PDF pre-print available here.
I may be a tad biased, but I can't think of a more creative, ambitious, and interesting paper than Helen's 'Idealism Without God', which manages to improve upon Berkeley's original view in significant respects (especially regarding the nature of perception) whilst depending upon less controversial theoretical resources (as indicated by the title). It's cool stuff. A prominent philosopher of mind even declared it, "the coolest metaphysical view ever!" It should especially delight those who worry that philosophers these days too often lose sight of the "big issues".
The paper's upshot:
Contemporary philosophers are overwhelmingly materialists (at least about the domain of physical objects). I think it’s unfortunate that this view is taken for granted, as idealism both has much to offer and need not be as radical in its commitments as it might first appear. In making the case for taking idealism seriously, I’ve outlined a non-theistic, quasi-Berkeleyan view. On this view, reality is a vast unity of consciousness that binds together the sensory impressions of every point-from-a-perspective. This does not do away with the physical world, but gives a unique account of its nature – one on which the world is fundamentally intelligible. Just as on materialist views, reality is governed by physical laws (the sorts of laws that physicists tell us about, and which it’s clearly not the business of philosophers to dispute). Because reality is phenomenal, we open up the possibility that we can have a very robust sort of direct contact with reality. I’ve offered a view of perception on which (in perception) our minds are literally constituted by threads of reality. If this is right, I can stand in the same relation to the blueness of the sky as I do to the pain in my thigh.
While the idealist account that I’ve developed faces challenges – particularly worries about quantitative profligacy – it also offers some unique and intriguing benefits: (i) Due to the robust account it gives of our direct connection to reality, it yields an especially strong vindication of Johnston’s neglected epistemic virtue. (ii) It renders reality fundamentally intelligible in a way that materialism does not. (iii) It captures our common-sense intuition that the world is as it appears. While the theory doubtless faces challenges not addressed in this short paper, these advantages are such that the view surely merits consideration.
In conclusion, idealism is awesome and everyone should take it more seriously.
Read the whole thing!