Berkeley's World: An Examination of the Three Dialogues

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 308 pages
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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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Contents

Berkeleys World
13
A Quick Reference Guide to the Three Dialogues
42
The Sensible
49
The Problem with Matter
93
Causation and Dependence
143
Action Other Minds and the Self
178
Properties and Predicates
215
Objects and Identity
246
Conclusion
293
Bibliography
301
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Tom Stoneham is a Lecturer in Philosophy, University of York.

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