Berkeley's Treatment of Skepticism

George Pappas

in The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195183214
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Berkeley's Treatment of Skepticism

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  • Philosophy
  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Epistemology



This article examines Bishop Berkeley's view and treatment of skepticism based on the content of his books Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. It explains that the Principles of Human Knowledge was not well received when it was published in 1710 because readers and reviewers understood his denial of the existence of material substance as supporting skepticism. In his second book, Berkeley showed how he was opposed to skepticism. He also showed that there were some common principles of philosophers, and that these principles, either individually or jointly, lead to skepticism of some form.

Keywords: Bishop Berkeley; skepticism; Principles of Human Knowledge; Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous; material substance; philosophers

Article.  7037 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Epistemology

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