God and first person in Berkeley

Philosophy 82 (1):87-114 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,998

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Three dialogues between Hylas and Philonous.George Berkeley (ed.) - 1713 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Berkeley and bodily resurrection.Marc A. Hight - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):443-458.
The cartesian context of Berkeley's attack on abstraction.Walter R. Ott - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4):407–424.
Berkeley's idealism: a critical examination.Georges Dicker - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
201 (#99,696)

6 months
23 (#119,525)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

George Steven Botterill
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

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.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Berkeley Without God.Margaret Atherton - 1995 - In Robert G. Muehlmann (ed.), Berkeley's Metaphysics: Structural, Interpretive, and Critical Essays. The Pennsylvania State University Press.
Berkeley and God.Jonathan Bennett - 1965 - Philosophy 40 (153):207 - 221.

Add more references