Phil 513: Fall 2012
Instructions: Answer TWO of the following questions. Your answers should be in the form of well-constructed essays. Each answer should be no longer than 5 pages (typed, double-spaced). DUE: December 10th (11:59pm). Please submit by email to as WORD DOC attachment.

  1. Answer a question from the midterm that you did not previously answer.
  2. Part One: At PHK 3 Berkeley introduces an “existence argument” for the claim that sensible things and everyday items cannot exist unperceived. This involves attending to the word “exists.” Discuss. How is it related to the Contradiction Argument (PHK 4) and the Anti-Abstraction Argument (PHK 5)? [Make sure you explain what Berkeley takes the contradiction to be]. Do you find his existence argument convincing? Discuss. Part Two: At PHK 8 Berkeley provides an argument against representational realism. What is the argument? Why does Berkeley endorse “the likeness principle” (the view that ideas can only resemble ideas)? Do you find these arguments convincing? Discuss.
  3. Part One: At PHK 24-33 Berkeley provides an argument for the existence of God. What is the argument? How does he defend the premise that sensible ideas must be caused by some spirit? Do you find his argument convincing? Discuss. Part Two: In Alciphron IV Berkeley provides an argument for the existence of God which appeals to the notion of a divine language. Explain and assess the argument. Make sure that you explain what this language IS (and why Berkeley thinks that it’s a language).  
  4. Part One: At the beginning of the Second Dialogue, Berkeley provides a second argument for the existence of God (The Argument from Perception). Formulate and assess the argument. Part Two: Contrast “phenomenalist” and “idealist” readings of Berkeley. Discuss at least two major worries (i.e., apparent problems in Berkeley’s theory) that can be used to raise objections to an idealist reading. Discuss and assess possible responses.  
  5. TBA