Chapter

Berkeley, Pyrrhonism, and the Theaetetus

Kenneth P. Winkler

in Pyrrhonian Skepticism

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195169720
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786343 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195169727.003.0004
 Berkeley, Pyrrhonism, and the  Theaetetus

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This essay reinterprets Berkeley’s idealism as partially motivated by a need to overcome the Agrippan mode of relativity pressed by Pyrrhonists. It compares Berkeley’s solution to that of Protagoras as presented in Plato’s Theaetetus, and argues that Berkeley needed to depend on reason — intuition or demonstration — to avoid skepticism. In this interpretation, Berkeley is closer to the rationalist tradition than usually recognized.

Keywords: Berkeley; Pyrrho; Agrippa; Plato; Theaetetus; Protagoras; relativity; rationalism; empiricism; idealism

Chapter.  12476 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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