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Why We Do Not See What We Feel

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Of all of Berkeley’s claims about perception, perhaps the most unusual is his assertion that we do not see the numerically same objects we feel. Ideas are radically heterogeneous. The question I seek to answer is why Berkeley thought this thesis true. Traditional accounts hold that Berkeley was forced into accepting heterogeneity by his views concerning either distance or abstraction, but careful analysis reveals these to be mistaken. I conclude that how Berkeley thought of the ontic status of ideas finishes the incomplete picture provided by traditional accounts, and supplies us with a better under-standing of his views on perceptual heterogeneity.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy Hampden-Sydney College

Publication date: June 1, 2002


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