Berkeley and the Passivity of Ideas

Iyyun 66:59-74 (2017)

Authors
Richard Brook
Bloomsburg University
Abstract
A number of early modern philosophers deny that corporeal non-minded nature contains efficient or strict causes. For Berkeley the passivity of ideas (hence PI) expresses this view. My aim is to look at two possible arguments – I call them strategy 1, and strategy 2 – Berkeley makes, or others make in his behalf, for PI. I conclude that they are unsatisfactory. I’m particularly interested whether Berkeley’s distinctive doctrine that objects of sense are mind-dependent, i.e., that no corporeal object can exist unperceived, supports PI. I argue it doesn’t.
Keywords Berkeley, Causality, ideas
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