Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Kreines

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2023 Jack B Stern


The goal of my thesis is to defend George Berkeley’s explanatory arguments for idealism and the mind. These arguments aim to show that idealism is the best explanation of our world, and that minds are the best explanation of certain mental operations, respectively. This thesis is divided into three chapters. The first two are dedicated to defending Berkeley’s explanatory argument for idealism, while the third is dedicated to defending Berkeley’s explanatory arguments for the mind. As these are different from the arguments that are usually associated with George Berkeley, I endeavor to defend both the textual accuracy of my interpretation and the philosophical merit of Berkeley’s views under my interpretation. My aim is not to convince anyone of the truth of Berkeley’s arguments, however; I only wish to show their strength and plausibility and to highlight intriguing connections between several arguments in Berkeley and core arguments in other philosophy. To that end, while my primary focus is Berkeley, I also draw parallels and objections from early modern Western philosophers like David Hume, Baruch Spinoza, and Princess Elisabeth; Buddhist philosophers like Vasubandhu; and contemporary philosophers like David Chalmers, Frank Jackson, and Thomas Nagel.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.