Berkeleys Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us?

Hardcover | September 4, 2014

byJohn Campbell, Quassim Cassam

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Sensory experience seems to be the basis of our knowledge and conception of mind-independent things. The puzzle is to understand how that can be: even if the things we experience (apples, tables, trees etc), are mind-independent how does our sensory experience of them enable us to conceive ofthem as mind-independent? George Berkeley thought that sensory experience can only provide us with the conception of mind-dependent things, things which cannot exist when they aren't being perceived. It's easy to dismiss Berkeley's conclusion but harder to see how to avoid it. In this book, John Campbell and Quassim Cassam propose very different solutions to Berkeley's Puzzle. For Campbell, sensory experience can be the basis of our knowledge of mind-independent things because it is a relation,more primitive than thought, between the perceiver and high-level objects and properties in the mind-independent world. Cassam opposes this "relationalist" solution to the Puzzle and defends a "representationalist" solution: sensory experience can give us the conception of mind-independent thingsbecause it represents its objects as mind-independent, but does so without presupposing concepts of mind-independent things.This book is written in the form of a debate between two rival approaches to understanding the relationship between concepts and sensory experience. Although Berkeley's Puzzle frames the debate, the questions addressed by Campbell and Cassam aren't just of historical interest. They are among themost fundamental questions in philosophy.

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Sensory experience seems to be the basis of our knowledge and conception of mind-independent things. The puzzle is to understand how that can be: even if the things we experience (apples, tables, trees etc), are mind-independent how does our sensory experience of them enable us to conceive ofthem as mind-independent? George Berkeley th...

John Campbell is Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that he was Wilde Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Past, Space and Self (MIT, 1994) and Reference and Consciousness (OUP, 2002). Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:September 4, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198716257

ISBN - 13:9780198716259

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Table of Contents

Preface1. John Campbell: The Historical Background2. John Campbell: A Straightforward Solution to Berkeley's Puzzle3. John Campbell: Experiencing Objects as Mind-Independent4. John Campbell: The Role of Sensory Experience in Propositional Knowledge5. Quassim Cassam: Berkeley's Puzzle6. Quassim Cassam: Experientialism7. Quassim Cassam: The Relational View of Experience8. Quassim Cassam: RepresentationalismCampbell's EpilogueCassam's EpilogueReferencesIndex