On George Berkeley's Alleged Letter to Browne: A Study in Unsound Rhetoric

Berkeley Studies 22:3-8 (2011)
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Abstract

Luce once declared that his and Jessop’s interpretation of Berkeley is “reflected in our edition of the Works.” The appearance of a recent article by Stephen Daniel draws attention to two examples of the implications of this interpretive model of editing. One is Luce’s and Jessop’s rejection of Alciphron as a reliable source for Berkeley’s philosophy, because we have access to his true philosophy elsewhere , and “it is idle to turn to Alciphron for Berkeleianism,” for he does not rest his case there “on his own philosophy” . The other is the “correction” of Alciphron by incorporating an anonymous letter to Peter Browne “as a supplement” to Berkeley’s work—something that Daniel criticizes for circularity and lack of scholarly accuracy. The question arises as to whether Alciphron is the only example of a text in the Worksthat is biased in favor of the editors’ private interpretation

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