New Studies in Berkeley's Philosophy [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 23 (2):365-365 (1969)
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Abstract

In his foreword, Brand Blanshard provides the suitable justification for publishing yet one more book on Berkeley: Berkeley is "curiously modern," and philosophically acute. Twelve competent essays, contributed by as many scholars, testify to the accuracy of Blanshard's judgment. These twelve scholars, all of whom rely on the Luce-Jessop definitive edition, touch upon the major issues of Berkeley's philosophy: perception, substance, spirit, and God. Differences in interpretation are everywhere evident, but Berkeley is nowhere given facile treatment or quick dismissal. Of the many good essays, Ian T. Ramsey's on "Berkeley and the Possibility of an Empirical Metaphysics" deserves close attention. Ramsey argues that Berkeley's doctrine of will, soul, mind, etc., should be viewed as forms of personal activity and not on the analogy of Locke's ideas. T. E. Jessop contributes a useful bibliography as well as an essay on "Berkeley as Religious Apologist." The only, very minor, flaw in this distinguished volume is that the editor's own essay, the twelfth, "Berkeley and his Modern Critics" might have been better placed immediately following the foreward.--D. J. M. B.

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