Berkeley’s World [Book Review]

Philosophical Review 113 (4):571-574 (2004)
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This is a puzzling book. On the one hand, Stoneham insists that “we cannot appreciate the contributions made by philosophers like Berkeley without coming to terms with the full breadth and detail of his thought”. On the other hand, his interpretive efforts are directed almost exclusively at the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous—a work Berkeley intended as a popular recasting of his doctrines and one that scholars generally regard as conspicuously lacking the “full breadth and detail” of his philosophy. There is an evident tension between the goal of thoroughly examining Berkeley’s thought and the chosen means of focusing on the Three Dialogues. This tension arises, in large part, from the fact that Stoneham’s intended audience is not Berkeley scholars, but rather people seriously interested in philosophy and its history, yet lacking significant familiarity with Berkeley’s thought or its background in early modern philosophy. As a way to introduce advanced undergraduates or graduate students to Berkeley, the book is a reasonably successful effort, although there are some significant shortcomings.



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Douglas Jesseph
University of South Florida

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The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.A. A. Luce, T. E. Jessop & George Berkeley - 1954 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 5 (17):87-87.

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