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How Berkeley Can Maintain That Snow Is White
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jul., 2003), pp. 101-113
Published by: International Phenomenological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20140583
Page Count: 13
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Berkeley has made the bold claim on behalf of his theory that it is uniquely able to justify the claim that snow is white. But this claim, made most strikingly in the Third of his "Three Dialogues," has been held, most forcefully by Margaret Wilson, to conflict with Berkeley's argument in the First Dialogue that, because of various facts to do with perceptual variation, colors are merely apparent and hence, mind-dependent. This paper develops an alternative reading of the First Dialogue arguments, in which their project is not to establish the mind-dependence of colors but instead to undermine the position that colors are also mind-independent. Under these circumstances, the coherence of the First and the Third Dialogue arguments is assured, just so long as the Third Dialogue claim to have established that snow is really white is not taken to mean that snow is mind-independently white, but instead, something like that our experiences of snow are stably and regularly white.
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research © 2003 International Phenomenological Society