restricted access Berkeley, Human Agency and Divine Concurrentism

This paper aims to offer a sympathetic reading of Berkeley’s often maligned account of human agency. The first section briefly revisits three options concerning the relationship between human and divine agency available to theistically minded philosophers in the medieval and early modern eras. The second argues that, of those three views, only the position of concurrentism is consistent with Berkeley’s texts. The third section explores Berkeley’s reasons for adopting concurrentism by highlighting three motivating considerations drawn from his larger philosophical system. Finally, the fourth section attempts to flesh out Berkeley’s understanding of human activity by looking at how we might understand his claim that “we move our legs ourselves” in light of his commitments to idealism and concurrentism.