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. 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. The Idealist Tradition. [REVIEW]C. P. A. - 1957 - Review of Metaphysics 11 (1):170-170.
  2. "The Metaphysics of Berkeley" Critically Examined in the Light of Modern Philosophy. [REVIEW]E. M. A. - 1935 - Journal of Philosophy 32 (15):414-414.
  3. Le Mot « Archétype » Chez Berkeley.Michel Adam - 1982 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 172 (3):523 - 528.
  4. Rhetoric and Corpuscularism in Berkeley's Siris.Timo Airaksinen - 2011 - History of European Ideas 37 (1):23-34.
    Berkeley's Siris may be an unduly neglected treatise. Yet it reveals and confirms its author's philosophical ambitions and achievements. The greatest of them is his theory of causality. Berkeley tries to show that agents can influence the world by using ethereal corpuscles as their instruments. These particles are both material but also in some sense immaterial or occult because they both follow and do not follow the laws of nature. Siris is a rhetorical text which uses analogy, metaphor, paradox, and (...)
  5. Berkeley's Idealism: Yet Another Visit.Edwin B. Allaire - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  6. Berkeley's Idealism Revisited.Edwin B. Allaire - 1982 - In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
  7. Berkeley's Idealism.Edwin B. Allaire - 1963 - Theoria 29 (3):229-244.
  8. Berkeley's Realism: An Essay in Ontology.Stephen Paul Allen - 2001 - Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin
    Berkeley's critics have long held that his ontology is nominalist. On this interpretation, Berkeley holds that sense qualities are particulars, completely determined and unique to the object they characterize. David Hume was the first to interpret Berkeley as a nominalist; he did so on three grounds. First, Hume sees Berkeley as inheriting Locke's empiricism and so too his nominalism. Second, Berkeley rejects the doctrine of abstract ideas. Hume, who identifies abstract ideas with universals, concludes that Berkeley must also reject universals. (...)
  9. Bishop Berkeley's Petitio.Henry E. Allison - 1973 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):232.
  10. A. A. LUCE, "Berkeley's Immaterialism". [REVIEW]M. T. Antonelli - 1947 - Giornale di Metafisica 2 (3):278.
  11. Immateriality.George F. American Catholic Philosophical Association & Mclean - 1978
  12. Berkeley's Idealism, by Georges Dicker.M. Atherton - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):278-281.
  13. 'The Books Are in the Study as Before': Berkeley's Claims About Real Physical Objects.Margaret Atherton - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):85 – 100.
    (2008). ‘The books are in the study as before’: Berkeley's claims about real physical objects. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 85-100.
  14. How Berkeley Can Maintain That Snow is White.Margaret Atherton - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):101–113.
    Berkeley has made the bold claim on behalf of his theory that it is uniquely able to justify the claim that snow is white. But this claim, made most strikingly in the Third of his "Three Dialogues," has been held, most forcefully by Margaret Wilson, to conflict with Berkeley's argument in the First Dialogue that, because of various facts to do with perceptual variation, colors are merely apparent and hence, mind-dependent. This paper develops an alternative reading of the First Dialogue (...)
  15. Lady Mary Shepherd's Case Against George Berkeley.Margaret Atherton - 1996 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (2):347 – 366.
  16. Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  17. Berkeley's Immaterialism and Kant's Transcendental Idealism.M. R. Ayers - 1982 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 13:51-69.
    Ever since its first publication critics of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason have been struck by certain strong formal resemblances between transcendental idealism and Berkeley's immaterialism. Both philosophers hold that the sensible world is mind-dependent, and that from this very mind-dependence we can draw a refutation of scepticism of the senses.
  18. Berkeley's Immaterialism and Kant's Transcendental Idealism: M. R. Ayers.M. R. Ayers - 1982 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 13:51-69.
    Ever since its first publication critics of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason have been struck by certain strong formal resemblances between transcendental idealism and Berkeley's immaterialism. Both philosophers hold that the sensible world is mind-dependent, and that from this very mind-dependence we can draw a refutation of scepticism of the senses.
  19. Berkeley, Ideas, and Idealism.Michael R. Ayers - 2007 - In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), Reexamining Berkeley's Philosophy.
  20. Berkeley and the Tattletale's Paradox.H. E. Baber - 1989 - Idealistic Studies 19 (1):79-82.
  21. Archetypes and Ideas.Eugen Bär - 1976 - Philosophy Today 20 (2):114-123.
  22. The Idealist Tradition. [REVIEW]J. D. Bastable - 1958 - Philosophical Studies 8:197-199.
  23. Joseph, H. W. B., A Comparison of Kants Idealism with that of Berkeley. [REVIEW]D. Baumgardt - 1933 - Société Française de Philosophie, Bulletin 38:441.
  24. Berkeley, Perception, and Identity.Donald L. M. Baxter - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):85-98.
    Berkeley says both that one sometimes immediately perceives the same thing by sight and touch, and that one never does. To solve the contradiction I recommend and explain a distinction Berkeley himself makes—between two uses of ‘same’. This solution unifies two seemingly inconsistent parts of Berkeley’s whole project: He argues both that what we see are bits of light and color organized into a language by which God speaks to us about tactile sensations, and yet that we directly see ordinary (...)
  25. The Constructivism of Berkeley's New Theory of Vision.Bertil Belfrage - 1992 - In Phillip D. Cummins & Guenter Zoeller (eds.), Minds, Ideas, and Objects: Essays in the Theory of Representation in Modern Philosophy. Ridgeview Publishing Company.
  26. The Principles of Human Knowledge a Treatise on the Nature of the Material Substance and its Relation to the Absolute.George Berkeley & Collyns Simon - 1890 - Routledge Dutton.
  27. The Principles of Human Knowledge Being Berkeley's Celebrated Treatise on the Nature of Material Substance.George Berkeley & Collyns Simon - 1878 - Wm. Tegg.
  28. George Berkeley : Eighteenth-Century Responses: Volume I.David Berman (ed.) - 2014 - Routledge.
    The material reprinted in this two-volume set, first published in 1989, covers the first eighty-five years in responses to George Berkeley’s writings. David Berman identifies several key waves of eighteenth-century criticism surrounding Berkeley’s philosophies, ranging from hostile and discounted, to valued and defended. The first volume includes an account of the life of Berkeley by J. Murray and key responses from 1711 to 1748, whilst the second volume covers the years between 1745 and 1796. This fascinating reissue illustrates the breadth (...)
  29. Berkeley's Quad.David Berman - 1986 - Idealistic Studies 16 (1):41-45.
  30. Berkeley and Gentile: A Reading of Berkeley’s Master Argument.Bertini Daniele - 2007 - Idealistic Studies 37 (1):43-50.
    My purpose is to compare Berkeley’s and Gentile’s idealism, interpreting Berkeley’s Treatise, §§22–23, and Gentile’s reading of this passage. The Italian philosopher finds in Berkeley’s master argument the original source of the true idealistic way of thinking, but he believes that Berkeley has not been sufficiently consistent in deducing all the consequences from his new principle. This criticism is the ground of Gentile’s actual idealism. Comparing the two positions is very instructive both to elucidate the general issue of idealism and (...)
  31. Berkeley and Gentile: A Reading of Berkeley's Master Argument.Daniele Bertini - 2007 - Idealistic Studies 37 (1):43-50.
    My purpose is to compare Berkeley’s and Gentile’s idealism, interpreting Berkeley’s Treatise, §§22–23, and Gentile’s reading of this passage. The Italianphilosopher finds in Berkeley’s master argument the original source of the true idealistic way of thinking, but he believes that Berkeley has not been sufficientlyconsistent in deducing all the consequences from his new principle. This criticism is the ground of Gentile’s actual idealism. Comparing the two positions is very instructive both to elucidate the general issue of idealism and to understand (...)
  32. Berkeley and Gentile.Daniele Bertini - 2007 - Idealistic Studies 37 (1):43-50.
    My purpose is to compare Berkeley’s and Gentile’s idealism, interpreting Berkeley’s Treatise, §§22–23, and Gentile’s reading of this passage. The Italian philosopher finds in Berkeley’s master argument the original source of the true idealistic way of thinking, but he believes that Berkeley has not been sufficiently consistent in deducing all the consequences from his new principle. This criticism is the ground of Gentile’s actual idealism. Comparing the two positions is very instructive both to elucidate the general issue of idealism and (...)
  33. Hume e l'immaterialismo.Daniele Bertini - 2006 - Aquinas (2/3).
    In this paper I provide a definition of immaterialism as a kind of philosophy holding five grounding principles: a) any evidence is ontologically unsubsisting without the mind; b) all evidences are ontologically unrelated among them; c) the mind supports the subsistence of what is actually evident to her perceiving; d) the mind produces or acknoweldges an order in the coming of an evidence after the others; e) experience is the symbolic framing of relationships among given elements. After having defined immaterialism, (...)
  34. LUCE A. A., Berkeley's Immaterialism. A commentary on his " A Treatise Concerning the principles of Human Knowledge. [REVIEW]L. Bertoni - 1947 - Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 39:60.
  35. Berkeley's Objection to Abstract Ideas and Unconceived Objects.Martha Brandt Bolton - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  36. Immaterialism and Common Sense.S. Seth Bordner - forthcoming - In Bertil Belfrage & Richard Brook (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Berkeley. Continuum.
  37. 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.
    every beginning philosophy student learns that Berkeley denies the existence of matter and holds instead that the existence of sensible objects consists in being perceived.1 She also learns that Berkeley holds that sensible objects exist continuously, even when no finite mind perceives them, since God always perceives them.Berkeley seems to say so explicitly in the Third Dialogue: When I deny sensible things an existence out of the mind, I do not mean my mind in particular, but all minds. Now it (...)
  38. Particles and Ideas: Bishop Berkeley's Corpuscularian Philosophy. [REVIEW]George Botterill - 1990 - Philosophical Books 31 (2):75-77.
  39. Berkeley and Reid: An Analysis of Reid's Reaction to Berkeley's Rejectionof Material Substance.Philip Bourdillon - 1972 - Dissertation, The University of Rochester
  40. The Early Reception of Berkeley's Immaterialism, 1710-1733.H. M. Bracken - 1961 - Philosophical Quarterly 11 (44):278-280.
  41. Berkeley: The Philosophy of Immaterialism.Harry M. Bracken - 1976 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 14 (2):235-236.
  42. The Early Reception of Berkeley's Immaterialism, 1710-1733.Harry M. Bracken - 1967 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 23 (1):101-101.
  43. Berkeley's Realisms.Harry M. Bracken - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (30):41-53.
  44. The Early Reception of Berkeley's Immaterialism, 1710-1733.Harry Mcfarland Bracken - 1959 - M. Nijhoff.
  45. Review: Stephen Gersh and Dermot Moran, Eds. Eriugena, Berkeley, and the Idealist Tradition. [REVIEW]Costica Bradatan - 2008 - Berkeley Studies:40-43.
  46. Berkeley's Idealism.Charles Wesley Bradley - 1881 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 15 (1):67 - 75.
  47. Contingent Immaterialism.David M. Brahinsky - 1988 - International Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):96-97.
  48. Berkeley and Modern Metaphysics.Bill Brewer - manuscript
    Notoriously, Berkeley combines his denial of the existence of mind-independent matter with the insistence that most of what common sense claims about physical objects is perfectly true (1975a, 1975b).1 As I explain (§ 1), he suggests two broad strategies for this reconciliation, one of which importantly subdivides. Thus, I distinguish three Berkeleyian metaphysical views. The subsequent argument is as follows. Reflection, both upon Berkeley’s ingenious construal of science as approaching towards an essentially indirect identification of the causal-explanatory ground of the (...)
  49. Berkeley's Denial of Material Substance.C. D. Broad - 1954 - Philosophical Review 63 (2):155-181.
  50. Berkeley's Argument About Material Substance. Annual Philosophical Lecture, Henriette Hertz Trust, British Academy.C. D. Broad - 1943 - Philosophy 18 (70):173-176.
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