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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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The Active Self and Perception in Berkeley’s Three Dialogues

The Active Self and Perception in Berkeley’s Three Dialogues

(p.123) 8 The Active Self and Perception in Berkeley’s Three Dialogues
Berkeley's Three Dialogues

James Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the relation between Berkeley’s active self and the faculty of perception, focusing on his Three Dialogues. First, it is shown how Berkeley is opposed to any perceptual account of self-knowledge because the passive ideas of perception disqualify them from representing the active self. Then, the role of this active self in perception is investigated. In the First Dialogue Philonous argues that perception is a thoroughly passive state, thus rendering it difficult to conceive how an active self can be the perceiving subject. It is argued, however, that Berkeley’s mature view relieves this difficulty by giving the self a participatory role in sensory perception, combining the elements of sensory input into a unified and coherent conscious experience.

Keywords:   perception, self, self-knowledge, the will, active self

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