Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous
What does Berkeley explicitly cite as the motivation behind his idealist system? How does Berkeley's idealism meet the objectives laid out by this motivation?
Why does Berkeley consider himself the defender of common sense? Do you agree with this self-assessment?
How does Berkeley use the notion of pain to argue that all qualities are mind- dependent?
Suggested Essay Topics
How is Berkeley's Master Argument supposed to work? How can one object to this argument using the act/content distinction? How might Berkeley reply to this objection?
How does Berkeley argue against the possibility of abstract general ideas?
On Berkeley's view, do objects go in and out of existence when we open and close our eyes? Why or why not?
Reconstruct Berkeley's argument for the existence of God. Do you find this argument plausible?
What problem does the success of scientific progress pose to Berkeley's theory? How does Berkeley reply to this challenge? Do you think that his reply is successful?
According to Berkeley, what are we seeing when we look into a microscope? Do you find this view plausible?
How does Berkeley argue against the possibility that mind-independent material objects cause our ideas? Assess these arguments.
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