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Consciousness and Cognition: From Descartes to Berkeley Author(s): M. GLOUBERMAN Reviewed work(s): Source: Studia Leibnitiana, Bd.

14, H. 2 (1982), pp. 244-265 Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40693948 . Accessed: 29/11/2011 05:21
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and Cognition : FromDescartes to Berkeley Consciousness


Resum En soulignant(a) la positionressemblante du Dieu dans le systmede Descartes et de Berkeleycomme sujet de connaissanceoptimale,c'est dire 'certain',et (b) le rle de la de 'certitude* en dfinissant la naturede la vritscientifique, on peut notioncartsienne nettement transformer la thorieralistique cartsienne en thorie berkelienne. idalistique une quivoque dans la conception de certitude de Descartesestcrucial cette L'limination cartsienne transformation. Sans cetteequivoque, la distinction non-berkelienne entrela sensationet la perceptionne peut tre dfendu.Cette interprtation est videmment en conflictavec le point de vue standardsur l'attitudede Descartes, comme rationaliste, un srieuxsoutien. concernant les sens, mais malgrcela, le textey apportent

as the Isaac among 1. The traditional installation of Berkeley late fire. natural has come of under empiricist patriarchs Berkeley's - it is argued - is Cartesian habitat : an historically sensitive of reading thetexts reveals histhought castas theproduct tobe inappropriately ofa in thename ofLocke's consistent critical ofa more reform, empiricism, Essay} whodo more than retrace that wellofthis standard view, Supporters modern which knowntext-book of faces genealogy early philosophy, their of rationalism offagainst the threefounding fathers empiricist of the manner in are of courseunlikely to be unaware counterparts, with 'rationalist* themes whichcharacteristically crop up disturbing in Berkeley's Witness likeness Berkeley's frequency principle, writings. isa that 1.8),2 which "an ideacanbe likenothing butan idea"{Principles to Cartesian that cleardevelopment oftheview,crucial metaphysics, a ofLeibniz's, reminiscent causemust be likeitseffect, andhisinsistence, active thateach substance is 'one simple, undivided, being'(1.27).But inthestandard one keyfact view'sfavour. wouldseemto speakloudly
1 recent sensitive, exponentor thisview is Perhapsthe mostvigorous,and historically H. Bracken, whose Berkeley(London, 1974) closes by taggingthe Bishop 'an Irish in: Revue Internationale de in a CartesianContext, Cartesian'.R. A. Watson's Berkeley 64 (1963), has also been influential. Philosophie, L Referencesbuilt into the text give section numbersin standardeditions.Numbers after a slash give correspondingpagination in the following. BERKELEYPrinciples, edited by C. M. TURBAYNE (Indianapolis, Dialogues, and PhilosophicalCorrespondence, Volumes Works New York, Kansas City,1965). Descartes The Philosophical ofDescartes, I and II, translated by E. S. Haldane and G. R. T. Ross (New York 1955).
Band XIV/2 (1982) Studia Leibniciana, Franz SteinerVerlagGmbH, D-6200 Wiesbaden

to Berkeley Consciousness andCognition: FromDescartes


- that Aren'teven its critics in agreement thatBerkeley'sbasic principle esse est percipi- givesvoice to a fundamentally ? sentiment empiricist If so, isn't it only rightto play down his empiricistically indigestible remarks as remnants of an improperly ? supersededinheritance My specificaim in this discussionis to combat theview of esse est in character. percipi as empiricist Berkeley'sadvocacyof theprinciple can be represented as theoutcomeof an attempt to repair, in a minimally mutilativemanner, a genuine flaw in Cartesian epistemology.Representedin this way, the principle'sconnectionswith concernsof a kind are, forthe most part,accidental. traditionally empiricist Given that I oppose a reading which is by rightsdenominated 'standard', I am obviously not saying that Berkeley's texts speak unequivocallyin my favour.To sustainthe construalI support,a good deal of violencemustbe done to the manifest content of a work like the It emerges forinstance thatesse est percipi, interpreted au Principles. pied de la lettre, is acceptedonly subjectto considerable hedgingby Berkeley,and that, contraryto the strong impressioncreated by the of abstracIntroduction, Principles' Berkeleygrantsthe ineliminability tions fromcognitiverepresentation of the world as we know it. But textual compromises are equally obligatory on a proponent of the standardview, who is also forced,by his commitment to a uniform to make painfulchoices.Trade-offs phenomenalist readingof Berkeley, a factof interpretative are,in short, life,and I contendthatthe standard resolution of tensionsin Berkeley'sthoughtis less satisfactory thanthe one whichsees his affiliations as Cartesian. By saying that the repair to Descartes' position which issues in Berkeleianidealismis 'minimally I am not suggesting that mutilative', resembles the one Cartesian Berkeley's world-picture painted by science.The point is only thatBerkeleyaccepts,and operatesreactively within the frameworkof the basic Cartesian terms of discussion. Because, as I believe, these termsof discussion court,if they do not marry,incoherence,Berkeley's position - even if by some intradoctrinal measureof progressit constitutes an advanceon Descartes' has verylittleindependent For all of Locke's annoyinginconappeal. stancies and downright his less accommodating reaction to a confusions, broadly Cartesian conception of things is, in my opinion, almost - and it is neither to Berkeley's an accidentnor a unqualifiedly preferable misfortune thatits influence, both historically and doctrinally, has been the dominantone. But, as I will explain, to take a line like Locke's requiresbreakingwith basic Cartesianassumptionsabout the relationship betweenmindand worldwhichBerkeleyaccepts.And, ifthetruth


M. Glouberman

thisapproval, be told,it is not alwaysclearthatLocke, notwithstanding has the convictions of his courage. 2. Withthepreliminaries to Descartes.Thereis concluded,letmeturn a root flaw in Cartesianepistemology, a rift or lack of uniformity in Descartes' handlingof the notions of certainty and knowledge. Its detailed disclosure- to which I will therefore devote a good deal of discussion - will put us in a position quickly to appreciatethe real motivation behindBerkeley'sesse est percipl. The intellectually self-renovative project executed by the solitary whether thinker of the Meditations could be variedin manyrespects, by But whichever route is or travelled, omission,addition, rearrangement. two way-stationsvisited by the originalmeditatormust be passed: withoutthe cogito of Meditation2, the doubt would disqualifyall beliefs,leaving an epistemicvacuum in which the very possibilityof knowledge would be forfeited;and without the divine guarantee of Meditation3, the as a resultof the exertions supplied the meditator evacuated of content.But while realmof scientific would be knowledge could not be reachedbut the terminus ad quern of the Meditations thekindof certainty fortheresults furnished at each station, (and hence, we shallsee, thekindof knowledge)associatedwiththecogito is quite we can different fromthatwhich,once in possessionof God's guarantee, claim for the propositionsof Cartesian science.This failureof uniformityhas seriousconsequencesfor Descartes- consequenceswhich (or so I am arguing) triesto block. (I am notat all concerned here,I Berkeley which appears to arisefor should add, with the well-knowndifficulty Descartes from the fact that the meditator'sknowledge of his own and existenceand natureprecedes his knowledgeof God's existence, hence precedes those regions of knowledgewhich depend on God's that The present assistance. problemwould ariseeven ifit were granted and thatin logic they the ordering of the two is merelycompositional, are simultaneous.) to Descartes,putsa haltto Whatis it aboutthecogito that,according theinroadsof doubt?The basisforan answeris foundin theseCartesian claims.
thatexistsin us in such a way thatwe are "Thought is a word thatcovers everything drawn up in geometrical conscious of it" {Arguments fashionDefinitionl/II immediately in thatit is present of which,at theverymoment 52). "[Tjhere can existin us no thought us, we are not conscious" {Reply to Objections 4/II 115). "By the word thoughtI 1.9/1222). in us" {Principles understand all thatof whichwe are conscious as operating

Consciousness and Cognition: to Berkeley FromDescartes


If themeditator he ipso facto knowsthat he if he doubts, thinks, he doubts. in TheSearch that Descartes' As Eudoxus, thinks, spokesman thelatter has admitted, after as we all afterTruth, saysto Polyander, doubts:"Since,then, would,to having specific you cannotdenythat . . . that and you doubt,... it is certain you doubt"(/I316).Thinking areself-evident states orconditions ofthesubject. doubting (It would be morecorrect to say thattheproposition a thought or a attributing doubtto the subjectis self-evident, i. e. thatwhentheproposition is thesubject knowsit. But thestate or condition ofthesubject can true, be described without excessive unnaturalness also,bysimple association, as self-evident.) Because'cogito' or 'dubito', premises ofDescartes' are self-evident, thethinker or doubter has certain cogito-argument, oftheir truth ofanevilgenius cannot succeed ; eventhewiles knowledge in shaking hisconviction.3 I shallcall)wholly orconditions states (what Typically, psychological like thinking a thought a doubtare self-evident. or entertaining But Descartes'wordsleave open thepossibility that conditions of a nonorpsychological states which havea non-psychologisort, psychological cal component, e. g. the perceptual stateof seeingthe sun, are selfevident. To say thata thought is thatof whichwe are immediately consciousis not to say thata thought is thatalone of whichwe are conscious. So it can at leastbe suggested that the immediately though mental states- i. e. on wholly cogito turns on self-contained - thekind states or conditions ofcertainty tothe psychological attaching meditator's conclusion is not bound up internally withtheirspecial features. Butwhilethis canbe suggested in theabstract, closer reveals scrutiny thatDescartes does have his eye on wholly conditions. psychological forinstance, Descartes' contention 'I seethesun'or 'I am that Consider, is an the for walking' inappropriate premise argument, inappropriate as he explains, itmayonlyseemto methat I amseeing thesun because, or walking.
"ifI mean ofmysensation, ormy "But",he continues, to onlytotalk consciously seeming see or to walk,it becomes because nowrefers quitetrue myassertion onlyto mymind'* 1. 9/1 222). (Principles

3 Whatever theambiguities in thediscussion of thecogito in theMeditations, the treatment in The Search and elsewhere discredits afterTruth decisively J. HlNTlKKA's See A. KENNY, A Study Descartes: 'performative' interpretation. ofhisPhilosophy (New York1968), pp. 47ff.

It is,inother because thecogito's premise 'refers words, onlyto my mind'thatits certainty is assured. That Descartes citesthe restricted


M. Glouberman

or content of the cogito's premiseas the reason for its mentality with its mentality. doubt-resistance shows thathe linksits certainty of a commonmisinterpreThe pointhereis easilysmudgedas a result 1. On thebasisof a textlike tationof theoverallargument of Meditation theone whichfollows,Descartesis often witharguing invalidly charged from the knowledge that the senses sometimesdeceive him to the conclusion that every sense-based belief may be deceptive: 'it is sometimes provedto me thatthesesensesare deceptive,and it is wiser not to trustentirely to anything by whichwe have once been deceived' because the sensesmay be (MeditationI/I 145), wiser,on thisreading, deceivingme, for all I know, at all times. If Descartes were indeed in thisgrosslyinvalidway,he would notreallysucceedin ruling arguing out thepossibility in thecase ofa standard of certainty claim, perceptual which is not wholly psychological. 'I see the sun', utteredby the ofwhich also expressa belief meditator underspecificconditions, might his seeingthe sun he could be certain,and so, undertheseconditions, would be self-evident. mentalityof the Accordingly,the restricted co gito' s premise would not really count as an explanationof the to it. certainty attaching Even if it is agreed thatDescartesis arguing invalidlyhere,it would to concludethatCartesian stillof coursebe a bit hastyforan interpreter with is not intendedby Descartes to be connectedinternally certainty would warranted The conclusion conditions. only whollypsychological he has fallen be the conditionalone, thatif he intendsthe connection, if it were shown that Descartes argues into error. But, admittedly, thiswould providesome evidence, in the describedfashion, fallaciously is not reallysupported albeitof a veryweak kind,thattheconnection by him. we need not lucubrateover these exegeticalsubtleties. Fortunately, The fact is that Descartes does not argue invalidly along the lines sketched.Rather than applyingthe doubt to each and everybeliefhe holds, Descartes explains in Meditation1 that he will "attack those the opinionsrested" (ibid./ibid.), principlesupon which all my former able "if I am of sense and reason: in the faculties effect, principles being, to justify to findin each one some reasonto doubt,thiswill suffice my thefact thewhole" (ibid./ibid.). So themove made is not from rejecting thatsome perceptual beliefsthemeditator acquiredhave notpannedout from It is, rather, to the conclusionthatall suchbeliefs maybe mistaken. about the mode of gainingbeliefs thediscovery of a flawin a perceptual worldthatDescartesconcludesthatthesensesareincapableof delivering the certainties his project requires.

Consciousness FromDescartes to Berkeley andCognition:


: In form, the argument is roughly equivalent,then,to the following root Its becauseany bacheloris unmarried, everybacheloris unmarried. thus: any F-thingis a G-thingbecause is therefore structure specifiable of what being an F-thing involves; so every F-thing is a G-thing. themove heremaylook to thereaderlike considered, Though,cursorily whose invalidityis disclosed in one of those any-everytransitions logic texts e. g. fromthe premisethatanyone can win the elementary lotteryto the conclusion that everyonecan win this appearance is Objection cannotbe raisedon logical groundsto themove. misleading. thatleads Descartesto denythat beliefs 3. Whatis itabout sense-based We know thismuchin advance: whatever any such beliefcan be certain? it is will explain why Cartesian certaintyconnects with wholly psychologicalconditions; that featureof sense-based beliefs which, in principle them,will be a feature accordingto Descartes, disqualifies about mental states and conditions. beliefs by restrictedly unexemplified The hint of an answer is foundin Descartes' observationthat "the senses sometimes deceive us concerning things which are hardly perceptible,or very far away" (ibid./ibid.). Descartes immediately that the object perceivedmay, in proceeds to remark,quite correctly, othercases, be near to hand, and the conditionsof perceptionoptimal. While this could be taken to implythat a perceptualbeliefmightbe certain just in case conditionsare optimal,thisis not the case. The only is that,under optimalconditions,our perceptualbeliefsare implication more likelyto be true thanwhen conditionsare unfavourable. But the issue concerns not truth. this the Once is certainty, present recognised, can be to sketch made its Let me first yieldup message. quoted passage the message,and then call upon some textsforsupport. As Descartes writes,an object perceivedmay be 'very far away*.It in otherwords, belief, mayalso, of course,be close at hand.A perceptual bears on an object or state of affairs to which the subject may, qua standin any one of manydistinct This is no perceiver, (spatial)relations. featureof perception, incidental like the factthatthe perceivermay be or thefactthatthe object perceivedmaybe red or myopicor astigmatic, blue: it is rooted in the very structure of the perceptual nexus . Quite simply,theobjector stateof affairs about whicha beliefis who acquires it. To perceptually acquired is external to the perceiver know whatperceiving an objectconsistsin is ipso facto to know that or veryfaraway'. any such object may be 'hardlyperceptible, Consider now that,even in optimalcases, more thana singlesubject may acquire one and the same belief: a group of perceivers, standing


M. Glouberman

on it. arounda table,might acquirethe beliefthatthereis a bowl of fruit featureof the As this shows, it is a simplecorollaryof the structural perceptualnexus noted above that the position of any one among a meansneed notbe numberof subjectswho acquirea beliefby perceptual superiorto thatof anyother:all may be placed equally advantageously. and So even in optimal cases, where the object is clearlyperceptible, has evidenceforhis factthatno one perceiver close by, it is a principled beliefwhich is complete,where by 'complete evidencefor a subject's belief is meant 'evidencefor a subject's beliefto which no additional evaluation to thebelief'struth evidenceof thesame sort,relevant by that in P is of one No be added'. possession complete subject,may perceiver thereare always in principle evidence because, as per the illustration, othervantagepoints,displacedfromthatof P, e. g. thevantagepointof whichadditionalevidenceof thesame sortas P some perceiver Q, from relies on can be acquired,which evidence is as relevantto the truth evaluationof P's beliefas the evidenceP in factrelieson4. is of perceptually Descartes' assessment groundedbeliefsas uncertain for a evidence that on the fact is, based, then, principled, perceptual : no subreason, evidence-of-an-augmentable-kind structural, is he the belief for basis evidential acquires complete. ject's perceptual This reading can be usefullyconfirmed,albeit in an explanatorily way, by means of the followingclaim fromthe earlyRules. unhelpful whichovercomesthe"merely scientific cognition, Contrasting properly kind of with an inferior connected 2/1 3) probable knowledge" (Rule us: the tells Descartes called are what in 'arts', cognition operative the mind" exercise of in the former (Rule consists] cognitive "entirely of the and an exercise I/I 1), whilethelatter disposition "depend[s]upon what a few from these than is less It words, clear, (ibid./ibid.). body" could be. But it in mentalactivity mode of cognitionconsisting entirely is clear enough that sense-basedcognition,which of course depends upon an exerciseand dispositionof the body, is of the disadvantaged sort. to establishthepointtowardswhichI have been These resultssuffice of sense-basedbeliefswhich,in Descartes' view, working.The feature in principle is a feature themuncertain renders by beliefs unexemplified statesand conditions.(Because Descartesis so mental about restrictedly on thispoint,I trustI will be pardonedforseizing oftenmisrepresented
4 The readerwho is movedto contestthisexplication or the of evidential completeness, use I put it to, e. g. by arguing that,in the case described,each of P and Q has complete thatmy concernis to explainDescartes' thinking. evidence,is to be reminded

Consciousnessand Cognition: From Descartes to Berkeley

25 1

hisrejection theoccasion as this ofthesenses to stress shows, that, again has little are not to do with that thefact reliable.) they exceptionlessly in an involves the subject's Structurally, standing perceptual cognition external relation to an objector stateof affairs whichhe concerning acquiresa belief.This is not the case wherewhollypsychological of us, evenunderideal conditions are concerned. Whileany number conditions of perception, can be equivalently placed vis--vis the - with a belief is acquired or state ofaffairs theresult aboutwhich object that theevidential basis is nottrue inthe ofeachofus is incompletethis case ofwholly conditions. one ofus is in If,forinstance, psychological from his own, at which is no cognitive pain,there displaced position, andwhich additional ofthesortavailable to him, is relevant to evidence, his truth evaluation of his belief thathe is in pain,can be gained. His evidence is complete. alone,in other words, that thebeliefs I express to Descartes' willbe certain claim Recurring 1.9/1 justin case "I ... only. . . talkofmysensation" 222), (Principles letmetherefore callthestyle which ofcognition Descartes connects here withcertainty for'sensation'). The s-cognition (V beingmnemonic - as incapable he rejects as inadequate of achieving styleof cognition - mayaccordingly be called certainty p- cognition (with 'p' mnemonic of'perception'). It is indeed as oursensations thecase,so far the go,that structural feature of p-cognition whichrenders beliefs in this acquired is absent:sensations are internal, notexternal, to the way uncertain who have them. subjects 4. To modulate and henceof tQ the second accountof certainty, which in Descartes' let knowledge, figures epistemology, me setdown several characteristic Cartesian remarks abouttheoptimal state cognitive which is themeditator's goal. In Discourse2, Descartes arecertain ifI 'accept saysthat judgements in themnothing morethanwhatwas presented to mymindso clearly anddistinctly that I couldhaveno occasionto doubtit' (/I 92). Atthe start of Meditation as certain thosebeliefs which"may 1, he describes within thesphere ofthedoubtful" in [not]be brought (/1144).Similarly, is said to have no right to claim 2, a cogniser Replyto Objections so longas "[a doubt]maycomeup" (/II 39). And,at several certainty e. g. Reply to Objections 41 andReply 2/11 toObjections 6/11 245, places, Descartes links'certainty' to 'immutability'. The common ifitis evidentially a belief is certain based pointis that on sucha waythat there couldbe no subsequent evidential development which wouldleadthecogniser's initial towaver. A natural word opinion


M. Glouberman

to describe a belief of this kind is 'irrevisable'.Here is an analytic formulation of irrevisability :5

in a propositionh is irrevisable for a subjectS at time t if and only if (i) S is justified h at t on thebasis of some set of evidential e, and (ii) thereis no t' propositions, believing S in and possible e' such that t' is laterthan t, e is a subset of e', and e* failsto justify h at t' believing

It is extremely to note that,if we speak of places rather enlightening than times,the very form of this analysis negatively duplicates the evidencefor laid bare above. Perceptual structural factabout perception : thereis or augmentable a belief,I explained,is in principle incomplete an vis--vis object or always some further perceptualvantagepoint that from of the stateof affairs on which belief bears,displaced any (even to placed) subject,the evidenceavailable at which is relevant optimally can be certain. no such belief his So the truth evaluationof belief. By theinternal concerns becausethebelief contrast, acquiredby s-cognition state of the subject who acquires it, his evidenceis complete.So it is or irrevisable. to say thathis doxasticstateis immutable appropriate and s-cognitionbeforeus, the With the link between irrevisability problem facingDescartes afterMeditation2 is plain. Given that the it is the Cartesianscientist's world whose character job to discloseis not the world of scientific investigation being an external s-cognised one how can certain an not internal, world, knowledge psychological, be achieved at all? P-cognition,on the one hand, though of a type the subjectin contactwithan external forputting world,is appropriate beliefs with incommensurate certainty: p-cognitively constitutionally based are in principle rvisable. On the other hand, s-cognitionis for the purposes of science. What proconstitutionally inappropriate science? for Cartesian are there, then, spects lines of Descartes' answer are well-known.The The metaphysical of 'clear of theveracity of Meditation 3 securea divineguarantee efforts the truths This guarantee, and distinct' beingdivine,renders cognitions. uncovered by the scientistimmutable. So these truths qualify as and hence as knowledge. certainties, of Descartes' the metaphysical strategy But this,while describing leaves the key epistemological question wholly untouargument, does scientific ched: whatkindof cognition knowledgeinvolve?To say mumon this thatGod is the guarantor of such knowledgeis to remain vitalmatter.
5 I am in: Certaintyand Cartesian J. Tlumak's formulation, (over-)simplifying Method (Descartes:Criticaland Interpretative Essays,edited by M. HOOKER(Baltimore and London, 1978), p. 46).

Consciousnessand Cognition: From Descartesto Berkeley


Insensitised theologyand school by the massivedose of disreputable fail 3, manycommentators dogma injectedby Descartesinto Meditation answer is offered.The following to recognise that an informative : passage, one of manywitha similarmessage,is relevant
"He [sc. God] on whom I dependpossessesin Himselfall thegreat towardswhichI things and thatnotindefinitely or potentially aspire[and theideas of whichI findwithinmyself], alone, but really,actually,and infinitely" (Meditation3/1170).

The relevant whichis quite independent of the claimthat implication, God servesto guarantee theveracity of theclearand distinct, is thatGod himself possesses the kind of (certain)knowledgeof the world towards I aspire. which,as a good Cartesianscientist, The kind of cognitionrequisitefor scientific knowledgeis, then,the kind which divine intellectualactivityexemplifiesto the full. But withoutdenyingthatGod's commercewith theworld is in manyways (bound to be) unique, the phrase 'divine cognition',like the phrase of thiskind amounts 'Jack's cognition',does not tell us what cognition to. If 'divinecognition' classified an utterly distinctive kindof cognition, i.e. if God's intellectualactivity were entirely sui generis, the meditatorcould no more intelligibly be said to 'aspire' to it than a number could aspire to be a table. In sayingthat the human subject 'potentially' possesses the scientificknowledge of the world God and infinitely', Descartesis tellingus thatthe possesses 'r-eally, actually, kind of cognitionrequisiteforsuch knowledgeis exemplified in part, or imperfectly, in human intellectual And this activity. impliesthat this kind of cognition is amenable to clarification from the human summarise thisby saying standpoint;in humanterms. (I will henceforth for human and divine that, Descartes, cognition cognition must be uniform). generically So whatkindof cognition is it thatis humanly butwhich, exemplified in its human exemplification, achieves only imperfectly or partially or what God achieves its means to the full? The indefinitely by (perhaps answeris : p-cognition.By bringing the passage last quoted surprising) into contactwiththe analysisof irrevisability set down above, one can thatthis is so and at the same timeexplain why God quickly confirm does betterthanman. In the quotation, God is referred to by the meditatorin a prima facie curious and inexplicable i. way, e. as 'He on whom I depend'. It would be insensitive to takethisas a mereliterary touch,or as designed to curryfavourwith the Sorbonne. A clear connectionis impliedby Descartes betweenthemeditator's dependenceon God and the factthat


M. Glouberman

God possesses to the full what the meditator possesses only partially. What could thisconnectionbe ? The language of dependence is used in Cartesian philosophy to sense and betweena substance in the fullest describethe relationship in which are those items human minds also, though particular God alone is accordedsubstantial status.Strictly speaking, derivatively, a substance:onlyhe is independent of all else. Finitesubstances (as we call them)are doublydependent:first, theyare causallydependent upon of character God for existingat all; second, because of the atomistic act on a continuous existence for their time,theydepend uninterrupted is of divine creation.As the latterfact indicates,God's substantiality his existence is his in that continued this sense, by guaranteed special I see clearly : 'granted is one suchGod who now exists, thatthere essence and that thatHe shouldhaveexistedfromall eternity, thatit is necessary 5/1 He mustexisteternally' 182-183). (Meditation of God How, then,does this special and pre-eminent substantiality connect with the fact that his intellectualactivityis adequate for theanswer to theanalysisof irrevisability, scientific certainty? Recurring becomes plain. Note how the analysisimportsthe notionsof a time different fromthe timeat whicha subject gains the evidenceon which his beliefis based, and of evidenceadditionalto the evidencehe gainsat As I explained, the timethe beliefis initially p-cognitively engendered. based beliefsare in principlervisable,because thereis always some source. But suppose, sweptalong by additional, equipollent,evidential we ask: whatwould a p-cognising of discussion, thecurrent subjecthave to do in orderto ensurethathis sense-basedbeliefsare certain?This he conditionof achieving : as a necessary answeris automatic certainty, fromhis would have to check out all evidentialstandpointsdifferent own, and base his belief only on the combined data. The special substantiality of God guarantees precisely that he satisfies this condition. Because, for example, God is eternal,there is no so faras his theevidenceavailableat whichremains, standpoint temporal not is beliefs spatially By thesametoken,giventhatGod go, unchecked. i.e. 'not marked out and limited to our view . . . as circumscribed, the humanagentsare by theirsize, complexion,limbs,and motions',6 a even evidence available to him, unlike that gained by maximally of a does not leave open the possibility finite conscientious perceiver, in could evidence additional which from displaced vantage point be gathered. principle
6 This claimis not Descartes* ; it is Berkeley's, from Principles appropriate completely e. g. in Meditation6. are expressedby DESCARTES, 1.57. Similarthoughts

to Berkeley FromDescartes Consciousness andCognition:


We can see, then,thatfromthe contentof the claimthata p-cogniser subjectcan be said 'dependson God', it follows logicallythatthe finite to possess (scientific) : he knowledgeonly 'potentially'or 'indefinitely' can always augmenthis evidence, and so can at best approach that immutable,irrevisable,state of belief called 'certainty'.By contrast, God's special characteristics ensurethatthispotentiality and indefiniteness are absent in his case. So the contentof the claim that God is 'independent'logically implies for Descartes that the divinecognitive conditionis optimal. Divine cognitionof theworld - the standardof scientific knowledgeto it in brand of p-cognition.(I will refer is, then,a superior,a refined, the sequel as n -cognition.) Rather than piling on the textual answer two questionswhich are backingfor this claim, let me briefly bound to be posed. First,givenDescartes' generaldismissal ofthesenses as inadequateforknowledge,isn'tit transparently to make unacceptable divinecognitiona refinement or development of p-cognition? Second, doesn't this alignment of p-cognitionand Ji-cognition run afoulof the fact that Cartesian science offersa largely mathematical picture of ? reality So faras the first question goes, partof the replyconsistsin pointing out thatit is admittedly somewhatmisleadingto speak,as I have,of jias a of p-cognition. It would be moreaccurate to cognition development that is an of say p-cognition exemplification ^-cognition. imperfect Once this is recognised,the problem is largely neutralised. For the in out in the it is work fact that imperfection p-cognitionmay precisely we a sense-based. there is in That (as say) genuineproblem making sense of this claim, i. e. in workingout an intelligible link betweenpand redounds to the of Descartes' discredit cognition Ji-cognition, to not that of we construal. As in that saw, position, my already claiming human cognisers possess 'potentially'what God 'actually' achieves, Descartes admitsthe genericuniformity of human modes of cognition and cognitionof the scientifically by adequate kind thatis exemplified God. With the precedingresponse sketched out, the second question is rendered moretractable. It is truethatDescartesspeaks of considerably scienceas mathematical in character. But thequestionis whether he has a of his claimsare supportedby the accountoffered to, i. e. whether right optimalcognition.I ventureto say thatno classicalrationalist provides more than incliningarguments he forthe substantive pictureof reality advocates. The operativethrustof each such position is its negative i. e. its claims about how standardcognitionof the world is thrust,


M. Glouberman

But or replacement. and hence in need of repair inadequateor imperfect, it inclinesin a certain is far thrust while thisnegative direction, positive sufficient forreaching fromsupplying a momentum articulate anyvery goal. we see that 5. Castingour glance back over thepreceding discussion, Cartesian epistemologycomprises two entirelydistinctaccounts of knowledge.At the stage of the cogito, knowledgeis understoodin of an s-cognitive terms jiparadigm.Wherescienceproperis concerned, uniform thoughspecifically superiorto p-cognicognition, generically tion,is operative. himself How could Descarteshave permitted to retail his accountas a vision of knowledge ? It will be noted thatI was able to apply uniform one and the same analysis of the notions of revisability and in amplifying Descartes' reasons for makinghis claims irrevisability But whilethisanswers at each stageof the Meditations. about certainty not in a justificatory the question,it does so only diagnostically, way. If fortheapplicability of the we examinemore closelythe reasonsoffered a but that subtle only by overlooking analysisat each stage,it emerges of the of nevertheless on real equivocation meaning 'completegrasp an been could the two have object' ranged by Descartes under a single banner. Having establishedthis, we will then see that the Cartesian and hence conceptionof knowledgein science is rootedin a metaphor, is avenue of revision One in the name of coherence, that, required. revisionis Berkeley's,thoughwhetherit leads to coherenceis another questionentirely. based? It is assured assuredfor beliefss-cognitively Why is certainty because the object about which a belief is acquired is an internal are in question, or mode of consciousness.Wheresuch contents content who thereare no vantagepoints,displaced fromthatof the s-cogniser in which from he is additional the belief that (e. g. pain), acquires evidence of the sort he relies on could be gained. This is so for the reason possible, viz. that it makes no sense to speak of strongest such alternative vantage points. (The thirdpersoncan of course subjectis in pain. gain behaviouralevidenceforthe beliefthata certain But this is not evidence 'of the same sort'.) But thisimpliesthatsense cannot even be attachedto talk of a vantagepoint for the s-cognising This And, indeed,it cannot,save asafacondeparler. subjecthimself. anteceof a counterfactual is confirmed by notingthatthe satisfaction If dentabout an s-cognisedobjectentailsa changein thelatter's identity. while the dentist I say 'Had I been locally anaesthetised drilled,. . .', I

FromDescartes to Berkeley Consciousness andCognition:


The proper could not add '. . ., the pain I feltwould have been dulled*. I i. not have e. I would is I would felt the '. . felt, ., complement pain If have felta dull pain insteadof thesharpone whichwas so unpleasant*. withit a changeofidentity, there is no sense to everysuch changebrings thathe has a unique,or favoured, sayingof the subjecthimself vantage which he comes to have a belief. point vis--vis thatconcerning the certainty achievable jr-cognitively is internally, i. e. By contrast, idea of a bound with the The structurally, up vantage point. Ji-cogniser in the case of beliefswhich remainmerelyprobable for gains certainty his imperfect because he leaves no possible or p-cognising counterparts For the Ji-cogniser, account. out of a beliefis potentialvantagepoints e. i. are no because there certain, irrevisable, outstanding vantagepoints which he has not visited. Or, to express the same thought in a more resonantway, the Jt-cogniser metaphysically graspshis cognised in the rather than objectscompletely, imperfect, partial, superficial, way whichfeatures contactwith the world. p-cognitive This equivocationon 'irrevisable'and 'certain'is a seriousmatter. For it is only by (tacitly)appropriating the meaningthathas been given to the claim that,in s-cognition, the subjectgraspsan object as a whole or thatwe can think ourselvesto be attaching a definite sense to completely, the claim thatJt-cognition achievesa completegrasp,and hence secures scientific knowledge.But once we come to see that'complete grasp' in the case of s-cognition does not mean 'graspfromall possible points of view', but means 'grasp of an object in respectof which thereare no to cash Descartes' points of view', all we are leftwith, in attempting scientific is an inadequatelyinterpreted formof words. epistemology, The problem emerged already above, but was allowed to pass unremarked forexpository reasons. I explainedin the preceding section that it is a necessary condition fora p-cogniser to attaincertainty that he check out all possible perceptualvantagepoints. Descartes is of thisconditionas sufficient God's (ji-cognitive) satisfaction treating forcertainty. But evenifwe allow thatthecondition could be satisfied, it would stillbe possibleto denythatthissuffices forcertainty, as thegrasp of theworldfrom all possiblevantagepointswould stillcountas inferior to a grasp from within, as in the case of s-cognisedcontents. In fact,I will show thatDescarteshimself mustgrant theinferiority of theformer So theequivocationon 'complete by thebasic termsof his metaphysics. belief for that the mechanismsof jcis essential Descartes' grasp' 3 thecertainty for in Meditation achievedby suffice cognition achieving in means Meditation 2. s-cognitive


M. Glouberman

The severity of the difficulty fromthisfissure in Cartesian resulting epistemology can be underscored by considering the unattractive options open to Descartes for dealingwith it. Suppose he graspsthe nettle and admits that divine cognitionis sui generis, i.e. is not genericallyuniformwith p-cognition.He could now say, without incurringa charge of equivocation, that the uniqueness of divine in science cognitionconsists in this, that it can achieve the certainty which is achieveds-cognitively in the cogito. But this would render scientific and the forsubjectssuch as ourselves, knowledgetranscendent Meditationsafter Meditation2 would not be those of a humansubject. to a dead halt So thisbold course would bringtheCartesianprogramme ? None. For theproblemremains at thecogito. Whatavenueoftreating is the world investigated an the scientist extended, corporeal,world, by external to the and so is, by the verytermsof Cartesianmetaphysics, less true of res This is no God thanof man; in subjectqua cogitans. to a in a sense even united it is God a not fact, being pure spirit, body, Descartes can call mechanism more trueof God. So the only cognitive on for service in the scientific arena is p-cognition,i. e. the type of suited to (intellectual)contact with an external object. cognition on theequivocationifthe cannotavoidreliance Descartes Consequently, is saved. Meditation 2 to be discussion For, again,'completegrasp' postand its means something different as applied in the case of p-cognition variants and as applied in the case of s-cognition. laid out in detail,it is 6. With the rupture in Cartesianepistemology theeasiestthingin theworld to describe Berkeley'sdmarche. Where, so far as knowledge of the world is concerned,Descartes accepts a and pgenericidentitybetween optimal cognition,i. e. Jt-cognition, cognition,Berkeley'sgenericlink is betweenoptimal cognitionand sout Withthisone change,Berkeleian crystallises metaphysics cognition. of the Cartesianensemble. Questions crowd in. But priorto all elaborationand defense,these the eliminates thechangedescribed two crucialfacts maybe noted.First, Cartesian rift: the mode of cognition operative in science is, for so Descartes' disastrous uniform withs-cognition, Berkeley, generically in the move from mechanism switchof cognitive and unacknowledged Meditation2 to Meditation3 is avoided. Second, because s-cognised objectsare objectswhose esse est percipi, the ontologicalhegemony is secured. All this,I of the chiefprincipleof Berkeleianmetaphysics to take the s-cognitive as theconsequenceof extending paradigm repeat, thisis thelinethatwould be in scientific knowledge.And, as I suggested,

: FromDescartes and Cognition Consciousness to Berkeley


followed naturallyby a theoristwho, acceptingDescartes' termsof in particular, the Cartesiandemandforcertainty discussion- accepting, - attemptsto extricatehimselffromDescartes' predicament without the in of science.7 abandoning goal knowledge It is quite true that one for whom an s-cognitive mechanismis the kind in a can be as direction. only represented gravitating phenomenalist But thereis only fragmentary evidencethatBerkeley'sthought has this slant.In fact,as we delve intotherecessesoftheBerkeleian corpus,what we findis a reduplication of the structure of the Cartesianposition.Just as optimal cognitionis a superiorvariantof p-cognition forDescartes, it is a superiorvariant of s-cognition. It is, we shallsee, so, forBerkeley, as exemplified s-cognition by God, i. e. by 'a SuperiorMind' {Principles 1.93), and it is exemplified thanby man because he alone by God rather in Descartes'sense,'independent'. among cognising subjectsis, precisely (Henceforth, I shall call God's superior mode of s-cognition ocognition.)In sum, whereastheworld,fora committed phenomenalist, is a construction out of (internal)objects of (human) s-cognition, for Berkeleyit is the (internal)object of (divine) o-cognition. it can now be better understood whatit Pendingtextualconfirmation, means to say that Berkeley's repair to Cartesianismis 'minimally mutilative'. Save forthe changefrom to s-cognition, and the p-cognition attendantspiritualisation of the real, all else remainsintact. Esse est the world of the Berkeleian scientist percipi notwithstanding, unreducedas an external reemerges object of (human) s-cognition. It may be doubted that any such position could conceivablybear - a doubt I scrutiny fullyshare.However, thosewho harbourthedoubt is unacceptable,but mighteasily be persuaded not thatBerkeleianism thata phenomenalist mustbe theright one. So, to kill readingof thetexts two birds with one stone, let me defend my construal against the objection thatis likelyto be most influential among those who incline towardstakingthisline. 7. Even if the precedingaccount shows a route fromDescartes to Berkeley,it is not - my objectorinsists- Berkeley's route. For no place is givenin thisaccount to Berkeley'santi-sceptical motives. Two points can be made in response.First,while it is quite truethat the Principles as an anti-sceptical it is exegetitract, Berkeleyadvertises naive for the to think that this him entitles to cally objector appropriate
7 Another 'extrication' wouldinvolve inthe giving up thegoalofscientific knowledge sense. Thisis,I believe, Locke'sline.I willreturn Cartesian to consider itatthevery end.


M. Glouberman

the phrase in the name of an empiricistphenomenalistreading of Aren't therescepticalissuesunlinkedto traditional empiricist Berkeley. to deny that this is a concerns?It would be grosslyquestion-begging case in point on the grounds that the Cartesian readingserves up a as we position which is hard to swallow. Second, and specifically, concerns to examinethe textswe do indeedfindBerkeley's anti-sceptical see from theorists who be farremovedfromthosewe naturally expect the deliverances of sense^experience as somehow privileged. Strikingly, seems willingto allow thattheworld might be unknowableby Berkeley human cognisers,his overriding to establishthat, concernbeingrather in character as a knowableby us or not, such a world mustbe spiritual conditionof being knowableat all. Consider thispassage:
sensations andthelike, considered extension, "Colour, motion, onlyas so many figure, inthem But inthemind, there which is notperceived. areperfectly known, nothing being to things or archetypes existing if they referred are lookedon as notesor images, without themind, we areinvolved then all in scepticism" 1.87). {Principles

in the objector'sfavour.But as Prima facie, this could be interpreted we read on, we discover that Berkeley is quite willing to accept of humanminds: 'archetypes' independent
orthat of inmymind "so long arenotactually as [objects] bymeordo notexist perceived inthemind atallorelsesubsist either created must havenoexistence anyother they spirit, ofsomeeternal (1.6). spirit"

And again:
"if [thereader] itpossible moveable can butconceive forone extended substance, or,in thanin a mind forany one idea,or anything likean idea,to existotherwise general, it,I shallreadily perceiving givethecause"(1.22).

This lastpassage indicates thatBerkeleyhas no objectionto a divisionof ideas - even an exclusivedivision- into humanand divine.In fact,he laterstales this in so manywords:
ofours.ButI ofGod,archetypes "I have no objection theideasinthemind against calling andtohave an to be realthings, those object against byphilosophers supposed archetypes it absolute rational distinct from their existence whatsoever, byanymind being perceived inthedivine mind is one thing, theopinion ofall materialists that an idealexistence being to Johnson of24 March1730/ and therealexistence another" of material (Letter things 239).

extra-mental ontologiHis animusis reserved forthosewho attribute ideas. But whataretheseideas, cal statusto (the contents of) non-human and how do theyrelateto humanideas? I will have more to say about admits thisin thenextsection,but notehow, on one occasion,Berkeley

: FromDescartes andCognition to Berkeley Consciousness

26 1

thattheymight well be "of I knownotwhatsort" {Prinrples 1.71). If so, whatsupportremainsfortheclaimthatesse est percipiis thecoping stoneof an anti-sceptical kind? positionof a standardempiricist In lightof such texts,how are we construeBerkeley'sassertionthat scepticismwould resultwere extra-mental beings to be admitted?To in Cartesian answer,we must brieflyreconsiderthe role of certainty philosophy. For Descartes, to be able to talk intelligibly about a specificarea of a cognitivemechanismmust be available, in principleat least, reality, whichenablescertainty to be attained in thatarea by a cognising subject. The discussionof certainty should make clearboththat, and why,thisis so: the evidential basis sufficient for certaintywith respect to a proposition coincides with the truthconditions of the proposition. an inabilityto be able to explain what certainty about a Accordingly, consists in - i. e. to provide an accountof what certain subject-matter cognitionin its regardamountsto - is forDescartesan inability clearly to specify the truthconditions, and hence the meaning, of propositions about thatsubject matter. It is often complained that Descartes' method of doubt in the Meditations has a veneerof rationality only because Descartesdoes not truth : iftheuncertainty from of a belief adequatelydistinguish certainty withitstruth, is compatible to proceedalong thelines thenitis irrational dictatedby the method,i. e. to rejectbeliefswhich are uncertain. But this objection loses its forceif the conditionof certainty tells us what truth in a certainarea comes to. Now p-cognisers,accordingto Descartes, are capable of achieving certainknowledgeof the (external) world only 'potentially' or 'indefiDescartes himself as in nevertheless justified speakingof nitely'. regards scientific he can call because which is knowledge, upon jc-cognition, from a and which makes comprehensible standpoint, p-cognitive good theshortcomings of theformer. Descartesmayhave However,whatever we have seen hispositionto be undermined thought, by an equivocation. Unless he changeshis ontology,by denyingthattheworld of science is externalto mind, he cannot in the end avoid concedingthat even jt~ is not equal to theachievement of certainty in itsregard. So, it cognition would follow,in default of theontological that Descartes cannot change, make sense of what the scientific knowledgehe aims to secure means, inasmuch as he cannot specify a cognitive mechanismcapable of scientific It is this,I submit,thatBerkeley is stating achieving certainty. whenhe asserts thatiftheexternal worldwerematerial, i.e. ontologically distinct frommind,the possibility of knowledgein its regardwould be


M. Glouberman

undermined. Moreover,Berkeleyis statingthisforthe precise reasons viz. that no (spiritual)subject or implicitin Cartesian epistemology, a cogniser-no res cogitans- can'achievea complete,an irrevisable, And theproofof thiscommunity certain, reality. graspof a non-spiritual ofreasoning thattheworldmight is thatBerkeley is quitewillingto grant transcendthe range of s-cognition.It sufficesfor his anti-sceptical uniform withs-cognition, generically purposesthata mode of cognition, can at leastin principle, in itsterms, and hence capable of beingclarified, slack is leftby the former. be enlistedto pick up whatever of non-humanideas and 8. I promisedto elaborateon the character Let me do so very theirrelationsto the contents of humanexperience. briefly. The distinctionbetween archetypaland human ideas corresponds betweenthe contentof exactly,as I said, to the Cartesiandistinction To thiswe need and (divine)Jt-cognition (human)p-cognition. establish human where a few texts cite cognisers Berkeley compares only with God. unfavourably A key claim is this one, fromDialogue 3, that 'God . . . perceives 86). What is impliedby the factthatGod nothingby sense as we do' (/1 from in a mode of contactwiththe world thatis this is, way, exempted normal for human subjects? I already cited the passage in which Berkeley explains that God is 'not marked out and limited to our view ... as human agents are by their size, complexion,limbs, and thatthe motions'{Principles 1.57). Here is a companionclaim,indicating : local sentiment 'it seems or a does not easy very passage express fleeting to conceive the soul to existin a separatestate(i.e., divestedfromthose withwhichshe is embarrassed limits and laws of motionand perception of on new ideas, withoutthe intervention here),and to exerciseherself we call bodies' (Letterto Johnsonof 25 November thesetangiblethings 1729/227).This is exactlythepointDescartesmakesin claimingthatan adequate view of the world does not "depend upon an exerciseand disposition of the body" (Rule I/I 1). And the reasoning is identical. The embodiedcognisercan achieveno more than a limited view of the world, and hence falls short of the kind of complete, forknowledge. synoptic, graspwhich alone suffices I showed it to In the course of discussingCartesian epistemology, follow fromthe dependenceof finitesubjectsthatthey can be said to at best. In effect, world 'potentially* possess knowledgeof the(external) statethatthe on thedivinejr-cognitive reliance itis by a kindof vicarious If the parallel (disadvantaged) p-cogniser can claim knowledge. we describedis more thana coincidence, mayexpectBerkeleyto say of

Consciousnessand Cognition: From Descartes to Berkeley


whosecontents ideas,and of theo-cognition theyare,that archetypal or or indefiniteness theymake good some constitutional potentiality ideas.Andthisindeed he says.It is a mars human which incompleteness constant Berkeleian refrain that thefragmentariness ofhuman experience withthecompleteness contrasts ofGod's. Thiscorresponds to the fully viewofan irretrievable inhuman ofthe Cartesian potentiality cognition we find world. ideasbeing described And,ifwe lookclosely, archetypal in justthewaywe are led to expect. For instance, human by Berkeley is featured andtemporal I explained experience byspatial fragmentation. withtheclaimthattheevidence above how thisconnects structurally - and hencetheir is available to finite never doxastic subjects complete certain states never andbeliefs never or irrevisable. immutable How is it with informs us that God ? Concerning heaccepts Berkeley temporality, : Johnson's description
"all things and to come are alwaysat everypointof durationequally perfectly past,present known or presentto God's mind. . . [I]t is in effect always now with Him" (Letterto Berkeleyof 5 February1730/234).

The sameis true ofspace:

in one clear view the is infinite, "[God is] one whose understanding comprehending remotest events,and consequencesof things.*'8

9. I willconclude by picking up theloose ends. I stated at thestart on theconstrual ofBerkeley's to be that, position neither wouldesseestpercipibe accepted nor offered, unreservedly, from wouldabstractions be ineliminable ofthe cognitive representation worldas we knowit.Two observations theformer claim. First, explain ofperceptual word.The structure is 'percipi' is nottheright cognition suchthatit cannot be a basicmodeof cognition within a position like modelin Descartes is Thus,we foundthatthep-cognitive Berkeley's. modelinBerkeley. Butthis is perhaps a supplanted by thes-cognitive The second, verbal moresignificant, observation is thatesse est point. is true the from effected, change primarily percip i, withthepreceding e. i. And in of divine this, turn, o-cognition. cognition, standpoint inthehuman areadmitted realm. by Berkeley whyabstractions explains We justsawthat oneofthewaysthat falls short of the ideal s-cognition to overcome But is in failing partiality, fragmentation. incompleteness, withabstractness. each of these is synonymous makes notions Spinoza than Berkeley:'God does not know things the point moreclearly
8 Sermon preachedon Whit Sunday, 1751. In Collectedworks8.135.


M. Glouberman

through abstraction,or form general definitions.'9And Leibniz: But of things/10 'abstractions are necessary forthe scientific explanation the same is true of the on the reconstruction I am recommending, notthe Berkeleian are banishedat theo-cognitive, position: abstractions level. s-cognitive, ' Though I have allowed the word 'p er cip i to pass, a moreserious which seems to me to redound to the creditof Descartes' difficulty, The problemin Cartesian position,arisesfromthe precedingremarks. because of the root difference arises above anatomised philosophy between s-cognition and p-cognition. But having extended the scan Berkeleymake any senseat all of model comprehensively, cognitive me Let dialectically.In express his difficulty perceptualcognition? ofp-cognitive betweenthecontent Descartes'finalposition,the relation statesis the relationbetweena fragment statesand (God's) Ji-cognitive or part and the completewhole of which it is a part. Given that pboth place the subject in relationto an cognition and Jt-cognition It suffices I that can be made of thisrelation. external think sense object, of one p-cognitive statecan be a how thecontent thatwe can understand of thecontent of anotherp-cognitive state,in theway thatthe fragment of the contentof mine state is a fragment contentof your p-cognitive thanyou do. view of a stateof affairs whenI have a morecomprehensive But havingdone away with the p-cognitivemodel at the basic level, connectionin sBerkeleyis obliged to make sense of this part/whole to do this. It would haveto be as if I can see no and terms, way cognitive thanpart in no more I scan yoursensationin a step-by-step way, taking of it at any one time. But it simply makes no sense to say that one contentis partial. A sensationis, by its essence, subject's s-cognitive it would make sense to say thatI now feelpartof a ; otherwise, complete which I will feel at a later time. Berkeleycan another of pain part in the overcomethis difficulty, so far as I can see, only by smuggling mechanismsof p-cognition by the back door. But this is quite mechaas p-cognitive with the thrustof Berkeleianism, incompatible nisms are those which can put the subject into contact with a nonspiritual reality. to my finalpoint.WhatI just said These remarks bringme naturally amountsto this: no adequate account of experienceas we know it (as commercewith reality)can dispensewithpopposed, say, to mystical
9 Letter 1665. In Works to Blyenbergh of 5 January by R. ofSpinoza,VolumeII, transi, H. M. ELWES (New York, 1955), p. 333. 10 Letterto De Voider of 20 Papers and September1703. In LEIBNIZ,Philosophical ed. and transi, Letters, (Dordrecht-Holland1969), p. 531. by. L. E. LOEMKER

Consciousness andCognition: From Descartes toBerkeley


To this extent,I regard Descartes' position as cognitivemechanisms. more than being adequate Berkeley's. But the real victor here, as I is Locke. For ifwe rejectthe Berkeleian solutionto on, suggested early the problem in Cartesian epistemology,then, having seen that the Cartesianstandards fora solutionaresettoo high,theresult is thata new category - that of probability, of probable knowledge - is elevatedto basic status.Book 4 of Locke's Essay, in whichprobability comes intoits own, marksa revolutionary stageon theroad to a proper of what science is all about. understanding