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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 the Objects of Perception

Berkeley on the Objects of Perception

(p.40) 4 Berkeley on the Objects of Perception
Berkeley's Three Dialogues

Jennifer Smalligan Marušić

Oxford University Press

In the first of the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, Hylas distinguishes two parts or aspects of every perception, namely a sensation, which is an act of mind, and an object immediately perceived. Hylas concedes that sensations can exist only in a mind, but maintains that the objects immediately perceived have a real existence outside the mind; they are qualities of material objects. This distinction and Philonous’s response to it are the topic of this essay. It considers the implications of this response for understanding Berkeley’s theory of perception and concludes that it supports attributing to Berkeley an object-first theory of perception, according to which it is the special kind of object involved in perception that is philosophically significant.

Keywords:   Berkeley’s theory of perception, act-object theory of perception, relational theory of perception, adverbialism, direct realism, sensation, appearances, mental act

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