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'Berkeley's Puzzle'

Millar A (2017) 'Berkeley's Puzzle', Analysis, 77 (1), pp. 232-242.

First paragraph: As represented by Campbell, Berkeley’s Puzzle is generated by two assumptions

  1. ‘It is because of sensory experience that we have knowledge of our surroundings’ (1)  
  2. All that sensory experience can contribute to our knowledge is knowledge of sensory experience itself (1) 
The problem is deep since its roots are in a conception of how our concepts are, as Campbell puts it, grounded. On Berkeley s assumptions, corresponding to (1) and (2) we have, respectively, the following. 
3. ‘Our understanding of concepts of the medium-sized world is grounded in our sensory experience’ (26)  
4. ‘Sensory experience can provide only concepts of sensory experience itself’ (26)
Given these assumptions there is an issue as to how we can so much as think about, never mind know about, a mind-independent world (3–4, 26).

AuthorsMillar Alan
Publication date01/2017
Publication date online05/11/2016
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN 0003-2638

Analysis: Volume 77, Issue 1 (2017)

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