How Berkeley Redefines Substance

Berkeley Studies 24:40-50 (2013)
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Abstract

In several essays I have argued that Berkeley maintains the same basic notion of spiritual substance throughout his life. Because that notion is not the traditional (Aristotelian, Cartesian, or Lockean) doctrine of substance, critics (e.g., John Roberts, Tom Stoneham, Talia Mae Bettcher, Margaret Atherton, Walter Ott, Marc Hight) claim that on my reading Berkeley either endorses a Humean notion of substance or has no recognizable theory of substance at all. In this essay I point out how my interpretation does not assume that Berkeley adopts a bundle theory of mind, but instead redefines what it means for a simple substance to be the principle by which ideas are perceived.

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Stephen H. Daniel
Texas A&M University

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