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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 3, July 1997

Nicholas Everitt
Pages 353-377
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil199714329

Quasi-Berkeleyan Idealism as Perspicuous Theism

In this paper, I argue that the kind of idealism defended by Berkeley is a natural and almost unavoidable expression of his theism. Two main arguments are deployed, both starting from a theistic premise and having an idealist conclusion. The first likens the dependence of the physical world on the will of God to the dependence of mental states on a mind. The second likens divine omniscience to the kind of knowledge which it has often been supposed we have of the contents of our own minds. After rebutting objections to these arguments, I conclude that both theists and non-idealists should be surprised and discomforted by my contentions.

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