(70) This is a response to Lady Percival's concern that immaterialism
would not accommodate the Mosaic account of creation.
What she does do is provide an illuminating catalogue of early, lesser-known responses to Berkeley's immaterialism
, some of which did consider Berkeley dangerously Spinozistic.
He was the author of a new theory of vision, of the celebrated 'new principle' of immaterialism, of a 'new argument' to prove the existence of God, of a bold criticism of the infinitesimal calculus, of new proposals to improve the Irish economy, and of a novel panacea--tar-water --able to cure every disease in his diocese (where there were no doctors).
Ayers' answer is quite obvious, too: Berkeley's immaterialism is an original synthesis of an empiricism finally freed from its materialistic ties (which would be highly problematic from an historical point of view), the naturalistic epistemology of common sense, and religion.
I conclude by speculating that Berkeley had reason to believe that immaterialism
was a better fit with Christianity than materialism.
Weissman's central claim--that the collapse of immaterialism
will have wide-ranging consequences we have not yet anticipated--is surely right and worthy of further consideration.
1721), and then proceeds to chart the development of his more mature views, showing in particular how the development of his immaterialism
during the early 1720s drove him to change his mind on the issue of space and its relationship with God.
The third column, the fruit of Ameriks's approach, might well be the one most plausible even to a student coming to the Critique without preoccupations but also without background knowledge, for example the many-faceted motivation of Kant's immaterialism
that emerges in the face of his expressed agnosticism.
: A Comparative Study of the
Philosophers now concentrate almost exclusively on the Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, regarding their author only as a technical thinker offering immaterialism as a solution to free-standing philosophical problems.
Berman's treatment of what he calls Berkeley's semantic revolution illustrates how crucial background details can guide our understanding of major elements of immaterialism. Note 378 of the so-called Philosophical Commentaries begins, "All significant words stand for Ideas." Berman claims Berkeley borrowed this cognitivist semantic principle from Locke, who, setting aside connectives, prepositions, and articles, espoused it in Book Three of the Essay concerning Human Understanding as the key to improving communication and inquiry.
O'Meara carefully articulates Plotinus's immaterialism
, his comprehensive scheme of hierarchical ontological dependence (expressed by the "in" locution), and the dense dialectical context within which he seeks to solve difficulties in Plato's positions by responding to Aristotelian and Stoic objections.