How Berkeley corrupted his capacity to conceive

Philosophia 37 (3):415-429 (2008)

Authors
Michael Jacovides
Purdue University
Abstract
Berkeley’s capacity to conceive of mind-independent bodies was corrupted by his theory of representation. He thought that representation of things outside the mind depended on resemblance. Since ideas can resemble nothing than ideas, and all ideas are mind dependent, he concluded that we couldn’t form ideas of mind-independent bodies. More generally, he thought that we had no inner resembling proxies for mind-independent bodies, and so we couldn’t even form a notion of such things. Because conception is a suggestible faculty, Berkeley’s arguments actually made it the case that he himself couldn’t conceive of mind-independent bodies.
Keywords Berkeley  Resemblance  Conception  Idea  Notion  Master argument
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Reprint years 2009
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-008-9158-0
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Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Kathleen Okruhlik - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (4):692-694.
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