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History of Modern Philosophy Group Talk (Margaret Atherton, UW-Milwaukee)

Friday September 18, 2020, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The History of Philosophy Group is pleased to welcome guest speaker Margaret Atherton, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Professor Atherton’s research interests include English philosophers of the early modern period, the work of women philosophers in the history of philosophy, and historical issues in the philosophy of psychology.

To read the paper ahead of time or to receive the link for the talk, please email Robbie Matyasi.

Talk Title

Agency in an Immaterialist World

Talk Abstract

George Pitcher, in a paper published in 1981, “Berkeley on the Mind’s Agency,” argued that Berkeley’s idealism made it impossible for him to convincingly offer an account of human agency, and speculated that the only theory consistent with idealism was occasionalism. Many others have accepted this analysis. Pitcher himself noticed that occasionalism was not consistent with some of Berkeley’s other claims, and I contend that a robust theory of agency is essential to Berkeley’s projects. In this paper, I revisit the negative arguments against a theory of agency belonging to Berkeley and, finding these arguments wanting, sketch out a possible account of Berkeleian agency.

About the History of Philosophy Group

One of six departmental Research Interest Groups, the History of Philosophy Group is home to the History of Modern Philosophy Research Group, which focuses on the period, roughly, from Descartes to Kant.





History of Philosophy Research Interest Group
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