https://doi.org/10.31979/2151-6014(2012).030107">
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Abstract

This essay examines the strategies that Berkeley and Dharmakirti utilize to deny that idealism entails solipsism. Beginning from similar arguments for the non-existence of matter, the two philosophers employ markedly different strategies for establishing the existence of other minds. This difference stems from their responses to the problem of intersubjective agreement. While Berkeley's reliance on his Cartesian inheritance does allow him to account for intersubjective agreement without descending into solipsism, it nevertheless prevents him from establishing the existence of other finite minds. I argue that Dharmakirti, in accounting for intersubjective agreement causally, is able to avoid Berkeley's shortcoming. I conclude by considering a challenge to Dharmakirti's use of inference that Ratnakirti, a Buddhist successor of Dharmakirti, advances in his "Disproof of the Existence of Other Minds" and briefly exploring a possible response that someone who wants to advocate an idealist position could give.

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