•  577
    Berkeley and Proof in Geometry
    Dialogue 51 (3): 419-435. 2012.
    Berkeley in his Introduction to the Principles of Human knowledge uses geometrical examples to illustrate a way of generating “universal ideas,” which allegedly account for the existence of general terms. In doing proofs we might, for example, selectively attend to the triangular shape of a diagram. Presumably what we prove using just that property applies to all triangles.I contend, rather, that given Berkeley’s view of extension, no Euclidean triangles exist to attend to. Rather proof, as Berk…Read more
  •  548
    I argue that Berkeley's distinctive idealism/immaterialism can't support his view that objects of sense, immediately or mediately perceived, are causally inert. (The Passivity of Ideas thesis or PI) Neither appeal to ordinary perception, nor traditional arguments, for example, that causal connections are necessary, and we can't perceive such connections, are helpful. More likely it is theological concerns,e.g., how to have second causes if God upholds by continuously creating the world, that's …Read more
  •  116
    George Santayana on Bishop Berkeley. Immaterialism and Life
    Limbo, Boletín Internacional de Estudios Sobre Santayana 39 47-65. 2019.
    Th e recent revival of Berkeley studies in the last three decades or so make it interesting to look back at George Santayana’s discussion of Berkeley. Th ough Santayana understood the latter’s arguments for immaterialism, he claimed no one could both seriously accept immaterialism, and live, as Berkeley certainly did, an embodied life. As he writes of Berkeley, “Th is idealist was no hermit” (205). Santayana claimed that without matter there was nothing (“no machinery”) for the soul to work on. …Read more
  •  110
    Deontology, paradox, and moral evil
    Social Theory and Practice 33 (3): 431-440. 2007.
  •  63
    Agency and morality
    Journal of Philosophy 88 (4): 190-212. 1991.
  •  53
    Berkeley’s theory of vision: transparency and signification
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (4). 2003.
    By "transparency" with respect to Berkeley's theory of signs, I mean the notion that because of the often close association between signs and what they signify, we mistakenly think we sense what is signified by the sense that accesses the sign. I argue that although this makes sense for some examples, for a variety of reasons it's not really applicable to Berkeley's claim that we mistakenly think we immediately see distance ('outness') when we, in fact, immediately see only light and colors
  •  49
    Berkeley, bundles, and immediate perception
    Dialogue 44 (3): 493-504. 2005.
    I argue in this article that, contrary to some recent views, Berkeley’s bundle theory of physical objects is incompatible with the thinking that we immediately perceive such objects. Those who argue the contrary view rightly stress that immediate perception of ideas or objects must be non-conceptual for Berkeley, that is, the concept of the object cannot be made use of in the perception, otherwise it would be mediate perception. After a brief look at the texts, I contrast how a direct realist vi…Read more
  •  45
    INTRODUCTION Philonous: You see, Hylas, the water of yonder fountain, how it is forced upwards, in a round column, to a certain height, at which it breaks ...
  •  44
    In the First of the Three Dialogues, Berkeley’s Hylas, responding to Philonous’s question whether extension and motion are separable from secondary qualities, says: What! Is it not an easy matter, to consider extension and motion by themselves,... Pray how do the mathematicians treat of them?
  •  41
  •  37
    Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation
    Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (4): 21. 2019.
    Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation I argue in this paper that Berkeley’s conception of natural law explanations, which echoes Newton’s, fails to solve a fundamental problem, which I label “explanatory asymmetry"; that the model of explanation Berkeley uses fails to distinguish between explanations and justifications, particularly since Berkeley denies real (efficient causes) in non-minded nature. At the end I suggest Berkeley might endorse a notion of understanding, say in astronomy or…Read more
  •  31
    Is Smith Obligated That Not Kill the Innocent or That She
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4): 451-461. 1997.
  •  29
    Abstract Tom Dougherty observes that challenges to counting the numbers often cite John Taurek’s 1977 article, “Should the Numbers Count.” Dougherty, though sympathetic to Taurek’s (and others) critique of consequentialism’s aggregating good across individuals, defends a non-consequentialist principle for addition he calls “the Ends Principle. Take the case (he labels “Drug”) when an agent, possessing a dose of a lifesaving drug, can save one person with the entire dose, or two people, each of…Read more
  •  21
    Threats and punishment
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (3): 235-239. 1988.
  •  18
  •  11
    Valuing Life
    Philosophical Books 33 (4): 243-245. 1992.
  •  6
    Seymour Schwimmer 1924 - 1986
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (5). 1987.
  •  2
    Agency and Morality (review)
    Journal of Philosophy 88 (4): 190-212. 1991.
  •  1
    Moral Questions. An Introduction to Ethics
    Philosophical Books 35 (1): 77-78. 1994.
  • Clarke, SRL-Animals and Their Moral Standing
    Philosophical Books 40 56-57. 1999.
  • The Bloomsbury Companion to Berkeley (edited book)
    with Bertil Belfrage
    Bloomsbury Academic. forthcoming.
  • Berkeley and the Passivity of Ideas
    Iyyun 66 59-74. 2017.
    A number of early modern philosophers deny that corporeal non-minded nature contains efficient or strict causes. For Berkeley the passivity of ideas (hence PI) expresses this view. My aim is to look at two possible arguments – I call them strategy 1, and strategy 2 – Berkeley makes, or others make in his behalf, for PI. I conclude that they are unsatisfactory. I’m particularly interested whether Berkeley’s distinctive doctrine that objects of sense are mind-dependent, i.e., that no corporeal ob…Read more