The Berkeleian Idealism Project
The Berkeleian Idealism Project is about working through Berkeleian Idealism and showing that Berkeley has good answers to philosophical questions. This isn’t a history project. I’ll be treating Berkeleianism as a philosophy that has answers for today.
What is the Berkeleian Idealism Project?
The best known thing about George Berkeley is that he denied the existence of matter. He thought that physical bodies are made of ideas, which means that they exist in minds.
A lot of people have unfinished conversations with George Berkeley. They meet him in Philosophy 101 for just long enough to think, These arguments are actually pretty good, but then it’s on to the next thing. If you’ve ever wanted to think through Berkeley’s arguments, the Berkeleian Idealism Project is for you. If you’ve wondered what Berkeley wanted to build after he knocked down the philosophy of matter, the Berkeleian Idealism Project is for you too.
This isn’t a traditional academic project. Most academic writing is about establishing that you’ve read all the other academic studies (especially those by potential peer reviewers). To each his own, I suppose. I’m going to do the Berkeleian Idealism Project as an unapologetic Berkeley guy, a philosophical partisan.
I really am a Berkeleian idealist. I came to my current view about halfway into a PhD program in another area of philosophy, and I dropped what I was doing and became a Berkeley scholar.
After leaving the academy I wrote a book about how I approach philosophy in general: How to be a Philosopher. Then I realized I wanted to spend some time on specifically Berkeleian questions, so I developed the Berkeleian Idealism Project as a way to do that.