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Collier, Arthur (1680–1732)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA018-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

Article Summary

Arthur Collier was an English parish priest who arrived, independently, at a version of immaterialism strikingly similar to that of Berkeley. In his 1713 work Clavis Universalis (‘universal key’), Collier contends that matter exists ‘in, or in dependence on’ the mind. Like Berkeley, he defends immaterialism as the only alternative to scepticism. He admits that bodies appear to be external, but their apparent or ‘quasi’ externeity is, he argues, merely the effect of God’s will, and not a sign of ‘real’ externeity or mind-independence. In Part I of the Clavis, Collier argues (as Berkeley had in his New Theory of Vision) that the visible world is not external. In Part II he argues (as Berkeley had in both the Principles and the Three Dialogues) that the external world ‘is a being utterly impossible’.

Citing this article:
Winkler, Kenneth P.. Collier, Arthur (1680–1732), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA018-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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