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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 on Continuous Creation

Berkeley on Continuous Creation

Occasionalism Contained

(p.106) 7 Berkeley on Continuous Creation
Berkeley's Three Dialogues

Sukjae Lee

Oxford University Press

This paper argues that Berkeley restricts his endorsement of the continuous creation thesis to the domain of physical bodies. Such a restricted application of the thesis reveals the distinctive nature of Berkeley’s occasionalism, an occasionalism ‘contained’. In contrast to the ‘top-down’ approach of Malebranche, where foundational theological principles dictate the nature of divine and creaturely causality, resulting in a type of global occasionalism, in the case of Berkeley, the approach is better characterized as one that is ‘bottom up’, an occasionalism that finds its place after the basic setup of the metaphysical makeup of the world is in place. Consistent with this reading is the suggestion that Berkeley’s occasionalism thus restricted is motivated by the explanatory advantages of occasionalism rather than the theological claim that conservation is continuous creation.

Keywords:   Berkeley, occasionalism, continuous creation, conservation, causation

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