God and first person in Berkeley

Philosophy 82 (1):87-114 (2007)
Authors
George Steven Botterill
University of Sheffield
Abstract
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 person must be taken as ‘exemplary’ rather than ‘Cartesian’. This explains the freedom of movement in the text between singular and plural. However, it also reveals Berkeley as side-stepping sceptical doubt.
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819107319049
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Berkeley and God in the Quad.Melissa Frankel - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (6):388-396.
On Arguing for the Existence of God as a Synthesis Between Realism and Anti-Realism.W. J. Mander - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):99-115.

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