Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Metaphysics for the MobThe Philosophy of George Berkeley$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Russell Roberts

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313932

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313932.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

 One Berkeley

 One Berkeley

Protestant Semantics and the Curtain of Words

(p.40) II One Berkeley
A Metaphysics for the Mob

John Russell Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a dilemma: Berkeley's attack on abstract ideas appears to require an acceptance of a Lockean-style ideational semantics. However, such a semantics would seem to undercut the viability of his central religious convictions. It would seem Berkeley can only save the latter by rejecting the former or vice-versa. The dilemma is removed by a careful examination of Berkeley's famous Introduction to the Principles. It is shown that Berkeley's attack on abstract ideas is actually based on a rejection of ideational semantics. Instead, Berkeley advocates a “use theory” of meaning. This semantic theory is then applied to the interpretation of Berkeley's divine language thesis and shown to help support a pragmatic approach to the ontology of the natural world. This interpretation is defended against competing interpretations by Jonathan Bennett and David Berman.

Keywords:   abstract ideas, innate ideas, pure reflective intellect, pragmatism, Locke, Austin, Alciphron, picture theory, Jonathan Bennett, David Berman

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .