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Dr. Kenneth Pearce
Ussher Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Biography

Kenneth Pearce grew up in Palouse, Washington, USA. He received his BA in philosophy and classical studies and BAS in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. He completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Southern California in 2014. Pearce arrived at Trinity College in the fall of 2016.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kenneth L. Pearce, Thinking with the Cartesians and Speaking with the Vulgar: Extrinsic Denomination in the Philosophy of Antoine Arnauld, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 TARA - Full Text

Kenneth L. Pearce, God's Impossible Options, Faith and Philosophy, 37, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

Kenneth L. Pearce, Intentionality, Belief, and the Logical Problem of Evil, Religious Studies, 56, (3), 2020, p419 - 435 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, Are We Free to Break the Laws of Providence?, Faith and Philosophy, 37, (2), 2020, p158 - 180 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, Ideas and Explanation in Early Modern Philosophy, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

Kenneth L. Pearce, What Descartes Doubted, Berkeley Denied, and Kant Endorsed, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 58, (1), 2019, p31 - 63 Journal Article, 2019 TARA - Full Text DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, William King on Free Will, Philosophers' Imprint, 19, (21), 2019, p1 - 15 Journal Article, 2019 URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Locke, Arnauld, and Abstract Ideas, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 27, (1), 2019, p75 - 94 Journal Article, 2019 URL TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Infinite Power and Finite Powers in, editor(s)Benedikt Paul Goecke and Christian Tapp , The Infinity of God: New Perspectives in Theology and Philosophy, Notre Dame, IN, University of Notre Dame Press, 2019, pp233 - 257, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2019 URL TARA - Full Text

Matter, God, and Nonsense: Berkeley's Polemic Against the Freethinkers in the Three Dialogues in, editor(s)Stefan Storrie , Berkeley's Three Dialogues: New Essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp176 - 190, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2018 TARA - Full Text URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Foundational Grounding and the Argument from Contingency, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, 2017, p245 - 268 Journal Article, 2017 URL TARA - Full Text

Kenneth L. Pearce, Language and the Structure of Berkeley's World, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017, 1 - 218pp Book, 2017

Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce, Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017, 1 - 300pp Book, 2017

Kenneth L. Pearce, How Berkeley's Gardener Knows his Cherry Tree, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 98, (S1), 2017, p553 - 576 Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, Counterpossible Dependence and the Efficacy of the Divine Will, Faith and Philosophy, 34, (1), 2017, p3 - 16 Journal Article, 2017 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

Berkeley's Philosophy of Religion in, editor(s)Richard Brook and Bertil Belfrage , The Bloomsbury Companion to Berkeley, London, Bloomsbury, 2017, pp458 - 483, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2017 TARA - Full Text

Kenneth L. Pearce, Berkeley on Unperceived Objects and the Publicity of Language, History of Philosophy Quarterly, 34, (3), 2017, p231 - 250 Journal Article, 2017 URL URL TARA - Full Text

Mereological Idealism in, editor(s)Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce , Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp200 - 216, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2017 TARA - Full Text URL

Pearce Kenneth L., Leibniz and the veridicality of body perceptions, Philosophers Imprint, 16, (5), 2016, p1-17 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Arnauld's Verbal Distinction between Ideas and Perceptions, History and Philosophy of Logic, 37, (4), 2016, p375 - 390 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL URL TARA - Full Text

Kenneth L. Pearce, Counteressential Conditionals, Thought, 5, (1), 2016, p73-81 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text DOI URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Berkeley's Lockean Religious Epistemology, Journal of the History of Ideas, 75, (3), 2014, p417 - 438 Journal Article, 2014 URL TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce and Alexander R. Pruss, Understanding Omnipotence, Religious Studies, 48, (3), 2012, p403 - 414 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text URL DOI URL URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Thomas Reid on Character and Freedom, History of Philosophy Quarterly, 29, (2), 2012, p159 - 176 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text URL URL

Omnipotence, James Fieser and Bradley Dowden, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2011, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2011 URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley, Religious Studies, 4, (3), 2008, p249 - 268 Journal Article, 2008 URL DOI

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kenneth L. Pearce, God's Perfect Will: Remarks on Johnston and O'Connor, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

Berkeley's Theory of Language in, editor(s)Samuel Rickless , The Oxford Handbook of Berkeley, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2020

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements, 88, (2020), Kenneth L. Pearce and Takaharu Oda, [eds.] Journal, 2020 URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Peter Browne on the Metaphysics of Knowledge, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements, 88, 2020, p215 - 237 Journal Article, 2020 DOI TARA - Full Text URL

Berkeley and Newton in, editor(s)Dana Jalobeanu and Charles T. Wolfe , Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and Sciences, Springer, 2019, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Book Chapter, 2019 DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, Review of Necessary Existence, by Alexander R. Pruss and Joshua Rasmussen , American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 93, 2019, p763-767 Review, 2019 DOI

Daniel Flage and Kenneth Pearce, 'George Berkeley', Oxford Bibliographies, Oxford University Press, 2019, - Bibliography, filmography, etc., 2019 DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, 'Berkeley's Manuscript Introduction: A piece of philosophical history from the Library of Trinity College Dublin's manuscript collection', Google Arts and Culture, 2018, - Exhibition, 2018 URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, 'Deism', The Special Divine Action Project, Oxford, Bodleian Library, 2017, - Digital research resource production, 2017 URL

Kenneth L. Pearce, Review of Idealism and Christian Theology, by Joshua R. Farris and S. Mark Hamilton , Faith and Philosophy, 34, (3), 2017, p365-369 Review, 2017

Kenneth L. Pearce, Review of The Everlasting Check: Hume on Miracles, by Alexander George , Journal of the History of Philosophy, 54, (4), 2016, p680-681 Review, 2016 TARA - Full Text

Port-Royal, Tim Crane, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, Routledge, 2015, [Kenneth L. Pearce] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2015 URL DOI

Kenneth L. Pearce, Review of The Puzzle of Existence: Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?, by Tyron Goldschmidt , Faith and Philosophy, 31, (3), 2014, p341-344 Review, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI URL URL

Research Expertise

Description

My primary focus is the history of early modern philosophy. A 'modern' philosopher, as I understand that term, is one who thinks that our view of the world must be rethought in light of the Scientific Revolution. For 17th and 18th century European philosophers, most of this rethinking involves tensions between science and religion. However, the issues are of much broader relevance. The fundamental question is: if the physical universe is composed solely of extended bits of matter bumping into each other, what is to become of us? Is there room in such a picture for free will, morality, justice, love, beauty, meaning, or God? A common theme in many 17th and 18th century discussions of these issues is the theory of mental and linguistic representation: how do words or ideas get to be about things, and what are the limits of what our words and ideas can be about? I have addressed these questions in most detail in my work on George Berkeley (1685-1753), but I have also written about many other early modern philosophers. My current book project, Berkeley's Religion: A Study in the History of Anglican Philosophy, aims to position Berkeley's philosophical writings in the context of the religious debates of his time. This project is expected also to lead to papers on some lesser-known philosophers important to Berkeley's context, including Anthony Collins (1676-1729), Damaris Cudworth Masham (1658-1708), and Mary Astell (1666-1731). My second research area is contemporary philosophy of religion, with particular focus on the role of the concepts of power and freedom in classical conceptions of God, and also the relevance of theism to human free will. I am currently collaborating with Graham Oppy (Monash University, Australia) on a book, Is There a God? A Debate, for the Routledge series Little Debates about Big Questions.

Keywords

George Berkeley; History of Philosophy; Philosophy of religion

Recognition

Representations

Reader for Oxford University Press and Princeton University Press 2016 to 2018

Referee for Philosophers' Imprint, Analysis, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, American Philosophical Quarterly, Religious Studies, Erkenntnis, Archiv Für Geschichte der Philosophie, Journal of Analytic Theology, European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Sophia, Philosophical Papers, Journal of Philosophical Research, History and Philosophy of Logic, Hermathena, Berkeley Studies, Dialectica, Society and Politics, Journal of Polish Philosophy, Eighteenth Century Ireland, Annals of Philosophy, Diametros, and Forum Philosophicum. 2012 to present

PhilPapers.org category editor for "George Berkeley;" "Berkeley: Metaphysics," with subcategories; "Berkeley: Philosophy of Language;" "Berkeley: Philosophy of Religion," with subcategories; "Divine Attributes;" and "Divine Omnipotence" 2013 - Present

Awards and Honours

Sanders Prize in Philosophy of Religion (for "Foundational Grounding and the Argument from Contingency") 2016