Berkeley, perception, and identity

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):85-98 (1991)
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Abstract

Berkeley says both that one sometimes immediately perceives the same thing by sight and touch, and that one never does. To solve the contradiction I recommend and explain a distinction Berkeley himself makes—between two uses of ‘same’. This solution unifies two seemingly inconsistent parts of Berkeley’s whole project: He argues both that what we see are bits of light and color organized into a language by which God speaks to us about tactile sensations, and yet that we directly see ordinary objects. My solution explains how these can come to the same thing.

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Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut

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