrar que las concepciones de ambos pensadores tienen elementos en común, lo que permite sostener que el filósofo de Cesarea es un antecede lejano del inmaterialismo berkeleyano. // Berkeley's (...)
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  44. George Berkeley: els arguments positius a favor del immaterialisme i el principi de semblança.Alberto Oya - 2017 - Comprendre 19 (1):83-92.
    L'objectiu d'aquest article és oferir un anàlisi dels arguments principals del Tractat sobre els Principis del Coneixement Humà, de G. Berkeley. Aquests arguments -que es troben a I, §4, I, §5-7 i I, §23 de l'obra de Berkeley- tenen como a objectiu demostrar la inconcebibilitat d'un món extern de caràcter físic. Argumentaré que la validesa d'aquests tres arguments depèn del anomenat «principi de semblança». La conclusió a la que arribaré és que l'acceptació del principi de semblança -i, en conseqüència, dels (...)
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  45. How Berkeley's Gardener Knows His Cherry Tree.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):553-576.
    The defense of common sense in Berkeley's Three Dialogues is, first and foremost, a defense of the gardener's claim to know this cherry tree, a claim threatened by both Cartesian and Lockean philosophy. Berkeley's defense of the gardener's knowledge depends on his claim that the being of a cherry tree consists in its being perceived. This is not something the gardener believes; rather, it is a philosophical analysis of the rules unreflectively followed by the gardener in his use of the (...)
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  46. Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Berkeley's philosophy is meant to be a defense of commonsense. However, Berkeley's claim that the ultimate constituents of physical reality are fleeting, causally passive ideas appears to be radically at odds with commonsense. In particular, such a theory seems unable to account for the robust structure which commonsense (and Newtonian physics) takes the world to exhibit. The problem of structure, as I understand it, includes the problem of how qualities can be grouped by their co-occurrence in a single enduring object (...)
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  47. Berkeley on Unperceived Objects and the Publicity of Language.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (3):231-250.
    Berkeley's immaterialism aims to undermine Descartes's skeptical arguments by denying that the connection between sensory perception and reality is contingent. However, this seems to undermine Berkeley's (alleged) defense of commonsense by failing to recognize the existence of objects not presently perceived by humans. I argue that this problem can be solved by means of two neglected Berkeleian doctrines: the status of the world as "a most coherent, instructive, and entertaining Discourse" which is 'spoken' by God (Siris, sect. 254) and the (...)
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  48. The Worst Argument in the World – Defended.Scott Stapleford - 2017 - Think 16 (47):15-23.
    In this paper, I argue that Berkeley’s master argument is not the worst argument in the world—more like third or fourth.
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  49. Idealism Without God.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2017 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenny Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    I develop a nontheistic (quasi-)Berkeleyan idealism. The basic strategy is to peel away the attributes of God that aren't essential for role he plays in idealist metaphysics. God's omnibenevolence, his desires, intentions, beliefs, his very status as an agent ... aren't relevant to the work he does. When we peel all these things away, we're left with a view on which reality is a vast unity of consciousness, weaving together sensory experiences of colors, shapes, sounds, sizes, etc. into the trees, (...)
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  50. Berkeley on the “Twofold State of Things”.Melissa Frankel - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (1):43-60.
    Berkeley writes in his ThreeDialogues Between Hylas and Philonous that he “acknowledge[s] a twofold state of things, the one ectypal or natural, the other archetypal and eternal[.] The former was created in time; the latter existed from everlasting in the mind of God”. On a straightforward reading of this passage, it looks as though Berkeley is an indirect perception theorist, who thinks that our sensory ideas are copies or resemblances of archetypal divine ideas. But this is problematic because Berkeley’s rejection (...)
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