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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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Berkeley’s Argument for the Existence of God in the Three Dialogues

Berkeley’s Argument for the Existence of God in the Three Dialogues

(p.84) 6 Berkeley’s Argument for the Existence of God in the Three Dialogues
Berkeley's Three Dialogues

Samuel C. Rickless

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconstructs Berkeley’s argument for God’s existence in Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, and compares this argument with Berkeley’s argument for the same conclusion in A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. It claims that both arguments are partly deductive and partly abductive, that they rely on some of the same premises (such as that all sensible things are ideas, that all ideas must have a cause, and that the perfect order of the sensible world testifies to the uniqueness of the cause) and some of the same reasoning, but that the argument of the Dialogues differs from the argument of the Principles in that the former, but not the latter, relies on (i) the denial of blind agency and (ii) the observed stability of the sensible world.

Keywords:   God, continuity, passivity, deductive, abductive, blind agency, stability

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