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Berkeley's Three DialoguesNew Essays$
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Stefan Storrie

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198755685.001.0001

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A Puzzle in the Three Dialogues and Its Platonic Resolution

A Puzzle in the Three Dialogues and Its Platonic Resolution

Chapter:
(p.146) 10 A Puzzle in the Three Dialogues and Its Platonic Resolution
Source:
Berkeley's Three Dialogues
Author(s):

John Russell Roberts

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198755685.003.0010

This essay suggests that Berkeley’s Neoplatonism may be profitably viewed as developed under the influence of Cambridge Platonism. A brief account of some key aspects of Cambridge Platonism are reviewed, specifically the central idea of the Image of God Doctrine (IGD) and Cudworth’s Axiarchism. Then possible points of influence of these aspects on Berkeley’s views are explored. In support of its possible usefulness, this approach to Berkeley’s Neoplatonism is used to shed light on his otherwise puzzling embrace of the pure intellect and abstract ideas. If Berkeley is drawing on the Cambridge Platonism tradition in the way suggested, he can have his pure intellect and its innate ideas without dragging along a commitment to a faculty of abstraction and its abstract ideas. Instead, the pure intellect is seen as a reflective faculty directed to the perfectly particular, concrete self.

Keywords:   abstraction, Axiarchism, Berkeley, Cambridge Platonism, God, innateness, Neoplatonism, pure intellect

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