Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017)
Abstract
Berkeley's philosophy is meant to be a defense of commonsense. However, Berkeley's claim that the ultimate constituents of physical reality are fleeting, causally passive ideas appears to be radically at odds with commonsense. In particular, such a theory seems unable to account for the robust structure which commonsense (and Newtonian physics) takes the world to exhibit. The problem of structure, as I understand it, includes the problem of how qualities can be grouped by their co-occurrence in a single enduring object and how these enduring objects can bear spatiotemporal, causal, and other relations to one another. I argue that Berkeley's solution to these problems lies in his views about language. At one level, human language allows us to exploit patterns in our perceptions to construct a highly structured representation of the physical world which allows us to make accurate predictions at minimal cognitive expense. At a deeper level, these patterns occur in perception because our perceptions themselves form a language in which God speaks to us.
Keywords George Berkeley  idealism  language  metaphysics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,662
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2008 - Religious Studies 44 (3):249-268.
On Hume's Defense of Berkeley.Alan Schwerin - 2015 - Open Journal of Philosophy 5 (6):327 - 337.
Was Berkeley a Subjective Idealist?G. Callahan - 2015 - Collingwood and British Idealism Studies 21 (2):157-184.
Is Berkeley's World a Divine Language?James P. Danaher - 2002 - Modern Theology 18 (3):361-373.
Berkeley's "Defense" of "Commonsense".S. Seth Bordner - 2011 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (3):315-338.
Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
Berkeley, the Ends of Language, and the Principles of Human Knowledge.P. J. E. Kail - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):265-278.
The Relation Between Anti-Abstractionism and Idealism in Berkeley's Metaphysics.Samuel C. Rickless - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (4):723 - 740.
Berkeley, Perception, and Identity.Donald L. M. Baxter - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):85-98.
Acts, Ideas, and Objects in Berkeley's Metaphysics.Melissa Frankel - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):475-493.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2016-01-09

Total downloads

4 ( #625,192 of 2,143,791 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #280,512 of 2,143,791 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums