Análisis Filosófico 28 (2):147-173 (2008)

Talia Bettcher
California State University, Los Angeles
In this paper I defend the view that Berkeley endorses a spirit-idea dualism, and I explain what this dualism amounts to. Central to the discussion is Berkeley's claim that spirits and ideas are "entirely distinct." Taken as a Cartesian real distinction, the "entirely distinct" claim seems to be at odds with Berkeley's view that spirits are substances that support ideas by perceiving them. This has led commentators to deflate Berkeley's notion of "entire distinction" by reading it as analogous to the categorical distinction between substance and accident. I argue that rather than taking Berkeley's notion of "entire distinction" in either of these ways, it ought to be understood as insisting upon a radical dissimilitude between spirits and ideas. This dissimilitude requires that ideas cannot be viewed as analogous to modes or accidents which inhere in a substance. Moreover, spirits and ideas cannot be understood in terms of a single, gradated scale of reality. Instead, for Berkeley spirits and ideas occupy two entirely different scales of reality and consequently the very term 'thing' applies to them in different senses. In this way, Berkeley endorses a severe dualism that occurs at the highest level of his ontology. En este trabajo defiendo que Berkeley sostiene un dualismo espíritu-idea y explico qué significa tal dualismo. Es central en la discusión la afirmación de Berkeley que los espíritus y las ideas son "totalmente distintos". Considerada como una distinción real cartesiana, la tesis "totalmente distintos" parece estar en tensión con la concepción de Berkeley de que los espíritus son sustancias que "support ideas by perceiving them". Esto ha llevado a los comentadores a disminuir la noción de Berkeley de "distinción total" leyéndola como un análogo a la distinción categorial entre sustancia y accidente. Yo argumento que en lugar de considerar a la noción de Berkeley de "distinción total"en alguno de esos modos, debe ser comprendida como insistiendo en una radical diferencia entre espíritus e ideas. Esta diferencia requiere que las ideas no se vean como análogas a modos o accidentes de la sustancia. Además espíritus e ideas no pueden ser entendidos en términos de una única escala graduada de realidad. En cambio para Berkeley espíritus e ideas ocupan dos escalas totalmente distintas de realidad y en consecuencia, el término mismo "cosa" se aplica en sentidos distintos. De este modo, Berkeley sostiene un dualismo severo que acaece al más alto nivel de su ontología
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References found in this work BETA

Berkeley's Thought.George S. Pappas - 2018 - Cornell University Press.
Berkeley: An Interpretation.Kenneth P. Winkler - 1989 - Oxford University Press UK.
Berkeley.George Pitcher - 1977 - Routledge.
Berkeley.Robert Cummins - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (2):299.

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Citations of this work BETA

Berkeley’s Theory of Mind: Some New Models1.Talia Mae Bettcher - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (10):689-698.

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