Berkeley's World: An Examination of the Three Dialogues
Tom Stoneham offers a clear and detailed study of Berkeley's metaphysics and epistemology, as presented in his classic work Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, originally published in 1713 and still widely studied today. Stoneham writes for advanced undergraduates, graduate students,and academics in philosophy who are not specialists in the early modern period, and shows that Berkeley is an important and systematic philosopher whose work is still of relevance to philosophers today. Discussion of secondary literature is kept to a minimum (there are no footnotes!) and theinterpretation defended shows his arguments as having greater strength and his views as having more plausibility than is usually recognized. Part 1 is a general overview. In Part 2, Berkeley is shown to be a direct realist about perception of the physical world who denies that the objects of eitherperception or of scientific theory are material. In Part 3, Berkeley's positive views on substance, causation, action, free will, universals, concepts, identity, and persistence are also considered. While Berkeley's immaterialism is criticized, its weaknesses are shown to lie in the details ratherthan in the big picture, which is no more implausible or unattractive than the materialist alternative.
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abstract accept according action actually allow alternative answer appears argued argument Berkeley Berkeley's causal cause Chapter claim clear collection colour committed common conceive conception consider consistent contingent created deny dependence described determined DHP1 DHP3 Dialogue discussion distinction distinguish effect example existence experience explanation fact finite follow give given God's hand hold human Hylas ideas imagination immaterialism immediately important independent inference interpretation kind knowledge laws look material matter meaning mental merely mind mind-dependent Model motion move namely nature ontological pain particular perceived perception Philonous philosophical physical objects physical world possible present Principles problem properties question reality reason reference relation response seems sense sensible qualities sensible things similar simply someone sort sound spirits substance suggests Suppose theory third thought tion true understand universals unperceived volition