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Summary Berkeley is quite explicit about the religious motivations behind his philosophy: according to the subtitle of the Principles, Berkeley's aim is to discover and refute "the grounds of Scepticism, Atheism, and Irreligion." In furtherance of this aim, Berkeley offers several direct arguments for the existence of God, as well as analyses and defenses of a number of religious doctrines. 
Key works General treatments of Berkeley's thought which emphasize the importance of religion include Berman 1994 and Roberts 2007. Berkeley's religious motivations are also examined in a general way by Clark 1985Mabbott 1931 is a classic treatment of the importance of God to Berkeley's philosophical system. Mabbott's judgment of the centrality, and ineliminability, of God in Berkeley's philosophy is challenged by Atherton 1995.
Introductions Handbook treatments of Berkeley's philosophy of religion include Clark 2005 and Pearce 2017.
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  1. Semiotics Against Transubstantiation: Peirce’s Reception of Berkeley.Takaharu Oda - 2021 - In Sign, Method, and the Sacred: New Direction in Semiotic Methodologies for the Study of Religion. Berlin, Germany: pp. 147-170.
    This article argues that George Berkeley’s (1685–1753) interpretation of scientific and religious language was significantly received in C.S. Peirce’s (1839–1914) pragmatist semiotic.1 To this end, their similar views against transubstantiation in the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion) will be considered. Berkeley being an Anglican bishop and Peirce’s life being linked to the Episcopal Church,2 a chief emphasis will be placed upon Peirce’s deriving his pragmatic method from Berkeley’s philosophy of language. At least three times, Peirce reviewed Berkeley’s works, including Manuscript (...)
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Berkeley: Arguments for Theism
  1. Kryzys teologii naturalnej: George Berkeley.Anna Hochfeldowa - 1971 - Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej 17.
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Berkeley: Continuity Argument for Theism
  1. Berkeley's Argument for the Existence of God in the Three Dialogues.Samuel Rickless - 2018 - In Stefan Storrie (ed.), Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105.
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  2. George Berkeley’s Proof for the Existence of God.Hugh Hunter - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):183-193.
    Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It is (...)
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  3. Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence.M. R. Ayers - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  4. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  5. George Berkeley’s Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
  6. Berkeley and God.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
    It is well known that Berkeley had two arguments for the existence of God. A while ago, in trying to discover what these arguments are and how they fit into Berkeley's scheme of things, I encountered certain problems which are hardly raised, let alone solved, in the standard commentaries. I think that I have now solved these problems, and in this paper I present my results.
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  7. God and First Person in Berkeley.George Botterill - 2007 - Philosophy 82 (1):87-114.
    Berkeley claims idealism provides a novel argument for the existence of God. But familiar interpretations of his argument fail to support the conclusion that there is a single omnipotent spirit. A satisfying reconstruction should explain the way Berkeley moves between first person singular and plural, as well as providing a powerful argument, once idealism is accepted. The new interpretation offered here represents the argument as an inference to the best explanation of a shared reality. Consequently, his use of the first (...)
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Berkeley: Passivity Argument for Theism
  1. Causation, Cosmology and the Limits of Reason.Paul Russell - 2013 - In James Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century,. New York, NY, USA: pp. 599-620.
    For well over a century the dominant narrative covering the major thinkers and themes of early modern British philosophy has been that of “British Empiricism”, within which the great triumvirate of Locke-Berkeley-Hume are taken to be the dominant figures. Although it is now common to question this schema as a way of analyzing and understanding the period in question, it continues to command considerable authority and acceptance. (One likely reason for this is that no credible or plausible alternatives structures or (...)
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  2. Análisis Del Argumento de Berkeley Para Probar la Existencia de Dios.Alberto Oya - 2015 - Endoxa 35:109.
    En este ensayo analizaremos el argumento que usa Berkeley para probar la existencia de Dios en el Tratado sobre los principios del conocimiento humano I, §29. Veremos cuál es la estructura del argumento, la justificación que ofrece Berkeley de sus premisas y expondremos los que creemos son los principales problemas del argumento. A partir de nuestro análisis, llegaremos a la conclusión de que el argumento es dialécticamente inútil, en tanto que sus premisas no están justificadas.
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  3. George Berkeley’s Proof for the Existence of God.Hugh Hunter - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):183-193.
    Most philosophers have given up George Berkeley’s proof for the existence of God as a lost cause, for in it, Berkeley seems to conclude more than he actually shows. I defend the proof by showing that its conclusion is not the thesis that an infinite and perfect God exists, but rather the much weaker thesis that a very powerful God exists and that this God’s agency is pervasive in nature. This interpretation, I argue, is consistent with the texts. It is (...)
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  4. Berkeley, the Author of Nature, and the Judeo-Christian God.Ekaterina Y. Ksenjek & Daniel E. Flage - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (3):281-300.
    Does George Berkeley provide an argument for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God at Principles of Human Knowledge, part I, section 29? The standard answer is that he does. In this paper, we challenge that interpretation. First, we look at section 29 in the context of its preceding sections and argue that the most the argument establishes is that there are at least two minds, that is, that the thesis of solipsism is false. Next, we examine the argument in section (...)
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  5. Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  6. Divine Ideas and Berkeley's Proofs of God's Existence.M. R. Ayers - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  7. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  8. George Berkeley’s Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
  9. Berkeley and God.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.
    It is well known that Berkeley had two arguments for the existence of God. A while ago, in trying to discover what these arguments are and how they fit into Berkeley's scheme of things, I encountered certain problems which are hardly raised, let alone solved, in the standard commentaries. I think that I have now solved these problems, and in this paper I present my results.
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Berkeley: Divine Language Argument for Theism
  1. 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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  2. Berkeley: el papel de Dios en la teoría de la visión / The Role of God in Berkeley's Theory of Vision.Alberto Luis López - 2015 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 49:27-52.
    Berkeley desarrolla su teoría de la visión en la obra de juventud Ensayo para una nueva teoría de la visión, que por lo general ha sido leída atendiendo sólo a sus aspectos científicos o perceptuales. En este artículo propongo una lectura distinta, que busca mostrar que el Ensayo no sólo atiende aspectos científicos sino, por el contrario, anticipa el inmaterialismo de obras posteriores. Esto lo hace porque Dios cumple un importante papel en él, lo cual se debe, entre otras cosas, (...)
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  3. Berkeley's Alchiphron or the Language of God.Teja Oblak - 2003 - Phainomena 43.
    The author of the article presents Berkeley's theory of emotive language as seen in his book Alchiphron or the Minute Philosophy. Through the presentation of Berkeley's book the author tries to present her own interpretation of the emotive language theory and thus descend from the strict metaphysical framework to the grounds of linguistics and religion. By connecting the fields that seem extremely separate from each other, the author endeavours for a sort of re-actualization of the Berkeleyan theory of language. Her (...)
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  4. The Divine Visual Language Argument in George Berkeley's "Alciphron.".Donald Edward Baldwin - 1978 - Dissertation, University of Missouri - Columbia
  5. Ragioni scientifiche e ragioni teologiche nell'Argument from Design: il caso di Berkeley.Daniele Bertini - 2011 - Lo Sguardo 6 (2).
    My paper moves from Kant's taxonomy for the arguments for the existence of God. After providing a brief survey of Kant's account, I claim that contemporary arguments from design fit Kant's characterization of the physico-theological argument. Then, in the second section, I deal with the logical frame of the argument from design. In the third section I introduce Berkeley's divine language argument (DLA), in order to demonstrate that DLA is an argument from design. Consequently, in the fourth section, I give (...)
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  6. Is Berkeley's World a Divine Language?James P. Danaher - 2002 - Modern Theology 18 (3):361-373.
    George Berkeley (1685–1753) believed that the visible world was a series of signs that constituted a divine language through which God was speaking to us. Given the nature of language and the nature of the visual world, this paper examines to what extent the visual world could be a divine language and to what extent God could speak to us through it.
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  7. Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
  8. Berkeley's Divine Language Argument.A. David Kline - 1987 - In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel.
  9. Berkeley's Argument From Design.Michael Hooker - 1982 - In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
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  10. Berkeley, God, and Explanation.Douglas M. Jesseph - 2005 - In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper analyzes Berkeley's arguments for the existence of God in the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues, and Alciphron. Where most scholarship has interpreted Berkeley as offering three quite distinct attempted proofs of God's existence, I argue that these are all variations on the strategy of inference to the best explanation. I also consider how this reading of Berkeley connects his conception of God to his views about causation and explanation.
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  11. George Berkeley’s Unique Arguments About God.Paul J. Olscamp - 1970 - Studi Internazionali Di Filosofia 2:29-48.
  12. Berkeley's Argument for a Divine Visual Language.Walter E. Creery - 1972 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (4):212 - 222.
  13. Berkeley's Pantheistic Discourse.Stephen Daniel - 2001 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (3):179-194.
    Berkeley's immaterialism has more in common with views developed by Henry More, the mathematician Joseph Raphson, John Toland, and Jonathan Edwards than those of thinkers with whom he is commonly associated (e.g., Malebranche and Locke). The key for recognizing their similarities lies in appreciating how they understand St. Paul's remark that in God "we live and move and have our being" as an invitation to think to God as the space of discourse in which minds and ideas are identified. This (...)
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  14. Language, Berkeley, and God.E. G. King - 1970 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):112 - 123.
Berkeley: Arguments for Theism, Misc
  1. Where Exactly Does Berkeley Argue for the Existence of God in the *Principles*?Samuel C. Rickless - 2013 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 30.
  2. 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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  3. George Berkeley and the Proofs for the Existence of God.Edward A. Sillem - 1959 - Philosophical Quarterly 9 (34):85-86.
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  4. Berkeley, Price, and the Limitations of the Design Argument.Colin Crowder - 1989 - Enlightenment and Dissent 8:3-24.
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  5. George Berkeley and the Proofs for the Existence of God by Edward A. Sillem. [REVIEW]I. T. Ramsey - 1959 - Philosophical Quarterly 9 (34):85-86.
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  6. George Berkeley and the Proofs for the Existence of God. [REVIEW]Edwin Rabitte - 1957 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 7:213-216.
    OUR manuals of ethics distinguish between the ‘supreme’ and the ‘proximate’ norms of morality, the supreme norm being the ‘eternal law’ and the proximate norm ‘human reason’. They then sub-divide the proximate norm into ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’: the objective norm of morality is human reason taken as equivalent to the rational nature of man, with all the relationships which that nature essentially involves; the subjective norm is human reason understood as the particular faculty by which man apprehends his rational nature (...)
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  7. George Berkeley and the Proofs for the Existence of God. By Edward A. Sillem. (Longmans, London. 1957, Pp. X +236. Price 21s.). [REVIEW]A. D. Ritchie - 1959 - Philosophy 34 (128):74-.
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Berkeley: Divine Attributes
  1. 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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  2. Does Berkeley Anthropomorphize God.Kenneth Pearce - unknown
    Berkeley occasionally says that we use analogy in thinking and speaking of God. However, the scholarly consensus is that Berkeley rejects the traditional doctrine of divine analogy and holds instead that words like ‘wise’ apply to God in precisely the same way as they apply to Socrates. The difference is only a matter of degree. Univocal theories of the divine attributes have historically been charged with anthropomorphism—that is, with imagining God to be too similar to human beings. Can Berkeley fairly (...)
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  3. Some Unresolved Issues In Berkeley’s Natural Theology.John A. Mourant - 1966 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 15:58-75.
  4. Browne’s Critique of Religious Propositions in Berkeley: A Reply to Pearce.Benjamin Formanek - unknown
  5. A Mystery at the Heart of Berkeley's Metaphysics.John Russell Roberts - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 5.
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  6. Is Berkeley's God Ominpotent?Daniel E. Flage - 2017 - Review of Metaphysics 71 (4).
    In both the Principles of Human Knowledge and the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, George Berkeley provides a description of God’s attributes immediately after his arguments for God’s existence. Neither description deems God omnipotent, yet shortly after each he freely uses “omnipotent” and its synonyms to describe God. Why is this? The author argues that his reluctance to ascribe omnipotence is God is the reluctance of a careful philosopher, his willingness is that of a religionist, and his account of (...)
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  7. A Scotist Nonetheless? George Berkeley, Cajetan, and the Problem of Divine Attributes.Manuel Fasko - 2019 - Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (4):33.
    The problem of divine attributes was one of the most intensely debated topics in the 17-18th century Irish philosophy. Simply put, the problem revolves around the ontological question (i) whether human and divine attributes differ in degree or in kind, and the semantical (ii) how we ought to describe these divine attributes by means of our human language. While there was a consensus that analogies play a key role in solving the semantical problem there was a controversy about the kind (...)
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  8. Berkeley on God's Knowledge of Pain.Stephen H. Daniel - 2018 - In Stefan Storrie (ed.), Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 136-145.
    Since nothing about God is passive, and the perception of pain is inherently passive, then it seems that God does not know what it is like to experience pain. Nor would he be able to cause us to experience pain, for his experience would then be a sensation (which would require God to have senses, which he does not). My suggestion is that Berkeley avoids this situation by describing how God knows about pain “among other things” (i.e. as something whose (...)
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  9. Early-Modern Irreligion and Theological Analogy: A Response to Gavin Hyman’s A Short History of Atheism.Dan Linford - 2016 - Secularism and Nonreligion 5 (1):1-8.
    Historically, many Christians have understood God’s transcendence to imply God’s properties categorically differ from any created properties. For multiple historical figures, a problem arose for religious language: how can one talk of God at all if none of our predicates apply to God? What are we to make of creeds and Biblical passages that seem to predicate creaturely properties, such as goodness and wisdom, of God? Thomas Aquinas offered a solution: God is to be spoken of only through analogy (the (...)
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  10. Sensationalism and Theology in Berkeley's Philosophy.Ingemar Hedenius - 1937 - Philosophy 12 (47):358-359.
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  11. The Development of Berkeley's Theism.A. C. Armstrong - 1920 - Philosophical Review 29:404.
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