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Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (Green Integer) [Paperback]

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Item description for Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (Green Integer) by George Berkeley...

This philosophical work records an imaginary dialogue by British thinker George Berkeley on the subject of materialism. It is one of the most important philosophical discussions of the eighteenth century.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   167
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.45" Width: 4.25" Height: 6"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2006
Publisher   Green Integer
ISBN  1933382635  
ISBN13  9781933382630  

Availability  1 units.
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More About George Berkeley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! George Berkeley (1685-1753) was an Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism." This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers, and as a result cannot exist without being perceived. Thus, as Berkeley famously put it, for physical objects "esse est percipi" ("to be is to be perceived"). Berkeley is also known for his critique of abstraction, an important premise in his argument for immaterialism. In 1709, Berkeley published his first major work, An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, in which he discussed the limitations of human vision and advanced the theory that the proper objects of sight are not material objects, but light and colour. This foreshadowed his chief philosophical work A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge in 1710 which, after its poor reception, he rewrote in dialogue form and published under the title Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous in 1713. In this book, Berkeley's views were represented by Philonous (Greek: 'lover of mind'), while Hylas (Greek: 'matter') embodies the Irish thinker's opponents, in particular John Locke. Berkeley argued against Sir Isaac Newton's doctrine of absolute space, time and motion in De Motu (on Motion), published 1721. His arguments were a precursor to the views of Mach and Einstein. In 1732, he published Alciphron, a Christian apologetic against the free-thinkers, and in 1734, he published The Analyst, an empiricist critique of the foundations of infinitesimal calculus, which was influential in the development of mathematics. His last major philosophical work, Siris (1744), begins by advocating the medicinal use of tar water, and then continues to discuss a wide range of topics including science, philosophy, and theology. Interest in Berkeley's work increased after World War II, because he tackled many of the issues of paramount interest to philosophy in the 20th century such as the problems of perception, the difference between primary and secondary qualities, and the importance of language.

George Berkeley was born in 1685 and died in 1753.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History, 17th & 18th Century
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (Green Integer)?

A classic of Western Philosophy  Jul 4, 2003
Along with Kant, the only Western Philosopher after Plato, worth reading. Bend your mind, and free your soul.
A reader-friendly introduction to Berkeley.  Jun 8, 2000
This Oxford Philosophical Texts student edition of George Berkeley's best known work features a helpful introduction, glossary, and notes by philosopher Jonathan Dancy (author of _Berkeley: An Introduction_ and editor of the Oxford Philosophical Texts edition of Berkeley's _Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge_). The forty-page introduction includes a short biography of Berkeley, a synopsis of the _Dialogues_, a summary and analysis of Berkeley's philosophy including critical discussion of his main arguments, and an exposition of the relation between the _Dialogues_ and the _Principles_. Also featured: a bibliography and an analytical table of contents for the dialogues.

As for Berkeley himself, he probably needs no introduction from me. Arguably the most judicious commentary on his thought is that of T.H. Green, who in his great _Introduction_ to Locke and Hume remarked as follows:

"His [Berkeley's] purpose was the maintenance of Theism, and a true instinct told him that pure Theism, as distinct from nature-worship and daemonism, has no philosophical foundation, unless it can be shown that there is nothing real apart from thought. But in the hurry of theological advocacy, and under the influence of a misleading terminology, he failed to distinguish this true proposition -- there is nothing real apart from thought -- from this false one, its virtual contradictory -- that there is nothing other than feeling. The confusion was covered, if not caused, by the ambiguity, often noticed, in the use of the term 'idea.' This to Berkeley's generation stood alike for feeling proper . . . and for conception, or an object thought of under relations. . . . Misled by the phrase 'idea of a thing,' we fancy that idea and thing have each a separate reality of their own, and then puzzle ourselves with questions as to how the idea can represent the thing . . . . These questions Berkeley asked and found unanswerable. There were two ways of dealing with them before him. One was to supersede them by a truer view of thought and its object, as together in essential correlation constituting the real; but this way he did not take. The other was to avoid them by merging both thing and idea in the indifference of simple feeling . . . -- an attempt which contradicts itself, since it virtually admits [the] existence [of such oppositions as inner and outer, subjective and objective] while it renders them unaccountable." [_Hume and Locke_, 1968 Apollo edition, pp. 140-142.]

This summary may not be quite adequate to Berkeley's thought overall, as later in life he does appear to have come round to a view not altogether unlike Green's. However, it seems to me to be an eminently fair assessment of the Berkeley represented in the present volume.

At any rate Berkeley was a fascinating thinker and this volume is as good an introduction to him as is available. The _Dialogues_ should eventually be read in conjunction with the _Principles_ (which they were intended to support), but anyone looking for a single volume in which to meet this great and seminal philosopher will be safe in beginning with this one.


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