On the Possibility of Pre-Cartesian Idealism
Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review
In a seminal article on the origin of philosophical idealism in the western philosophical tradition, Myles Burnyeat argued that idealism could not have come about prior to Descartes. According to Burnyeat, Descartes introduced a radical version of external world scepticism which made it possible for subsequent philosophers (Berkeley, e.g.) to argue that reality is composed exclusively of immaterial minds and their contents (ideas). I argue that (1) the success of Burnyeat’s argument depends upon the meaning of the term ‘idealism’ and (2) that one of Burnyeat’s definitions of the term does not rule out the possibility of Pre-Cartesian idealism
Hibbs, Darren, "On the Possibility of Pre-Cartesian Idealism" (2005). CAHSS Faculty Articles. 748.