About this topic
Summary George Berkeley (1685-1753) was an Anglo-Irish philosopher and bishop. He is best known for his immaterialism (denial of the existence of material substances) and anti-abstractionism (denial of abstract ideas). Berkeley is traditionally listed as one of the three British Empiricists, along with Locke and Hume.
Key works Berkeley's most widely-read works are his Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713). An earlier work, An Essay Toward a New Theory of Vision (1709) has also been quite influential in both philosophical and psychological theorizing about sensory perception. The standard scholarly edition of Berkeley's works is Luce & Jessop 1948. Influential book-length expositions of Berkeley's philosophy include Winkler 1989 and Pappas 2000. Atherton 1990 provides an account of Berkeley's theory of vision. Important collections of essays on Berkeley include Turbayne 1982, Sosa 1987, and Daniel 2007.
Introductions A variety of student editions of the Principles and Dialogues are available. The only collection of Berkeley's philosophical works currently in print is Clarke 2008. Encyclopedia articles on Berkeley's philosophy include Downing 2008 and Flage 2004. An account of Berkeley's life with emphasis on the development of his philosophical views can be found in Berman 1994. Winkler 2005 is a collection of essays on a variety of aspects of Berkeley's philosophy accessible to non-specialists. Stoneham 2002 provides an introduction to various issues in the Three Dialogues suitable for students as well as scholars.
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  1. George Berkeley: A Philosophical Life by Tom Jones (Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2021).Clare Marie Moriarty - forthcoming - Philosophy:1-4.
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  2. George Berkeley: Philosophy of Science.A. David Kline - 2022 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    George Berkeley: Philosophy of Science George Berkeley announces at the very outset of Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous that the goals of his philosophical system are to demonstrate the reality of genuine knowledge, the incorporeal nature of the soul, and the ever-present guidance and care of God for us. He will do this in … Continue reading George Berkeley: Philosophy of Science →.
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  3. A Guide to Kant’s Psychologism: Via Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Wittgenstein.Wayne Waxman - 2019 - Routledge.
    This book presents an interpretation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as a priori psychologism. It groups Kant's philosophy together with those of the British empiricists--Locke, Berkeley, and Hume--in a single line of psychologistic succession and offers a clear explanation of how Kant's psychologism differs from psychology and idealism. The book reconciles Kant's philosophy with subsequent developments in science and mathematics, including post-Fregean mathematical logic, non-Euclidean geometry, and both relativity and quantum theory. Finally, the author reveals the ways in which (...)
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  4. George Berkeley: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.George B. Berkeley & Michael B. Mathias - 2007 - Routledge.
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  5. Philosophical Commentaries: Transcribed From the Manuscript and Edited with an Introduction and Index by George H. Thomas, Explanatory Notes by A.A. Luce. [REVIEW]George Berkeley & George H. Thomas - 1989 - Routledge.
    This edition of George Berkeley's Philosophical Commentaries, first published in 1989, provides an accurate transcription of Berkeley's manuscript, and introduction to set it in perspective, extensive notes to aid in interpreting it, and a full index to facilitate the use of it.
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  6. Berkeley’s Doctrine of Notions: A Reconstruction Based on His Theory of Meaning.Daniel E. Flage - 1987 - Routledge.
    This book, first published in 1987, offers a reconstruction of Berkeley's doctrine on notions by examining the implications of his repeated suggestion that there is a close relationship between his doctrine and his semantic theory. The study ties in with some of the most important topics in modern analytic philosophy, and casts important light on modern philosophical concerns as well as on Berkeley's thought.
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  7. George Berkeley ve David Humeun John Lockeun Töz Kavramına Yönelik Eleştirileri.Rojan Çiltepe - forthcoming - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy.
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  8. Locke and Berkeley on Abstract Ideas: From the Point of View of the Theory of Reference.Yasuhiko Tomida - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-22.
    In the Essay Locke argues abstract ideas within the framework of the descriptivist theory of reference. For him, abstract ideas are, in many cases, conceptual ideas that play the role of “descriptions” or “descriptive contents,” determining general terms’ referents. In contrast, in the introduction of the Principles, Berkeley denies Lockean abstract ideas adamantly from an imagistic point of view, and he offers his own theory of reference seemingly consisting of referring expressions and their referents alone. However, interestingly, he mentions a (...)
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  9. Sartre on Berkeley.Brad Thomson - manuscript
    Brief comment upon Sartre's analysis of Berkeley from Being and Nothingness.
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  10. Interpreting Berkeley's Twofold State of Things.Brad Thomson -
    Analysis of Berkeley's "twofold state of things".
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  11. Hegel on Malebranche, Berkeley and Hume.Brad Thomson - manuscript
  12. Berkeley, God and the Succession of Ideas.Brad Thomson - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Ottawa
    Our thesis asks the question, for Berkeley does there exist a succession of ideas in the mind of God? Presented are five chapters. First, we consider Berkeley's definition(s) of the term, God. We contend that two distinct and opposing definitions of God emerge. Second, in the context of both definitions of God we assess Berkeley's Theory of Knowledge and his definition of the term, notion. By way of this analysis we argue that Berkeley himself maintains that only one of his (...)
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  13. Review of Stephen H. Daniel's George Berkeley and Early Modern Philosophy. [REVIEW]Manuel Fasko - 2021 - Berkeley Studies 29:30–33.
    It may come as a surprise to those familiar with Berkeley scholarship, but Steve Daniel’s excellent George Berkeley and Early Modern Philosophy is his first monograph on a philosopher on which he has published extensively over the last two decades. Drawing from this body of work Daniel takes his reader through 18 chapters which cover a variety of issues, ranging from representation (Ch. 4) and free will (Ch. 10) to various aspects of Berkeley’s theism (Ch. 9, 14–17) and authors including (...)
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  14. Questioning Authority: Anthony Collins’ Challenge to Orthodox Anglican Authority Figures & George Berkeley’s Reply.Manuel Fasko - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    My goal in this paper is to reconstruct Anthony Collins’ challenge to the authority of orthodox Anglican figures, which arises due to arguments Collins develops in his Vindication of the Divine Attributes (1710) and Discourse on Free-Thinking (1713). In addition to shedding light on a hitherto underappreciated argument by Collins, my reconstruction allows me to propose a solution to the interpretive problem posed by §§16–22 of the fourth dialogue of Berkeley’s Alciphron (1732). While it has been acknowledged that Collins looms (...)
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  15. The Retrieval of the Letter 'To the Author of the Minute Philosopher' From September 9th, 1732: A Note.Manuel Fasko - 2021 - Berkeley Studies 29:24–29.
    This is a short scholarly note about my retrieval an original copy of the Daily Post-Boy issue no. 7024 from September 9th,1732 from a private seller. In this issue we find an anonymous letter addressed to Berkeley which gave rise to him writing the Theory of Vision Vindicated. While Berkeley Berkeley appended a copy of the anonymous critic’s letter to TVV, until now an original copy of The Daily Post-Boy issue had yet to be discovered. -/- I have donated the (...)
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  16. Resemblance, Representation and Scepticism: The Metaphysical Role of Berkeley’s Likeness Principle.David Bartha - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):1.
    Berkeley’s likeness principle states that only an idea can be like an idea. In this paper, I argue that the principle should be read as a premise only in a metaphysical argument showing that matter cannot instantiate anything like the sensory properties we perceive. It goes against those interpretations that take it to serve also, if not primarily, an epistemological purpose, featuring in Berkeley’s alleged Representation Argument to the effect that we cannot reach beyond the veil of our ideas. First, (...)
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  17. The Aesthetics of the Invisible: Geroge Berkeley and the Modern Aesthetics.Endre Szécsényi - forthcoming - History of European Ideas.
    George Berkeley is usually not discussed in the canonical histories of modern aesthetics. Similarly, Berkeley scholars do not seem to have paid attention to his possible contribution to modern aesthetics. Berkeley exploited certain theoretical potentials of the emerging aesthetic experience that was invented and formulated especially by his contemporaries like Joseph Addison, Richard Steele and Lord Shaftesbury. He applied these elements in shaping a theologico-aesthetic language in the very same period when Francis Hutcheson and Alexander Baumgarten wrote their widely acclaimed (...)
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  18. The Passive Eye: Gaze and Subjectivity in Berkeley.Branka Arsić - 2003 - Stanford University Press.
    The Passive Eye is a revolutionary and historically rich account of Berkeley's theory of vision. In this formidable work, the author considers the theory of the embodied subject and its passions in light of a highly dynamic conception of infinity. Arsic shows the profound affinities between Berkeley and Spinoza, and offers a highly textual reading of Berkeley on the concept of an "exhausted subjectivity." The author begins by following the Renaissance universe of vision, particularly the paradoxical elusive nature of mirrors, (...)
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  19. Sobre el valor epistémico de la imaginación. Hacia una ontología humeana de la imaginación.Mario Edmundo Chávez Tortolero - 2018 - In Al este del paradigma. Miradas alternativas en la enseñanza de la epistemología. México:
    Este trabajo se divide en dos partes relacionadas pero independientes. La primera es un estudio de las percepciones y la subjetividad en el pensamiento de Hume. Del estudio mencionado se extraen elementos para una ontología de la imaginación, en particular la idea de intermitencia ontológica que se deriva del primer libro del Tratado de la naturaleza humana. En la segunda parte se estudia la epistemología de las virtudes de Ernest Sosa y se introduce el concepto de imaginación, así como la (...)
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  20. Causation, Cosmology and the Limits of Reason.Paul Russell - 2013 - In James Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century,. New York, NY, USA: pp. 599-620.
    For well over a century the dominant narrative covering the major thinkers and themes of early modern British philosophy has been that of “British Empiricism”, within which the great triumvirate of Locke-Berkeley-Hume are taken to be the dominant figures. Although it is now common to question this schema as a way of analyzing and understanding the period in question, it continues to command considerable authority and acceptance. (One likely reason for this is that no credible or plausible alternatives structures or (...)
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  21. Particles and Ideas: Bishop Berkeley's Corpuscularian Philosophy by Gabriel Moked. [REVIEW]Margaret Osler - 1991 - Isis 82:143-144.
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  22. A Proposta (I) Modesta de Berkeley. Um Mundo Sem Matéria.Pedro Alves - 2011 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 38:59-74.
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  23. The Origin of Berkeley's Paradoxes'.Colin Murray Turbayne - 1966 - In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America.
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  24. Notes to an Interpretation of Berkeley.W. H. Werkmeister - 1966 - In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America.
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  25. Useless Being-The Problem of Mediation in the Philosophy of George Berkeley.G. Chiurazzi - 1998 - Filosofia 49 (1):53-75.
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  26. Le dialogisme de Berkeley.Laurent Gerbier - 2003 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 3 (3):397-409.
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  27. Berkeley: Argumentación Filosófica.José Antonio Robles García - 1985 - Dianoia 31:195-210.
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  28. George Berkeley: Estetica E Idealismo.Bruno Marciano - 2010 - Nova Scripta.
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  29. Natura języka i język natury w filozofii Berkeleya.Adam Grzeliński - 2007 - Filo-Sofija 7 (1(7)):83-93.
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  30. Crença no mundo exterior: um diálogo entre Hume e Berkeley.Andrea Cachel - 2007 - Princípios 14 (21):125-146.
    No Tratado, Hume procura investigar as causas da crença nos objetos exteriores, admitindo ser impossível provar se os mesmos existem ou náo. Sua análise consistirá na investigaçáo da origem da inteligibilidade das noções de continuidade e distinçáo dos objetos sensíveis, em última instância, a crença do senso comum na continuidade e distinçáo das próprias percepções. Este texto pretende mostrar como essa discussáo humeana é um diálogo direto com a filosofia berkeleyana, a defesa humeana da crença na matéria implicando inicialmente uma (...)
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  31. Fra Empirismo E Platonismo: L'Estetica di Berkeley E Il Suo Contesto Filosofico.Bruno Marciano - 2011 - De Ferrari.
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  32. Berkeley’s Presence: Metaphysical Development and Dialectical Tension.Gabe Eisenstein - 1988 - Idealistic Studies 18 (3):207-229.
    Although a certain mature historicism in contemporary philosophy takes dialogue with past writers to be the “ultimate context within which knowledge is to be understood,” the problem of truth must persist for it—if only in the form of the question concerning the validity of interpretation. If there is no progress in philosophy toward a more precise and established body of true propositions, still there must be some sort of movement to conversation and some reference point by means of which the (...)
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  33. Putnam Versus Berkeley?Ralf Goeres - 2007 - Facta Philosophica 9 (1):177-202.
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  34. Berkeley and the Lumières : Misconception and Reconstruction.Sébastien Charles - 2008 - In Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), New Interpretations of Berkeley's Thought. Humanity Books.
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  35. Berkeley: How to Make a Mistake.Michael P. Levine - 1993 - Philosophia 22 (1-2):29-39.
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Berkeley: Epistemology
  1. Die Sprache Gottes – George Berkeleys Auffassung des Naturgeschehens.Fasko Manuel - 2021 - Basel: Schwabe Verlag.
    Was ist George Berkeleys Auffassung des sinnlich wahrnehmbaren Naturgeschehens? Sie zu erklären und nachzuvollziehen ist Ziel des Bandes. Er zeigt, dass Berkeley das Naturgeschehen als einen göttlichen Diskurs sieht; das visuell Wahrgenommene ist dabei die Sprache. Berkeley beharrt darauf, diese These der göttlichen Sprache wörtlich auszulegen, da sie Grundlage eines seiner Ansicht nach einzigartigen Gottesbeweises ist. Um Berkeleys Argumentation zu verstehen, muss man sich auch mit den (historischen) Umständen beschäftigen, in welchen er diese These entwickelt und verteidigt. Deshalb wird sie (...)
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  2. The Irish Context of Berkeley's 'Resemblance Thesis'.Peter West & Manuel Fasko - 2020 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 88:7-31.
    In this paper, we focus on Berkeley's reasons for accepting the ‘resemblance thesis’ which entails that for one thing to represent another those two things must resemble one another. The resemblance thesis is a crucial premise in Berkeley's argument from the ‘likeness principle’ in §8 of the Principles. Yet, like the ‘likeness principle’, the resemblance thesis remains unargued for and is never explicitly defended. This has led several commentators to provide explanations as to why Berkeley accepts the resemblance thesis and (...)
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  3. Why Can An Idea Be Like Nothing But Another Idea? A Conceptual Interpretation of Berkeley's Likeness Principle.Peter West - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (First View):1-19.
    Berkeley’s likeness principle is the claim that “an idea can be like nothing but an idea”. The likeness principle is intended to undermine representationalism: the view (that Berkeley attributes to thinkers like Descartes and Locke) that all human knowledge is mediated by ideas in the mind which represent material objects. Yet, Berkeley appears to leave the likeness principle unargued for. This has led to several attempts to explain why Berkeley accepts it. In contrast to ‘metaphysical’ and ‘epistemological’ interpretations available in (...)
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  4. Cavendish and Berkeley on Inconceivability and Impossibility [DRAFT - Please Do Not Cite].Peter West - manuscript
    In this paper, I compare Margaret Cavendish’s argument for the view that colours of objects are inseparable from their ‘physical’ qualities with George Berkeley’s argument for the view that secondary qualities of objects are inseparable from their primary qualities. By reconstructing their respective arguments, I show that both thinkers rely on the ‘inconceivability principle’: the claim that inconceivability entails impossibility. That is, both premise their arguments on the claim that it is impossible to conceive of an object that has size (...)
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  5. Berkeley y la sustancia espiritual / Berkeley and the Spiritual Substance.Alberto Luis López - 2018 - In Laura Benítez Grobet & Luis Ramos-Alarcón Marcín (eds.), El concepto de substancia de Spinoza a Hegel. Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico: pp. 211-232.
    In this paper I have the purpose to analyze George Berkeley’s concept of substance. For this goal, it will be necessary first to track the manner that Berkeley was conceiving that concept, that is, how it was determining in his early philosophy and what kind of role had in it. To make this it must be necessary to review the early notes knowing in Spanish as Philosophical Commentaries; and subsequently it will be required to retake the published work, particularly the (...)
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  6. Sobre la ontología inmaterialista: el concepto de idea en Berkeley / On Immaterialist Ontology: Berkeley's Concept of Idea.Alberto Luis López - 2019 - Areté. Revista de Filosofía 31 (2):427-449.
    Berkeley’s immaterialist philosophy has been frequently underestimated as a result of the misunderstanding of his ontological proposal, specifically because of the complexity of his concept of idea. The aim of this paper is then to clarify and explain that concept because from it depends the correct understanding of Berkeley’s ontological and immaterialist proposal. To do this, 1) I will show some examples of the misunderstanding that the berkeleian proposal has had, mainly due to his concept of idea; 2) I will (...)
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  7. Berkeley on Common Sense.S. Seth Bordner - forthcoming - In Samuel C. Rickless (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Berkeley.
    Debate surrounds whether Berkeley’s philosophy is a defense of, or merely consistent with, common sense, as well as what Berkeley means by “common sense.” This paper defends a view that synthesizes elements of recent approaches: by “common sense” Berkeley means primarily the (de re) belief that the things immediately perceived are the real things, characteristically held by the vulgar and exemplified by vulgar ways of speech. In holding that it is a natural belief, this view is consistent with recent accounts (...)
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  8. Berkeley: el conocimiento nocional de la mente / Berkeley on the Notional Knowledge of Mind.Alberto Luis López - 2017 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 22 (1):137-154.
    In this paper I expose and analyze the berkeleian proposal of notional knowledge. Among other things, this proposal represents Berkeley´s attempt to know the mind or spirit, that is, the thinking and active thing that, by its own activity, results unrepresentable as idea. As such knowledge is already mentioned in the Philosophical Commentaries I will refer to them to know the origins of that proposal. However, as notional knowledge appears in more detail in later works I will make use especially (...)
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  9. Respuesta al comentario de David Camilo Téllez Guzmán. “Berkeley: el papel de Dios en la teoría de la visión.” / Reply to criticism of my article on The Role of God in Berkeley's Theory of Vision.Alberto Luis - 2017 - Ideas Y Valores 66 (163):409.
    Discussion about one of my papers on Berkeley.
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  10. Berkeley: la concepción de Dios en los Comentarios Filosóficos / Berkeley: the Conception of God in the Philosophical Commentaries.Alberto Luis López - 2015 - Endoxa 36:123.
    Berkeley was a philosopher who wrote about such diverse topics as natural philosophy, political philosophy, mathematics, economy, and theology. Within this broad range of interests, his concern about the infinite spirit stands out; thus, the aim of this paper is to trace the origins of Berkeley´s conception of God, an issue which is already prefigured in the Philosophical Commentaries. The importance of knowing and analyze the notes that make up the Commentaries lies in that they make it possible to understand (...)
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  11. Berkeley and the Possibility of an Empirical Metaphysics.I. T. Ramsay - 1966 - In Warren E. Steinkraus (ed.), New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy. University Press of America.
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Berkeley: Skepticism
  1. Ontología y mundo externo en Berkeley / Berkeley's Ontology and the External World.Alberto Luis López - 2020 - Logos 135 (48):11-23.
    It is common for some readers to misunderstand Berkeley’s position by believing that he denies the existence of the external world, and his philosophy inevitably leads to solipsism. Faced with these readings, I discuss in this paper the relationship between ontology and the external world in Berkeley, with the aim of clarifying some interpretative errors in that matter and showing with that three things: 1) that is a mistake to believe Berkeley’s philosophy eliminate the external world and lead to solipsism, (...)
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  2. Common Sense and the Natural Light in George Berkeley’s Philosophy.Petr Glombíček & James Hill - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (2):651-665.
    It is argued that George Berkeley’s term ‘common sense’ does not indicate shared conviction, but the shared capacity of reasonable judgement, and is therefore to be classed as a mental ability, not a belief-system. Common sense is to be distinguished from theoretical understanding which, in Berkeley’s view, is frequently corrupted either by learned prejudice, or by language that lacks meaning or camouflages contradiction. It is also to be distinguished from the deliverances of divine revelation, which—however enlightening Berkeley supposed them to (...)
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  3. Reid and Berkeley on Scepticism, Representationalism, and Ideas.Peter West - 2019 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 17 (3):191-210.
    Both Reid and Berkeley reject ‘representationalism’, an epistemological position whereby we perceive things in the world indirectly via ideas in our mind, on the grounds of anti-scepticism and common sense. My aim in this paper is to draw out the similarities between Reid and Berkeley's ‘anti-representationalist’ arguments, whilst also identifying the root of their disagreements on certain fundamental metaphysical issues. Reid famously rejects Berkeley's idealism, in which all that exists are ideas and minds, because it undermines the dictates of common (...)
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  4. What's the Point of a Dreaming Argument?Scott Stapleford - 2019 - Think 18 (52):31-34.
    In this paper, I argue that dreaming arguments are no cause for alarm.
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