Mind-Dependence in Berkeley and the Problem of Perception

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Abstract
On the traditional picture, accidents must inhere in substances in order to exist. Berkeley famously argues that a particular class of accidents—the sensible qualities—are mere ideas; entities that depend for their existence on minds. To defend this view, Berkeley provides us with an elegant alternative to the traditional framework: sensible qualities depend on a mind, not in virtue of inhering in it, but in virtue of being perceived by it. This metaphysical insight, once correctly understood, gives us the resources to solve a central problem that still plagues the philosophy of perception: the problem of how, given the power of the mind to create phenomenally rich experiences, ordinary perception can nonetheless be said to acquaint us with the mind-independent world.
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First archival date: 2020-09-10
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